Piety is the Highest Standard of Excellence
April 08,2017 - Published 44 days ago
The most pious among you is the noblest before the sight of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ.
Piety is the Highest Standard of Excellence
In our society, the highest quality of standard is that wealthy, capitalists, land-lords, officers, ministers; those possessing high worldly positions, expensive vehicles, costly mobile phones, computers, laptops; those wearing expensive clothes, those living in tall buildings, beautiful palaces and posh areas; those with fair complexion and excellent lineage are considered better and greater than others. People are seen admiring them all the time, whereas in the sight of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ only that Muslim is more honourable who excels others in piety and abstinence, as Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ says in Surah Al-Hujurat, Ayah 13:
یٰۤاَیُّہَا النَّاسُ اِنَّا خَلَقۡنٰکُمۡ مِّنۡ ذَکَرٍ وَّ اُنۡثٰی وَ جَعَلۡنٰکُمۡ شُعُوۡ بًا وَّ قَبَآئِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوۡا ؕ اِنَّ اَکۡرَ مَکُمۡ عِنۡدَ اللّٰہِ اَتۡقٰکُمۡ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ عَلِیۡمٌ خَبِیۡرٌ ﴿۱۳﴾
Translation from Kanz-ul-Iman: O mankind! We have indeed created you from one man and one woman, and have made you into various nations and tribes so that you may know one another; indeed the more honourable among you, in the sight of Allah, is one who is more pious among you; indeed Allah is All Knowing, All Aware. (Piety is the basis of honour in Allah’s sight.)
(Part 26, Surah Al-Hujurat, Ayah 13)
Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ has stated that the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has said: Indeed, Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ has rooted out from you, the arrogance of ignorance and pride in lineage. Now a Mu`min will either be a pious or transgressor.
(Jam’ Tirmizi, vol. 5, pp. 497, Hadees 3981)
Umm-ul-Mu`mineen, Sayyidatuna ‘Aaishah Siddiqah رَضِیَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهَا has stated: Nothing would surprise the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم nor would anything of this world except the pious person.
(Musnad Imam Ahmad, vol. 9, pp. 341, Hadees 24457)
Hujjat-ul-Islam, Sayyiduna Imam Muhammad Bin Muhammad Ghazali رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه said: Piety is a unique treasure. If you have succeeded to obtain this treasure, you will find extremely valuable pearls and diamonds and you will have the great treasure of knowledge and spiritual wealth. You will have blessed sustenance. You will achieve great success. You will have great blessings and will become the owner of Jannah. Understand it in this way that the goodness of the world and Hereafter has been made the part of piety. Ponder over the Glorious Quran that somewhere it is stated: ‘If you adopt piety, you will become the owner of every kind of goodness and blessing.’ Somewhere you will see the promises of good return and reward upon adopting piety and somewhere it is stated: ‘Adopting piety and asceticism is the source of privilege.’
When the flame of piety and abstinence kindles in the heart of anybody though his skin is dark, becomes extremely fortunate as words coming from his mouth become so effective and persuasive that they turn into reality as soon as these are spoken even if this paradigm of piety prays to Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ to turn the ordinary thing like wood into gold, Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ does not reject it and turns it into gold so that people come to know that he is not any ordinary person rather he is a spiritual personality possessing high rank.
It is stated on page 324, volume 5 of the book Ihya-ul-‘Uloom: A pious mystic رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه had a young disciple. The mystic used to show great honour, affection and preference towards him. Once a disciple asked the mystic: ‘Why do you show such a great respect towards this young-man whereas we are the aged?’ The mystic asked for some birds then handed over each bird and knife to every disciple and said: ‘Slaughter it in a place where no one can see you.’ In the similar way, he gave a bird to the young disciple and asked him to do the same. All the disciples slaughtered and brought back the birds except that young disciple, he brought his bird back alive. ‘Why did you not slaughter it like others?’ Asked the mystic. I found no such place where no one can see because Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ is seeing me everywhere. Having seen it, all the disciples liked his way of paying full attention towards Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ and commented: Indeed you deserve respect and reverence.
(Ihya-ul-‘Uloom, vol. 5, pp. 324)
The word ‘Taqwa’ implies protecting one’s Nafs from anything one feels fear from. In the terminology of Shari’ah, ‘Taqwa’ implies protecting one’s Nafs from committing or from missing every such act that makes a person deserving of punishment. For example, protecting oneself from Kufr [i.e. disbelief], Shirk [i.e. polytheism], major sins and indecent acts. Moreover, refraining from Haraam things and performing Fard acts is also Taqwa. It is also narrated that Taqwa means that you should not be found at the place where your Lord has prevented you from being found.
Sayyiduna Sufyan Sawri رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ has stated: The pious are called ‘Muttaqi’ for the reason that they refrain from even those things which are usually difficult for a person to refrain from.
A poet has said: The one who fears Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ gets the beneficial thing. It is only piety and good deed that remain with a person in his grave.
(Minhaj-ul-‘Aabideen, pp. 150)
As per the blessed saying of A’la Hadrat, Imam of Ahl-us-Sunnah, Maulana Shah Imam Ahmad Raza Khan رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه there are seven kinds of piety: (1) Refraining from disbelief (2) Refraining from heresy [i.e. deviation from correct Islamic beliefs ] (3) Refraining from major sins (4) Refraining from minor sins (5) Refraining from doubtful things (6) Refraining from desires of Nafs (7) And avoiding those acts which divert attention from Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ. The Holy Quran provides guidance about all of these levels of piety.
(Khaza`in-ul-‘Irfan, Al Baqarah, pp. 4)
Some people sing praises of high-ranking professionals and prominent businessmen and show warm hospitality towards them. But regretfully they, look down upon those Muslims who have inferior but permissible jobs or businesses. These types of people even make a fun of the poor and hurt their feelings.
Similarly, some people, despite committing unlawful and impermissible acts, consider themselves superior to all others. They consider the Muslims of other tribes and professions inferior. They criticize their tribes or occupation, use insulting nicknames for them and dislike any type of relationship with them. They neither invite them nor accept their invitation. Undoubtedly, those who have this type of mentality are extremely mistaken. They have themselves set this criterion for superiority which is not proven by the Glorious Quran and the blessed Ahadees of the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم.
Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah Bin Mas’ood رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ has said, ‘I feel fear from ridiculing someone and considering him inferior in case Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ transform me into a dog.’
(Tafseer As-Saawi, vol. 5, pp. 1994; part 26, Surah Al-Hujurat, Ayah 11)
Assuming oneself better than others and considering the pious Muslims inferior and of lower rank without a Shar’i reason or looking down upon others is extremely harmful. Therefore, if anyone is indulged in this deadly epidemic should show sensibility and make himself to be the paradigm of humbleness. Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ and His Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم know better who is superior or inferior. If possible, he should find those Muslims whose feelings have been hurt by him until today regarding them to be inferior and seek forgiveness; he should seek forgiveness in the court of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ also and keep praying to Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ to get rid of this evil epidemic. Beware! If he apparently finds any pious Muslim doing anything against the usual practice, he should not harbour suspicion against him, as let alone any benefit out of such thing, mostly it makes him feel ashamed.
واسطہ میرے پیر و مرشد کا مجھ کو تو متقی بنا یا رب
Considering oneself better than other Muslims and considering them inferior is a dangerous spiritual disease which causes many other evils such as arrogance, backbiting, tale-telling, jealousy etc. Therefore, whoever has got this destructive spiritual disease should get rid of it as soon as possible.
If Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ and His Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم become displeased because of regarding other Muslims inferior, calling them with bad nicknames and making fun of them, then how can we bear the painful torments of the grave and Hereafter. One should feel fear from it.
In the court of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ and His Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم criterion for respect is piety. Those adopting piety will be granted great reward and favours on the Day of Judgement. People remain safe from the Divine torment by the blessing of pious people. Those adopting piety are usually simple by nature and do not like fame. Those adopting piety have such an exalted greatness that Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ praises them. Those adopting piety remain protected from enemies. Those adopting piety are granted Divine help. Those adopting piety get Halal sustenance. Those adopting piety rectify their deeds. Sins of pious people are forgiven. Those adopting piety will remain protected from hellfire. Those adopting piety become the friend of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ.
اٰمِيۡن بِجَاهِ النَّبِيِّ الۡاَمِيۡن صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيۡهِ وَاٰلِه وَسَلَّم
صَلُّوۡا عَلَى الۡحَبِيۡب صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلٰى مُحَمَّد