أَفَأَمِنُوا۟ مَكْرَ ٱللَّهِ ۚ فَلَا يَأْمَنُ مَكْرَ ٱللَّهِ إِلَّا ٱلْقَوْمُ ٱلْخَـٰسِرُونَ ٩٩
“Did they feel secure against Allah’s planning? None would feel secure from Allah’s planning except the losers.” — Quran 7:99
It‘s important not to become complacent or, worse yet, self-righteous in our devotions.
At the end of the day we never truly know if our good deeds will be accepted. Did we even do them with a sincere intention or was the intention to show off to other people?
“قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ " رُبَّ صَائِمٍ لَيْسَ لَهُ مِنْ صِيَامِهِ إِلاَّ الْجُوعُ. وَرُبَّ قَائِمٍ لَيْسَ لَهُ مِنْ قِيَامِهِ إِلاَّ السَّهَرُ
The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said: “There are people who fast and get nothing from their fast except hunger, and there are those who pray and get nothing from their prayer but a sleepless night.”
And the Prophet ﷺ said: “whoever does a deed of the Hereafter for the sake of the world, then he will have no portion of it in the Hereafter”
However we try our best, and seek Allah’s mercy and acceptance. We make our best efforts to do what we can and we pray he accepts it from us.
As described by Ibn Al-Qayyim the believer operates like a bird balancing on two wings, balancing between hope and fear.
تَتَجَافَىٰ جُنُوبُهُمْ عَنِ ٱلْمَضَاجِعِ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُمْ خَوْفًۭا وَطَمَعًۭا وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَـٰهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ ١٦
“They abandon their beds, invoking their Lord with hope and fear, and donate from what We have provided for them.”
— Quran 32:16
We know our actions aren’t perfect and we fear they may not be enough. In equal proportions however we also retain hope in Allah’s mercy.
We have a good opinion of Him and assume the best, hoping that Allah will forgive us any shortcomings and grant us success in this life and the next insha’Allah.
In this way we fear that we could have done better, and we should never become haughty or conceited in our actions — but likewise, out of hope, we should not become despondent and hopeless in our actions.
We strive to live a balanced life, the middle way.