It is narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ observed: “Be prompt in doing good deeds (before you are overtaken) by turbulence which would be like a part of the dark night. During (that stormy period) a man would be a Muslim in the morning and an unbeliever in the evening or he would be a believer in the evening and an unbeliever in the morning and would sell his faith for worldly goods.”
This hadith stresses promptness in doing virtues. Here the Holy Messenger ﷺ has exhorted the Ummah to make haste in performing good deeds. Good deeds strengthen faith and revolutionises one’s life while evil ones vitiate it.
The Blessed Messenger has predicted that a day may come when there would be no stability in the faith of a person. It would be cheaper by the day and freely bartered for worldly gains. And this bartering is so swift that a person who commences the dawn as a believer may turn as an unbeliever by the dusk. Similarly, one who is a believer in the dusk may rise as an unbeliever in the dawn. This is indeed a matter of great concern for a person who holds faith dearer than life and material benefits that are just transitory. The admonition to the believers is, therefore, to make hay (accumulate virtuous deeds) while the sun (of life) shines. The hadith makes us sit up and introspect while exhibiting utmost vigil in safeguarding our faith.