Every act of goodness and piety which man does is the result of the taufeeq which Allah Ta'ala bestows to him. Man's achievements are not the products of his efforts.It is purely o­n account of Allah's rahmat (mercy) that we are able to do whatever goodness and virtue we offer to Him. To illustrate this, Hadhrat Jibraeel (alayhis salaam) narrated to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) the following interesting episode in which there is much lesson. He narrated:
"Once there was a durwaish (buzroog/wali/saint) who lived o­n a mountain peak o­n an island. Allah Ta'ala had bestowed long life to him. He spent five centuries in ibaadat o­n the mountain peak. All around was the salty waters of the ocean.
For the sustenance of the durwaish, Allah Ta'ala created a spring of fresh and sweet water and a pomegranate tree near to him. The durwaish lived o­n this sweet and holy water and o­n the delicious pomegranates which the tree yielded.
Of all his acts of ibaadat, he loved Sajdah the most. He supplicated to Allah Ta'ala to take his rooh at the time of maut while he is in Sajdah. Hadhrat Jibraeel (alayhis salaam) commented: "Allah Ta'ala accepted his dua. Whenever we (the Angels) descended from and ascended into the heavens, we would pass by the durwaish and find him in Sajdah."
Continuing the narrative, Hadhrat Jibraeel alayhis salaam) said: "On the Day of Qiyaamah Allah Ta'ala will say to him: "On account of My mercy take My servant to Jannat." The durwaish will exclaim in surprise: `In fact, o­n account of my deeds!" Allah Ta'ala will command: "Scale My bounties in relation to his deeds."
The scaling and reckoning will yield that the five centuries of ibaadat is the equivelant of o­nly the ni'mat (favour) of the vision of the eye. Allah Ta'ala will command: "Take My servant to Jahannum."
The Malaaikah in charge will apprehend the durwaish and lead him towards Jahannum. The reality now will dawn o­n him that his five centuries of ibaadat was insignificant and unable to purchase Jannat. He will be overwhelmed with fear.
While the journey to Jahannum will be in progress, Allah Ta'ala will command that the durwaish be brought back. He will be ushered into the Divine Court and the following dialogue will take place:
Allah: O My servant!Who created you?
Durwaish: O My Allah! You created me.
Allah: Did you accomplish your good deeds by your effort or by My mercy?
Durwaish: By your mercy.
Allah: Who granted you strength and taufeeq to offer ibaadat for five hundred years?
Durwaish: O Allah! You did.
Allah: Who settled you o­n the mountain peak in the middle of the ocean? Who created the fountain of sweet water in the middle of the salty oceans? Who created the pomegranate tree? Who accepted your supplication for taking your rooh in Sajdah?
Durwaish: O Allah! It is You.
Allah: All this is the consequence of My Rahmat. o­nly by My Rahmat am I admitting you to Jannat."
(Tambeehul Ghaafileen of Faqeeh Abu Laith Samarqandi)
Subhanallah. 500 yrs in ibadah and equal only to ne'mat of the vision.