Be Quick in Doing Good Mufti Muhammad Taqi Uthmani (DB)

All praise to Allah. We praise Him and seek His help and His forgiveness and we believe in Him and rely on Him. We seek refuge with Him from the mischief of ourselves and the vices of our deeds. There is none to lead him astray whom Allah guides and there is none to guide him whom Allah lets go astray. I bear witness that there is no God but Allah alone and that He has no partner. I also bear witness that our Master, our Authority, and our Prophet and our Master, Muhammad (S) is His servant and His Messenger. May Allah bestow upon him, his household and his Companions His mercy and blessings in abundance. Rush to the forgiveness of your Lord and a Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth. Prepared for the righteous. (3:133)
I believe in Allah. Our Great Master All has spoken the truth and His kind Prophet has also spoken the truth. We testify to this and we are grateful. All praise to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.

Rush towards good deeds.
Allamah Nuwawi (RA) has framed a chapter, the Chapter of rushing towards good deeds. This means that man should reflect upon his reality, Allah's greatness, His Omnipotence and His extensive wisdom, His quality of providing sustenance (to His creation). As a result of such reflection his heart shall incline towards the worship of Almighty Allah. He will then feel disposed spontaneously realise in his heart that he owes something to that Master who has created this entire Universe, granted him blessings and showered on him His mercy. What then should he do when such thoughts arise in his heart?
Allamah Nuwawi (RA), has framed this chapter to furnish an answer to this question whenever an urge arises to worship Allah and to do some good deed, it is the duty of a believer on such occasions to do that good deed I without delay. The word Mubadarah means doing I something promptly without hesitation and without deferring it to some future time.

Go in for Competition in Doing Good Deeds.
First of all Allamah Nuwawi has cited this verse of the Holy Qur'an: Addressing entire humanity Almighty, Allah says in this verse:
وَسَارِعُوا إِلَىٰ مَغْفِرَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالْأَرْضُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ ‌
Rush to wards the forgiveness of your Lord and (His) Paradise whose width is equal to the width of the heavens and the earth, rather more which has been prepared for the righteous. (3:133)
The word Musara of means to do something as early as possible, and try to go ahead of others in this race. There is another verse:
فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ
Go in for a competition in doing good deeds. (2:148)
When an urge arises in your heart for doing some good turn does not defer it till another time.

Satan's Strategy
It is because Satan uses a separate strategy for every individual among the unbelievers and the believers. Satan will never inspire the heart of a believer that he should not do good deed, cleverly showing that good deed to be "bad deed". He knows very well that a believer cannot be beguiled to consider a good deed to be a bad deed, He whispers to the believer that these are indeed very good deeds but, "Better begin it", he suggests, "from tomorrow". Thus the good deed may be postponed from day to day and ultimately be forgotten altogether. So plausible is Satan's strategy.'
Benefit by Your Precious Lifetime.
Thus does revolve the wheel of time. None knows what is his decreed age. The Qur'an admonishes not to defer things for future time. If an urge arises to do some good deed do it at once, because the next day you may forget the urge or who knows one will live or not live the next day. Even if one lives, the urge may disappear in the rush of so many pressing vicissitudes of life. In case the urge remains, the circumstances favourable for execution may not be there.

The urge to do Good is, as if it were, Allah's guest
The urge to do good may be considered to be a guest sent of Allah that must be welcomed with honour. The honour lies in prompt execution of the urge. If the urge is to offer some optional prayer and you ignore it by arguing that it is neither obligatory nor essential, then you dishonour the divine guest that Allah had sent to reform you. If you show this cold attitude to the guest, it may never visit you again. Although the golden rule is to attend to all business with promptitude yet if an urge arises in you for some particular good deed it is highly appreciable to put that urge into practice quickly.

Do Not Wait For an Opportunity to Arrive
An urge arises in the heart of anyone for self-improvement before the expiry of life which is passing so fast, yet he thinks that he shall execute this urge after completing this task and that task. The precious moments of life thus lost in this dilly-dallying will never come back.

The Best Trick of Working
My respected father Hazrat Mufti Muhammad used to say that a work which is deferred till the arrival of a suitable opportunity gets deferred for ever never to be undertaken again. According to him if two items are in hand and a third item suddenly arises, then insert this third item also between the two items under process and this third item will also get completed together with the other two. On the other hand if you decide to take up the third item after completing the earlier two items, the third item will remain undone. The habit of chalking out programmes to do one thing now and another one afterwards is a way of postponing things never to be done. This is satan's way of seduction.

It is not undesirable to compete I with one another in good Deeds
The advice to hasten doing good deeds is based on the Qur'an and the Sunnah. That is why Allamah Nuwawi has framed a separate chapter for this topic: The chapter of rushing towards doing good deeds. On this Allamah Nuwawi h has used two words "Mubadarat "meaning rushing abd hastening and "Musabaqat" meaning competing, racing or trying to get ahead of another person. This competition is desirable and commendable in the matter of good deeds, but it is condemnable and undesirable in worldly matters such as in acquiring worldly gains, status etc. The Qur'an itself has commanded:
فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ
vie with one another in the matter of doing good deeds. (2:148)
Therefore, try to excel a man whom you find engaged in worship, devotion, avoiding sins etc.

Competition is not lawful in worldly matters.
To day, we are on just the opposite track. Our entire existence has been devoted to competition in earning more and more money, constructing a more magnificent building, purchasing a better car and collecting costlier luxuries of life than such and such fellow. In this mad competition, the thought to make distinction between lawful-حلال and unlawful-حرام has disappeared. It is, however, a fact that it is impossible to win this competition with lawful money, so the competitors are taking resort to use ill gotten money. Forgetting the difference between lawful and unlawful money, all are vying with one another in undesirable activities and earning worldly gains and have lagged behind in competing with one 'another in desirable and worthier objects of life. What a pity!

Hazrat Umar (RA) competes with Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) on the occasion of the Tabook expedition
Just look at the deeds of the sacred companions on the occasion of the Tabook military expedition. It was a very hard expedition, perhaps the hardest of all other expeditions. The season was extremely hot, as if the land was emitting fire. A tortuous desert journey of about 1200 Kilometers lay before them; the date crop was about to mature and ripen on which depended their livelihood for the entire year. Every Muslim was being called upon to take part in the battle of Tabook at a time when there was a great shortage of conveyance and monetary resources. Standing in his mosque the Holy Prophet (S) declared that conveyance, camels and money were badly needed to financa the impending battle. The Muslims were asked to contribute to this campaign to the best of their capacities. He guaranteed paradise for the donors and every Muslim readily responded to the call. How could they remain behind in such a critical occasion? Hazrat Umar Farooq (RA) divided all the resources of his house in two parts. Reserving one part to meet the needs of his household he called upon the Holy Prophet (S) along with the other half. He thought that he.might perhaps surpass Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA), on that occasion. This is an example of the term:
مسابقة إلا الخيرات
(the burning desire to compete with someone in doing good).
He never entertained the desire to surpass Hazrat Usman Ghani (RA) or Hazrat Abdur Rahman bin Auf (RA) in their worldly wealth and resources. Instead the desire did arise to outdo Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) on this critical occasion.
Soon after, Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) also came to the Holy Prophet (S) and placed before him whatever he had with him. The following dialogue took place between the Holy Prophet (S) and the two companions.
Holy Prophet (S) : Umar What have you left behind?
Hazrat Umar (RA):
O Prophet of Allah (S)! I have left behind one half of my possessions for my family and I have brought the other half for the Holy War.
The Holy prophet (S) then prayed for Umar calling upon Allah to bless him in his possessions.
Then he (S) turned to Hazrat Abu Bakr.
Holy Prophet (S): What have you left behind in your house?
Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA):
O Prophet of Allah (S)! I have left behind in the house the names of Allah and His Messenger and I have brought here everything that was available in the house.
Hazrat Umar Farooq (RA), the great, said on that day that he came to know that he could never surpass Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (RA) even if he strived to do so the whole of his life. (Abu Daud, the Book of Zakat. Hadith no 1678).

An exemplary Bargain.
Once Hazrat Umar Farooq (RA) requested Hazrat Siddiq (RA) to settle with him a bargain for which he would feel highly obliged. Hazrat siddiq inquired as to what that bargain was. Hazrat Umar Farooq (RA) said in reply: Kindly take from me all the good deeds I have done in my life in exchange for the virtue of that sacred night which you passed with the Holy Prophet (S) in the cave of Saur, as the virtue of that night is heavier than all the good deeds of my life. In short, if we consider carefully the lives of the Holy Companions we shall never find in anyone of them a desire to compete with his fellow companions in the matter of worldly possessions, viz., money, house, means of conveyance, etc. However, we do find among them competition in doing good deeds and making their lives righteous. As regards our own behaviour to day, it is just the opposite. We are busy whole day in competing among ourselves in the matter of worldly wealth and resources, but we never think of surpassing one another in righteous deeds.

An Infallible Prescription For Us.
The Holy Prophet (S) has given us a wonderful piece of advice which is an infallible prescription for us: He has advised the Ummah, saying; In the matter of worldly resources always look at those who are at a lower level than you. Keep their company and have an eye on their conditions of life. In matters relating to religion, keep the company of those who are superior to you, and at a higher level than you. This is because when you see people inferior to you in worldly resources, you will value the good things with which Allah has favoured you, which others do not possess. This will create in you a sense of contentment and gratitude and the love of acquiring worldly goods will be uprooted. On the other hand, when in matters concerning religion you cast your eyes on those who are superior to you and have gone ahead of you, you will realise your inferiority and think of getting rid of it by trying to catching up with your superiors. (Tirmidhi, Book on Qiyaamah, Ch. 58. H.No. 2512)
To be concluded