Developing Good Thought into Good Deed

How does a good thought develop into a good deed?

Ibn al Qayyim (رحمه الله) identified five levels by which habits are formed and customs are changed.

The first level is the fleeting thought, when an idea comes to the head, whether it’s a good idea or a bad one.

When we have a fleeting good thought. The Prophet (ﷺ) said that each and every on of us have been assigned an angel, an angel who would prompt us to good. So if we want to change, when that good thought comes, we have to grab the thought, we have to catch that thought and reflect on it.

And from that reflection we can make a decision and from that decision we can then end up doing good action. Those good actions Allah says,

‘...innal hasanath yuzhibnas sayyiaath...’[1]

"...good deeds erase evil deeds..."

And this will only happen if we try to capture those good thoughts and turn them into action, regular actions by which we can make new good habits which can replace our previously evil habits. And know that the Prophet (ﷺ) has said,

‘inna ahabbal a’maali ilallahi maa daama wa in qalla’ [2]

(the most beloved of deeds to Allah are those done regularly even if they are small.)

References:

[1] [Qur'an 11:114]

[2] [Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 43; Muslim, 782]

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