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181) The Scale of Piety

25 August 2017

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

The scale [of measurement] that ... I have set forward is a scale of piety, of goodness, kindness, wellness of self as well as others, not a scale of money.

(Syedna Taher Fakhruddin TUS)

Last week, in the United States, the story of a “lucky” individual who won over $750 million dollars in one of the largest ever lottery jackpots dominated the news. Bank balance, grades, marks, salary, GDP, growth rate, profit margin - these are some of the most used scales in societies world-over. The measure of one’s worth is the number in the bank statement. The measure of one’s success is the number of his salary or the mark of his grade-sheet. The measure of one’s growth is the percentage increase in wealth or assets. There are umpteen examples. In the twentieth century, we live in a society that is hyper focused on numbers and how they reflect success, growth and worth.

While these numbers reflect one angle of worth, success and growth, they do not consider other parameters that are not so easily measured by numbers.

Syedna’s guidance and perspective are signs of true leadership, especially in a society obsessed with money and quantitative measurement.  In his press meet, Syedna Taher Fakhruddin pointedly remarked “the scale that I will set forward and I have set forward is a scale of piety, of goodness, kindness, wellness of self as well as others, not a scale of money, which leads to corruption and practices that are harmful to the whole society and community.” More recently, in a sabaq, Syedna once again emphasized once again the importance of taking into account the virtues of an individual beyond their worth in rupees and dollars, and to focus first on their knowledge, especially the ‘ilm of Aal-e-Mohammed. “The first line [saf] is reserved for the those with ‘ilm.” Syedna, added that the virtues of kindness, honesty and nobility rarely feature in general society’s rhetoric regarding value.

As per Syedna Fakhruddin’s guidance, Mumineen must especially take conscious pauses to reassess how we measure our lives – we must use the scale of piety, goodness and kindness. We must reflect on our overall wellness and how we contribute to the wellness of others. This is also the month of Hajj. One of the aspects of Hajj is that all the pilgrims (Hajis) dress in the same attire - the ‘ihraam,’ which has no display of material wealth. It is an occasion to reflect that what finally counts in the Hereafter, in Allah Ta’ala’s court, is piety.  

May Allah Ta’ala give us the strength and inspiration to measure our lives with the scale of piety, goodness and kindness.

May Allah Ta’ala give Syedna Fakhruddin TUS longest life to continue to guide us with his wisdom and by his example.