“O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), he has indeed achieved a great achievement.” (Al-Ahzab 33:70-71)
What are some of these righteous deeds that Allah, Most-Merciful and All-Knowing, prescribes? Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said,
“He is not a believer who goes to sleep with a full stomach while knowing that his next door neighbour is hungry.” (Tabarani and Bazzar).
Thus a persons' ability to have compassion, sympathy and concern for others is a vital aspect of achieving belief in Allah. Because, belief is not merely in the heart but is also in the words and actions of a person. Thus, these actions are an affirmation of faith. Doing righteous deeds such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, caring for the sick and removnig oppression are merciful acts of themself. In addition, such deeds earn the mercy of Allah, of which we are all in dire need of. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:
“Allah will show mercy to those who show mercy (to others). Show mercy to those who are in the earth, He Who is in the Heaven will show mercy to you.” (Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi)
“He who does not show mercy to people, Allah will not show mercy to him.” (Al-Bukhârî and Muslim)
A person therefore shows and affirms his/her faith through the deeds of righteousness and seeks the mercy of Allah in doing so. On top of that, the believer wants to achieve the greatest victory, which is ever-lasting life in Jennah (Paradise), and as such s/he continues to struggle to do as many of these righteous deeds as possible in seeking this eternal reward. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“The inhabitants of Paradise are three: One who wields authority and is just and fair, and the person who is merciful and kind-hearted towards the poor and towards his relatives, and one who does not stretch his hand in spite of having a large family to support.” (Muslim)