In Surah Al-A’raf, verses 8 and 9, Allah mentions that on the Day of Judgement, deeds will carry weight; those whose scales are heavier will be successful and those who are light are the ones who will lose themselves. There are many Ahadith from the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) confirming that human deeds will indeed appear in particular shapes and forms with physical weight during Barzakh (post-death/pre-resurrection state) and Mahshar (resurrection). Good deeds of a person will be beautified and become the companions of the grave while evil deeds would crawl all over in the form of snakes and scorpions. In this blog post, I want to discuss some Hadith pertaining to what actions will help increase our good deeds and what to avoid in order to minimize the weight of our bad deeds.
Pay Zakat as due
A Hadith says that a person who has not paid Zakat due against his wealth, that wealth will reach his grave in the shape of a poisonous snake to bite him and say: ‘I am your wealth, I am your treasure’.
Recite Surah Al-Baqarah and Al-Imran
It is said in a Sahih Hadith that Al-Baqarah and Al-Imran will come on the plains of Resurrection in the form of two dense clouds and cast their shade over those who used to recite these Surahs.
Do Dhikr of the Kalimah
لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا الله مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ الله
On the day of Resurrection, the heaviest in weight shall be the Kalimah. The scalepan which holds this Kalimah shall outweigh the rest. According to the narrations below, a believing Muslim who recites the Kalimah shall always find the scale heavier in their favor, no matter how many sins they carry.
Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Ibn Hibban, Baihaqi, and Hakim have reported from Abdullah Ibn Umar (RA) that the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) said: A man of my Ummah will be brought before the entire creation on the plain of Resurrection. Then, ninety nine of his Books of Deeds will be brought in. Each scroll of his Book of Deeds will be as long as the distance of his eyesight – and all these Books of Deeds shall be full of sin and evil. This person will be asked if everything written in these Books of Deeds was correct, or had the angels done any injustice to Him, or had they written anything there which was not as it happened. He will admit: O my lord, whatever is written there is correct. But, in his heart, he will be nervous while worrying about how would he find his deliverance from this situation. That will be the time Allah Ta’ala will say: Today, there is no injustice for anyone. Against all your sins, We have a testimonial of your being good, with Us, written where, is your Kalimah. That person will say: O my Lord, what weight will this little note carry against such big black Books of Deeds? Then it would be said: No injustice will be done to you. Then, all those Books of Deeds full of sins will be placed in one scalepan and in the other, this note with the Kalimah of Iman on it. The scalepan with the Kalimah on it shall weigh heavier and the scalepan with all those sins on it shall turn out to be lighter. After having related this event, the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) said: Nothing can weight more than the name of Allah.
According to the narration of Abdullah Ibn Umar (RA) in Musnad al-Bazzar and Mustadrak Hakim, the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) said: At the time of his death, Nuh (AS) assembled his sons around him and said: I order you to abide by the Kalimah (La Ilaha Illallah) because, should the heavens and the earth be placed in one pan of the scale and the Kalimah in the other, the pan containing the Kalimah shall invariably remain heavier.
Fulfill all Fara’id (Obligatory Acts) of Islam and increase Nafl (Voluntary) Ibadaat
Scholars of Tafsir say that the weighing in Mahshar (resurrection) will be twice. First to be weighed will be belief and disbelief through which distinction will be made between believer and disbeliever. In this weighing, whoever has even just the declaration of faith (Kalimah) in the Book of Deeds will have a heavier scale for his good deeds. On the second weighing of good and bad deeds, a person’s actual deeds are weighted based on how many Fard and Nafl Ibadaat are completed and a person will enter Jannah or Jahannam based on this weighing.
Abdullah ibn Abbas (RA) said: The believer whose good deeds on the scale are heavier will go to Jannah with his deeds – and the one whose evil deeds on the scale are heavier will be sent to Jahannam with his deeds.
Based on a narration by Abu Hurairah (RA), it has been reported in Abu Dawud: If a shortage is found in the Fara’id (obligatory acts) of a servant, Allah Ta’ala will ask if that servant has some Nawafil (voluntary acts) to his credit. If they are there, the shortage of the obligatory will be compensated by the voluntary.
Increase the recitation of
سبحان الله و بحمده سبحان الله العظيم
There is the Hadith of Abu Hurairah (RA) with which Imam al-Bukhari has concluded his book, the Sahih. In it, it is said that there are two words very light when said but very heavy when weighted on the Scale of Deeds, and with Allah, they are dear, and they are: سبحان الله و بحمده (Subhan’Allah wa bi-hamdihi – Pure is Allah and Praised is He) and سبحان الله العظيم (Subhan’Allah hil-Azim – Pure is Allah the Great).
Recitation of Subhan’Allah and Alhamdulillah
As narrated by Sayyidna Abdullah ibn Umar (RA), the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) used to say Subhan’Allah fills half of the pan on the scale of deeds while saying Alhamdulillah fills the other half.
Maintain Good Morals
Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, and Ibn Hibban report with sound authority from Abu Darda (RA) that the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) said: No deed will be heavier than good morals on the scale of deeds.
Abu Dharr al-Ghifari (RA) was told by the Prophet (ﷺ): I will tell you about two things which doing are not hard for anyone, but on the scale of deeds, they shall be the heaviest; (1) good morals, and (2) usually observing silence, that is, not talking unless necessary
Cry in the fear of Allah and the Akhirah
In his Kitab al-Zuhd, Imam Ahmad has reported from Hazim (RA) that the angel Jibra’il (AS) came to the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) while someone was weeping in the fear of Allah. The Angel Jibra’il (AS) said: All human deeds will be weighed, but human tears flowing from the fear of Allah and the Akhirah is a deed which would not be weighed. Rather, one such tear would put off the wildest fire of Jahannam.
Teach others about Islam
A Hadith discusses the situation of an individual present on the plain of Resurrection. When he will look at his Book of Deeds, he will notice very few good deeds there. He will be nervous. All of a sudden, something will rise like a cloud and fall right into the scalepan of his good deeds. He will be told that this was in return for his teaching of the faith which multiplied onwards when people acted in accordance with it, and there was a share kept aside for him with each single follower of his teaching.
Imam al-Dhahabi has reported from Imran ibn Husayn (RA) that the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) said: On the day of Qiyamah, when the ink used by the Ulama to write about the religion and its rules will be weighed against the blood of shuhada (martyrs), the weight of the ink used by the Ulama will turn out to be more than the weight of the blood of martyrs.
Go to the graveyard with the Janazah
Tabarani reports from Ibn Abbas (RA) that the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) said: A person who goes to the graveyard with the Janazah, two karats will be placed on his scale of deeds. Other narrations say that the weight of this karat will be equal to the mountain of Uhud.
Spend on your family and take care of their needs
Tabarani also reports from Jabir (RA) that the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) said: One’s first deed to be placed on the scale of deeds will be the good deed of spending on one’s family and taking care of their needs.
Perceived Bodily weight will have no effect on the weight of Deeds
According to a Hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah (RA) which appears in Al-Bukhari and Muslim, the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) said: On the day of Qiyamah, there will come some heavy people whose weight, in the sight of Allah, will not be worth the weight of even a mosquito – and, in support, he recited the Qur’an (Verse 18:105) “We will not give them any weight”.
There is a Hadith in which the Prophet (ﷺ) is reported to have said in regards to Abdullah ibn Mas’ud: His legs look so thin but, by Him in whose hands lies my life, on the balance of justice for the day of Qiyamah, their weight shall be more than the weight of the mountain of Uhud.
I’ve covered some of the Ahadith relating to the weighing of deeds during Qiyamah, however there are many more that have not been covered. Anyone who is interested should definitely take the initiative to read more and more importantly, teach others since as noted in a Hadith above, the deeds gained from your teaching will significantly benefit you on the Day of Judgement, Insha’Allah.