Bukhari records on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (radhiyallahu anhu) that the Prophet said, “Your actions alone will not save any of you.” They asked, “Messenger of Allah, not even you?” He replied, “Not even me, unless Allah were to envelop me in His mercy. Be firm; steadfast and balanced; and journey [to Allah] in the beginning of the day, the end of the day, and a portion of the latter part of the night. Moderation, moderation! Through this you will attain your goal!”
He also recorded this hadith in another place with the wording, “This religion is easy, none makes it hard upon himself except that it overwhelms him; therefore be firm, steadfast, and balanced; upon which have glad tidings! Seek help in this by journeying [to Allah] at the beginning of the day, at the end of the day, and a portion of the latter part of the night.”
He also records on the authority of Aa’ishah (radhiyallahu anhaa) that the Prophet said, “Be firm, steadfast, and balanced upon which have glad tidings for indeed actions alone will not cause one to enter Paradise.” They asked, “Messenger of Allah, not even you?” He replied, “Not even me, unless Allah were to envelop me in His forgiveness and mercy.”
He also records on her authority that the Prophet said, “Be firm, steadfast, and balanced: know that your actions alone will not be a cause for your entry into Paradise and that the most beloved actions to Allah are those that are done continuously and persistently, even if they be few.”
These noble ahadith detail a great and important principle from which stem many issues related to the journey to Allah while wayfaring along His Path. Some of the Salaf said, “The Hereafter consists either of Allah’s forgiveness or the Fire; and this world is either a source of Allah’s protection or a source of destruction.” On his deathbed, Muhammad ibn Wasi bid farewell to his companions saying, “Peace be upon you, either to the Fire or to the forgiveness of Allah.?