…righteousness is that one believes in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the Book and the Prophets, and gives wealth, despite its love (or out of His love) , to relatives, and to orphans, the helpless, the wayfarer, and to those who ask, and (spends) in (freeing) slaves and observes the prayers and pays the Zakah; and those who fulfil their promise when they promise, the patient in hardships and sufferings and when in battle! Those are the ones who are true and those are the God-fearing.” [Qur'an, 2:177]
1. “…righteousness is that one believes in Allah…”
Without the element of Birr (piety) AND imaan in Allah, no matter how good the deed is, it is a wasted deed. Deed has to be for Allah and not to show off to anyone else.
2. “…righteousness is that one believes in…the Last Day…”
The reward for believing in Allah comes here.
Examples of 1 & 2:
If we give something to our neighbors out of piety, if they don’t thank us or give us something in return, we shouldn’t be bothered. If we are then our act was not of piety.
If someone says something negative to you, and you remain silent- that is an act of piety. BUT if you stay quiet because your friends, family or teacher was around, then that is not piety. Your compliments from people is worthless if you didn’t remain silent for the sake of Allah.
Piety should only be for Allah. If the shaytan comes and tries to play with your intentions, then immediately seek refuge from him. Shaytan will be after the valuable things and the thing that is most valuable to him is your good deeds.
For example, when cooking, start with Bismillah and with the intention that the food will make the children/family healthy. If they love the food, know that Allah taught you how to do it well. If they dislike it, say something like: it’s okay, I must have made some mistake, lets just finish it. Your response should be with the intention: “O Allah forgive me for my faults.”
3. “…righteousness is that one believes in…the angels…”
One should have iman in their existence, the fact that they have duties and responsibilities. One should also be conscious that two angels are writing our good and bad deeds down.
4. “…righteousness is that one believes in…the Book…”
These are the teachings of the Quran which tells us what to do and how it is done. When one leaves the book, their inbuilt system that wants to do good starts inventing new matters into the religion away from the Sunnah.
5. “…righteousness is that one believes in…the Prophets…”
We come to know about what Birr is through the mention of the Prophets in the Qur’an as they have acted it out.
6. “…righteousness is that one…gives wealth, despite its love (or out of His love), to…”
Giving of wealth because Allah loves it and giving from the wealth that you love. Allah here openly declares that we love wealth, so upon the love of that wealth, give it. It is not even considered piety until you give of that which you love!
Example: When giving clothes to charity, we normally give the clothes and items that we don’t want or would never wear. Do we give the clothes that we love? You should give what you would love to receive. If it is sadaqah for the sake of Allah, it will come back to you when you need it.
If we cannot part with our material, how will we give anything for our ummah? This Ummah has to be an ummah of giving and receiving from Allah in the Aakhirah. How will Allah use us for His deen if we are just stuck with clothes?
Relatives: 4 generations up and down. Should be given to parents if required.
Orphans: a child without a father till puberty.
The helpless (Miskeen): A person whose income has stopped and cannot support the family and they do not beg. [Where to find such people? Be on the lookout…be constantly conscious…the believers are more concerned about their good deeds.]
The wayfarer (traveler): Can be of three types:
- a guest
- people on transit
- A person who wishes to travel but does not have the means to (e.g. ones parents are abroad and sick and the son does not have money to travel or someone wants to travel for umrah: provide them with financial assistance.
To those who ask: If someone asks, give them money. No one should leave from you empty handed. They maybe lying about their situation but that is between them and Allah. This can be given to Muslim and non Muslims.
(spends) in (freeing) slaves: In those days, slaves existed. Today it would mean bailing someone out of prison or paying the debt of a person. Should be a lump some amount.
7. “…righteousness is that one…observes the prayers…”
Notice that salaah (prayers) comes at number 7, this shows us clearly that imaan is extremely important first and foremost. What good will salaah bring if imaan is not there? Salaah is the whole state of mind and not a ritual to be performed. It is our meeting with the Creator. In the Quran Allah says: Iqamatus Salaah: Establish Prayer. How? By praying on time, on the pattern of Prophet (sallala hu alaihi wa sallam) and have khushoo (humbleness and sincerity) along with consistency..
8. “…righteousness is that one…pays the Zakah…”
If giving Zakah comes at number 8, what were we giving until now? That was charity and this clearly shows the importance and necessity of giving charity. Zakah is a specific amount of 2.5% and it is the haqq of a Muslim. This can be given ONLY to Muslims before the year ends. Many Muslims prefer to do this during Ramadan because of the immense rewards of deeds done in Ramadan.
9. “…righteousness is that one…who fulfills their promise when they promise…”
These are the promises, responsibilities and commands given to the believers and those they make. These could also include promise made with Allah (our covenant with Him) and also promises we make to people around us; parents, children, friends, contracts etc.
10. “righteousness is that one…patient in…”
Hardships: such as poverty, one should not complain.
Sufferings: such as any calamity that occurs (tangible or intangible). Allah says: “And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient.” [2:155]
When in battle: patience (control) is required in this situation, behaving as Allah wants us to, nothing that would displease Allah should come out of the mouth.
Those are the ones who are true and those are the God-fearing.
THIS is BIRR.
What was your definition of piety before reading this article?
These are the ones that are Saadiq (truthful); a testification of their imaan. So taqwa is linked with being Saadiq and being Saadiq is by demonstration of your Birr. This makes one a Muttaqee.
Also posted in: SaudiLife