Doing for Allah – Q&A Part 1

Return and Reward – Doing for Allah or for nafs?
7 April 2023
do good
Do Good
28 June 2023
for Allah

But here comes to you one sincerely striving, who has reverence for Allah, (Abasa:8-9)

Getting “hurt” for Allah…?

Murid’s Question: Yes Shaykh, I do not understand the part about: “if you got hurt, then Allah has accepted your good deeds.

This is a Q&A based on the article of last month. You can read the previous part here…

Shaykh Taner’s Answer:
That is if Allah says, “Do it.” I do not do like this. I do what Allah tells me to do. Allah says, “Go there, no matter what.” There was my wife’s silat class. They insulted me everyday, each time I go there, but I still went there until Allah said, “That is enough now.” But I did go and took the insult and this, that for many months. Why? Because I have a mission. If I quit, that will be for me. Until Allah says, I am not going to do it. They can insult me all they want or disrespect me. Later on, of course, he understood and he apologized and all this.

Okay, if you get hurt then Allah has accepted your good deeds. Let me explain it to you again. If you are doing something, you should do for Allah’s sake and not expect anything in return, do you get that? Do you get that? Okay. If somebody is thankful to you, let us say, you did something good and everybody is pleased.

Gift for Allah

Once, when I was an exchange student here and I was staying with this Christian family. They took me, we went to Christmas, we gave gifts, representing the church. We went to the children jail, whatever that is, juvenile detention hall. We gave them the gifts and expecting that they are going to say, “Thank you.” And then the monitor, the jail person says, “What are we going to do?” “Thank you.” And we said, “Thank you.” Okay.

“This is from the bounty of my Rab! He tests me with it to see if I will give thanks or be ungrateful. Whoever gives thanks, they only do it for their own good, and whoever is ungrateful (can only hurt themselves). Truly my Rab is Ghani [Self-Sufficient] and Karim [Generous].” (Al Naml:40)

Pleased for Allah or for nafs?

Alright, now, if they are pleased and they said, “Thank you” if it is genuine or not, that is not bad. Except when they are pleased, when you see they are pleased, you are also pleased. When you are pleased, what makes you sure this is not your nafs? Because your nafs is saying, “See, I did something and I am better than them and see, I gave them something and I made them happy. I am good.” When you say, “I am good,” that is no good. So you are still getting something in return, so you did not do this for nothing. Do you understand that?

Okay, but when you get hurt, there is no question that you did this for Allah. Because, you did not even get a “thank you” in return so that your nafs can be happy. You did not get a smile, you did not get anything, on top, you get hurt. So what does this show? It means that it was truly for Allah’s sake and Allah has accepted your deed.

Qur’an References

And do not go along with the kafirin [unbelievers] and the hypocrites. Disregard their insulting and hurtful talk, and refer your affairs to Allah. Allah is enough for you as Wakil. (Al Ahzab:48)

Tell them (O Muhammad), “I suggest and urge you to do only one thing: Wake up for Allah’s sake, alone or with another, and contemplate. (Saba:46)


abdal: substitute; one who has traded their own self for Allah

ittiqa: watching for Allah’s good pleasure with one’s deeds; guarding oneself from evil or harm; not offending Allah in one’s actions; action with connection

Murid: Sufi student; the one who surrenders their will and power to Allah

nafs: lit., breath; self; person; egoistic or animalistic nature; personal life

Rab: Lord; Master

Names of Allah

Al Wali — The Protecting Friend Who Is Relied Upon; The Guardian; The Ally

Al Wakil — The Trustee; The Representative; The Guardian; The Counselor; The Mentor

Al Nasir: The Helper

This is an edited excerpt of a Sohbet given on May 10, 2008 by Murshid Shaykh Taner Vargonen Ansari and published on on May 30, 2023. The translation of the Qur’an verses are also from Murshid Shaykh Taner Vargonen Ansari.

Previous parts of the Sohbet


Problems and Solutions


Relationship with Kids

The Qur’an

Relationship without expectations

Return and Reward – Doing for Allah or for nafs?

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Love, peace and togetherness in goodness

Ya Wadud Ya Salaam Ya Jami Ya Nafi

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