Praise be to Allaah.
Each person is a pledge for that which he has earned (cf. al-Toor 52:21, al-Muddaththir 74:38) Whoever believes and does righteous deeds will enter Paradise and whoever disbelieves in Allaah and His Messenger will enter Hell. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Surely, those who disbelieved in Our Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), We shall burn them in Fire. As often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for other skins that they may taste the punishment. Truly, Allaah is Ever Most Powerful, All-Wise.
But those who believe (in the Oneness of Allaah — Islamic Monotheism) and do deeds of righteousness, We shall admit them to Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise), abiding therein forever. Therein they shall have Azwaajun Mutahharatun (purified mates or wives), and We shall admit them to shades wide and ever deepening (Paradise)”[al-Nisaa’ 4:56-57]
Righteous deeds benefit the one who does them, for Allaah has no need of us. And evil deeds only harm the one who does them, for they do not harm Allaah at all, Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Whosoever does righteous good deed, it is for (the benefit of) his ownself; and whosoever does evil, it is against his ownself. And your Lord is not at all unjust to (His) slaves”[Fussilat 41:46]
And He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And whosoever strives, he strives only for himself. Verily, Allaah stands not in need of any of the ‘Aalameen (mankind, jinn, and all that exists)”[al-‘Ankaboot 29:6]
Allaah is Generous and multiplies hasanaat (good deeds) as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Whoever brings a good deed (Islamic Monotheism and deeds of obedience to Allaah and His Messenger) shall have ten times the like thereof to his credit, and whoever brings an evil deed (polytheism, disbelief, hypocrisy, and deeds of disobedience to Allaah and His Messenger) shall have only the recompense of the like thereof, and they will not be wronged”[al-An’aam 6:160]
Righteous deeds such as prayer, zakaah, fasting, Hajj, enjoining what is good, forbidding what is evil, jihaad, reading Qur’aan, etc., are the symbols of Islam, and the reward for all of them is Paradise, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And whoever does righteous good deeds, male or female, and is a (true) believer [in the Oneness of Allaah (Muslim)], such will enter Paradise and not the least injustice, even to the size of a Naqeera (speck on the back of a date stone), will be done to them”[al-Nisaa’ 4:124]
The punishment for all evil deeds and sins such as oppression, shirk (associating others with Allaah), murder, corruption, arrogance, and other sins is Hell, unless one repents. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And whosoever disobeys Allaah and His Messenger (Muhammad), and transgresses His limits, He will cast him into the Fire, to abide therein; and he shall have a disgraceful torment”[al-Nisaa’ 4:14]
Words and deeds, whether they are good or bad, are all recorded with the Lord of the Worlds. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“This Our Record speaks about you with truth. Verily, We were recording what you used to do (i.e. Our angels used to record your deeds)” [al-Jaathiyah 45:29]
Allaah does not accept any deeds except those which are done purely for Allaah in accordance with the guidance of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord”[al-Kahf 18:110]
On the Day of Resurrection, each person will see what he did, acts of obedience or disobedience, good or evil, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“That Day mankind will proceed in scattered groups that they may be shown their deeds.
So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant) shall see it.
And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant) shall see it”[al-Zalzalah :6-8]
On the Day of Resurrection, each person will be given his book (record of deeds) and it will be said to him:
“Read your book. You yourself are sufficient as a reckoner against you this Day” [al-Israa’ 17:14 – interpretation of the meaning]
Whoever believed and did righteous deeds will take his book in his right hand in joy, and will enter Paradise, and whoever disobeyed Allaah and His Messenger will take his book in his left hand or from behind his back, and will enter Hell. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Then as for him who will be given his Record in his right hand,
He surely, will receive an easy reckoning,
And will return to his family in joy!
But whosoever is given his Record behind his back,
He will invoke (for his) destruction,
And he shall enter a blazing Fire, and made to taste its burning”
And there is a great difference between faith and disbelief, obedience and disobedience, the people of Paradise and the people of Hell:
“Is then he who is a believer like him who is a Faasiq (disbeliever and disobedient to Allaah)? Not equal are they.
As for those who believe (in the Oneness of Allaah Islamic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, for them are Gardens (Paradise) as an entertainment for what they used to do.
And as for those who are Faasiqoon (disbelievers and disobedient to Allaah), their abode will be the Fire, every time they wish to get away therefrom, they will be put back thereto, and it will be said to them: ‘Taste you the torment of the Fire which you used to deny’” [al-Sajdah 32:18-20 – interpretation of the meaning]
Allaah states that the believers are the ones who will be the victors, and the disbelievers are the ones who will be the losers, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“By Al-‘Asr (the time).
Verily, man is in loss,
Except those who believe (in Islamic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth [i.e. order one another to perform all kinds of good deeds (Al-Ma‘roof) which Allaah has ordained, and abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds (Al-Munkar) which Allaah has forbidden], and recommend one another to patience (for the sufferings, harms, and injuries which one may encounter in Allaah’s Cause during preaching His religion of Islamic Monotheism or Jihaad)”[al-‘Asr 103:1-3]
O Allaah, grant us Paradise and save us from Hell. Bestow Your mercy upon us, O Most Merciful of those who show mercy.