Friday sermon: righteousness encompasses piety and all noble deeds

The sermon will tell worshippers how to become among the illiyyeen, who will be rewarded for their good deeds in the Afterlife

God has assigned a special rank for those who are righteous, they are named the illiy­yeen or “those who are higher up”. Angels witness and record their good deeds from the Heavens and on the Day of Judgment, they will be eternally rewarded, the sermon will tell worshippers on Friday. “Indeed, the righteous will be in pleasure. On adorned couches, observing.” [Quran, 83:22-23]

The illiyyeen will be observing all that God has rewarded them with: a good that will never end.

“You will recognise in their faces the radiance of contentment. They will be given to drink [pure] wine [which was] sealed. The last of it is musk. So for this, let the competitors complete.” [Quran, 83:24-26]

Righteousness, or birr, in the Quran is a comprehensive term that includes all forms of piety and good deeds that draw Muslims closer to God. The foremost attribute of a righteous person is having true faith in God, the Angels, Prophets, Holy Books and Day of Judgment.

Those who answer the call of true faith will be written into the ranks of those who are righteous, the sermon will say.

Another key deed that will lead Muslims down the path of righteousness is prayer. The Prophet Mohammed said: “Prayer followed by a prayer, with no idle talk between the two, is recorded in the illiyyeen.”

Praying at the correct times and in a manner that pleases God is necessary to be among the illiyyeen.

Charity is also important for those seeking righteousness: “[those who] give wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveller, those who ask [for help] and for freeing slaves, [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakat.” [Quran, 2:177]

Being noble, kind, sincere and patient in times of distress are also key to being righteous.

“[Those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous.” [Quran, 2:177]

Those who are sincere in their faith, adhere to the prescribed acts of worship, and are kind in their words and deeds will take in all forms of good and inevitably contribute to a stable and positive society.

The importance of piety towards the Prophet and one’s parents will be emphasised by the sermon too. A child who is gentle and kind to their parents, and the friends of their parents, will earn a place in Paradise.

Updated: June 14, 2019 09:20 AM


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