I want to know more about Iman and A’māl-e-Saliha to be a successful muslim.

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

Everytime I read the Quran to know what to do to be happy successful and a good Muslim, I see that the Quran says you have to have two things: Iman & A’māl-e-Saliha. I want to know more about this, I feel like I have to know because it seems like the key to be a good muslim is to know what is Iman and good works according to the Quran.


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In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.


Indeed Iman is the best gift granted to a believer by Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’alā. We have done nothing to earn such a gift. It has been granted to us without any effort and difficulty. Those who have been granted Iman, know their purpose of life. Those who don’t have Iman do not know why they exist or what is their purpose in life.

The literal meaning of Iman is to “believe” in the Oneness of Allah (Tawheed) and to believe in the unseen which have been described in the Quran and the books of Ahādith. Once Jibreel Alaihis Salam came to Rasullullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam and questioned him on the fundamental aspects of a religion. This Hadith is known as Hadith-e-Jibreel. He asked:

مَا الإِيمَانُ؟ قَالَ: «الإِيمَانُ أَنْ تُؤْمِنَ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلاَئِكَتِهِ، وَكُتُبِهِ، وَبِلِقَائِهِ، وَرُسُلِهِ وَتُؤْمِنَ بِالْبَعْثِ» . قَالَ: مَا الإِسْلاَمُ؟ قَالَ: ” الإِسْلاَمُ: أَنْ تَعْبُدَ اللَّهَ، وَلاَ تُشْرِكَ بِهِ شَيْئًا، وَتُقِيمَ الصَّلاَةَ، وَتُؤَدِّيَ الزَّكَاةَ المَفْرُوضَةَ، وَتَصُومَ رَمَضَانَ “. قَالَ: مَا الإِحْسَانُ؟ قَالَ: «أَنْ تَعْبُدَ اللَّهَ كَأَنَّكَ تَرَاهُ، فَإِنْ لَمْ تَكُنْ تَرَاهُ فَإِنَّهُ يَرَاكَ» )صحيح البخاري (1/ 19)

“What is Iman? The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam replied, “Iman is to bring faith in Allah, his angels, his books, and in meeting with him, and his prophets and that you believe in ressurection.” Jibreel Alaihis Salam asked, “What is Islam?” The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam replied, “Islam is that you worship Allah and you do not assign partners with him, and you offer your Salāh and Zakāh which has become incumbent upon you and that you fast in the month of Ramadan.” Jibreel Alaihis Salam asked, “What is Ihsān?” Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam replied, “That you worship Allah as if you are visualizing him, if you cannot visualize him then surely he is watching you.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari 1/19)

A person’s Iman increases by doing A’mal-e-Salih (pious actions). The more a person engages himself in A’mal-e-Salih, the stronger his Iman becomes. There are many ways that a person can strengthen his Iman.

Moreover, there is a close relationship between Iman and Islam. Iman is linked to the heart whereas Islam is related to the physical actions of a person. Both, Iman and Islam are vital in preserving one’s faith and becoming a successful muslim. If a person has Iman but does not perform good deeds, then such a person cannot attain the rank of a successful muslim and will be held liable in the court of Allah. Similarly, if a person performs the good deeds but does not believe in the Oneness of Allah, then such a person is not even a muslim.  

Here under are some points to consider and practice upon to become a successful muslim:

1.      Farāid:

First and foremost, a person must offer all those Ibādah which are obligatory upon him:

a)     Performing the five daily Salāhs

The five daily Salāhs should be performed with congregation since praying Salāh in the Masjid with congregation merits reward which is 25-27 greater than that Salāh which is performed individually. The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam is recorded to have said:

«صَلاَةُ الجَمَاعَةِ تَفْضُلُ صَلاَةَ الفَذِّ بِخَمْسٍ وَعِشْرِينَ دَرَجَةً») صحيح البخاري (1/ 131)

“The Salāh which has been performed with Jamā’h, is twenty-five times greater than that Salāh which has been performed individually.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari 1/131)


Another Hadith reports:

«صَلاَةُ الجَمَاعَةِ تَفْضُلُ صَلاَةَ الفَذِّ بِسَبْعٍ وَعِشْرِينَ دَرَجَةً») صحيح البخاري (1/ 131)

“Salāh which has been performed in congregation, is twenty-seven times greater than that Salāh which has been performed individually.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari 1/131)


b)    Fasting in the month of Ramadan

c)     Performing Hajj (if it has become Wajib upon him)

d)    Giving Zakāh (if it has become Wajib upon him)

Each one of these obligation should be fulfilled with due diligence. One should also perform Nawāfil of Salāhs and fasts.


2.     Zikr

One should constantly engage himself in the zikr (remembrance) of Allah. Frequently remembering Allah will help a person in abstaining from sins. Allah Subhanhu Wa Ta’alā mentions in the Quran regarding zikr:

{….وَلَذِكْرُ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ….} [العنكبوت: 45]

“….And verily the remembrance of Allah is greater….” (Al-Ankaboot 45)


Another Ayah states:

{يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ ذِكْرًا كَثِيرًا (41) وَسَبِّحُوهُ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلًا} [الأحزاب: 41، 42]

“O you who believe, remember Allah more often. And exalt Him morning and evening.”

(Al-Ahzab 41-42)


Allah says in another Ayah:

{ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تُلْهِكُمْ أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَلَا أَوْلَادُكُمْ عَنْ ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَمَنْ يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ فَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ}

 [المنافقون: 9]

“O you who believe, let not your wealth and your children divert you from remembrance of Allah. And whosoever does that – then those are the losers.” (Al-Munafiqoon 9)




3.     Recitation of the Holy Quran

Recite some portion of the Quran daily. The Quran is the Kalām (speech of Allah). When a person speaks to his beloved, his soul feels enriched. When reciting the Quran, a person is talking to Allah and he will feel spiritually enriched. One should try and attend the Tafsīr classes of reliable Ulama. You should also read the English Tafsir of Maariful Quran written by Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Shafi Sahab (Rahmatullahi Alaih).


4.     Rights of People

Shariah has emphasized on the rights of other people. Always be sensitive to the next person’s feelings and emotions. You should try to help and assist others. If you cannot do that, then at least you should not harm anyone. It is very important to abstain from backbiting, slander and false accusation. One should also fulfill people’s mandatory rights.

Once the people asked the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam:

قَالُوا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، أَيُّ الإِسْلاَمِ أَفْضَلُ؟ قَالَ: «مَنْ سَلِمَ المُسْلِمُونَ مِنْ لِسَانِهِ، وَيَدِهِ» ) صحيح البخاري (1/ 12)

“Which type of Islam is the most virtuest?” He replied, “In which the muslims are safe from his tongue and his hand.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari 1/12)


In one Hadith, it has been mentioned that a person should love and wish for his muslim brother what he loves and wishes for himself.

لاَ يُؤْمِنُ أَحَدُكُمْ، حَتَّى يُحِبَّ لِأَخِيهِ مَا يُحِبُّ لِنَفْسِهِ ) صحيح البخاري (1/ 12)

“None of you can attain the level of Iman unless you love for your brother what you love for yourself.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari 1/12)


Another Hadith mentiones:

إِنَّ شَرَّ النَّاسِ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ مَنْزِلَةً يَوْمَ القِيَامَةِ مَنْ تَرَكَهُ النَّاسُ اتِّقَاءَ شَرِّه  ِ)صحيح البخاري (8/ 13)

“The worst of people in the eyes of Allah on the Day of Judgment is he from whom others keep their distances in order to save themselves from his mischief.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari 8/13)


Regarding backbiting, the Hadith considers it worse than committing adultery. Rasullullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam has said:

«إِيَّاكُمْ وَالْغَيْبَةَ؛ فَإِنَّ الْغَيْبَةَ أَشَدُّ مِنَ الزِّنَا» . قِيلَ: يا رسول الله! وكيف الْغَيْبَةُ أَشَدُّ مِنَ الزِّنَا؟ قَالَ: «الرَّجُلُ يَزْنِي فَيَتُوبُ، فَيَتُوبُ اللهُ عَلَيْهِ، وَإِنَّ صَاحِبَ الْغَيْبَةِ لا يُغْفَرُ لَهُ حَتَّى يَغْفِرَ لَهُ صَاحِبُهُ»)  المجالسة وجواهر العلم (8/ 273)

“Abstain from backbiting. Verily backbiting is worse than committing adultery.” He was asked, “O Prophet of Allah, how is backbiting worse than committing adultery?” He replied, “A person fornicates and repents and Allah forgives him. And a person who backbites is not forgiven unless the person whom he backbited does not forgive him.” (Al-Majalisah Wa Jawāhirul Ilm 8/273)


5.     Love for Rasullullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam

The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam has said that a person can never be a true muslim until the Prophet of Allah is more dear to him than anything in this world.

لَا يُؤْمِنُ أَحَدُكُمْ حَتَّى أَكُونَ أَحَبَّ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ وَلَدِهِ، وَوَالِدِهِ، وَالنَّاسِ أَجْمَعِينَ ) سنن النسائي (8/ 114)

“None of you can attain the level of Iman unless I am more dear to him than his son and his parents and all of mankind.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari 8/114)

Obtain literature on the Seerah (biography) of Rasullullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam and educate yourself with the great life of Rasullullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam. Learn the Sunnāhs and try implementing them in your life. The best and the most convenient way of implementing the Sunnāhs in one’s life, is to add at least one Sunnāh every day in one’s life. Some of the books on the Seerāh of Rasullullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam are:


1.      Tāreekh-e-Islam by Moulana Akbar Shah Najeeb Abadi (Urdu).

2.      Tareekh-e-Millat by Mufti Zain-ul-abideen Sajjad Meerathi (Urdu).

3.      The Sealed Nectar by Saifur Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri (English). This book is originally known as “Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtoom” in Arabic.



6.     Join the Company of the Pious

In order to rectify oneself, a person should join the company of the pious people. The company of such people will change a person’s behavior. The Hadith mentions:

الْجَلِيسُ الصَّالِحُ خَيْرٌ مِنَ الْوَحْدَةِ، وَالْوَحْدَةُ خَيْرٌ مِنْ جَلِيسِ السُّوءِ، أَلَا إِنَّ مَثَلَ جَلِيسِ الْخَيْرِ كَمَثَلِ الْعِطْرِ إِلَّا يُحْذِكَ يَعْبَقْ بِكَ مِنْ رِيحِهِ، أَلَا وَإِنَّ مَثَلَ جَلِيسِ السُّوءِ كَمَثَلِ الْكِيرِ إِلَّا يَحْرُقْكَ يَعْبَقْ بِكَ مِنْ رِيحِهِ

                                                      (مصنف ابن أبي شيبة (7/ 142)

“The company of the pious is better than solitude. And solitude is better than the company of the wicked. Verily the example of the company of the pious is like that of a musk from which fragrance emits. And verily the example of the company of the wicked is like the works of the bellows from which he either burns you or a bad smell emits…” (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaibah 7/142)

Obtain literatures on the life of our pious predecessor and try reading a portion of it daily. This will help in understanding how the lives of true friends of Allah were.


7.     Education of Deen

Learn all the important aspects and Faraid of Deen from an Alim. Also try to rectify common mistakes that are usually made in Ibādah. For example, one should rectify the performance of his Salah and correct his Tajweed and the pronunciation in reciting the Quran. When one educates himself, he is empowered. That will lead him to practice in Shari’āh. If one is ignorant, how will he practice on Shari’āh? This is why Rasullullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam has said:

طَلَبُ الْعِلْمِ فَرِيضَةٌ عَلَى كُلِّ مُسْلِمٍ )سنن ابن ماجه (1/ 81)

“Acquiring knowledge is binding upon every muslim.” (Sunan Ibn Majah 1/81)


And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mawlana Abdul Hannan Nizami,
Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.