Allah encourages His servants to perform righteous deeds and to rush to accomplish the acts of obedience. Allah said,
﴿وَسَارِعُواْ إِلَى مَغْفِرَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَـوَتُ وَالاٌّرْضُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ ﴾
(And march forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for the Muttaqin (the pious)) ﴿3:133﴾.
Just as the Fire was prepared for the disbelievers. It was reported that the meaning of Allah's statement,
﴿عَرْضُهَا السَّمَـوَتُ وَالاٌّرْضُ﴾
(as wide as the heavens and the earth) draws the attention to the spaciousness of Paradise. For instance, Allah said in another Ayah, while describing the couches of Paradise,
﴿بَطَآئِنُهَا مِنْ إِسْتَبْرَقٍ﴾
(lined with silk brocade) ﴿55:54﴾, so what about their outer covering It was also said that Paradise is as wide as its length, because it is a dome under the Throne. The width and length of a dome or a circle are the same in distance. This is supported by what is found in the Sahih;
«إِذَا سَأَلْتُمُ اللهَ الْجَنَّـةَ فَاسْأَلُوهُ الْفِرْدَوْسَ، فَإِنَّهُ أَعْلَى الْجَنَّـةِ، وَأَوْسَطُ الْجَنَّةِ، وَمِنْهُ تَفَجَّرُ أَنْهَارُ الْجَنَّةِ، وَسَقْفُهَا عَرْشُ الرَّحْمَن»
(When you ask Allah for Paradise, ask Him for Al-Firdaws which is the highest and best part of Paradise. From it originate the rivers of Paradise, and above it is the Throne of the Most Beneficent (Allah).)
This Ayah ﴿3:133 above﴾ is similar to Allah's statement in Surat Al-Hadid,
﴿سَابِقُواْ إِلَى مَغْفِرَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا كَعَرْضِ السَّمَآءِ وَالاٌّرْضِ﴾
(Race with one another in hastening towards forgiveness from your Lord (Allah), and Paradise the width whereof is as the width of the heaven and the Earth) ﴿57:21﴾.
Al-Bazzar recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that a man came to the Messenger of Allah and asked him, about Allah's statement,
﴿وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَـوَتُ وَالاٌّرْضُ﴾
(Paradise as wide as the heavens and the Earth) ﴿3:133﴾; "Where is the Fire then'' The Prophet said,
«أَرَأَيْتَ اللَّيْلَ إِذَا جَاءَ لَبِسَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ، فَأَيْنَ النَّهَارُ؟»
(When the night comes, it overtakes everything, so where is the day) The man said, "Where Allah wants it to be.'' The Prophet said,
«وَكَذلِكَ النَّارُ تَكُونُ حَيْثُ شَاءَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَل»
(Similarly, the Fire is where Allah wants it to be.) This Hadith has two possible meanings. First, when we do not see the night during the day, this does not mean that the day is not somewhere else, even though we cannot see it. Such is the case with Hell-fire, for it is where Allah wants it to be. The second meaning is that when the day overcomes this part of the world, the night overtakes the other part. Such is the case with Paradise, for it is in the utmost heights above the heavens and under the Throne. The width of Paradise is, as Allah stated,
﴿كَعَرْضِ السَّمَآءِ وَالاٌّرْضِ﴾
(whereof is as the width of the heaven and the Earth) ﴿57:21﴾.
The Fire, on the other hand, is in the lowest of lows. Therefore, Paradise being as wide as the heavens and Earth does not contradict the fact that the Fire exists wherever Allah wills it to be.
Allah said, while describing the people of Paradise,
﴿الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ فِى السَّرَّآءِ وَالضَّرَّآءِ﴾
(Those who spend (in Allah's cause) in prosperity and in adversity) ﴿3:134﴾, in hard times and easy times, while active (or enthusiastic) and otherwise, healthy or ill, and in all conditions, just as Allah said in another Ayah,
﴿الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمْوَلَهُمْ بِالَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ سِرًّا وَعَلاَنِيَةً﴾
(Those who spend their wealth (in Allah's cause) by night and day, in secret and in public) ﴿2:274﴾ These believers are never distracted from obeying Allah, spending on what pleases Him, being kind to His servants and their relatives, and other acts of righteousness. Allah said,
﴿وَالْكَـظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَـفِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ﴾
(who repress anger, and who pardon men;) ﴿3:134﴾ for when they are angry, they control their anger and do act upon it. Rather, they even forgive those who hurt them. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet said,
«لَيْسَ الشَّدِيدُ بِالصُّرَعَةِ، وَلكِنَّ الشَّدِيدَ الَّذِي يَمْلِكُ نَفْسَهُ عِنْدَ الْغَضَب»
(The strong person is not he who is able to physically overcome people. The strong person is he who overcomes his rage when he is angry.)
This Hadith is also recorded in the Two Sahihs. Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah said,
«مَنْ أَنْظَرَ مُعْسِرًا أَوْ وَضَعَ لَهُ، وَقَاهُ اللهُ مِنْ فَيْحِ جَهَنَّمَ، أَلَا إِنَّ عَمَلَ الْجَنَّـةِ حَزْنٌ بِرَبْوَةٍ ثَلَاثًا أَلَا إِنَّ عَمَلَ النَّارِ سَهْلٌ بِسَهْوَةٍ. وَالسَّعِيدُ مَنْ وُقِيَ الْفِتَنَ، وَمَا مِنْ جَرْعَةٍ أَحَبُّ إِلَى اللهِ مِنْ جَرْعَةِ غَيْظٍ يَكْظِمُهَا عَبْدٌ، مَا كَظَمَهَا عَبْدٌ للهِ إِلَّا مَلَأَ جَوْفَهُ إِيمَانًا»
(He who gives time to a debtor or forgives him, then Allah will save him from the heat of Jahannam (Hell-fire). Behold! The deeds of Paradise are difficult to reach, for they are on top of a hill, while the deeds of the Fire are easy to find in the lowlands. The happy person is he who is saved from the tests. Verily, there is no dose of anything better to Allah than a dose of rage that the servant controls, and whenever the servant of Allah controls it, he will be internally filled with faith.)
This Hadith was recorded by Imam Ahmad, its chain of narration is good, it does not contain any disparraged narrators, and the meaning is good.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Sahl bin Mu`adh bin Anas said that his father said that the Messenger of Allah said,
«مَنْ كَظَمَ غَيْظًا وَهُوَ قَادِرٌ عَلى أَنْ يُنْفِذَهُ دَعَاهُ اللهُ عَلى رُؤُوسِ الْخَلَائِقِ حَتَّى يُخَيِّرَهُ مِنْ أَيِّ الْحُورِ شَاء»
(Whoever controlled rage while able to act upon it, then Allah will call him while all creation is a witness, until He gives him the choice of any of the Huris (fair females with wide, lovely eyes - as mates for the pious) he wishes.)
Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah collected this Hadith, which At-Tirmidhi said was "Hasan Gharib''.
Ibn Marduwyah recorded that Ibn `Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said,
«مَا تَجَرَّعَ عَبْدٌ مِنْ جَرْعَةٍ أَفْضَلَ أَجْرًا مِنْ جَرْعَةِ غَيْظٍ كَظَمَهَا ابْتِغَاءَ وَجْهِ الله»
(There is not a dose of anything that the servant takes which is better than a dose of control of rage that he feels, when he does it seeking Allah's Face.) Ibn Jarir and Ibn Majah also collected this Hadith.
(who repress anger) meaning, they do not satisfy their rage upon people. Rather, they refrain from harming them and await their rewards with Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored. Allah then said,
﴿وَالْعَـفِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ﴾
(and who pardon men;) They forgive those who treat them with injustice. Therefore, they do not hold any ill feelings about anyone in their hearts, and this is the most excellent conduct in this regard. This is why Allah said,
﴿وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ﴾
(verily, Allah loves the Muhsinin (the good-doers)).
This good conduct is a type of Ihsan ﴿excellence in the religion﴾. There is a Hadith that reads,
«ثَلَاثٌ أُقْسِمُ عَلَيْهِنَّ: مَا نَقَصَ مَالٌ مِنْ صَدَقَةٍ، وَمَا زَادَ اللهُ عَبْدًا بِعَفْوٍ إِلَّا عِزًّا، وَمَنْ تَوَاضَعَ للهِ رَفَعَهُ الله»
(I swear regarding three matters: no charity shall ever decrease the wealth; whenever one forgives people, then Allah will magnify his honor; and he who is humble for Allah, then Allah will raise his rank.)
﴿وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُواْ فَـحِشَةً أَوْ ظَلَمُواْ أَنْفُسَهُمْ ذَكَرُواْ اللَّهَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُواْ لِذُنُوبِهِمْ﴾
(And those who, when they have committed Fahishah or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins) ﴿3:135﴾.
Therefore, if they commit an error they follow it with repentance and ask forgiveness. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet said,
«إِنَّ رَجُلًا أَذْنَبَ ذَنْبًا فَقَالَ: رَبِّ إِنِّي أَذْنَبْتُ ذَنْبًا فَاغْفِرْهُ، فَقَالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: عَبْدِي عَمِل ذَنْبًا فَعَلِمَ أَنَّ لَهُ رَبًّا يَغْفِرُ الذَّنْبَ وَيَأْخُذُ بِهِ، قَدْ غَفَرْتُ لِعَبْدِي، ثُمَّ عَمِلَ ذَنْبًا آخَرَ فَقَالَ: رَبِّ إِنِّي عَمِلْتُ ذَنْبًا فَاغْفِرْهُ، فَقَالَ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالى: عَلِمَ عَبْدِي أَنَّ لَهُ ربًّا يَغْفِرُ الذَّنْبَ وَيَأْخُذُ بِهِ،قَدْ غَفَرْتُ لِعَبْدِي، ثُمَّ عَمِلَ ذَنْبًا آخَرَ فَقَالَ: رَبِّ إِنِّي عَمِلْتُ ذَنْبًا فَاغْفِرْهُ لِي، فَقَالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: عَلِمَ عَبْدِي أَنَّ لَهُ ربًّا يَغْفِرُ الذَّنْبَ وَيَأْخُذُ بِهِ، قَدْ غَفَرْتُ لِعَبْدِي، ثُمَّ عَمِلَ ذَنْبًا آخَرَ فَقَالَ: رَبِّ إِنِّي عَمِلْتُ ذَنْبًا فَاغْفِرْهُ لِي، فَقَالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: عَلِمَ عَبْدِي أَنَّ لَهُ ربًّا يَغْفِرُ الذَّنْبَ وَيَأْخُذُ بِهِ، أُشْهِدُكُمْ أَنِّي قَدْ غَفَرْتُ لِعَبْدِي فَلْيَعْمَلْ مَا شَاء»
(A man once committed an error and said, `O Lord! I committed an error, so forgive me.' Allah said, `My servant committed an error and knew that he has a Lord Who forgives or punishes for the error. I have forgiven My servant.' The man committed another error and said, `O Lord! I committed an error, so forgive me.' Allah said, `My servant knew that he has a Lord Who forgives or punishes for the sin. I have forgiven My servant.' The man committed another error and said, `O Lord! I committed an error, so forgive me.' Allah said, `My servant knew that he has a Lord Who forgives or punishes for the error. I have forgiven my servant.' He then committed another error and said, `O Lord! I committed an error, so forgive me.' Allah said, `My servant knew that he has a Lord Who forgives or punishes for the error. Bear witness that I have forgiven My servant, so let him do whatever he likes.') A similar narration was collected in the Sahih.
`Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Anas bin Malik said, "I was told that when the Ayah,
﴿وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُواْ فَـحِشَةً أَوْ ظَلَمُواْ أَنْفُسَهُمْ ذَكَرُواْ اللَّهَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُواْ لِذُنُوبِهِمْ﴾
(And those who, when they have committed Fahishah or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins,) was revealed, Iblis (Shayatan) cried.'' Allah's statement,
﴿وَمَن يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ﴾
(and none can forgive sins but Allah), means that none except Allah forgives sins. tAllah said,
﴿وَلَمْ يُصِرُّواْ عَلَى مَا فَعَلُواْ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ﴾
(And do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know), for they repent from their error, return to Allah before death, do not insist on error, and if they err again, they repent from it. Allah said here,
(while they know) Mujahid and `Abdullah bin `Ubayd bin `Umayr commented, "Whoever repents, then Allah will forgive him.'' Similarly, Allah said,
﴿أَلَمْ يَعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ يَقْبَلُ التَّوْبَةَ عَنْ عِبَادِهِ﴾
(Know they not that Allah accepts repentance from His servants) ﴿9:104﴾, and,
﴿وَمَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءاً أَوْ يَظْلِمْ نَفْسَهُ ثُمَّ يَسْتَغْفِرِ اللَّهَ يَجِدِ اللَّهَ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً ﴾
(And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allah's forgiveness, he will find Allah Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) ﴿4: 110﴾ and there are several examples similar to this Ayah.
Next, Allah said after this description,
﴿أُوْلَـئِكَ جَزَآؤُهُمْ مَّغْفِرَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ﴾
(For such, the reward is forgiveness from their Lord) ﴿3:136﴾, as a reward for these qualities,
﴿مَّغْفِرَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَجَنَّـتٌ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا الاٌّنْهَـرُ﴾
(forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens with rivers flowing underneath (Paradise)) carrying all kinds of drinks,
(wherein they shall abide forever) and ever,
﴿وَنِعْمَ أَجْرُ الْعَـمِلِينَ﴾
(How excellent is this reward for the doers) Allah praises Paradise in this part of the Ayah.
﴿قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ سُنَنٌ فَسِيرُواْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ فَانْظُرُواْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَـقِبَةُ الْمُكَذِّبِينَ - هَـذَا بَيَانٌ لِّلنَّاسِ وَهُدًى وَمَوْعِظَةٌ لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ ﴾
﴿وَلاَ تَهِنُوا وَلاَ تَحْزَنُوا وَأَنتُمُ الاٌّعْلَوْنَ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ - إِن يَمْسَسْكُمْ قَرْحٌ فَقَدْ مَسَّ الْقَوْمَ قَرْحٌ مِّثْلُهُ وَتِلْكَ الاٌّيَّامُ نُدَاوِلُهَا بَيْنَ النَّاسِ وَلِيَعْلَمَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَيَتَّخِذَ مِنكُمْ شُهَدَآءَ وَاللَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الظَّـلِمِينَ - وَلِيُمَحِّصَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَيَمْحَقَ الْكَـفِرِينَ - أَمْ حَسِبْتُمْ أَن تَدْخُلُواْ الْجَنَّةَ وَلَمَّا يَعْلَمِ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ جَـهَدُواْ مِنكُمْ وَيَعْلَمَ الصَّـبِرِينَ - وَلَقَدْ كُنتُمْ تَمَنَّوْنَ الْمَوْتَ مِن قَبْلِ أَن تَلْقَوْهُ فَقَدْ رَأَيْتُمُوهُ وَأَنتُمْ تَنظُرُونَ ﴾
(137. Many similar ways (and mishaps of life) were faced ﴿by nations (believers and disbelievers) that have passed away﴾ before you, so travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those who denied.) (138. This is a plain statement for mankind, a guidance and instruction for the Muttaqin.) (139. So do not become weak, nor be sad, and you will be triumphant if you are indeed believers.) (140. If a wound has touched you, be sure a similar wound has touched the others. And so are the days, that We give to men by turns, that Allah may know (test) those who believe, and that He may take martyrs from among you. And Allah likes not the wrongdoers.) (141. And that Allah may test those who believe and destroy the disbelievers.). (142. Do you think that you will enter Paradise before Allah knows (tests) those of you who performed Jihad and knows (tests) those who are patient) (143. You did indeed wish for death before you met it. Now you have seen it openly with your own eyes.)