Friday 24th of January 2020

Piety is protecting oneself from


Piety is protecting oneself from slipping into sins and disobedience and involving in perishing plagues as it has been mentioned in the Qur'an and the Sharia.

Piety is a spiritual condition one gets when keeping away from sins and keeping on worships. It has a high rank among the religious values and moral aspects of perfection.

The effects of the Divine guidance are not open for the all. They do not appear except on pious people. On the Day of Resurrection Paradise will not be prepared and adorned except for the pious.

“This Book, there is no doubt in it, is a guide to those who guard (against evil).” Qur'an, 2:2

“And the garden shall be brought near for those who guard (against evil).” Qur'an, 26:90

Piety has many good results and advantages. Here are some of them that have been mentioned in the Qur’anic verses and the traditions;

“…and fear Allah, that you may be successful.” Qur'an, 2:189

“…and fear Allah and know that Allah is with those who fear Him.” Qur'an, 2:194

“…then surely Allah loves those who guard (against evil).” Qur'an, 3:76

“Be careful of (your duty to) Allah then, that you may give thanks.” Qur'an, 3:123

“…and be careful of (your duty to) Allah; surely Allah is swift in reckoning.” Qur'an, 5:4

“…those among them who do good (to others) and guard (against evil) shall have a great reward.” Qur'an, 3:127

“…Allah only accepts from those who guard (against evil).” Qur'an, 5:27

“And naught of the reckoning of their (deeds) shall be against those who guard (against evil).” Qur'an, 6:69

“…and be careful of (your duty to) Allah that mercy may be had on you.” Qur'an, 49:10

“…and Allah is the guardian of those who guard (against evil).” Qur'an, 45:19

“Surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful (of his duty).” Qur'an, 49:13

Ameerul Mo'mineen (s) has mentioned the aspects of the pious as following:

Truthfulness, giving deposits back to their owners, carrying out covenants, generosity, good kinship, being kind to the weak, little sleeping with women, giving charities, doing favors, courtesy, patience, prudence and following the knowledge that nears to Allah. Then he said, ‘A good final state shall be theirs and a goodly return’.[1]

The Prophet (s) has said, ‘If the heavens and the earth are closed up for a man and then he fears Allah, Allah will open a way to him between them and will grant him deliverance.’[2]

The Prophet (s) has also said, ‘There is a quality whoever keeps to, this world and the afterworld will obey him and he will win the Paradise.’ He was asked what it was and he said, ‘It is piety. Whoever wants to be the most honorable among people has to fear Allah and be pious.’[3]

Charity and benevolence

The Qur'an emphasizes on believing in Allah, the Day of Resurrection, the angels, the Divine books, the prophets and spending abundantly on the orphans, the poor and the wayfarers, helping the needy, setting slaves free, offering prayers, paying zakat, carrying out covenants and being patient with misfortunes, distresses and illnesses. All these are aspects of good, benevolence, truthfulness and piety.[4]

The Prophet (s) has said, ‘The promptest goodness to be rewarded is benevolence and the promptest evil to be punished is aggression.’[5]

The Prophet (s) has mentioned ten aspects of the benevolent; ‘They love for the sake of Allah, hate for the sake of Allah, make friends for the sake of Allah, part from some people for the sake of Allah, become angry for the sake of Allah, become pleased for the sake of Allah, act for the sake of Allah, beseech Allah, submit to Him frightenedly, purely, sincerely, coyly and watchfully and give charities for the sake of Allah.’[6]

Imam Ali (s) has said, ‘There are three things that are considered as qualities of charity; generosity, courtesy and patience with harms.’[7]

Imam al-Baqir (s) has said, ‘Four things are from the treasures of charity; to hide one’s neediness, to keep giving charity secret, to hide one’s pain and to hide distresses.’[8]

Musa bin Ja’far al-Kadhim (s) has said, ‘Whoever is charitable and benevolent to his kin and brothers his life will be prolonged.’[9]


Jealousy and zealotry are among high morals. Jealousy imposes on one to protect his honor and family from the others, from the aggression of dissolute and bad people.

Jealousy in fact is one of the prominent aspects of all the prophets, the saints and the lovers of the truth.

The Prophet (s) has said, ‘My father Abraham was jealous and I am more jealous than him. May Allah disgrace whoever of the believers that is not jealous.’[10]

Ameerul Mo'mineen (s) has chided the people of Kufa by saying, ‘Do you not feel shy? Do you not have jealousy? Your women go to the markets competing with the infidels.’[11]

The Prophet (s) has said, ‘The fragrance of Paradise can be felt at a distance of five hundred years but neither an undutiful nor a cuckold will feel it.’ It was asked, ‘What a cuckold is?’ The Prophet (s) said, ‘It is he, whose wife commits adultery and he is aware of that.’[12]

Imam as-Sadiq (s) has said, ‘Allah is jealous and He loves every jealous person. From His jealousy that He has prohibited adultery whether openly or secretly.’[13]

Taking lessons

Taking lessons from the events of life and what happens to people and thinking of the lives and conditions of the previous nations are considered as a good feature of wise men. The Qur'an says when talking about the ancient nations,

“In their histories there is certainly a lesson for men of understanding.” Qur'an, 12:111

The Qur'an invites men of understanding and wise people besides all ordinary people to take lessons in order to protect themselves from falling into the meanness of sins and vices and in order to reach perfection.

“…therefore take a lesson, O you who have eyes.” Qur'an, 59:2

Imam Ali (s) has said, ‘The best of reason is to take lessons, the best of determinedness is to ask for others’ help and the greatest of foolishness is self-deceit.’[14]

Ameerul Mo'mineen (s) asked the ignorant, sinful and unjust people to take lesson from the ancient nations and past events by saying, ‘You have a lesson from the past nations! Where are the giants and the sons of the giants?! Where are the Pharaohs and the sons of the Pharaohs?! Where are the people of ar-Rass who have killed the prophets, put out the laws of the messengers of Allah and restored the laws of the tyrants?’[15]


According to the Qur'an and the traditions, “goodness” refers to some positive qualities which are useful to man in this world and the afterworld.

Goodness according to the Qur'an is the reward in the afterlife, the Divine mercy, lawful wealth, Friday prayer, the afterlife, faith, acting according to good preaching, repentance, piety and the likes.

The best way of reforming one’s inward and outward is to follow these exalted facts and ideals. The Prophet (s) has said, ‘There are four qualities which whoever has been given as if been given the goodness of this life and the afterlife; a patient body, a mentioning tongue, a grateful heart and a good wife.’[16]

Imam Ali (s) has said, ‘All goodness has been gathered in three things; looking, keeping silence and speaking. Every looking without taking lessons is inattention, every silence without pondering is inadvertence and every speech without praising Allah is nonsense.’[17]


The Holy Qur'an pays great attention to knowledge, scholars and studiers. We also find this matter clear in the traditions.

Knowledge is the lamp of the way, the power of mind, insight, awareness, honor and dignity.

The high rank of man in this world and the afterworld concerns the knowing believers.

“Allah will exalt those of you who believe, and those who are given knowledge, to high ranks.” Qur'an, 58:11

The Prophet (s) has said, ‘Seek knowledge even if it is in China! Seeking knowledge is an obligation on every Muslim.’[18]

He has also said, ‘A scholar among the ignorant is like a living one among the dead.’[19]

The Prophet (s) has also said in a tradition urging on seeking knowledge, ‘When death comes to a scholar while seeking knowledge, he dies as a martyr.’[20]

The Prophet (s) has said in another tradition, ‘He, who seeks knowledge, is like one who fasts in the day and spends the night in worshipping. A chapter of knowledge one learns is better to him than a mountain of gold even if he spends it in the way of Allah.’[21]

He has also said, ‘Whoever is busy looking for knowledge Paradise looks for him.’

Is there any way to reform a repentant’s state better than seeking knowledge to know the lawful and unlawful things, to know the right and the wrong and to learn the Divine knowledge in order to act according to it?

If one is unaware of the facts and what is going around him then how can he adapt himself to live in such environment? Is it possible to apply this verse “…that if any one of you does evil in ignorance, then turns after that and acts aright…” (Qur'an, 6:54) without knowing the religious facts and moral ideals?

Real repentance does not take place without reforming one’s inward and outward and this reform does not take place without knowledge.

Hope and expectation

Hope is a human quality and an exalted state of the heart that the believers and especially the repentant of sins must have to win the pardon and forgiveness of Allah.

The persons, who believe in Allah and are certain of the existence of the afterlife, must perform the obligations as possible as they can and must refrain from prohibited things without being polluted with the disease of pride, haughtiness and selfishness. Man must expect the mercy of Allah on the Day of Resurrection to be saved from the horrible terrors of that day and to be granted the Divine contentment and Paradise.

These persons should not despair of the mercy of Allah and should not exceed in their fear to a degree that they lose hope and then they keep on their deviation and committing sins.

A believer should make his faith in the Divine facts as a basis from which he should set towards hoping and expecting the mercy and contentment of Allah. He should know that faith and good deeds are the pillars of deliverance.

The Qur'an, in many verses, talks to man in a way that moves the sense of goodness inside the believers and brings those, who have done good deeds, good news that they will be in Paradise to live there forever and to have eternal blessings. The believers should know that Allah carries out His promises and does never break any promise.

“Surely those who believe, and those who emigrate (to escape the persecution) and strive in the way of Allah, these have hope of Allah's mercy and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” Qur'an, 2:218

“And convey good news to those who believe and do good deeds, that they shall have gardens in which rivers flow.” Qur'an, 2:25

There are many other verses having this concept and showing that the mercy of Allah is very near to the believers and the benevolent. Man has no any excuse to despair of the great mercy of Allah or to think that it is unobtainable or to suspect the certain good news of Allah.

As for those, who have spent their lives in sins and disobedience and have not performed their obligations, they should know too that the mercy of Allah is not closed before them and that Allah is Mighty and Forgiver and He accepts the repentances of His people. They should know that the power of Allah is infinite and so are His pardon and forgiveness that He may forgive His sinful people even if their sins are as much as the sands of the deserts, the waters of the seas and as much as the mountains. It is not difficult for Allah to forgive them all.

“Say: O my servants! who have acted extravagantly against their own souls, do not despair of the mercy of Allah; surely Allah forgives the faults altogether; surely He is the Forgiving the Merciful.” Qur'an, 39:53

A repentant one should hope and expect the mercy and forgiveness of Allah because despairing of the mercy and forgiveness is equal to disbelief according to the Qur’anic verses.[22]

A repentant should know that he is like a sick person and his doctor is Allah the Almighty and that there is no unrecoverable disease near Allah. A repentant has to diagnose his disease and then to try to cure the disease with the drug of repentance.

Despairing of Allah’s mercy and forgiveness is a satanic doing meaning that Allah is unable to cure the disease of that sick person, Allah forbid!

Anyhow, one must expect the mercy of Allah because it leads to faith and good deeds whose fruit is repenting and turning to Allah. The hope without faith or doing or without repenting and turning to Allah is a satanic state and according to the Qur'an it is a satanic wish.

“He (the Satan) gives them promises and excites vain desires in them; and the Shaitan does not promise them but to deceive.” Qur'an, 4:120

Once a man came to Ameerul Mo'mineen (s) and said to him, ‘O Ameerul Mo'mineen, advise me!’

Imam Ali (s) said to him, ‘Do not be among those who expect good afterlife without doing (good deeds) and postpone repentance hoping that they will live long. They speak in this life as the ascetics but do as the desirous (of worldly life).’[23]

Imam Ali (s) has also said, ‘Be of what you do not wish more hopeful than of what you wish. Moses the son of Imran went to bring fire for his family and then Allah talked to him and he went back as prophet. The queen of Saba’ went (as an unbeliever) and she became a Muslim at the hand of Prophet Solomon (s). The magicians of the Pharaoh went to achieve glory to the Pharaoh but they went back as believers.’[24]

Imam as-Sadiq (s) has said, ‘A believer is not a true believer unless he becomes afraid (of Allah) and hopeful (of the mercy of Allah) and he is not afraid and hopeful unless he acts according to what he if afraid and hopeful of.’[25]

[1] Biharul Anwar, vol. 70 p.282.

[2] Biharul Anwar, vol. 70, p.285.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Refer to Qur'an, 2:177.

[5] Biharul Anwar, vol. 75 p.273.

[6] Tuhaf al-Uqool, 22.

[7] Biharul Anwar, vol. 71 p.89.

[8] Ibid., vol. 81 p.208.

[9] Mustadrak Al-Wassa’il, vol.2 p.410.

[10] Biharul Anwar, vol. 103 p.248.

[11] Sharh Nahjol Balagha, vol. 18 p.312.

[12] Men la Yahdharuhu al-Faqeeh, vol.3 p.281.

[13] Wassa’il ash-Shia, vol. 14 p.107.

[14] Tafsir al-Mo’een, p.545.

[15] Sharh Nahjol Balagha, vol. 10 p.92.

[16] Mustadrak Al-Wassa’il, vol.1 p.138.

[17] Biharul Anwar, vol. 1 p.180.

[18] Biharul Anwar, vol. 1 p.180.

[19] Ibid., p.184.

[20] At-Targheeb wet-Terheeb, vol.1 p.97.

[21] Biharul Anwar, vol. 1 p.184.

[22] Refer to Qur'an, 12:87.

[23] Biharul Anwar, vol. 72 p.199.

[24] Biharul Anwar, vol. 71 p.134.

[25] Ibid., vol. 70 p.365. 

source : REPENTANCE THE CRADLE OF MERCY By Husayn Ansariyan
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