Salvation in Qur’an & Hadith

Many Muslims wrongly focus on doing good deeds as the way we can earn our salvation, but there are strong indications in the Qur’an and hadith that salvation is primarily a matter of God’s mercy, not how many good deeds we can do:

 O believers, follow not the steps of Satan; for whosoever follows the steps of Satan, assuredly he bids to indecency and dishonour. But for Allah’s bounty to you and His mercy not one of you would have been pure ever; but Allah purifies whom He will; and Allah is All-hearing, All-knowing. (Sura An-Nur 24:21)

The sahih Hadith is even clearer:

Narrated Abu Huraira: I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “The good deeds of any person will not make him enter Paradise.” (i.e., None can enter Paradise through his good deeds.) They (the Prophet’s companions) said, “Not even you, O Allah’s Apostle?” He said, “Not even myself, unless Allah bestows His favor and mercy on me. So be moderate in your religious deeds and do the deeds that are within your ability: and none of you should wish for death, for if he is a good doer, he may increase his good deeds, and if he is an evil doer, he may repent to Allah.”

(Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 70, Number 577)

Narrated Aisha:  The Prophet said, “Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately, and receive good news because one’s good deeds will NOT make him enter Paradise.” They asked, “Even you, O Allah’s Apostle?” He said, “Even I, unless and until Allah bestows His pardon and Mercy on me.”

  (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number 474; see also Bukhari 7:70:577

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