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The Salaf worked diligently in perfecting their actions and making them faultless, then after that, they showed great concern for acceptance of their actions. They did this because they feared that their actions would be rejected. They are those who gave what was incumbent upon them while their hearts were in a state of fear.
It is reported that ‘Ali bin Abi Taleb said:
Be more concerned that your actions are accepted than your concern of performing the action itself.
Did you not hear the statement of Allaah: Verily Allaah only accepts the actions of the Mutaqeen (pious)
Malik bin Dinar said: Fear that an action is not accepted is more difficult than performing the action itself.
Some Salaf used to say:
The people of the past would supplicate 6 months to Allaah to allow them to reach the month of Ramadan, and then upon completion of the month, they would again supplicate 6 months (begging) for acceptance of their fast.