One of the signs of relying on one’s own deeds is the loss of hope when a downfall occurs. ~Ibn ‘Ata Allah As-Sakandari
Is it Good to Rely on Deeds in Sharia?
Ibn ‘Ata Allah says that you should not rely on deeds (such as prayers, fasting, or charity) to gain the approval of Allah (swt). Rather, you have to rely on Allah’s mercy, kindness, and generosity.
The Prophet (saws) said: Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately, and receive good news because one’s good deeds will not make him enter Paradise. They asked: Even you, O Allah’s Messenger (pbuh)? He said: Even I, unless and until Allah bestows His pardon and Mercy on me. [Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8]
So, good deeds are not the price you pay to enter Jannah. And if they were so, you should intend to get Allah’s approval before doing anything and never think that the rewards you get from Him are because of what you did.
Ibn ‘Ata Allah says also that losing hope when a downfall occurs (i.e. when you sin) is a sign of counting on your deeds rather than on the mercy of Allah (swt). If you’re one of those who despair when they sin and think that they haven’t done enough good deeds to enter Paradise, Allah (swt) says to you: Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” [Quran, 39:53]
Allah, on this day, forgive all our sins. Oh most merciful, oh One who forgives sinners, grant us Jannatul Firdaus by Your mercy and kindness. Ameen.