Procrastination In Performing Pious Deeds (Taswif)


"Taswif" is postponement of doing good deeds. It is stated in a hadith-i-sharif [1] "Perform repentance 'tawba'[2] before you die. Act quickly when doing good deeds before an obstruction rises to block performance of those good deeds. Remember Allahu ta'ala much. Act quickly in giving 'zakat' [3] and alms. You will receive sustenance 'rizq' [4] and help from your Lord by doing these." And "Know the value of five things before five things arrive: value of life before death; value of health before illness; value of earning akhirat (hereafter) in the world; value of youth before old age; and value of wealth before poverty." A person who does not observe the obligatory almsgiving (zakat) and does not spend his wealth in the way of Allahu ta'ala will be very sorry upon losing his wealth. Rasulullah 'sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sal-lam' states in a hadith-i-sharif: "One who does 'taswif' will perish."

Imam ar-Rabbani [5] 'rahmatullahi 'aleyh' went into the toilet one day and, after a short while, knocked on the door of the toilet to call the servant. The servant ran, thinking that the great scholar must have forgotten the water or the piece of cloth he was to use for taharat (cleaning himself) in the toilet. Imam ar- Rabbani opened the door a little bit and handed his shirt to the servant with the direction: "Deliver this shirt to so and so as a gift." The servant bewilderingly asked, "Oh my master! Mightn't you as well give this order after you get out of the toilet? Why do you put yourself into this much trouble?" The "Imam" replied, "Giving my shirt to that poor person as a gift crossed my mind in the toilet. I was afraid that if I made 'taswif' until I got out of the toilet, the devil would probably give me an evil suggestion 'waswasa' [6] so that I would give up doing that pious deed."

[1] hadith (sharif): i) a saying of the Prophet ('alaihi 's-salam).; al-Hadith ash-sharif: all the hadiths as a whole; ii) 'ilm al-hadith; iii) Books of the hadith ash-sharif. iv) Al-hadith al-qudsi, as-sahih, al-hasan: kinds of hadiths (for which, see Endless Bliss, II).
[2] tawba: (after committing a sin) to repent, to promise Allah not to do it again, to entreat Him for forgiveness. Everyone does his tawba by himself.
[3] zakat: (fard duty of giving annually) certain amount of certain kinds of property to certain kinds of people, by which the remaining property becomes purified and blessed and the Muslim who gives it protects himself against being (called) a miser. See chapter 1 in Endless Bliss V.
[4] rizq food (created by Allahu teala for all living things)
[5] imam: i) profound 'alim; founder of a madhhab; ii) leader in congregational salat; iii) caliph.
[6] waswasa Evil suggestions insinuated by the devil.