The true righteousness
While I was walking down the street a couple of days ago, I witnessed 3 different fights between different people for the most insignificant reasons anyone can think of. I wondered how can Muslim brothers who are supposed to be fasting in Ramadan behave in such ways. I kept watching how people behave and I realized that somehow a huge gap was created between worshipping Allah through fasting, praying….etc and understanding how this should reflect upon our behavior.
What most of us don’t realize nowadays is that having good manners in not a secondary issue in Islam. It’s one of the most primary and essential issues. Our beloved prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “I have only been sent to perfect good manners.” (1). So the prophet (Peace be upon him) basically summarized his whole message in perfecting good manners. Therefore not acknowledging this fact is a major defect in our understanding of Islam and what it’s all about.
Thinking about the most basic act of worship that we do everyday like praying for example, you’ll realize that one of the main purposes of praying is prohibiting immorality and wrong doing as Allah says in Surat Al-`Ankabūt “ Recite, [O Muhammad], what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do.” (2)
Another example is fasting, the prophet (peace be upon him ) said, “Whoever does not abandon falsehood in word and action, then Allah (SWT) has no need that he should heave his food and drink” (3). Fasting is supposed to bring discipline and peace to our lives. It is not about abandoning food and drink; it’s about abandoning bad habits and wrong doings.
The same goes for all acts of worship like Hajj and Zakah. All acts of worship have a common purpose whih is to perfect one’s manners and help a person be better inside out. Allah says in Surat Al-Baqarah “Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah , the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakah; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous.” (4). Therefore true righteousness is reached through being patient, helping those in need, keeping your promises and having good manners.
It’s very important to recognize the purpose behind every act of worship that you do and to understand the tight link between worshipping Allah and having good manners and a pure heart. This is what Islam is about; perfecting one’s manners so that all of us can live peacefully together. So focus on how you behave, on how you treat other people. Focus on the way you react when faced with a difficult situation. Think about the way Allah would want you to act. Think about the way our beloved prophet (peace be upon him) would have acted. Try to set a good example for everyone around you on how a true Muslim behaves.
May Allah bless us to love our Prophet and follow his example in both outward and inward matters. May Allah gather us together with him along with the prophets, the righteous, and the foremost in faith. Indeed they are the best of company.
- Al –Bukhari
- Holy Quran, Surat Al-`Ankabūt (The spider), Verse 45
- Al- Bukhari
- Holy Quran, Surat Al-Baqarah (The cow) , Verse 177