When a person is performing good deeds, he is being rewarded. Say, he is helping his parents, so he is attaining hasanat for his act

Or say he is committing a sin like listening to music, so sayi'at is recorded for him.

But is there any evidence describing the rate at which these hasanat or sayi'at are written during the period he was performing it?

I am specifically looking for the "time interval" in the rate, like "every second", "every blink of the eye", "every breathe" etc., not the "amount" per time interval. In other words, a minimum time gap after which his hasanat or sayi'at will be incremented for the same act because the act is being performed over a span of time.

Since some people are having hard time understanding me, let me state the reason I asked this:

I heard in a gathering, the lecturer say that a women who has not dressed in compliance with Islamic rules, and gone has out in front of non-mahram men will have a grave sin recorded "every second" as long as she is front of them. Now I know do not know that if it was a figure of speech to say "every second", but I am curious to know if Islam describes any such time interval after which hasanat or sayi'at increments (not necessarily by a unit amount).

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    I don't understand what you mean by rate. Why would a rate be needed? It is simply written as soon as you do something, instantly or basically instantly.
    – The Z
    Jun 27 '18 at 1:45
  • Does it really matter? When our book is open each and every interval would have been recorded in it. It wouldn't matter at which rate because the Quran states each action will be compensated.
    – Ahmed
    Jun 27 '18 at 6:06
  • @TheZ But, the act is being done for a certain duration. A person who helps his parents for 5 minutes has obviously not received the same amount of hasanat as a person who helped them throughout the day. This leads me to believe that hasanat is being added at a rate.
    – Crimson
    Jun 27 '18 at 9:13
  • @Ahmed Please read the last para again. I rephrased it.
    – Crimson
    Jun 27 '18 at 9:23
  • @Crimson At-Tirmidhi (1999), Abu Dawood (4091) and Ibn Maajah (59) narrated from ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ood that the Prophet (SAW) said: “No one will enter Paradise in whose heart is an atom’s weight of arrogance and no one will enter Hell in whose heart is an atom’s weight of faith.” A man said: What if I like my clothes to look nice and my shoes to look nice? He said: “Verily Allah loves beauty; rather arrogance means rejecting the truth and looking down on people.” As you see even the smallest unit of a deed (good/bad) will be compensated for.
    – Ahmed
    Jun 27 '18 at 9:49

First I think you need to correct your view somehow! As deeds are not written by rates as this would imply a prejudice which doesn't go ahead with Allah's attribute of being just, therefore they are only recorded and wait for the final judgement!

As we may read in the Qur'an Every action would usually be recorded at the very moment it is done:

  • Man does not utter any word except that with him is an observer prepared [to record]. (50:18)

  • And indeed, [appointed] over you are keepers, (10)
    Noble and recording; (11)
    They know whatever you do. (12) (82:10-12)

This is simply due to the fact that the angels who are assigned to record our deeds are always with us.

Ibn Kathir -for example comments the verse (50:17) as follows.

Thus, the angels are closer to man than his own jugular vein, by the power and leave of Allah. Consequently, the angel touches mankind, just as the devil touches them, for the devil is as close to them as the blood that runs in their veins; just as Allah's Prophet , who is truthful and was told the truth, told us. Allah's statement here,
((Remember) that the two receivers receive,) in reference to the two angels who receive and record the deeds of mankind.
(one sitting on the right and one on the left.) means ready to note. (Source qtafsir)

So the angels are ready to note at any time we commit a sin or a good deed or more precisely every time we do any action or say any words: They observe us all the time and don't leave any action out.

And he commented the verses from surat al-Infitar (89):

(But verily, over you to watch you (are) Kiraman Katibin, they know all that you do.) (82:10-12)
meaning, "indeed there are noble guardian angels over you, so do not meet them with evil deeds, because they write down all that you do." (Source qtafsir)

Ibn abi Zaid al-Qayrawani wrote in the introduction of his ar-Risallah متن الرسالة:

وأن على العباد حفظة يكتبون أعمالهم ولا يسقط شيء من ذلك عن علم ربهم (See for example here)
People have recording angels over them who write down their actions. Nothing people do escapes the knowledge of their Lord. (Source of the translation)

The sunnah however shows us three examples of people who won't be judged:

"The pen has been lifted from three: From the sleeper until he wakes up, from the minor until he grows up, and from the insane until he comes back to his senses or recovers."
(Sunan an-Nasa-i, Sunan ibn Majah, Jami' at-Tirmdihi and in different versions in Sunan abi Dawod se for example here and here)

So you may consider the record of the angels as a life long video tape that is only stopped recording in a very few cases such as when we sleep.

Therefore Allah says:

Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned. ... (2:286)

As we are informed about the content of this record (which is everything we have done or have said):

  • That Day, you will be exhibited [for judgement]; not hidden among you is anything concealed. (69:18)

  • So whoever does an atom's weight of good will see it, (7)
    And whoever does an atom's weight of evil will see it. (8) (99:7-8)

All these statements lead to the conclusion that there's nothing left out by the angels which are assigned to record our deeds and acts as they are. They simply note every act we do at the very moment we do it. They don't leave comments nor qualification, as it is not for them to judge.
As scholars say "this life is action and no reckoning, but in the hereafter there will be the reckoning and no action".
Also note that in the Qur'an interpretation none has pretended that the Angels record our deeds in categories such as sins or good deeds, but they in first place say something like ibn Kathir in the quote above "... so do not meet them with evil deeds, because they write down all that you do"

We are also informed that we will read our record our self on Judgement day(17:14).

So that some may be surprised or scared of the content (18:49). While others will be happy to finally see it (69:19).

Let us give an example to explain the video-comparison:

Let's say a girl wears something indecent, that for it self is considered a sin only if she presented herself this way outside the house or to a stranger. If nobody saw her it would still be a sin, which is recorded by the angels that are assigned to record her deeds, but if somebody (a stranger) saw her then the sin might be bigger. The later can only be judged based on the records of the angels that are assigned to do the records of the foreigner that saw her. Therefore and for the fact that angel are not made to judge but to observe only, so that they don't know the what goes inside a person nor his real intention the final judgement is by Allah.

Therefore my example from above: The records of the angels are similar to a life long video of us.
You may also compare them to witnesses, which can't tell but the truth they only deliver a 1:1 description of the situation as happened without giving any judgement, so they don't qualify whether what we have done or committed was a sin or a good deed.

My major source fatwa islamweb #175767.

  • Sorry, but I don't think you understood what I meant. I know every deed is recorded. But some deeds are done over a period of time. And hasanat or sayi'at increments over that period of time. A person listening to music for 5 minutes has not obviously sinned the same amount as the one who listened it for an hour. So, sayi'at was incremented over the duration he listened it. My question is, if there is any evidence which tells us the minimum time gap after which it is incremented.
    – Crimson
    Jun 27 '18 at 10:07
  • We could split a second into infinite parts. If a good deed is done for a second, and hasanat is written in every part, then there are infinite hasanat recorded! Since this surely doesn't happen there must a time interval.
    – Crimson
    Jun 27 '18 at 10:28
  • So, do angels record hasanat or sayi'at first hand or that is to be done by Allah later? I might have gone wrong here.
    – Crimson
    Jun 27 '18 at 10:30
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    @Crimson: A sin is a sin, you don't have to categorize it in to nanoseconds or what kind of SI-unit you want to choose. It is only recorded for the deed only no matter how long or short the time period. Focus on what is important in life not on what is unimportant.
    – user24306
    Jul 7 '18 at 8:00
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    That's not our duty to think about. Some things need to be left unexplained because we don't need to use as we humans don't get to decide who goes to Janah or Jahannam. That's Allah ( swa ) his job.
    – user24306
    Jul 7 '18 at 11:51

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