THE CONCEPT OF PIETY BY MUHAMMAD SUBAIYYL
InnalhamdaLillaahinahmaduhuwanasta’eenahu wa nastaghfiruhu, wa na’oodhubillaahi min shuroorianfusinaa wa min sayi’aatia’maalinaa. Man yahdihIllaahufalaamudillalahuwa man yudlilfalaahaadiyalahu. Waashhadu an laailaaha ill-Allah wahdahu la sharikalahu wa ashhaduannaMuhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasooluhusallalahualayhi wa alaalihiwasallam.
إِنَّ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ نَحْمَدُهُ وَنَسْتَعِينُهُ وَنَسْتَغْفِرُهُ وَنَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ مِنْ شُرُورِ أَنْفُسِنَا وَمِنْ سَيِّئَاتِ أَعْمَالِنَا مَنْ يَهْدِهِ اللَّهُ فَلَا مُضِلَّ لَهُ وَمَنْ يُضْلِلْ فَلَا هَادِيَ لَهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ
(Praise be to Allah, we seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil of our own souls and from our bad deeds. Whomsoever Allah guides will never be led astray, and whomsoever Allah leaves astray, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, the One, having no partner. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger).
]يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُون[
O you who believe! Fear Allaah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islaam. Soorat-ul-Aal-i-'Imran ayah 102
]يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمِ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ مِنْ نَفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالًا كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاءً وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءَلُونَ بِهِ وَالْأَرْحَامَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا[
O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah , through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed Allah is ever, over you, an Observer. Sooratun- Nisaa' ayah 1
]يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَنْ يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا]
O you who have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice.He will [then] amend for you your deeds and forgive you your sins. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment.Soorat-ul-Ahzaabayaat 70-71 
Slaves of Allaah! Maintain piety and be watchful of Allaah in secret and in open, because Allaah has commanded you to be pious and watchful of Him in your deeds and sayings. In return, He promised to guide you to perform righteous deeds, forgive your sins in this life, and to win the greatest success and bliss in the Hereafter. Allaah says which means, “O you who have believed! Be pious and say the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allaah and His Messenger, he has indeed achieved a great achievement” (Al-Ahzaab: 70-71).
In these great aayaath, Allaah commands His salves to maintain piety in all their affairs, to be pious in their words and actions by adhering to His commandments, and performing them the way He has ordered them to be performed, and to refrain from all which He prohibited from words and deeds.
All good related to the believer’s religion and that of this life, happens as an outcome of fulfilling piety. In addition to this is the protection from evil in the affairs of this life and the Hereafter. Therefore, the one who maintains piety and truthfulness in what he says, Allaah will enable him to say that which is good and truthful, and will guide him to the straight path. He who is pious and uses his tongue to say that which is kind and good, like reciting the Qur’aan, remembering Allaah, uttering repentance and forgiveness and enjoining good, and also refrains from that which Allaah has prohibited by abstaining from talking about people and using foul language. The one who does this, Allaah will facilitate for him the path of ease, and will keep him away from the path of evil, and will grant him Paradise, and keep him safe in this life and the Hereafter. Allaah says which means, “… and he who (is pious and) fears Allaah, He will make his matter easy for him” (At-Talaaq: 4)
Slaves of Allaah! Piety is mandatory upon the slave in all his affairs, in secret and in open, in matters related to religion and matters related to his worldly affairs; in his dealing with his Lord, his family, relatives and neighbors; in his dealings of trade, his appointments, promises, his job and things which he is entrusted with. He fulfills the rights of Allaah and the rights of the slaves of Allaah. He is sincere with people, truthful with them and honest in his dealings; he should refrain from cheating, deception, trickery, evilness and lying; he should abstain from false oaths and false testimony. If this is not the way a believer behaves, then where is piety and where is true belief? Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihiwasallam said, “A believer(Muslim) is the one whom people trust with their wealth and souls; a Muslim is one who does not harm people by his tongue or his hands”. Classed as Sahih by Shaikh Alabani in Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2627 and Sunan an-Nasa'i 4995
How can one be pious while he neglects the commandments of Allaah, transgresses His prohibitions and sets his tongue free to attack Muslims? How can one be pious while he is known as a liar, commits all types of sins, eats up people’s wealth unjustly, deals with Ribaa, cheats and deceives people and give less in measure? How can one be pious while he breaches the trust, whether it is in the form of a job or wealth he is entrusted with or a position of authority he holds?
Many people today are dishonest. If a right is due to others, they do not fulfill it, delay it, try to avoid it, and, in some cases, he does not give people their rights unless he deducts a portion from it, forcefully taking some of that right or some money, before returning the right to the actual owner. If he is assigned a job to perform, he does not perform it in the proper manner.
Isn’t this deception? Isn’t this ill-gotten money? Isn’t this oppressing the slaves of Allaah? Isn’t this an action far from piety? Isn’t this oppression, which will cause him darkness on the Day of Resurrection?
Oppression results in ruining the lives of oppressors and changes their circumstances from prosperity to adversity and from ease to hardship, or it results in punishment which they never expected. Allaah says which means, “For the wrong-doing of the Jews, We made unlawful to them certain good foods which have been lawful to them, and for their hindering many from Allaah’s Way. And their taking of Ribaa though they were forbidden from taking it, and their consuming of men’s substance wrongfully. And We prepared for the disbelievers among them painful torment” (An-Nisaa’: 160)
Eating up people’s wealth unjustly and oppressing them is the nature of ill-hearted and evil people who have weak faith. How will the one, who unjustly takes over other people’s rights, answer when he would be asked on the Day of Resurrection to return people’s rights to them? Let such people keep this serious situation in mind when they stand before the Lord of all creations.
Let them remember the saying of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhiwasallam when said to his companions as narrated by Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, “Do you know who is poor? They (the Companions of the Holy Prophet) said: A poor man amongst us is one who has neither dirham with him nor wealth. He (the Holy Prophet) said: The poor of my Umma would be he who would come on the Day of Resurrecton with prayers and fasts and Zakat but (he would find himself bankrupt on that day as he would have exhausted his funds of virtues) since he hurled abuses upon others, brought calumny against others and unlawfully consumed the wealth of others and shed the blood of others and beat others, and his virtues would be credited to the account of one (who suffered at his hand). And if his good deeds fall short to clear the account, then his sins would be entered in (his account) and he would be thrown in the Hell-Fire.” Sahih Muslim 2581, TirmidhiVol. 4, Book 11, Hadith 2418and Classed as Sahih by Shaikh Albani Ibn Hibban 4411 and Sahih al Jamee 87
O Muslims! Be pious and fear Allaah and beware of His wrath and punishment, Allaah says which means, “Such is the Seizure of your Lord when He seizes the towns while they are doing wrong. Indeed, His Seizure is painful and severe. Indeed, in that is a sure lesson for those who fear the torment of the Hereafter. That is a day wherein mankind will be gathered together, and that is a day when all will be present” (Hood: 102-103)
Slaves of Allaah! Fear Allaah and be watchful of Him in secret and open, and beware of sins and disobedience. Refrain from oppressing the slaves of Allaah, do not be arrogant, and abstain from retribution, evil and corruption. Do not harm others. Treat others justly and kindly, as you would like them to treat you, because the outcome coincides with the type of deed, Allaah says which means, “Truly, Allaah is with those who are pious (and fear Him) and those who are good doers” (An-Nahl: 128).
Hasten to repentance and ask forgiveness from Allaah before (as Allaah says which means), Lest a soul should say, "Oh [how great is] my regret over what I neglected in regard to Allah and that I was among the mockers."(Az-Zumar: 56).
Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhiwasallam said, "Whoever has oppressed another person concerning his reputation or anything else, he should beg him to forgive him before the Day of Resurrection when there will be no money (to compensate for wrong deeds), but if he has good deeds, those good deeds will be taken from him according to his oppression which he has done, and if he has no good deeds, the sins of the oppressed person will be loaded on him.". Sahih al-Bukhari 2449(Vol.3:629)