Quranic Reflection No. 353 Āyat 10:26 – Reward of performing good deeds

لِلَّذِينَ أَحْسَنُوا الْحُسْنَىٰ وَزِيَادَةٌ
Lil-ladhīna ahsanūl-husnā wa-ziyādah
For those who do good, will have the best reward and [even] more.
Sūrat Yūnus, No.10, Āyat 26
It is the Grace of the Almighty that He promises to reward the one who performs good deeds with much more than is deserved. In this verse Allah promises two types of rewards;
1. al-Husnā – the feminine of ahsan. It means the best and the finest reward. He will give in return to good deeds performed that which is the finest in terms of perfection, the happiness it brings, the state and rank it takes the human being to, etc. It refers to an elevated position in the Hereafter and some say it refers to Paradise.
2. Ziyādah – translated as more, or extra. This word has been interpreted in many different ways:
a. That which is more than what the deed deserves. Something additional.
b. A reward that is multiplied ten times (Q 6:160) or seven hundred times (Q 2:261)
c. The Holy Prophet (s) explains this verse in a Hadith: those who perform good deeds are the people of Tawhid, ‘Husnā’ is Paradise and “ziyādah’ is looking at the face of Allah [being in His presence].
d. Shaykh Tabarsī in Tafsīr Majma‘ul Bayān narrates a Hadith from Imam al-Bāqir (a) about this verse: Husna is Paradise, and ziyādah refers to those blessings which they received in the world for which they will not be taken into account on the Day of Judgment.
e. Allāmah Tabātabā’ī says that if ‘husna’ is the best, then how can human beings comprehend what is better than best? So ‘ziyādah’ refers to that which the human mind cannot understand. Other verses of the Quran also point to this unfathomable reward that awaits the human being: So no soul knows what is hidden for them of that which will refresh the eyes; as a reward for what [good] they used to do (Q 32:17).
f. The more could refer to a continuously increasing reward in the Hereafter. Each day new gifts from the grace of Allah will be showered upon those who have done carried out good in the world. This shows that life in the Hereafter is constantly changing and increasing in blessings.

This verse shapes the attitude of the believer in many ways. It encourages performing of good deeds through the incentive of a just reward and beyond. It shows the qualities of grace and generosity in the Lord. It teaches that even in the world we must try not to limit in giving what is deserved; but be graceful in giving and imitate the Exalted Morals of Allah, the Majestic and Mighty.

Recite this verse to motivate you towards good actions and hope in a reward which is beyond what you have ever imagined. That is something to look forward to in the next world.

Sources: Shaykh Tabarsī, Majma‘ul Bayān; ‘Allāmah Muhammad Husayn Tabātabā’ī, Tafsīr al-Mīzān; Āyatullāh Nāsir Makārim Shirāzī (Ed.), Tafsīr-e Namūneh; http://www.alketab.org/