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Piety Is the Essence of Islam

 

Piety Is the Essence of Islam

Was published in Arabic in August , 18, 2008

Translated by Ahmed Fathy

 

Piety is the point that distinguish between Islam and the Muhammadans

 

1- Piety is the essence of Islam; it is the base on which the real legislation (sharia) of Islam (in the Quran only) applied by Prophet Muhammad. History of early Muhammadans, with its military conquests, invasions, empires, legislations, laws, and inherited notions and traditions, mostly contradicts the essence of Islam as well as its real Quranic sharia.

2- In the Sunnite creed, the Muhammadans assume that Islam is based on the so-called five pillars or acts of worship. A false notion based on a false hadith (saying) ascribed by sheer deceit to Muhammad after his death. Such hadith has been learned by heart by millions of school pupils in their infancy, under the pretext that the so-called five pillars are the undeniable essence of their Sunnite faith. Hence, sham piety of the Sunnite Muhammadans is based on falsehoods of overt signs and symbols of their invention: beards, veils, headscarves, siwak, djellabas, white gowns, niqab, rosaries, etc. In contrast, within real Islam (i.e., the Quran alone), we can say that the so-called five pillars are, as a notion and a phrasing, wrong. The only pillar of Islam is its only essence: piety. Hence, the term/notion "five pillars" contradicts real Islam.

- The testimony of Islam is one phrase, not two; (There is no God but Allah). Within this testimony, a believer is sharing the belief of all prophets from Adam till Muhammad, without differentiating among them or preferring one above the rest of them. The dual testimony invented by the early Muhammadans in the 1st century A.H. has added a phrase; "Muhammad is His Prophet". This preferring or differentiation is blasphemous; it contradicts the following Quranic verses: 2:136, 2:285, 3:84, 4:150-152, and 46:9. Yet, the basic tenet of the Sunnite Muhammadans is that they are Muhammad's nation, or Umma, and they claim that Muhammad is the "Master" of all previous prophets and the alpha human being. This is blasphemous as such claim deifies Muhammad. This deification and worship of a mortal prophet is asserted until now by visiting, during pilgrimage, the mausoleum attributed falsely to Muhammad in the city of Yathreb, as well as by mentioning and glorifying his name as an act of worship, offering and dedicating prayers to him after the five daily prayers, mentioning his name during the testimony within prayers, mentioning his name in the call to prayers, reading Chapter one of the Quran while dedicating it to him, and finally the Sunnite staunch unshakeable notion of Muhammad's intercession on behalf of those condemned to Hell in the Afterlife, as if Muhammad were the owner of Doomsday. All such notions and practices are deemed sheer unbelief in Islam.

- The hadith of so-called five pillars intentionally ignored other acts of worship equally important: remembering and glorifying the name of God in the times mentioned in the Quran: see 20:130, 30:17-18, 50:39-40, and 52:48-49, and in certain manner: see 3:191-194 and 7:55 & 7:205. Another act of worship often ignored is reading the Quran a lot; see 17:78, 27:91-92, and 35:29. The false hadith of the five pillars focuses on performing acts of worship mechanically and never mentions piety at all; as if these acts are the target or aim in themselves to ascertain one's place in Paradise even when one commits grave sins. Hence, the Sunnite way of performing acts of worship leads not to piety and fear of God, but to more sins and disobedience. Their notions ignore the Quranic commands concerning zakat (alms) and prayers: these acts of worship ought to lead to upholding moralistic stance and sublime values in dealing with people justly and fairly. Within Sunnite notions, a religious person is the worst one on the moralistic level, within a frame of bigotry, extremism, and fanaticism. The reason: the Sunnite prevalent notion that as long as one performs all acts of worship regularly, one has earns the right to control and have authority over others.

3- The divine religion is the Truth that contains three salient aspects that embody piety:

- The aspect of faith tenets within one's heart and mind: the faith/belief in God with no other partners/deities.

- The aspect of rituals: the worship of God alone.

- The aspect of morals and high values: adhering to justice, mercy, peace, generosity, tolerance, chastity, charity…etc. as well as avoiding the opposite of piety: injustice, immorality, unfair dealings, corruption, extravagance…etc.

In a nutshell: real belief in God plus good deeds that include the worship of God alone and dealing fairly with people. Real believers should not include any other mortal deities/gods in their acts of worship and should never commit unjust acts toward others. This is real piety overlooked by the Muhammadans past and present. The above-mentioned overview concerning piety as a concept points at the contrast between Islam and the Muhammadans of today. Upcoming here is more about piety in detail.

 

The meaning of piety in general:

1- God admonishes the Israelites, in the Quran, to fear Him and to observe piety always due to His Holy Name. This tells is that the real meaning of piety is to be God-fearing believers; we are to fear God's Hell so as to shun and eschew sins and disobedience and in order to repent after sinning. The Quran warns us against sinning.

2- Piety means as well to hope for God's Paradise within our deep faith, reverence, and obedience of God. "Say, "O My devotees who have believed, keep your duty to your Lord. For those who do good in this world, is goodness. And God's earth is vast. The steadfast will be paid their wages in full, without reckoning."" (39:10). Piety here carries within it the divine promise to live a good life in this world and the next: "Whoever works righteousness, whether male or female, while being a believer, We will grant him a good life-and We will reward them according to the best of what they used to do." (16:97).

3- Anyhow, piety means to know quite well that God watches over your deeds as an omniscient Witness; hence, we are to avoid sins as much as we can and to do more good deeds as many as we can: "O people! Fear your Lord, who created you from a single soul, and created from it its mate, and propagated from them many men and women. And revere God whom you ask about, and the parents. Surely, God is Watchful over you." (4:1).

Piety in the sense of protection:

1- On the linguistic level, the root of the word piety, (taqwa) in Arabic, means protection.

2- Such protection might be tangible; one wears suitable clothes to avoid cold or hot weather, or one might wear shields to protect one's body within battles with enemies: "And God has made for you shade out of what He has created, and has given you resorts in the mountains, and has given you garments to protect you from the heat, and garments to protect you from your violence. Thus He completes His blessings upon you, so that you may submit." (16:81).

3- Such protection might be on the moral incorporeal level; "…Whoever is protected from their natural greed, they are those who are the successful." (59:9) "…They who are protected from their stinginess are the prosperous." (64:16).

4- Such protection might be against physical torment in this life: let us remember this detail about the believer who was among the retinue of Moses' Pharaoh: "So God protected him from the evils of their scheming, while a terrible torment besieged Pharaoh's clan." (40:45).

5- Such protection might be against one' sins that might lead to torment; angels of God invoke and implore Him for the sake of believers: "Those who carry the Throne, and those around it, glorify their Lord with praise, and believe in Him, and ask for forgiveness for those who believe: "Our Lord, You have encompassed everything in mercy and knowledge; so forgive those who repent and follow Your path, and protect them from the agony of the Blaze. And admit them, Our Lord, into the Gardens of Eternity, which You have promised them, and the righteous among their parents, and their spouses, and their offspring. You are indeed the Almighty, the Most Wise. And shield them from the evil deeds. Whomever You shield from the evil deeds, on that Day, You have had mercy on him. That is the supreme achievement.""(40:7-9).

6- The more general sense is seeking refuge away from Hell in the Day of Resurrection, and this sense or meaning is repeated in the Quran many times; see 44:56, 52:27, 2:201, and 3:16.

 Accordingly, to protect oneself from sins and torment is the main notion within the concept of piety.

Piety in the sense of fearing God:

 Fear of God does not imply merely to be afraid of His fury or wrath; it means fear mingled with reverence. That is why piety in the Quranic context is mentioned with fear of God: "Whoever obeys God and His Messenger, and fears God, and is conscious piously of Him-these are the winners." (24:52). Reverence and fear of God mean that a believer ought not to fear anyone but God; let us remember the Quranic rebuke directed to Muhammad: "…And you feared the people, but it was God you were supposed to fear …" (33:37) and the rebuke leveled at the Jewish people: "…So do not fear people, but fear Me…" (5:44). Let us remember the Quranic advice to all believers: "…Do you fear them? It is God you should fear, if you are believers. " (9:13) and the warning to Meccan polytheists: "The only people to attend God's places of worship are those who believe in God and the Last Day, and pray regularly, and practice regular charity, and fear none but God …" (9:18).

Accordingly, piety and fear of God are signs of a believer's heart and a mind submitting to God without seeing Him.

Piety in the sense of fear:

We mean by fear here to be God-fearing believers and to fear torment in this life and in Doomsday: "And beware of discord which does not afflict the wrongdoers among you exclusively; and know that God is severe in retribution." (8:25). "…beware the Fire whose fuel is people and stones, prepared for the disbelievers." (2:24). Piety is ordered within the Quranic refutation of the notion of human intercession on behalf of sinners in Doomsday. Regrettably, this notion is adhered by millions of people today. God admonishes us to observe piety and not to wait for any intercessions of any type: see 2:24, 2:48, and 2:123. No human soul can do anything for another human soul in the Day of Resurrection: "O people! Be conscious piously of your Lord, and dread a Day when no parent can avail his child, nor can a child avail his parent, in anything. The promise of God is true. Therefore, do not let this life deceive you, nor let illusions deceive you regarding God." (31:33).

Piety in the sense of repentance:

This means to seek repentance in all times as it is the main trait of true pious believers. When they sin, they insist on never committing it again and repent soon enough. "And those who, when they commit an indecency or wrong themselves, remember God and ask forgiveness for their sins-and who forgives sins except God? And they do not persist in their wrongdoing while they know." (3:135). Other more pious ones remember God BEFORE committing a sin and being tempted by devils; they refuse to fall into that trap: "Those who are righteous-when an impulse from Satan strikes them, they remind themselves, and immediately see clearly." (7:201).  

 

Piety is the essence of the divine religion for all humanity:

1- Islam is God's religion to all human beings via all prophets from Adam to Muhammad, each in his tongue; see 14:4, and in Arabic via Muhammad who carried the last divine message to humanity; see 19:97 and 25:1.

2- Piety is the core of all divine messages and of the divine order to do good deeds: "O messengers, eat of the good things, and act with integrity. I am aware of what you do. This nation of yours is one nation, and I am your Lord, so fear Me." (23:51-52). That is why every single prophet used to advise others around him to adhere to piety; see Chapter XXVI. Each prophet used to say to those around him the following: "…"Do you not fear? I am to you a faithful messenger. So fear God, and obey me." (26:106-108). This is repeated in other Quranic chapters: "…"O my people, worship God, you have no deity other than Him. Will you not take heed?"" (23:23). "…"Serve God. You have no god other than Him. Will you not be cautious?"" (23:32). "…"O my people! Worship God; you have no god other than Him. Will you not take heed?"" (7:65). "He said to his people, "Do you not fear?" (37:124). "…"Hold fast to what We have given you, and remember what it contains, so that you may be saved."" (7:171).

3- The Quranic discourse concerning piety is not confined to ancient people; it goes on until the End of Days.

- Muhammad is ordered in the Quran to observe piety, just like the rest of all human beings: "O Prophet! Fear God…" (33:1).

- The same order is directed to all believers at large "O you who believe! Be conscious piously of God, and be with the sincere." (9:119). The sincere here means all prophets of God. "O you who believe! Do not place your opinions above that of God and His Messenger, and fear God. God is Hearing and Knowing." (49:1). This means that true believers do NOT prefer to stick to their own opinions other than to observe God's judgment in the Quran.

- In the last divine message, the Quran, God asserts the order for Muslims, Jews, and Christians to observe piety always: "…We have instructed those who were given the Book before you, and you, to fear God…" (4:131). This Quranic command has been given to the Israelites: "And believe in what I revealed, confirming what is with you; and do not be the first to deny it; and do not exchange My revelations for a small price; and be conscious piously of Me." (2:41).

- Arab polytheists at the time of Muhammad used to acknowledge Almighty God, but they used to associate with Him other deities/gods, and the Quranic discourse has admonished to fear God in piety: "…"Will you not become righteous?"" (23:87).

- The divine command to observe piety is directed to all human beings: God reminds us of our origin and of Himself: "O people! Fear your Lord, who created you from a single soul, and created from it its mate, and propagated from them many men and women. And revere God whom you ask about, and the parents. Surely, God is Watchful over you." (4:1). God reminds us with our future: The Day of resurrection: "O people, be conscious piously of your Lord. The quaking of the Hour is a tremendous thing." (22:1). Hence, the religion of God is for all humanity, and so is the divine command to observe piety.

 

The nearest of us to God is the most pious:

 In contrast to the earthly, man-made creeds of the Muhammadans that subdivide the world into two warring realms (the Muhammadans versus the rest of humanity), the divine religion of God, Islam as per the Quran alone, calls us to know one another in peaceful acquaintance based on equality. All of us are siblings who have descended from Adam and Eve. The nearest of us to God is the most pious, not the richest, the prettiest, or the strongest; piety is the criterion to distinguish the true believer in the Day of Resurrection. That is why God addresses here all humankind: "O people! We created you from a male and a female, and made you races and tribes, that you may know one another. The best among you in the sight of God is the most righteous. God is All-Knowing, Well-Experienced." (49:13). Hence, we are to get to know one another, not fight one another. All of us are equal before the sight of Our Lord, but the best of us in the Afterlife are the piously righteous. Anyone of us can be so in this life to attain such a high stature in the Afterlife, despite any other stature that one occupies in this temporal life. Paradise is for the pious only. Hence, no one has the right to describe oneself as pious; this is decided by God alone in the Day of Resurrection. No one has the right also to engage in trade using religious notions to acquire possessions or money or to achieve political ambition through this manipulation. Hence, making use of creeds in politics and the financial realm is deemed a grave sin. That is why in 49:13, we find in its second half the assertion of the omniscience of God: "…The best among you in the sight of God is the most righteous. God is All-Knowing, Well-Experienced." Piety is a direct link and dealing between believers and God; pretending to be pious before the sight of others in order to deceive others is deemed a grave sin. No one ought to recommend, laud, or take pride in oneself due to one's piety: "…So do not acclaim your own virtue; He is fully aware of the righteous." (53:32). Accordingly, no clergymen of any kind are allowed to exist within Islam to confiscate speaking on behalf of God, who is Omniscient. This is confiscation of God's authority, a grave sin as well.

 

The dominance of the concept of piety in faith, ethics, morals, demeanor, acts of worship and sharia:

This is exemplified in the following verse: "Righteousness does not consist of turning your faces towards the East and the West. But righteous is he who believes in God, and the Last Day, and the angels, and the Scripture, and the prophets. Who gives money, though dear, to near relatives, and orphans, and the needy, and the homeless, and the beggars, and for the freeing of slaves; those who perform the prayers, and pay the obligatory charity, and fulfill their promise when they promise, and patiently persevere in the face of persecution, hardship, and in the time of conflict. These are the sincere; these are the pious." (2:177). Here, we note the following.

1- the onset of this verse refutes the overt signs of religiosity, negates the concept of ecclesiastical clergymen or priesthood, and gaining money using creeds or tenets of one's creed. Real righteousness is NOT merely overt mechanical performance of acts of worship; rather, it is real faith in God and good deeds devoutly done as well as a high moralistic level.

2- The main trait of real, truthful pious believers is the belief in God with no other partners/deities, in the Last Day as per the Quran, and lastly in angels, all the divine scriptures, and all prophets with no preferring or differentiation among them.

3- Directly after faith tenets comes alms and charity to those who deserve financial aid from one's best assets or things, not from one's surplus or the worst things. The above-mentioned verse describes the categories that deserve such financial help, and real pious believers ought to spend money on these categories despite these believers' love of wealth or their dire need of it. this is practical piety for the sake and love of God. Who dares to say that slavery has ended in this modern world? This is an illusion; slavery still persists in the Gulf monarchies under the guise of bearded guarantor who takes advantage of foreign working class and abuses them in the worst manner. Another example of on-going slavery is selling and buying children in the third world and the first world. Another example is human trafficking all over the world. A famous example is enslavement of the nations of the Muhammadans by tyrant rulers by means of terror and torture. This is the worst form of enslavement. This topic will be further explained in a coming article. What we focus on here is that Islam urges in the Quran the liberation of any types of slaves of both genders, and this is part of pious actions.

4- Next in this verse come performing prayers and zakat alms piously in a way leading to moral sublimity and higher ethical stance in dealing with others fairly and justly. All acts of worship ought to achieve piety and high moral character and charity. Acts of worship ought to prevent oneself from committing sins, injustice, and immorality.

5- In the same verse, we have the comprehensive sign that includes all higher values in dealing with others and with God; the pious ones should retain their promises with others and their covenant with God, while adhering to patience especially in cases of harm, ordeals, and personal conflicts to defend pious patience. Hence, this verse combines courage, tolerance, dignity, gallantry, and truthfulness in words and in actions as well as in faith matters and piety.

  After this overview of the dominance of the concept of piety, we explain this in further detail.

 Piety is the basis of the Islamic faith:

1- Piety is to be God-fearing; i.e., to fear God alone, because the problem of polytheistic Muhammadans is that they fear God alongside with other mortal, dead and alive, gods/deities.

2- Arabs in Arabia before the advent of the Quranic revelation used to perform prayers and pilgrimage. The tribe of Qorayish used to keep and serve the Kaabah area in Mecca. Yet, they used to add rituals of polytheism such as worshipping at temples of idols and holy' tombs. They sued to commit massacres and raids and all grave sins, claiming that acts of worship wipe out sins and make God forgives them! Ironically, such falsehoods, bad concepts, and corrupt notions still persist until now; a false hadith (saying) ascribed to Muhammad after his death is fabricated to the purport that those who perform pilgrimage all their sins are omitted! God admonishes such polytheists, past and present, in the following verse: "It is not for the polytheists to attend God's places of worship while professing their disbelief. These-their works are in vain, and in the Fire they will abide. The only people to attend God's places of worship are those who believe in God and the Last Day, and pray regularly, and practice regular charity, and fear none but God. These are most likely to be guided." (9:17-18). Hence, real belief has nothing to do with overt signs of religiosity and mechanical piety-lacking prayers in mosques and performing pilgrimage while persisting in polytheistic unbelief and unjust aggressive behavior toward others. Real belief is all about piety. Real believers in God and in the Last Day acquire high ethical nature and moralistic character from acts of worship, while fearing God alone, not people; see 5:3, 2:41, 16:52, and 2:150 to observe the divine command with this admonishment of fearing God and not people.  

3- Intercession is God's alone in Doomsday; it is through God's angels for the sake of the pious ones when all works of humanity is presented. That is why we ought to avoid bad deeds and observe good ones: "And warn with it those who fear to be gathered before their Lord-they have no protector or intercessor apart from him-perhaps they will grow in piety." (6:51).

4- Reckoning of true pious believers is easy on the Last Day; see 84:7-8, because they have been self-conscious in this life in a way that made them aware of their sins and aim to control their tendency to sin. Piety ought to be adhered to all our lifetime to save oneself in the Last Day: "The righteous are in no way accountable for them; it is only a reminder, that they may be careful." (6:69).

5- Warning for true pious believers is solely confined to the Quran, which is preserved by God until the end of days; "This is the Book in which there is no doubt, a guide for the righteous." (2:2) and "Surely, it is a message for the righteous." (69:48).

6- The Quran is explained from within its verses; it needs no interpretations by humans. Any interpretations distort the meanings of the Quranic facts. This has been done for centuries; countess volumes and tomes of traditions and inherited notions managed to deviate people away from the essence of Islam: piety. "…God thus clarifies His revelations to the people, that they may attain piety." (2:187).

7- The Quranic commandment no. ten imposes the fact that believers ought not to follow anything in religion but the Quran itself to achieve piety: "This is My path, straight, so follow it. And do not follow the other paths, lest they divert you from His path. All this He has enjoined upon you, that you may refrain from wrongdoing." (6:153).

8- Of course, the exact opposite occurred; men fashioned the Sunnite, Shiite, and Sufi creeds and attributed by force their notions to Islam by the claim that such three creeds, and subsequent 'sub-creeds', are part of the divine revelation! What utter falsehood! Hence, the Muhammadans have ignored the Quran and its warning aiming at nurturing piety and fear of God: "Thus We have revealed it an Arabic Quran, and We have diversified the warnings in it, that perhaps they would become righteous, or it may produce a lesson for them." (20:113). They have ignored as well all of the contents of the Quranic discourse: "We have cited in this Quran for mankind every ideal, that they may take heed. An Arabic Quran, without any defect, so they may become righteous." (39:27-28). 

9- True piety is linked directly to true faith in God; this is the trait of all pious believers. "Unquestionably, God's friends have nothing to fear, nor shall they grieve. Those who believe and are piously aware." (10:62-63). "But the reward of the Hereafter is better for those who believe and observed piety." (12:57). "…God is the Protector of the pious and righteous." (45:19). "…Its rightful custodians are the pious…" (8:34). God will include in His mercy in this life those who are pious, as we know from Quranic stories of the ancient people; see 27:53 and 41:18.

 

Piety in ethics and higher values:

Piety includes dealing with people in a fair, just manner in fear of God. One is to avoid all sorts of injustice; injustice is the exact opposite to piety. This includes many sorts of demeanors as follows.

1- Never siding with aggressors, who are deemed unbelievers in behavior due to their aggression. We are NOT to help aggressors in their injustice; yet, one might remain silent out of fear of being persecuted: "Believers are not to take disbelievers for friends instead of believers. Whoever does that has nothing to do with God, unless it is to protect your own selves against them. God warns you to beware of Him. To God is the destiny." (3:28).

2- The virtue of keeping one's word with others or with countries, friends and foes: "Indeed, whoever fulfills his commitments and maintains piety, God loves the pious." (3:76). "Except for those among the polytheists with whom you had made a treaty, and did not violate any of its terms, nor aided anyone against you. So fulfill the treaty with them to the end of its term. God loves the righteous." (9:4).  

3- In truthfulness and keeping to the side of the right things: "O you who believe! Be conscious of God, and speak in a straightforward manner." (33:70). One must be true in all words uttered and keep people's trust in one as a safe honest person. Hence, one is not to swear using God's name in oaths frequently; this is a sign of deceitfulness of liars.  God tells us not to swear a lot using his holy name, as this is against piety: "And do not allow your oaths in God's name to hinder you from virtue, and righteousness, and making peace between people. God is Listener and Knower." (2:224).

4- Observing modesty and chastity while talking to persons of the other gender: "…if you observe piety. So do not speak too softly, lest the sick at heart lusts after you, but speak in an appropriate manner." (33:32). Immorality often begins with sweet words; honest, serious, and chaste discourse ought to be dominant when people of both genders converse with one another.

5- It is forbidden to talk in a secretive manner in planning for evil things: "O you who believe! When you converse secretly, do not converse in sin, and aggression, and disobedience of the Messenger; but converse in virtue and piety; And fear God, to Whom you will be gathered." (58:32).

6- Cooperation in pious actions: "…cooperate with one another in virtuous conduct and conscience, and do not cooperate with one another in sin and hostility. And fear God. God is severe in punishment." (5:2).

7- Dealing justly and fairly with foes and enemies is the best way to show piety; this is why piety is repeated in this verse: "O you who believe! Be upright to God, witnessing with justice; and let not the hatred of a certain people prevent you from acting justly. Adhere to justice, for that is nearer to piety; and fear God. God is informed of what you do." (5:8).

8- In reconciliation: "The believers are brothers, so reconcile between your brothers, and remain conscious of God, so that you may receive mercy." (49:10).

9- In divine admonishment of patience and gaining the reward in this life and the next for the pious ones: "Say, "O My devotees who have believed, keep your duty to your Lord. For those who do good in this world, is goodness. And God's earth is vast. The steadfast will be paid their wages in full, without reckoning."" (39:10).

 

Piety is the main aim of all acts of worship:

It is the greatest notion in the Quran to make all acts of worship aiming at piety, as means to attain it. acts of worship are meaningless unless they lead to more charity and good deeds in society. Those who perform acts of worship and go on having ill-gotten money keeping on aggression and other sins are never rewarded in this world and the next. "O people! Worship your Lord who created you and those before you, that you may attain piety." (2:21).

- Prayers and reading the Quran and glorifying God are acts of worship that aim at voiding evildoing and sins: "Recite what is revealed to you of the Scripture, and perform the prayer. The prayer prevents indecencies and evils. And the remembrance of God is greater. And God knows what you do." (29:45).

- Fasting aims at attaining piety as well: "O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become righteous." (2:183).

- The same applies to performing pilgrimage: "The Hajj is during specific months. Whoever decides to perform the Hajj-there shall be no sexual relations, nor misconduct, nor quarrelling during the Hajj. And whatever good you do, God knows it. And take provisions, but the best provision is righteousness. And be mindful of Me, O people of understanding." (2:197). Piety is of paramount importance in pilgrimage, not overt hypocritical signs of religiosity: "They ask you about the crescents. Say, "They are timetables for people, and for the Hajj." It is not virtuous that you approach homes from their backs, but virtue is to be pious. So approach homes from their doors, and observe God, that you may succeed." (2:189). "…Whoever venerates the sacraments of God-it is from the piety of the hearts." (22:32). Lack of piety in pilgrimage rituals induces God's punishment; see 2:196. Disobedience in pilgrimage or just thinking of it is punishable by God Himself: "As for those who disbelieve and repel from God's path and from the Sacred Mosque-which We have designated for all mankind equally, whether residing therein or passing through-and seek to commit sacrilege therein-We will make him taste of a painful punishment." (22:25).

 

Piety and applying of Islamic sharia in the Quran:

In matters of retributions:

 This means to hang murderers: "There is life for you in retaliation, O people of understanding, so that you may be pious." (2:179). And defending oneself and one's country against invaders/aggressors: "…Whoever commits aggression against you, retaliate against him in the same measure as he has committed against you. And be conscious of God, and know that God is with the righteous." (2:194).

 

In financial matters and dealings:

  Written wills before ones' death by the pious ones: "It is decreed for you: when death approaches one of you, and he leaves wealth, to make a testament in favor of the parents and the relatives, fairly and correctly-a duty upon the righteous." (2:180).

 Avoiding usury in financial loans: "O you who believe! Fear God, and forgo what remains of usury, if you are believers. If you do not, then take notice of a war by God and His Messenger. But if you repent, you may keep your capital, neither wronging, nor being wronged." (2:278-279).

- Piety must be observed with others in writing bonds of loans, as God is omniscient: see 2:278-284.

Piety in legislations:

- In having sex with one's spouse: "Your women are cultivation for you; so approach your cultivation whenever you like, and send ahead for yourselves. And fear God, and know that you will meet Him. And give good news to the believers." (2:223).

- In observing piety when meeting in private with one's fiancée: "You commit no error by announcing your engagement to women, or by keeping it to yourselves. God knows that you will be thinking about them. But do not meet them secretly, unless you have something proper to say…" (2:235). A widow has to wait for a certain period to make sure she is not pregnant before she can remarry; God is Witness of all of us, Whom we must fear in all times and in private and in public: "…And do not confirm the marriage tie until the writing is fulfilled. And know that God knows what is in your souls, so beware of Him. And know that God is Forgiving and Forbearing." (2:235).

- Concerning piety in matters of giving the divorced wife her financial dues within a just society and by fair watchers and giving her more dues when she is breastfeeding a child: see 2:241, 2:237, and 2:233. The worst type of injustice is to harm intentionally one's divorcee: see 2:231 and 65:1-5.

 

God likes the pious ones:

Those who achieve piety in demeanor and faith attain God's love and mercy: see 3:76, 9:4, 9:7, 9:36, and 9:123. But when the pious righteous ones are decided to be deemed as such? God says in the Quran: "But he who promotes the truth, and testifies to it-these are the righteous." (39:33). This refers to prophets of God, the chosen ones by God. Along with them in piety are those who believed in the divine Truth in the divine books of God. Paradise is reserved for the pious ones alone in the Afterlife. "Whoever obeys God and the Messenger-these are with those whom God has blessed-among the prophets, and the sincere, and the martyrs, and the upright. Excellent are those as companions." (4:69).

 In life, things are different in perspective: as long as one is alive, the book of deeds is still open for him/her, and it is closed forever ones he/she dies. All of us have the chance to be either evil or good people; see 56:88-96. God is the Only One to decide who are thee pious ones and who are otherwise in the Day of Judgment. Such knowledge will be known to all of us in the Day of Judgment as well.

 

Paradise of Eternity is for the pious only:

 Dwellers of Paradise are described in the Quran as those who observed piety and good deeds. We conclude then that true faith is not enough; it has to be linked to good deeds and avoiding evildoing while adhering to piety. Accordingly, Paradise is for the pious devout ones only. "Such is Paradise which We will give as inheritance to those of Our servants who are pious." (19:63). "Beautified is the life of this world for those who disbelieve, and they ridicule those who believe. But the righteous will be above them on the Day of Resurrection. God provides to whomever He wills without measure." (2:212). That is why we find the following contrast in the Quranic Chapter XXXIX: "Those who disbelieved will be driven to Hell in throngs…" (39:71) and "And those who feared their Lord will be led to Paradise in throngs…" (39:73).

 

Degrees of piety:

1- there will be three groups divided in the Day of Judgment: two groups in Paradise and one group in Hell; see the Quranic Chapter LVI. In the same chapter, we know that the dying person knows his/her inevitable fate for sure, either in Hell or in Paradise; see 56:88-96. Hence, the pious ones will not be on one level; they will differ in accordance with their stances and degrees of obeying God and their stances against sinning. Let us quote this verse to exemplify this notion: "Not equal are the inactive among the believers-except the disabled-and the strivers in the cause of God with their possessions and their persons. God prefers the strivers with their possessions and their persons above the inactive, by a degree. But God has promised goodness to both. Yet God favors the strivers, over the inactive, with a great reward." (4:95). There is vast difference between the two types of Paradise dwellers according to their good deeds.  All the pious ones are to avoid and reject sinning: "Those who are righteous-when an impulse from devils strikes them, they remind themselves, and immediately see clearly. But their brethren lead them relentlessly into error, and they never stop short." (7:201-202). Some people remember to repent soon enough or late. Both types are not on the same degree, of course. We are to repent as soon as we can and never be bent on going on with sinning if we are truly pious. Those who repent late are mentioned in the Quran as follows: "And race towards forgiveness from your Lord, and a Garden as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for the righteous. Those who give in prosperity and adversity, and those who restrain anger, and those who forgive people. God loves the doers of good. And those who, when they commit an indecency or wrong themselves, remember God and ask forgiveness for their sins-and who forgives sins except God? And they do not persist in their wrongdoing while they know. Those-their reward is forgiveness from their Lord, and gardens beneath which rivers flow, abiding therein forever. How excellent is the reward of the workers." (3:133-136).

3- The first type of the pious ones is those who busied themselves with good deeds of obeying God in all times and had no time left for sinning: "But the pious are amidst gardens and springs.Receiving what their Lord has given them. They were virtuous before that. They used to sleep a little at night. And at dawn, they would pray for pardon. And in their wealth, there was a share for the beggar and the deprived." (51:15-19).

4- We are NOT talking here about persons; the Quran tackles traits and descriptions of charity, tolerance, justice, piety, devoutness, etc. that are available to all of us to adopt and apply freely as per the uranic liberty to choose one's destiny either in Hell or in Paradise.

5- Piety has two degrees then as we mentioned above, according to one's faith and good deeds. The divine Quranic commands of observing piety reflect such diversity. One ought to choose; will one be in the first-class of the second class pious ones groups? We are to avoid being Hell dwellers at all costs, while disregarding worldly possessions. This is real ultimate winning: "Every soul will have a taste of death, and you will receive your recompense on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever is swayed from the Fire, and admitted to Paradise, has won. The life of this world is merely enjoyment of delusion." (3:185). The higher degree of piety is mentioned in the following verse: "O you who believe! Revere God with due reverence and piety, and do not die except as Muslims." (3:102). The second degree is in this verse: "So be conscious of God as much as you can, and listen, and obey, and give for your own good. He who is protected from his stinginess-these are the prosperous." (64:16). The winners are truly those who will enter Paradise and avoid Hell; re-read 3:185. We hope we will be among those winners through their faith and piety.  

 

Lastly:

1- One's faith and deeds are the factors that decide one's position in the Last Day. There is certainly two degrees of the pious dwellers of Paradise; one is his higher than the other according to the degree of piety. The higher one is for those who eschewed all sins and immorality and disobedience in their lifetimes. Their stances were firm against sinning. The second degree is for those who have sinned and repented later on. Hell is for those who lack true and deep faith and piety, especially in their insistence of sinning without repentance and with no good deeds. "Indeed, whoever commits misdeeds, and becomes besieged by his iniquities-these are the inmates of the Hell-Fire, wherein they will dwell forever." (2:81).

2- The Quran gives us all needed detail concerning piety. Injustice is the antonym of piety in the Quranic terminology. Piety is essentially about avoiding injustice with oneself, with others, and with God. Hence, injustice is the core of unbelief, disbelief, and aggression in dealing with God and with people.   

3- Because of the aggression, deemed behavioral unbelief according to Quranists, of Arab invaders of neighboring countries around Arabia, such aggressors since the 7th century have fashioned gradually the unbelief in faith to justify their evildoing with fabricated hadiths to allow aggression as jihad. Real jihad is self-defense; not waging wars on others in the name of Islam. Such people in history have wasted piety and instituted crimes and sins as Islamic jihad! Shame on them and on those following their footsteps now! That is why we refuse the false saying that Islam has only five pillars/acts of worship. It has several others equally important acts of worship ignored by the Muhamadans.      


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