Good or Bad: How to Decide?

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Eman Al Obaid conducts classes on Quranic exegesis (Tafseer), Hadeeth, Fiqh and other Islamic themes at AlHuda Sisters, Dubai.

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Al-Nawwas bin Saman reported that the Prophet (sa) said: “Righteousness is good character, and sin is what wavers in your heart and which you do not want people to know about.” (Muslim)

Wabisah bin Mabad reported: “I came to the Messenger of Allah (sa) and he asked: ‘Have you come to ask about righteousness?’ ‘Yes,’ I answered. He said: ‘Consult your heart. Righteousness is something about which the soul feels tranquil and the heart feels tranquil, and sin is what creates restlessness in the soul and moves to and fro in the breast, even though people give you their opinion (in your favour) and continue to do so.’ (Ahmad and Ad-Darimi)

According to An-Nawawi, these two Ahadeeth state the meaning of righteousness and sinfulness.

Righteousness is in good character

Ibn Rajab states that the term ‘Birr’ mentioned in this Hadeeth is actually used in two senses:

(a) Treating others in a good manner,

(b) All acts of good deeds and worshipping Allah (swt).

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