It is one of the undeniable and admitted universal Truths that Allah (Subhaanahu WaTa’aalaa)’s blessings can never be truly repaid. This is clarified by His saying:
ثُمَّ لَتُسَۡٔلُنَّ يَوۡمَئِذٍ عَنِ ٱلنَّعِيمِ (8)
“Then you will be asked about all the pleasures (you enjoyed in the world).” At- Takaathur (102:8)
Hadhrat Abu Hurairah has reported that Allah (SubhaanahuWaTa’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllahoAlaiheWaSallam) said: "The first thing that the servant will be asked about on the Day of Judgment of the pleasures will be: Did We not give you a healthy body? Did We not give you cool water to drink?” (at-Tirmizi, IbneHibbaan, Haakim)
This Aayah (Verse) shows that the servants will be asked about the pleasures they enjoyed in this world: did they show gratitude for them or not? Anyone who is required to display gratitude for every favor such as good health, sound senses, good livelihood, and, moreover, will be thoroughly examined, should know that all of his deeds taken together cannot repay even some of these favors. Hence that person would be deserving of punishment.
Hadhrat Abdullah ibne ‘Amr has reported that Allah (Subhaanahu WaTa’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said that the servant will be summoned on the Day of Judgment and he will stand before Allah, Mighty and Magnificent. He will say to His Angels: “Look at the deeds of My servant and the favors I bestowed upon him.”
They will look and say: “They do not even amount to one of Your favors granted him”.
Then He will say: “Look to his evil deeds and good deeds.”
They will look and find them the same whereupon He will say: “Servant of Mine! I have accepted your good deeds and forgiven you your evil. My favors, I have gifted you.” (Kitaab al-Shukr by Khara’iti)
HadhratIbne ‘Umar reported that Allah (Subhaanahu WaTa’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said: "A person will be brought on the Day of Judgment with such deeds that would burden a moun¬tain, were they to be placed on it! Then just one favor from amongst the favors of Allah would be displayed and would almost extinguish all those deeds, were Allah not to distend them through His mercy.” (Tabaraani)
HadhratAnas has narrated that Allah (Subhaanahu WaTa’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said: "On the Day of Judgment, blessings will be brought forward as well as good deeds and bad deeds. Allah will say to just one of His blessings: ‘Take your due from his good deeds,’ and it will take all his good deeds.” (IbneAbi al-Dunya)
HadhratWahab bin Munabbih said that a servant worshipped Allah (Subhaanahu WaTa’aalaa) for fifty years. Allah (Subhaanahu WaTa’aalaa) inspired him with the words: "I have forgiven you.”
The servant asked: "Lord! What have you to forgive, I have committed no sin!”
Thereupon Allah (Subhaanahu WaTa’aalaa) ordered a vein in his neck to throb painfully such that he could not pray or sleep. After a while it was cured and an angel came to him, and to him he complained about the vein. The angel said to him: "Your Lord, Mighty and Magnificent says: your worship for the last fifty years equates to the soothing of that vein.”‘ (IbneAbi al-Dunya)
Hadhrat Jabir narrates that Allah (Subhaanahu WaTa’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said that Archangel Jibril said: “A servant worshipped Allah on the top of a mountain, in the middle of an ocean, for five hundred years. Then he asked his Lord to let him die in the state of prostration. We used to pass by him each time we would descend and ascend and we would find written in the (pre-eternal knowledge) that he would be resurrected on the Day of Judgment and would stand before Allah, Mighty and Magnificent. The Lord would say: “Enter My servant into Jannah (Paradise) by virtue of My mercy.”
The servant will say: “My Lord! Rather by virtue of my deeds!”
This will hap¬pen three times. Then Allah will say to His angels: “Weigh my favors against his deeds.”
They will find that the blessing of sight alone takes up all the deeds he did during his five hundred years of worship, with the other bodily blessings still remaining. Allah will say: “Enter My servant into the Fire!”
He will be dragged towards the Fire. Thereupon he will cry out: “Enter me into Jannah by virtue of Your mercy! Enter me into Jannah by virtue of Your mercy!”
Then he shall enter Jannah.
Jibreel went on to say: “O Muhammad! Things only happen by the mercy of Allah.” (Haakim)
Every one of us, who has understood all of what has preceded, will realize that his deeds, even if they are great, are not sufficient to merit his success and entry into Jannah or salvation from the Fire in and of themselves.
As such, we shall no longer rely only on our deeds or be impressed by them, even if they be great and wonderful. If this is the case of great and many deeds, what then would one think of the paltry deeds of the many? Such a person should ponder his deficiency in worship and devote himself to penitence and repentance!