Ramadan: The Month of Piety

EsinIslam Ramadan Explorer

In the name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

All praises and thanks be to Allah alone, and peace and blessings of Allah be upon the last and seal of the Prophets.

Piety is a virtue that combines all kinds of righteousness and goodness; hence, the Quran has given it great care and attention. It is enough to say that piety and its derivatives are mentioned in the Noble Book of Allah more than two hundred and forty times; they order and urge for piety, link success to it and show the status of the pious [the pious are Al-Muttaqn [the pious believers of Islamic Monotheism who fear Allh much (abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which He has forbidden) and love Allh much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained)] in both in this worldly life and the Hereafter; both to Allah Almighty and to people. This is shown in the words of Allah Almighty, {It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness) that you enter the houses from the back but Al-Birr (is the quality of the one) who fears Allh. So enter houses through their proper doors, and fear Allh that you may be successful.} [Surat Al-Baqarah 2:189]

{وَلَيْسَ الْبِرُّ بِأَنْ تَأْتُوْاْ الْبُيُوتَ مِن ظُهُورِهَا وَلَـكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنِ اتَّقَى وَأْتُواْ الْبُيُوتَ مِنْ أَبْوَابِهَا وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ} البقرة: 189

Transliteration: walaysa albirru bian tatoo albuyoota minthuhooriha walakinna albirra mani ittaqawatoo albuyoota min abwabihawaittaqoo Allaha laAAallakum tuflihoona

Piety is good, its raiment is the best, and its provision is the most beneficial. It is enough honor for it that Allah Almighty has ordained it upon His slaves by saying {Say (O Muhammad): ''O My slaves who believe (in the Oneness of Allh - Islmic Monotheism), be afraid of your Lord (Allh) and keep your duty to Him} [Surat Az-Zumar 39:10]

{قُلْ يَا عِبَادِ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمْ} الزمر: 10

Transliteration: Qul ya AAibadi allatheena amanoo ittaqoo rabbakum

In another verse he has said, {And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best provision is At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness). So fear Me, O men of understanding!} [Surat Al-Baqarah 2:197]

{وَتَزَوَّدُواْ فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَى وَاتَّقُونِ يَا أُوْلِي الأَلْبَابِ} البقرة:197

Transliteration: watazawwadoo fainna khayra alzzadi alttaqwa waittaqooni ya olee alalbabi

In a third verse, the Glorified and Exalted has said: {and the raiment of righteousness, that is better.} [Surat Al-A'rf 7:26]

{وَلِبَاسُ التَّقْوَىَ ذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ} الأعراف: 26

Transliteration:walibasu alttaqwa thalika khayrun

It is the recommendation of Allah for us and for those who were before us {And verily, We have recommended to the people of the Scripture before you, and to you (O Muslims) that you (all) fear Allh, and keep your duty to Him.} [Surat An-Nis' 4:131]

{وَلَقَدْ وَصَّيْنَا الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَابَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ وَإِيَّاكُمْ أَنِ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ} النساء: 131

Transliteration:walaqad wassayna allatheena ootoo alkitaba min qablikum waiyyakum ani ittaqoo Allaha

Some Fruits of Piety:

Piety has great fruits and major results, as Allah has not ordered and repeated the order to His slaves to abide by it but only for its great status for Him Almighty. Therefore, its reward is in equal proportion to its great degree.

Some of the Fruits and Benefits in this Worldly life and the Hereafter:

1 - The best outcome and victory is for the pious, as Allah Almighty has said, {And enjoin As-Salt (the prayer) on your family, and be patient in offering them [i.e. the Salt (prayers)]. We ask not of you a provision (i.e. to give Us something: money): We provide for you. And the good end (i.e. Paradise) is for the Muttaqn (the pious)} [Surat Tha 20:132],

{وَأْمُرْ أَهْلَكَ بِالصَّلَاةِ وَاصْطَبِرْ عَلَيْهَا لَا نَسْأَلُكَ رِزْقاً نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُكَ وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلتَّقْوَى} طه: 132

Transliteration: Wamur ahlaka bialssalati waistabir AAalayha la nasaluka rizqan nahnu narzuquka waalAAaqibatu lilttaqwa

And He has said, {Verily, the earth is Allh's. He gives it as a heritage to whom He wills of His slaves; and the (blessed) end is for the Muttaqn (the pious)} [Surat Al-A'rf 7:128]

{إِنَّ الأَرْضَ لِلّهِ يُورِثُهَا مَن يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ} الأعراف: 128

Transliteration:inna alarda lillahi yoorithuha man yashao min AAibadihi waalAAaqibatu lilmuttaqeena

2 - By piety, man can distinguish between truth and falsehood, good and evil and the harmful and the beneficial. By it, sins are forgiven, as Allah Almighty has said, {O you who believe! If you obey and fear Allh, He will grant you Furqn [(a criterion to judge between right and wrong), or (Makhraj, i.e. a way for you to get out from every difficulty)], and will expiate for you your sins, and forgive you; and Allh is the Owner of the Great Bounty} [Surat Al-Anfl 8:29]

{يِا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إَن تَتَّقُواْ اللّهَ يَجْعَل لَّكُمْ فُرْقَاناً وَيُكَفِّرْ عَنكُمْ سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ وَاللّهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ} الأنفال: 29

Transliteration: Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo in tattaqoo Allaha yajAAal lakum furqanan wayukaffir AAankum sayyiatikum wayaghfir lakum waAllahu thoo alfadli alAAatheemi

3 - The pious gain the light. The light accompanies the pious, the light of the eyes; as the light of the hearts fades away and the hearts turn blind, as Allah Almighty has said, {Verily, it is not the eyes that grow blind, but it is the hearts which are in the breasts that grow blind} [Surat Al-Hajj 22:46]

{فَإِنَّهَا لَا تَعْمَى الْأَبْصَارُ وَلَكِن تَعْمَى الْقُلُوبُ الَّتِي فِي الصُّدُورِ} الحج: 46

Transliteration: fainnaha lataAAma alabsaru walakin taAAmaalquloobu allatee fee alssudoori

But the pious are kept safe by their righteousness from the blindness of the heart; by the light of piety they become successful in their deeds in this worldly life and in the Hereafter.

The Quranic call orders for piety in order to get such light to enlighten the hearts along with the light of the eyes. Allah Almighty has said, {O you who believe [in Ms (Moses) (i.e. Jews) and 's (Jesus) (i.e. Christians)]! Fear Allh, and believe in His Messenger (Muhammad), He will give you a double portion of His Mercy, and He will give you a light by which you shall walk (straight). And He will forgive you. And Allh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.} [Surat Al-Hadd 57:28]

{يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَآمِنُوا بِرَسُولِهِ يُؤْتِكُمْ كِفْلَيْنِ مِن رَّحْمَتِهِ وَيَجْعَل لَّكُمْ نُوراً تَمْشُونَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ} الحديد: 28

Transliteration: Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo ittaqoo Allaha waaminoo birasoolihi yutikum kiflayni min rahmatihi wayajAAal lakum nooran tamshoona bihi wayaghfir lakum

4 - The pious are the best people: For Allah, precedence or superiority is neither by prestige, sovereignty nor wealth. Fir'aun (Pharaoh) was not benefitted by his sovereignty, Hmn was not pleased by his ministry and Qrn (Korah) was not availed by his wealth. Being close to Allah Almighty is not by ancestries and lineages. The dignitaries of Quraish and masters of Mecca were of the best ancestries and lineages. They were gathering in a circle around the Kaaba awaiting for the Ethiopian slave Bilal ibn Rabah, may Allah be pleased with and please him, who was ascending above the Kaaba with his legs above the heads of masters to loud his voice with the call of monotheism after conquering Mecca. The time between slavery and such status was only a few year, while Abu Lahab, the uncle of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, is being burnt in a Fire of blazing flame.

This is the Divine justice in cancelling all means of differentiation between human beings but only the means of piety, which can be achieved by anyone whenever they abandon lustrous desires and hastening to performing acts of obedience, as shown in the words of Allah Almighty: {Verily, the most honorable of you with Allh is that (believer) who has At-Taqw [i.e. he is one of the Muttaqn (the pious).} [Surat Al-Hujurt 49:13]

{إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ} الحجرات: 13

Transliteration: inna akramakum AAinda Allahi atqakum

''that (believer) who has At-Taqw'' not that of the best ancestries and lineages amongst you, not the richest, not the most prestigious nor the most powerful, nay: it is but just the most pious among you.

5 - They gain the company and protection of Allah Almighty. It is enough honor for the pious to gain the company of Allah, by guarding, caring for, and leading them to be right in their words and deeds. Allah Almighty has said, {Truly, Allh is with those who fear Him (keep their duty unto Him), and those who are Muhsinn (good-doers).} [Surat An-Nahl 16:128]

{إِنَّ اللّهَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَواْ وَّالَّذِينَ هُم مُّحْسِنُونَ} النحل: 128

Transliteration: Inna Allaha maAAa allatheena ittaqaw waallatheena hum muhsinoona

Moreover, they gain the protection of Allah Almighty as He, the Almighty, has said {None can be its guardians except Al-Muttaqn (the pious), but most of them know not.} [Surat Al-Anfl 8:34]

{إِنْ أَوْلِيَآؤُهُ إِلاَّ الْمُتَّقُونَ وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ} الأنفال: 34

Transliteration: in awliyaohu illa almuttaqoona walakinna aktharahum la yaAAlamoona

6 - They are the survivors of the Day of Resurrection, surviving on the Day of Resurrection is for those who are pious in this worldly life. Allah Almighty has said {There is not one of you but will pass over it (Hell): this is with your Lord; a Decree which must be accomplished. (71) Then We shall save those who used to fear Allh and were dutiful to Him. And We shall leave the Zlimn (polytheists and wrongdoers) therein (humbled) to their knees (in Hell).} [Surat Maryam 19:71-72]

{وَإِن مِّنكُمْ إِلَّا وَارِدُهَا كَانَ عَلَى رَبِّكَ حَتْماً مَّقْضِيّاً (71) ثُمَّ نُنَجِّي الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوا وَّنَذَرُ الظَّالِمِينَ فِيهَا جِثِيّاً} مريم: 71-72

Transliteration: Wain minkum illa wariduha kana AAalarabbika hatman maqdiyyan (71) Thumma nunajjee allatheena ittaqaw wanatharu alththalimeena feehajithiyyan

And, {And Allh will deliver those who are the Muttaqn (the pious) to their places of success (Paradise). Evil shall touch them not, nor shall they grieve.} [Surat Az-Zumar 39:61]

{وَيُنَجِّي اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوا بِمَفَازَتِهِمْ لَا يَمَسُّهُمُ السُّوءُ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ} الزمر: 61

Transliteration:Wayunajjee Allahu allatheena ittaqaw bimafazatihim la yamassuhumu alssooo wala hum yahzanoona

7 - They are safe on the Day of Resurrection, as the pious will survive on the Day of Resurrection, they are the farthest ones away from the fear and grief as evidenced in the words of Allah Almighty: {then whosoever becomes pious and righteous, on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve.} [Surat Al-A'rf 7:35]

{فَمَنِ اتَّقَى وَأَصْلَحَ فَلاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ} الأعراف: 35

Transliteration: famani ittaqa waaslaha falakhawfun AAalayhim wala hum yahzanoona

8 - They are given the glad tidings of Paradise, has paradise been prepared for other than them? Allah Almighty has said, {And Paradise will be brought near to the Muttaqn (the pious).} [Surat Qf 50:31]

{وَأُزْلِفَتِ الْجَنَّةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ} ق: 31

Transliteration: Waozlifati aljannatu lilmuttaqeena

He, the Almighty has said, {Such is the Paradise which We shall give as an inheritance to those of Our slaves who have been Al-Muttaqn (the pious).} [Surat Maryam 19:63]

{تِلْكَ الْجَنَّةُ الَّتِي نُورِثُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا مَن كَانَ تَقِيّا} مريم: 63

Transliteration: Tilka aljannatu allatee noorithu min AAibadina man kana taqiyyan

He, Glorified and Exalted has said, {The description of the Paradise which the Muttaqn (the pious) have been promised: Underneath it rivers flow, its provision is eternal and so is its shade; this is the end (final destination) of the Muttaqn (the pious), and the end (final destination) of the disbelievers is Fire.} [Surat Ar-Ra'd 13:35]

{مَّثَلُ الْجَنَّةِ الَّتِي وُعِدَ الْمُتَّقُونَ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَارُ أُكُلُهَا دَآئِمٌ وِظِلُّهَا تِلْكَ عُقْبَى الَّذِينَ اتَّقَواْ وَّعُقْبَى الْكَافِرِينَ النَّارُ} الرعد: 35

Transliteration: Mathalu aljannati allatee wuAAida almuttaqoona tajree min tahtiha alanharu okuluha daimun wathilluha tilka AAuqba allatheena ittaqaw waAAuqba alkafireena alnnaru

He, Glorified and Exalted, has also said, {And march forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for Al-Muttaqn (the pious).} [Surat l-'Imrn 3:133]

{وَسَارِعُواْ إِلَى مَغْفِرَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالأَرْضُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ} آل عمران: 133

Transliteration: WasariAAoo ila maghfiratin min rabbikum wajannatin AAarduha alssamawatu waalardu oAAiddat lilmuttaqeena

The Remorse of Those who Waste Piety

Do not ask about the remorse of the people of Hellfire for their negligence of piety, as one of them will say {Lest a person should say: ''Alas, my grief that I was undutiful to Allh (i.e. I have not done what Allh has ordered me to do), and I was indeed among those who mocked [at the truth! i.e. L ilha illallh (none has the right to be worshipped but Allh), the Qur'n, and Muhammad and at the faithful believers] (56) Or (lest) he should say: ''If only Allh had guided me, I should indeed have been among the Muttaqn (the pious)} [Surat Az-Zumar 39:56-57].

{أَن تَقُولَ نَفْسٌ يَا حَسْرَتَى علَى مَا فَرَّطتُ فِي جَنبِ اللَّهِ وَإِن كُنتُ لَمِنَ السَّاخِرِينَ (56) أَوْ تَقُولَ لَوْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ هَدَانِي لَكُنتُ مِنَ الْمُتَّقِينَ} الزمر: 56-57

Transliteration: An taqoola nafsun ya hasrata AAala ma farrattu fee janbi Allahi wain kuntu lamina alssakhireena (56) Aw taqoola law anna Allaha hadanee lakuntu mina almuttaqeena

How to Attain Piety?

Piety is easy to be attained by those whom Allah has granted success. It is difficult, though, for those who are kept away from mercy.

The slave of Allah can get it by abandoning lustrous desires and hastening to performing acts of obedience. Who can do that other than those who are granted success by Allah?

What is Piety?

Talq Ibn Habib, may Allah have mercy on him, defined piety in short words by saying, ''It is obeying Allah with the light from Allah; hoping to attain the reward of Allah. It is leaving disobeying Allah with the light from Allah; fearing from the torment of Allah.'' [As-Siyar (the Biographies) by Az-Zahaby: 4/602]. Maymn Ibn Mahrn said, ''A man cannot be pious unless he holds himself responsible more than a partner holds his partner responsible and until he knows from where are his clothes, food and drink.'' [Nuzhat Al-Fudal' (the Recreation of the Noble): 1/469]

Ibn Khuzaymah


EsinIslam Ramadan Team


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