"Whoever is slowed by his deeds will not be hastened forward by his lineage."
All of mankind comes from the same source. Allah سبحانه و تعالى says,
"O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul (Adam) and created from it its mate (Hawwa [Eve]) and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you. "(4:1)
All people share this common lineage.
In reality, there is nothing naturally or inborn that seperates one human being from another. There is no difference, other than superficial ones, between a white man and a black man, an Arab or a non-Arab. The only thing that is going to distinguish them is faith, and the taqwa that is their hearts which is manifested in their deeds. Allah سبحانه و تعالى has said,
"O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted."(49:13)
Furthermore, all humans will stand in front of Allah سبحانه و تعالى by themselves and alone. At that time, all of the worldly blood ties and relations will be forgotten and will mean nothing. Everyone will care about themselves and will be worried about themselves. Allah سبحانه و تعالى describes that day in the following words:
"Then, when the Trumpet is blown, there will be no kinship among them that Day, nor will they ask of one another."(23:101)
"But when there comes the Deafening Blast. On that Day shall man flee from his brother. And from his mother and his father. And from his wife and his children. Every man, that Day, will have enough to make him careless of others."(80:33-37)
The only helpful factor for the person on that day will be the good deeds that he performed in this life. [Deeds without faith are of no avail. When the words "good deeds" are used, they imply a deed that is done with the proper faith and the proper intention of pleasing Allah سبحانه و تعالى]. Allah سبحانه و تعالى says,
"For all there will be degrees (or ranks) according to what they did. And your Lord is not unaware of what they do."(6:132)
If a person himself did not work for Paradise, then he is not going to be blessed with Paradise due to what others have done, no matter how close their blood relationship may be. Allah سبحانه و تعالى has said,
"Man can have nothing but what he strives for."(53:39)
If the deeds are not there, one's lineage is not going to help the person whatsoever. This is true for the noblest of mankind. In fact, when Allah سبحانه و تعالى revealed the verse,
"And warn your tribe (O Muhammad) of near kindred."(26:214),
the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم went to the top of the hillock of Safa and said,
"O gathering of Quraysh! Purchase your own souls for I cannot save you from Allah. O tribe of Abd Manaf, I cannot save you from Allah. O 'Abbas Ibn 'Abdil Muttalib, I cannot save you from Allah. O Safiyya, the aunt of the Messenger of Allah, I cannot save you from Allah. O Fatima, daughter of Muhammad, ask of me what you will of my wealth, but I cannot save you from Allah." (al-Bukhari and Muslim)
If a person performs good deeds sincerely for the sake of Allah سبحانه و تعالى, then, regardless if he were from the noblest or the lowest of families, Allah سبحانه و تعالى will be pleased with him and Allah سبحانه و تعالى will enter him [by His mercy] into Paradise.[Zarabozo: Sharh Arba'een an-Nawawi رحمه الله]
One of the ways by which Shaytan gets to man is by making him believe that the righteousness or prestige of his lineage or his family is going to save him from destruction in the Hereafter. In this hadeeth, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم made it clear that if a person's deeds are not sufficient to get him to Paradise, his lineage is definitely not going to take him to Paradise.
al-Qaari رحمه الله points out that in line with what the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, that it is not lineage but one's deeds and taqwa that seperates people, most of the early scholars whose names are still remembered today were were from ex-slave families or client families to the larger, more noble tribes. Those people, with their non-distinctive lineage, are still remembered today and people pray for them when they mention their names. However, the people from that time who had the great and noble lineage have, for the most part, become something forgotten.
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