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What good works are necessary for a Muslim?

Here is a list of good works as outlined by the Koran:

· Serve Allah
· Show kindness to parents and kin
· Help orphans and the poor
· Give money to travelers and beggars
· Don’t cheat inheritances
· Redeem slaves
· Encourage men to be righteous
· Pray
· Give alms (tithe)
· Keep promises
· Be firm and patient during adversity and war
· Fast
· Make the pilgrimage to Mecca
· Celebrate Ramadan
· Don’t get angry
· Forgive men
· Seek forgiveness
· Be wise
· Fear the Lord
· Don’t break the covenant with Allah
· Keep His promises
· Repel evil with good
· Believe in the after life

The Koran says that if all of those things are done, one will achieve eternal life. Failure to do any of them could jeopardize one’s eternal security.

The Bible emphasizes a one step process to salvation. That one step saves us from a lifetime of questioning whether we are good enough. Believe, the Bible says, and you will enter Paradise.

Now the Bible does say good works are important.

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. – James 2:14-19

The writer James does not say that good deeds save the individual. He says if one has the type of faith that leads to salvation, that person will do good deeds once they become a follower of Christ. It is an indicator of one’s spiritual condition.

Once someone realizes that God has offered them a plan for salvation, and they have the type of faith required for that eternal life, then that person will willingly serve God for the rest of their time on earth—without obligation, but done out of reciprocal love.

The Koran says good works are the factor in determining one’s salvation.

The Bible says good works are a result of one’s salvation, based on the good work of Jesus Christ.

The Koran puts the burden of work on the individual. The amount of good works is undefined.

The Bible puts the burden of work on Jesus Christ, who died for our sins. No amount of good works can buy our salvation. It is a gift of God’s grace.