We are informed at the beginning of the Quran in Sura 2 that righteousness
is a necessary quality for redemption:
[2:2] This scripture is infallible; a beacon for
[2:5] These are guided by their Lord; these are
[2:112] Indeed, those who submit themselves absolutely
to GOD alone, while leading a righteous life, will receive
their recompense from their Lord; they have nothing to fear,
nor will they grieve.
We know that righteousness is more important than what sect or
tribe a person is from, and it is the most important garment:
[49:13] O people, we created you from the same male
and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes, that you
may recognize one another. The best among you in the sight of GOD
is the most righteous. GOD is Omniscient, Cognizant.
[2:62] Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish,
the Christians, and the converts; anyone who (1) believes in GOD,
and (2) believes in the Last Day, and (3) leads a righteous
life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing
to fear, nor will they grieve.
[7:26] O children of Adam, we have provided you with
garments to cover your bodies, as well as for luxury. But the best
garment is the garment of righteousness. These are some of
GOD’s signs, that they may take heed.
Our accountable actions can be either
righteous or evil:
[41:46] Whoever works righteousness does so for his
own good, and whoever works evil does so to his own detriment. Your
Lord is never unjust towards the people.
[11:114] You shall observe the Contact Prayers (Salat)
at both ends of the day, and during the night. The righteous works
wipe out the evil works. This is a reminder for those who would
God provides a general definition of righteousness in the Quran,
which we can use as a measuring stick for ourselves:
[2:177] Righteousness is not turning your faces towards
the east or the west. Righteous are those who believe in GOD, the
Last Day, the angels, the scripture, and the prophets; and they
give the money, cheerfully, to the relatives, the orphans, the needy,
the traveling alien, the beggars, and to free the slaves; and they
observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity
(Zakat); and they keep their word whenever they make a promise;
and they steadfastly persevere in the face of persecution, hardship,
and war. These are the truthful; these are the righteous.
[2:2-5] This scripture is infallible; a beacon for
the righteous; who believe in the unseen, observe the Contact Prayers
(Salat), and from our provisions to them, they give to charity.
And they believe in what was revealed to you, and in what was revealed
before you, and with regard to the Hereafter, they are absolutely
certain. These are guided by their Lord; these are the winners.
However, we cannot attain the required righteousness on our own
[35:8] Note the one whose evil work is adorned in
his eyes, until he thinks that it is righteous. GOD thus
sends astray whoever wills (to go astray), and He guides whoever
wills (to be guided). Therefore, do not grieve over them.
GOD is fully aware of
everything they do.
[103:1-3] By the afternoon. The human being is utterly
lost. Except those who believe and lead a righteous life,
and exhort one another to uphold the truth, and exhort one another
to be steadfast.
God informs us that we must pray to him to direct us to do the
righteous works that please him. It is important to ask God for
help in this matter:
[27:19] …“My Lord, direct me
to be appreciative of the blessings You have bestowed upon me and
my parents, and to do the righteous works that please You.
Admit me by Your mercy into the company of Your righteous servants.”
We are instructed to pray in the same manner:
[46:15] We enjoined the human being to honor his
parents. His mother bore him arduously, gave birth to him arduously,
and took intimate care of him for thirty months. When he reaches
maturity, and reaches the age of forty, he should say, “My
Lord, direct me to appreciate the blessings You have bestowed
upon me and upon my parents, and to do the righteous works that
please You. Let my children be righteous as well. I have repented
to You; I am a submitter.”
A sincere Submitter to God alone will receive the guidance from
[49:17] They act as if they are doing you a favor
by embracing Submission! Say, “You are not doing me any favors
by embracing Submission. GOD is the One who is doing you a great
favor by guiding you to the faith, if you are sincere.”
We see that we can attain righteousness through our sincerity in
worshipping God alone and through His guidance and direction, which
we have to ask for.