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RIGHTEOUSNESS OR AL-BIRR


Righteousness according to various dictionaries it means morally good or following religious or moral laws in a justifiable manner. In Arabic it is called as Al-Birr.It is very common for to hear (and even use) such words of praise: That person is a very righteous person. Or…Such and such person is not a righteous person at all. Who are actual Righteous persons (i.e. Al-Birr)?  What is actual Righteousness?

 

Table of Contents

 

Quran

Quran gives the clear definition of righteousness in detail. Allah said: “It is not Al- Birr (righteousness) that you turn your faces towards east and / or west (in prayers); but Al-Birr (righteous) is one who;

1. Believes in

a) Allah

b) The Last Day

c) The Angels

d) The Book (Qur’an)

e) The Prophets.

 

2. Gives his / her wealth, inspite of love for it,

a) To the kinsfolk

b) To the orphans

c) To Al-Masakeen (the poor people)

d) To the wayfarer (musafir)

e) To those who ask

f) To set the slaves free.

 

3. Performs As-Salat

 

4. Gives Zakat

 

5. Fulfill their covenant when they make it (meaning: to keep promises)

 

6. Are patient in extreme poverty & ailment and at the times of fighting (battles).

 

Such are the people of truth and they are Al-Muttaqun(Pious)”.  Qur’an Surah Al-Baqarah, 2: 177

 

The first thing is to have Eeman(Belief) on Allah and 4 other things mentioned there; the second thing is to spend wealth. Spending wealth has been placed before performing Salat. In fact, performing Salat is preceded by spending wealth and succeeded by paying Zakat. It shows how much weightage Allah gives to spending in the cause of Allah. 

Allah mentions in the Quran : “By no means shall you attain Al-Birr (piety, righteousness, Allah’s reward), unless you spend of that which you love; and whatever of good you spend, Allah knows it well.”Quran Surah Aal-Imran, 3:92 [1]

 

Hadith

It was narrated that Anas said:"When this ayath was revealed -'By no means shall you attain Al Birr (piety, righteousness (Quran 3:92)--here it means Allah's reward, i.e. Paradise), unless you spend (in Allah's cause) of that which you love'- Abu Talha said: 'Our Lord will ask us about our wealth. I adjure you, O Messenger of Allah! I am giving my land to Allah.' The Messenger of Allah said: 'Make it for your relatives, Hassan bin Thabit and Ubayy bin Ka'b.'"   Sahih al-Bukhari Vol.4:2758 and Sunan an-Nasa'i Vol.4 :3602 [2]

 

Scholars view

Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him), 

Our advice to this young man who is heading in the right direction, in-sha-Allah, is: 

1.     He should always ask Allah to keep him steadfast and on the right path.

2.     He should read the Qur'an a great deal and ponder its meanings, because this Qur'an has a great impact on the heart, if one reads it carefully and ponders it.

3.     He should strive to do acts of worship regularly, without getting bored or feeling lazy, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) sought refuge with Allah from incapability and laziness.

4.     He should strive to keep company with good people and avoid keeping company with bad people.

5.     He should advise himself when his nafs is influencing him and should say to himself: The distance is far and the path is long, let him advise himself to be steadfast, because Paradise is surrounded with difficult things and Hell is surrounded with whims and desires.

6.     He should keep away from bad friends, even if they were his friends before, because bad friends will influence him. Hence the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The likeness of a bad companion is that of the one who works the bellows: either he will burn your clothes or you will notice a bad smell from him.” Liqa’aat al-Baab al-Maftooh, 1/153 [3]

 

References

[1]http://www.quranandhadith.com/definition-of-al-birr-or-righteousness/

[2]http://www.sunnah.com/bukhari/55/21

[3] http://islamqa.info/en/127067

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