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Does Islam grant Paradise to people who only do Good Works?
By Sami Zaatari
One common point that Christians often bring up is that in Islam you are only saved by doing good things, such as praying, fasting, paying zakat and being a good person. This point is not completely wrong, but at the time it is not completely correct, yes Muslims will go to heaven by being good people and following God's commands etc. However so, going to heaven is not only based on your good works, it is also based on your faith. As the Quran says in Surah Al-Asr:
YUSUFALI: By (the Token of) Time (through the ages),
YUSUFALI: Verily Man is in loss,
YUSUFALI: Except such as have Faith, and do righteous deeds, and (join together) in the mutual teaching of Truth, and of Patience and Constancy.
Note what the Surah says, the Surah says the men are lost, however so, if men HAVE FAITH, and do good deeds then they will be saved. So as we can see, it is not simply about being a good person, but it is also about having faith and believing.
Let us even read the tafsir of Ibn Kathir on these verses:
Al-`Asr is the time in which the movements of the Children of Adam occur, whether good or evil.
Malik narrated from Zayd bin Aslam that he said, "It is the evening.'' However, the first view is the popular opinion. Thus, Allah swears by this, that man is in Khusr, which means in loss and destruction.
[إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَـتِ]
(Except those who believe and do righteous good deeds) So Allah makes an exception, among the species of man being in loss, for those who believe in their hearts and work righteous deeds with their limbs.
(And recommend one another to the truth,) This is to perform acts of obedience and avoid the forbidden things.
(And recommend one another to patience.) meaning, with the plots, the evils, and the harms of those who harm people due to their commanding them to do good and forbidding them from evil. This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Al-`Asr, and all praise and thanks are due to Allah.
So note, being saved is also based on your faith, not simply your good actions.
Praise Allah, may he grant all the true believing Muslims paradise! AMEEN!
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