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Nothing But Your Actions Will Remain With You

(Taken from the works of Imam Ibnu Rajab ‫) رحمه هللا‬

A Short Reminder For Us All

It has been reported by Bukhari and Muslim on the Authority of Abu Hurairah
‫رضي هللا عنه‬, that the Prophet )‫ )صلى هللا عليه وسلم‬said: “Three things follow the
dead person (to his grave), two will come back and one shall remain with him;
his family, his wealth and his actions shall follow him, then his family and his
wealth shall return and his action remains with him.”

Meaning of this Hadith:

The person in this world is given family and wealth to live with, but sooner or later
he shall leave them, and they will leave him at a time he is most in need of them!
So the successful one is the one who takes from the wealth that which will
prosper him in the Hereafter, and he takes a righteous wife to aid him in his
Eemaan. As for the one who makes a family and wealth which occupies him from
the worship of his Lord, then he is a loser! As Allah, the Most High, has explained
in His saying:

َ‫لل َو َمن ي َۡفعَ ۡل ذَ ِلكَ فَأُولََٰٓ ِئكَ هُ ُم ٱ ۡل َخس ُِرون‬

ِ ‫يََٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّ ِذينَ َءا َمنُوا َل ت ُۡل ِهكُمۡ أَ ۡم َولُكُمۡ َو َ َٰٓل أَ ۡو َل ُدكُمۡ عَن ذ ِۡك ِر ٱ َّ ه‬

O you who believe! Let not your properties or your children divert you from the
remembrance of Allah. And whosoever does that, then they are the losers.


And Allah says:

ِ ‫لض ۡع‬
‫ف بِ َما‬ َ ‫َو َما َٰٓ أَ ۡم َولُكُمۡ َو َ َٰٓل أَ ۡو َل ُدكُم بِٱلَّتِي تُقَ ِربُكُمۡ عِن َدنَا زُ ۡلفَ َٰٓى إِ َّل َم ۡن َءا َمنَ َوعَمِ َل‬
ِ ‫صلِحٗ ا فَأُولَ ِئكَ لَ ُهمۡ ج ََز َٰٓا ُء ٱ‬
ِ َ‫عَمِ لُوا َوهُمۡ فِي ٱ ۡلغُ ُرف‬
َ‫ت ءَامِ ُنون‬

And it is not your wealth, nor your children that bring you nearer to Us (i.e.
pleases Allah), but only he (will please Us) who believes (in the Islamic
Monotheism), and does righteous deeds; as for such, there will be twofold
reward for what they did, and they will reside in the high dwellings (Paradise) in
peace and security.


And says:

‫ف تَ ۡعلَ ُمونَ ۝ ك ََّّل لَ ۡو‬ َ ‫س ۡو‬ َ ‫ف تَ ۡعلَ ُمونَ ۝ ث ُ َّم ك ََّّل‬ َ ‫س ۡو‬ َ ‫أَ ۡلهَىكُ ُم ٱلتَّكَاث ُ ُر ۝ َحت َّى زُ ۡرت ُ ُم ٱ ۡل َمقَابِ َر ۝ ك ََّّل‬
‫ع ۡينَ ٱ ۡليَ ِقي ِن ۝ ث ُ َّم لَت ُۡسـَٔلُنَّ يَ ۡو َمىِٕذ ع َِن ٱل َّن ِعي ِم‬
َ ‫تَ ۡعلَ ُمونَ ع ِۡل َم ٱ ۡليَ ِقي ِن ۝ لَتَ َر ُونَّ ٱ ۡلجَحِ ي َم ۝ ث ُ َّم لَتَ َر ُونَّهَا‬

The mutual rivalry for piling up of worldly things diverts you,

Until you visit the graves (i.e. till you die).
Nay! You shall come to know!
Again, Nay! You shall come to know!
Nay! If you knew with a sure knowledge (the end result of piling up, you would
not have occupied yourselves in worldly things)
Verily, You shall see the blazing Fire (Hell)!
And again, you shall see it with certainty of sight!

Then, on that Day, you shall be asked about the delight (you indulged in, in this


The Prophet )‫ )صلى هللا عليه وسلم‬said: “ O son of Adam! Live as you wish, surely you
will die, love whom you wish, surely you will depart from them, and do as you
wish, surely you will meet it.”

(Reported by At-Tabaraanee and graded Hasan by Albani ‫)رحمه هللا‬

When the person dies and leaves this world he gains no benefit from what he
leaves behind from wealth and family, except from that which he put forward
from his wealth before, from sadaqah and its like, and he benefits from the Dua
of his family and their seeking of forgiveness for him.

Allah, the Most High, says:

َ ‫لل ِبقَ ۡلب‬

‫س ِليم‬ َ َّ ‫( َي ۡو َم َل َينفَ ُع َمال َو َل َبنُونَ ۝ ِإ َّل َم ۡن أَتَى ٱ‬

The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail,

Except him who brings to Allah a clean heart [clean from Shirk (polytheism) and
Nifaq (hypocrisy)].


And Allah says:

ُ َّ ‫لَن تَنفَعَكُمۡ أَ ۡرحَا ُمكُمۡ َو َ َٰٓل أَ ۡولَ ُدكُمۡه ي َۡو َم ٱ ۡل ِقيَ َم ِة ي َۡف ِص ُل ب َۡينَكُمۡه َوٱ‬
‫لل بِ َما تَ ۡع َملُونَ ب َِصير‬

Neither your relatives nor your children will benefit you on the Day of
Resurrection (against Allah). He will judge between you. And Allah is the All-
Seer of what you do.


Allah says:

ِ ‫َولَقَ ۡد ِج ۡئت ُ ُمونَا فُ َردَى َك َما َخلَ ۡق َنكُمۡ أَ َّو َل َم َّرة َوتَ َر ۡكت ُم َّما َخ َّو ۡل َنكُمۡ َو َرآَٰ َء ظُه‬

And truly you have come unto Us alone (without wealth, companions or
anything else) as We created you the first time. You have left behind you all that
which We had bestowed on you.


As for the one who leaves behind someone who makes Dua for him from his
family, like a righteous child, or put something forward from his wealth before his
death like a Sadaqah Jaariyah, then this will benefit without a doubt.
The Prophet )‫ )صلى هللا عليه وسلم‬said: “When the person dies, his actions are cut
off, except three things; Sadaqah Jaariyah, or a righteous child who makes Dua
for him, or beneficial knowledge.”

(Reported by Muslim on the authority of Abu Hurairah ‫)رضي هللا عنه‬

And it may be the case that his family don’t even make Dua for him! It’s very
saddening but it happens, in fact they might even be an enemy to him as Allah,
the Most High, mentions in the Qur’an:

َ َّ ‫صفَحُوا َوتَ ۡغف ُِروا فَ ِإنَّ ٱ‬

‫لل‬ َ ۡ‫يََٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّ ِذينَ َءا َمنُ َٰٓوا إِنَّ مِ ۡن أَ ۡز َو ِجكُمۡ َوأَ ۡولَ ِدكُم‬
ۡ َ‫عد ُٗوا لَّكُمۡ فَٱ ۡح َذ ُروهُمۡه َوإِن تَ ۡع ُفوا َوت‬
‫غفُور َّرحِ يم‬ َ

O you who believe! Verily, among your wives and your children there are
enemies for you (i.e. may stop you from the obedience of Allah), therefore
beware of them! But if you pardon (them) and overlook, and forgive (their
faults), then verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

ُ َّ ‫إِنَّ َما َٰٓ أَ ۡم َولُكُمۡ َوأَ ۡولَ ُدكُمۡ ف ِۡت َنة َوٱ‬
‫لل عِن َدهُۥَٰٓ أَ ۡجر عَظِ يم‬

Your wealth and your children are only a trial, whereas Allah! With Him is a
great reward (Paradise).


And most relatives don’t even bother paying off their loved ones debts after his

A poet said:

My relatives pass by my grave, it’s as if my relatives don’t know me.

My inheritors are splitting my wealth, they won’t fall short if they deny my debts.
They took their portions and live, it’s amazing how quick they forgot me!!

So prepare yourself for the departing of family and children from now. Likewise
your wealth because nothing of it will enter your grave with you except that
which you have put forward from it for yourself.

The Prophet )‫ )صلى هللا عليه وسلم‬said: “The son of Adam says: my wealth, my
wealth (i.e. his amazed and boasts with his wealth). He ‫ صلى هللا عليه وسلم‬said:
And will you benefit from your wealth O son of Adam except that which you
have ate and finished, or wore and used up, or gave in sadaqah (charity) and
placed it before you (in hereafter)?!.”

(Reported by Muslim on the Authority of Abdullah Ibn Shakheer ‫)رضي هللا عنه‬

So that which truly benefits you from your wealth and remains with you is that
which you have spent In the cause of Allah, everything else has no meaning.
And similar to this meaning is the Hadith of Aishah ‫ رضي هللا عنها‬reported by
Tirmidhi and Ahmed, that they slaughtered a sheep, and distributed it among
the people in charity, the Prophet ‫ صلى هللا عليه وسلم‬then asked Aishah, “How
much of it is left?” She said: “Nothing remains from it except it’s shoulder.”
He ‫ صلى هللا عليه وسلم‬said: “All of it remains except the shoulder.”

Imaam An-Nawawi said its meaning is; they gave away all the meat of the whole
sheep in Sadaqah except its shoulder, then he ‫ صلى هللا عليه وسلم‬said: All remains
for us in the hereafter except it’s shoulder.

(End of quote from Riyaadh As-Saaliheen)

So the things we put forward for Allah’s sake, that’s what truly remains for us,
and that which is besides it will end, as our lord the Most High says:

ٖۗ ‫لل ب‬
‫َاق‬ ِ َّ ‫َما عِن َدكُمۡ يَنفَ ُد َو َما عِن َد ٱ‬

Whatever is with you, will be exhausted, and whatever with Allah (of good
deeds) will remain.


And in Saheeh Al-Bukhari on the authority of Abdullah Ibn Masuud ‫رضي هللا عنه‬:

The Prophet ‫ صلى هللا عليه وسلم‬said to his companions: “Which one of you loves
the wealth he leaves behind for his inheritor more than his wealth (which he
spends on himself)?” They said: “O Allah’s Messenger, there is not one of us
except that his wealth is more beloved to him.” He ‫ صلى هللا عليه وسلم‬said:
“Indeed his wealth is that which he put forward (in charity), and the wealth
which he held back is the wealth of his inheritor.”

And from the most astonishing scenario is a man who held back his wealth and
died without spending nothing from it in the cause of Allah, then came after him
his inheritor and used that exact same wealth for many good causes. Ask yourself

now, how that first one is going to feel on the Day of Judgement when he sees his
hard earned wealth on the scales of someone else’s deeds!!!

Ibn Rajab ‫ رحمه هللا‬said: “The intelligent one is he who puts forward the most
precious to him from his wealth, to earn by it Jannah, because whoever loves
something keeps it with him, and he does not leave it for anyone else.”

(End of quote)

Ibn Rajab is saying to us: carry the most valuable to you of your wealth to the
Hereafter where we most need it, by spending it in the cause of Allah, and do
not leave it behind for anyone else. And before that our Lord, the Most High,
has already admonished us with this in His saying:

‫علِيم‬ َ َّ ‫لَن تَنَالُوا ٱ ۡلبِ َّر َحت َّى ت ُن ِفقُوا مِ َّما تُحِ ُّبونَ َو َما ت ُن ِفقُوا مِ ن شَيۡ ء فَ ِإنَّ ٱ‬
َ ‫لل بِ ِهۦ‬

By no means shall you attain Al-Birr (piety, righteousness, etc., it means here
Allah's Reward, i.e. Paradise), unless you spend (in Allah's Cause) of that which
you love; and whatever of good you spend, Allah knows it well.

(Aali Imraan:92)

When this Verse came down, Abu Talhah ‫ رضي هللا عنه‬came to the Messenger of
Allah ‫ صلى هللا عليه وسلم‬and said: “O Allah’s Messenger! Allah Tabaaraka wa
Ta’aalaa says ‘Never will you attain the good [reward] until you spend [in the
way of Allah] from that which you love’ (3:92), and the most beloved to me
from my wealth is bayrahaa (a fine water well in a garden of date palm trees),
indeed I have given it in the cause of Allah, and I hope for it’s reward and fruits
with Allah, so place it where Allah shows you.” The Prophet ‫صلى هللا عليه وسلم‬

said: “amazing! amazing! What a profitable act! (Its reward shall remain
persistent upon you), but I see that you place it among your relatives.” Abu
Talhah said: “I shall do so, O Messenger of Allah.” Abu Talhah then distributed it
among his relatives and cousins.

(Reported by Bukhari and Muslim on the Authority of Anas bin Maalik ‫رضي هللا‬

Benefit: Imaam An-Nawawi said: from the benefits of this Hadith is that the
Sadaqah is better given (more rewarding) to the relatives, if they are in need,
because the Prophet ‫ صلى هللا عليه وسلم‬told Abu Talhah to give it to his relatives.

(End of quote from his explanation of Saheeh Muslim)

Ibn Rajab ‫ رحمه هللا‬said: Abu Haazim who was a man of Zuhud (abstinent from
the dunya) was asked by some rulers, why do we find ourselves disliking death?
He said: because you admire the dunya, and you have placed your wealth
between your eyes so you hate to leave it, but if you forward it for your
hereafter (in charity) you would love to go after it.

(End of quote)

May Allah grant us success in this world and in the Hereafter.

.‫وهللا الحمد هلل رب العالمين‬

Abu Haroon

Muhammad Ibn Abdinoor