The purpose of life is to be happy

The Concept of Righteousness in Islam

Islam is a religion for the society, therefore, it expects from its followers to develop a society where every individual works towards helping and taking care of each other and where the rule of goodness prevails. All the instructions that Islam bring are with the objective that people could change their lives for the better and continue living them in a better manner. Allah says:

مَا عِندَكُمْ يَنفَدُ وَمَا عِندَ اللَّهِ بَاقٍ وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّ الَّذِينَ صَبَرُوا أَجْرَهُم بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

“Whatever (is) with you will be exhausted, and whatever (is) with Allah (will) be remaining. And surely We will pay those who (are) patient their reward to (the) best (of) what they used (to) do.” (Surah An-Nahl 16:96)

Islam has given us clear rules of what is obligatory, what is recommended, what is forbidden and what is not recommended. Shari’ah teaches us priorities and we must keep this in mind in all circumstances. All work is religious if it is done with the awareness of Allah, observing the rules of Allah and for the benefit of His creation. Allah says:

يَا بَنِي آدَمَ قَدْ أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكُمْ لِبَاسًا يُوَارِي سَوْآتِكُمْ وَرِيشًا وَلِبَاسُ التَّقْوَىٰ ذَٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ ذَٰلِكَ مِنْ آيَاتِ اللَّهِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَذَّكَّرُونَ

“O Children (of) Adam! Verily We have sent down to you clothing, it covers your shame and (as) an adornment. But the clothing (of) [the] righteousness – that (is) best. That (is) from (the) Signs of Allah so that they may remember.” (Surah Al-A`raf 7:26)

When one realizes the importance of good character and its essentiality in defining righteousness, an aspect which is the goal of Islam, this exhorts Muslims to fulfil this aspect of faith as well, since one can not become “righteous” through mere belief and devotion to God in themselves without good character.

Here is some importance of righteousness with huge rewards in Islam:

  1. Righteous deeds serve as a divine guard against the trials
  2. Righteous deeds remove the fear of failure in our chores
  3. Righteous deeds  follow up a bad deed with a good one
  4. Righteous deeds encourage goodness and forbid evil
  5. Righteous deeds activate derive the pleasure of Allah
  6. Righteousness is thought of as something well
  7. Righteous deeds remove the fear of enraging
  8. Righteous deeds avoid that which is wrong
  9. Righteousness is to define your success
  10. Righteousness is breaking off the fast
  11. Righteousness is Istighfar to yourself
  12. Righteousness is to show the effort
  13. Righteousness is to help a friend in need
  14. Righteousness is a remembrance of Allah
  15. Righteousness is to create habits of goals
  16. Righteousness is to teach an elderly person
  17. Righteousness is glorifying and Praising Allah
  18. Righteousness is asked for Allah’s forgiveness 
  19. Righteous deeds strive for the pleasure of Allah
  20. Righteousness is attending lectures in the Masjid
  21. Righteousness is donated to a local charity or event
  22. Righteousness is always thanking Allah for everything
  23. Righteousness is meeting your brother with a happy face
  24. Righteousness is taking your neighbour’s trash to the curb
  25. Righteousness is to help someone who looks lost with directions

Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran about righteousness:

وَالَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا فِينَا لَنَهْدِيَنَّهُمْ سُبُلَنَا وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَمَعَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

“And those who strive for Us, We will surely, guide them (to) Our ways. And indeed, Allah surely (is) with the good-doers.” (Surah Al-‘Ankabut 29:69)

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ كَانَتْ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتُ الْفِرْدَوْسِ نُزُلًا

“Indeed, those who believed and did righteous deeds, for them will be Gardens (of) the Paradise (as) a lodging,” (Surah Al-Kahf 18:107)

وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَأَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ

“Allah has promised those who believe and do the righteous deeds – for them (is) forgiveness and a reward great.” (Surah Al-Ma`idah 5:9)

لَن تَنَالُوا الْبِرَّ حَتَّىٰ تُنفِقُوا مِمَّا تُحِبُّونَ وَمَا تُنفِقُوا مِن شَيْءٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ بِهِ عَلِيمٌ

“Never will you attain [the] righteousness until you spend from what you love. And whatever you spend of a thing then indeed, Allah of it (is) All-Knowing.” (Surah Al-Imran 3:92)

When you feel the energy back in your heart, when getting up for Fajr, when memorizing the dua and when giving charity starts to seem easy after all: thank Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) for accepting your du’aa and thank Him a lot as Allah subḥanahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) says,

مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا مِّن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَىٰ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَنُحْيِيَنَّهُ حَيَاةً طَيِّبَةً وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْرَهُم بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

“Whoever does righteous deeds whether male or female while he (is) a believer, then surely We will give him l a life good, and We will pay them their reward to (the) best of what they used (to) do.” (Surah An-Nahl 16:97)

A righteous person can be distinguished by the following signs:

  • He always refrains from committing acts of disobedience whether they are major or minor sins
  • He practices all forms of patience: He is patient in performing acts of obedience
  • He treating his parents kindly and keeping good ties with his kinfolks
  • He always performs obligatory acts of worship
  • He established prayers at their fixed times
  • He keeps company with righteous people
  • He rushes to do good deeds
  • He calls people to the way of Allaah
  • He is patient in refraining from committing
  • He enriches himself with Islamic knowledge
  • He is patient at times of difficulties and afflictions
  • Make your intention clear before you do the deed
  • Thank Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He)
  • He bears the burden of spreading Islam and feels responsible for guiding all Muslims to the straight path
  • He refrains from any innovated practice in religion and any practice that contradicts the creed of Islam

إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُدْخِلُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَفْعَلُ مَا يُرِيدُ

“Truly, Allah will admit those who believe and do righteous good deeds to Gardens underneath which rivers flow (in Paradise). Verily, Allah does what He wills.” (Surah Al-Hajj 22:14)

The way a believer does righteous deeds proves his mettle. His deeds indicate his perseverance, stability, determination and loyalty-in other words the depth of his faith. In the Quran, God informs us about the various kinds of righteous deeds. Communicating the message of Islam to people, striving for the prosperity and the benefit of the Muslims, trying to attain a better understanding of the Quran. Allah says:

وَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِنَ الصَّالِحَاتِ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَا يَخَافُ ظُلْمًا وَلَا هَضْمًا

“But (he) who does of the righteous deeds while he (is) a believer, then not he will fear injustice and not deprivation.” (Surah Ta-Ha 20:112)

Islam emphasizes the right beliefs and right actions. Being an action-oriented religion, Islam encourages its followers to be active and work hard, all within the framework of right and good deeds. In Islam, there is no sharp division between secular work and religious work.

Reflections from these verses:

  • Helping the poor, the needy, and the orphan should be a result of one’s love for Allah
  • One’s relatives have more rights than anyone else to one’s charity
  • Giving the Zakah, the required charity due to one’s money
  • Fulfilling the covenant of Allah and not breaking the bond
  • Birr, Taqwa and complete faith are seen in obedience to Allah, adhering to His commands, facing wherever He commands facing and implementing whatever He legislates
  • Facing the east or the west does not necessitate righteousness or obedience unless it is legislated by Allah
  • Belief in the ‘Books’ refers to the Divinely revealed Books from Allah to the Prophets, which were finalized by the most honourable Book (the Quran)
  • The Quran supersedes all previous books, it mentions all types of righteousness, and the way to happiness in this life and the Hereafter

مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا مِّن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَىٰ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَنُحْيِيَنَّهُ حَيَاةً طَيِّبَةً وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْرَهُم بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

“Whoever does righteous deeds whether male or female while he (is) a believer, then surely We will give him l a life good, and We will pay them their reward to (the) best of what they used (to) do.” (Surah An-Nahl 16:97)

Allah has made many good deeds for us, acts of worship and kindness towards others, which are easy to do and are greatly rewarded. These deeds might appear small in the sight of people but they can become as heavy as mountains on the scale of good on the Day of Resurrection. Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُلُوا مِن طَيِّبَاتِ مَا رَزَقْنَاكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لِلَّهِ إِن كُنتُمْ إِيَّاهُ تَعْبُدُونَ

”O you who believe !! Eat of the good things that We have provided for you, and be grateful to Allah, if it is Him you worship.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:172)

We should bear in mind that the most remarkable sign of a righteous Muslim is that he always belittles his acts of worship when compared with the bounties and blessings of Allaah. May Allah guide us to see our mistakes and seek forgiveness for them, and may He make our hearts firm in His obedience, Aameen!