by Usman Majid
Often times we can find ourselves in despair and frustrated when we’re unable to worship Allah (swt) as much as we intend to. Perhaps our family commitments, work duties or other time-consuming activities take up our time and leave us feeling tired and with very little time and energy.
We may find ourselves just barely fulfilling the obligatory (Fardh) acts of worship, while our hearts yearn for a chance to earn more rewards through longer periods of worship and devotion.
It is a great blessing of Allah (swt) that He has gifted us with various small acts of worship that, if performed sincerely, are worth a large number of rewards. These smaller gems are often neglected, but can easily become a regular habit and result in the accumulation of great rewards over time – inshaAllah.
A great example of this would be Laylatul-Qadr – a night that is worth more than 1000 months of worship. That’s an entire lifetime! You can learn more about Laylatul-Qadr and some essential dos and don’ts to maximise the last 10 nights here.
Below (and in the video above), I share a few of these easy, yet powerful acts of worship that can quickly fill up our book of good deeds.
Note: it’s important to understand that these acts of worship do not necessarily ‘replace’ others that bring the same reward, however, they can be understood as being equivalent to those in reward. Yes, quality over quantity is important, but we should neglect the concept of striving to increase our volume of worship and time devoted to Allah (swt).
1. Four Phrases After Fajr
This form of Dhikr will take no longer than 15-20 seconds, but comes packed with huge merits!
Juwairiyah bint Al-Harith (May Allah be pleased with her), the Mother of the Believers, reported:
The Prophet (ﷺ) came out from my apartment in the morning as I was busy in performing the dawn prayer. He came back in the forenoon and found me sitting there. The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Are you still in the same position as I left you.” I replied in the affirmative. Thereupon the Prophet said, “I recited four words three times after I had left you. If these are to be weighed against all you have recited since morning, these will be heavier. These are:
Subhan-Allahi wa bihamdihi, `adada khalqihi, wa rida nafsihi, wa zinatah `arshihi, wa midada kalimatihi
[Allah is free from imperfection and I begin with His praise, as many times as the number of His creatures, in accordance with His Good Pleasure, equal to the weight of His Throne and equal to the ink that may be used in recording the words (for His Praise)].” [Muslim].
How awesome is that?! Below is an image of the Arabic which you can save to your phone and memorise.
2. Isha and Fajr in Congregation
The congregation prayer, generally speaking, is given huge importance in our Deen for several reasons. Of its merits are that it is far superior in reward than praying alone, up to twenty-seven times as stated in one hadith.
Of the five daily prayers, all of which are highly encouraged to pray at the Masjid, the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) has taught us the exceptional merits of praying the Isha and Fajr prayers with the Jama’ah (congregation).
Uthman bin `Affan reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah saying:
“One who performs Isha’ prayer in congregation, is as if he has performed Salat for half of the night. And one who performs the Fajr prayer in congregation, is as if he has performed Salat the whole night.” [Muslim]
3. Surah Al-Ikhlas
It is perhaps the first Surah many of us memorised as children, and the most recited one in our prayers and daily adhkar. But did you know that “Qul hu-Allahu Ahad…” is equivalent to one third of the Qur’an? Check this out:
Abu Darda’ (may Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as said:
“Is any one of you incapable of reciting a third of the Qur’an in a night? They (the Companions) asked: How could one recite a third of the Qur’an (in a night)? Upon this he (the Holy Prophet) said: “‘Say: He is Allah, One’ is equivalent to a third of the Qur’an.” [Muslim]
Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him):
A man heard another man reciting (Surat-Al-Ikhlas) ‘Say He is Allah, (the) One.’ repeatedly. The next morning he came to Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) and informed him about it as if he thought that it was not enough to recite. On that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “By Him in Whose Hand my life is, this Surah is equal to one-third of the Qur’an!” [Bukhari]
Again, it is important to note that reciting this Surah once or three times does not mean that we no longer have to pick up the Qur’an! Rather, these ahadith show the great merit of this Surah, and we should recite it regularly.
More Good Deeds
As a bonus, here are a couple of more good deeds that you can perform for some epic rewards – inshaAllah.
4. Feed a Fasting Person
Perhaps this one would be the easiest to achieve in Ramadan, and it takes very little effort. (Perhaps some great cooking skills and enticing food choices would help!).
It was narrated that Zayd ibn Khaalid al-Juhani said, The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
“Whoever gives iftaar to one who is fasting will have a reward like his, without that detracting from the reward of the fasting person in the slightest.” [Tirmidhi]
5. Fajr, Remembrance & Prayer (HUGE REWARDS OMG!)
This one blows my mind. Yes, granted it takes more effort (and maybe some coffee), but the benefits of doing so come in multitudes.
The Prophet (ﷺ) taught us that:
“Whoever prays Fajr in congregation, then sits remembering Allah until the sun rises, then prays two rak‘ahs, will have a reward like that of Hajj and ‘Umrah, complete, complete, complete.” [Tirmidhi]
Pro Tip: An easier way to achieve this would be for the Masjid to delay the Fajr congregation until it is closer to the time of sunrise. This would mean there would be less time to remain in worship before being able to stand up to pray the two units of voluntary prayer (usually referred to as the Ishraaq prayer).
(Note: Remember to give it around 15 minutes once the time of sunrise enters, as praying during sunrise is forbidden.)