Waiting eagerly for the call to prayer, arriving at the mosque before the commencement of prayer, bearing no personal grudges against others, leaving alone other people’s private affairs, being content with the basic necessities of life, studying the Qur’an and the Sunnah, feeling concern for the pains of other Muslims, and being charitable with one’s wealth – these are all qualities of a righteous person.
And indeed we have destroyed towns [populations] round about you. (Qur’an 46:27)
There is the tragic example of the Barmak family, a family that lived a life of opulence, comfort, and extravagance. Their end, however, has served as a lesson and example for all Arabs who came after them. Haroon ar-Rasheed, the ruler during their period, ordered an unexpected attack on the Barmak family and on their possessions. Allah’s decree came to pass over them in the morning at the hands of the closest person to them: he destroyed their homes, took possession of their slaves, and shed their blood. Their loved ones and children wept at their disgrace. There is none worthy of worship except Allah; those who know the story should especially appreciate the transitory nature of power and wealth in this world:
Then take admonition, O’ you with eyes [to see]. (Qur’an 59: 2)
Wealth, appearance, children, house, and talents you must be content with your share in these things:
So hold that which I have given you and be of the grateful. (Qur’an 7: 144)
It is said: “Whoever acts by what he knows, God will bequeath to him knowledge that he does not know.”1 Thus, as a person practices what they know, they are guided to a deepening of faith, a sharpening of the spiritual faculty, and an intensifying of taqwa. The Qurʾān insists:
While as for those who accept guidance, He increases their guidance, and bestows on them their piety. [Surah Muḥammad,17]