It was narrated from ‘A’ishah that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) entered her apartment, when there was a woman with her. He said: “Who is this?” She said: So-and-so, and she spoke about how much she prayed. He said: “Stop! You should only do as much as you are able to, for by Allah, Allah does not grow weary until you grow weary.” The dearest of religious practice to him was that which a person does regularly and persists in it.
Religion is easy and not difficult. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) taught his ummah the proper way to adhere to religion and to practice it. He explained that the believer should do what he is able to do of worship, whilst encouraging people to be moderate in what they commit themselves to do, so that they will not grow weary or lose energy and momentum. In this hadith, the Mother of the Believers ‘A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), narrates that the Prophet entered her apartment one day, when another woman was with her. When the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) asked who she was, ‘A’ishah told him that this was So-and-so, mentioning her by name, then she said how much she prayed and did other acts of worship, praising her a great deal. But the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) rebuked her and said “Stop!” meaning: Stop praising her, for what she is doing is not deserving of praise, because it is contrary to the Sunnah. Proper adherence to religion means following the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and adhering to his Sunnah, not being harsh with oneself and exhausting oneself in doing a lot of acts of worship. Then the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) taught us the right way and said: “You should only do as much as you are able to do”, so commit yourself to deeds that you are able to do regularly and persist in, and do as much as you are able to of fasting and praying at night; do not make it hard for yourselves.
With regard to the words “for by Allah, Allah does not grow weary until you grow weary”, some of the scholars said that this ascribes the attribute of weariness to Allah (may He be exalted) but the weariness of Allah is not like the weariness of people, because when a person grows weary it is an attribute of imperfection, as it indicates that he has become bored and tired of this thing. The weariness of Allah, on the other hand, is an attribute of perfection with no element of shortcoming in it, which is like all the other divine attributes that we affirm for Allah in a manner that is most perfect, even if in the case of people it is an attribute of imperfection. However, some of the scholars say that the phrase “Allah does not grow weary until you grow weary” serves to highlight the fact that no matter how much you do of righteous deeds, Allah will reward you for it, so do as much as you like, for Allah will never tire of rewarding you until you grow weary of striving in doing righteous deeds. Based on that, what is meant by weariness [in the case of Allah (may He be exalted)] is the outcome of that weariness [which is the cessation of reward when the person grows weary and stops doing the good deed he was doing]. And some of the scholars said that this hadith does not indicate that Allah becomes weary at all, because if someone says “I will not get up until you get up,” that does not imply that the other person will get up. By the same token, “He does not grow weary until you grow weary” does not imply that Allah (may He be glorified and exalted) will grow weary.
‘A’ishah also said that the dearest of religious practice to the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) – and according to another report in as-Sahihayn, it says “to Allah” – is that which one persists in and does regularly, even if it is small, as mentioned in the report of Muslim, because persisting in a small action is persisting in worship, dhikr, mindfulness of Allah, intention, sincerity and turning to the Creator (may He be glorified and exalted) and a small action that is done persistently will yield a much greater result than a great deed that is done and then stops.
This hadith highlights the Prophet’s compassion and kindness towards his ummah.
It also indicates that a small action that is done consistently is better than a greater action that is inconsistent..