Volume 3, Book 31, Number 208:
I asked ‘Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa) “Did Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) use to choose some special days (for fasting)?” She replied, “No, but he used to be regular (constant) (in his service of worshipping). Who amongst you can endure what Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) used to endure?”
And that question makes one shudder. Really. Who can be like the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) when it comes to worship, or akhlaaq, or leadership, or anything? There’s not ONE man who supersedes him in any respect. Not even when it comes to suffering hardships. Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) used to feel double the pain even in fever. So Ayesha (radiallaahu `anhu)’s question really hits home, doesn’t it? Who amongst you can endure what Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) used to endure?
Having said that, we must not think that since Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) was so perfect, and no one can ever be like him, there’s no point in trying to follow his footsteps. Rather, his perfection is the reason why we must follow him. Since there’s none better than him, it only makes sense to follow none but him, you see?
May Allah enable us to follow his sunnah in the best manner so we can please Him and him on the Day of Judgement. May we get a spot closest to him in Jannah. May we get the chance to see him and enjoy his nearness and company. May his love only grow in our hearts and lead us to do great things – like him. Sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam. <3
Narrated Anas bin Malik
Once the Prophet (p.b.u.h) entered the Mosque and saw a rope hanging in between its two pillars. He said, “What is this rope?” The people said, “This rope is for Zainab who, when she feels tired, holds it (to keep standing for the prayer.)” The Prophet said, “Don’t use it. Remove the rope. You should pray as long as you feel active, and when you get tired, sit down.”
A woman from the tribe of Bani Asad was sitting with me and Allah’s Apostle (p.b.u.h) came to my house and said, “Who is this?” I said, “(She is) So and so. She does not sleep at night because she is engaged in prayer.” The Prophet said disapprovingly: Do (good) deeds which is within your capacity as Allah never gets tired of giving rewards till you get tired of doing good deeds.”
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin Al-‘As:
Allah’s Apostle said to me, “O ‘Abdullah! Do not be like so and so who used to pray at night and then stopped the night prayer.”
It’s simple, really. What we tend to do is overdo stuff and get exhausted quickly. Say I got to know about the Sunnah of praying Tahajjud at night. I got so excited and motivated that I vowed to pray looooong rak`aat the whole night. I did it for one night, gave myself a tap on the back and felt good about it. Next night, again. And again. A few days later, I got so tired and exhausted that I left it completely.
There are several cons to this behavior. One of them is, that it lacks consistency. I did not continue the deed for long. I could not continue it, actually.
Narrated By ‘Aisha (RA) : The Prophet (SAW) was asked, “What deeds are loved most by Allah?” He (SAW) said, “The most regular constant deeds even though they may be few.” He (SAW) added, ‘Don’t take upon yourselves, except the deeds which are within your ability.”
[Bukhari: Vol 8, Book 76, Number 472]
So take it easy. Hold your horses. :P
Whatever you do, make sure you do it continually. Quantity doesn’t matter. Quality does.
Do what you can. ‘Can’ means with all your effort and struggle. Not what you ‘want’. :)
When I get to know about something that Allah likes, for example Tahajjud prayers, I try my best to do it. And I overdo it. :D
Meaning, I start off with so much energy and ‘josh’ that I can’t continue it. It becomes impossible for me to carry it on with regularity.
What I’m trying to say is, whatever good you decide to do, be realistic and not too emotional. Start small, go big slowly. As for me, I should start with two rak’aat of Tahajjud and increase the number with time, inshaAllah. So it’s easy for me to carry it on and do it regularly. Why do I talk about regularity in good deeds? This Hadith will tell you..
Once the Prophet came while a woman was sitting with me. He said, “Who is she?” I replied, “She is so and so,” and told him about her (excessive) praying. He said disapprovingly, “Do (good) deeds which is within your capacity (without being overtaxed) as Allah does not get tired (of giving rewards) but (surely) you will get tired. And the best deed (act of worship) in the sight of Allah is that which is done regularly.”
A deed done regularly, though less in quantity, is more beloved to Allah than the deed which is more in quantity but not done regularly. (I had problems constructing that sentence. Hope the message is through. :P)