Bismila-Hir Rahma-Nir Rahim Assalamu’alaikum!
Greetings in the name of Allah who bestows upon us the covering of ‘Righteousness’. May you be blessed with this covering. The Honored Qur’an tells us. “O ye Children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover your shame, as well as to be an adornment to you. But the raiment of righteousness,- that is the best. Such are among the Signs of Allah, that they may receive admonition!” Sura 7:26 Al-Araf
The Honored Qur’an speaks of two coverings…
The first is the covering of artificial clothes to cover our shame and nakedness…this is one type of covering or raiment. However this covering will not be sufficient in the Judgment. There we need another covering, the best covering…a covering of ‘righteousness’. Only by the covering of ‘righteousness’ this second covering will we get into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Why is the covering of Righteousness so important?
This second covering is a reflection of the character of God. This second covering is last but the best. It was forfeited in the Garden of Eden when our first parents fell in listening to the deceptions of Iblis. In order to get back into God’s Kingdom from where man fell, he is in need of ‘righteousness’, which is right living and right thinking, in short… “True Religion”. Allah in His abundant goodness had provided the first man and his wife with an abounding evidence of goodness by providing such a pleasant place for the first pair in Eden the Garden of God. Every tree bearing fruit was for their needs and all that made life happy and pleasant was given to them. Thus Allah’s love was seen all around them.
On the other hand Iblis had given them no evidence of love nor of providing for their needs, yet his words were quickly received and believed over Allah’s Word. Thus the holy pair fell from their high estate when they ate of the forbidden fruit. They lost righteousness, the blessed covering which had been given them, when they disbelieved God.
Righteousness is something which happens in the heart of the believer. Since man’s fall, righteousness is something which cannot be produced by human effort. Even unbelievers can contribute to charity, (zakat) and this is very good, they can do many deeds of kindness, yet these may be outward forms of righteousness and no real motive from the heart may move them. Much is done for the purpose of being seen of men…so that men may praise your goodness. This is not righteousness. This had been a problem back in the days of Isa, [Jesus]. “But they [Jews] do all their works in order to be seen of men…” Injeel Matthew 23:5
Even today believers can say oft-repeated memorized prayers five times daily…however this can become mechanical. Almost like a machine…like a recording, just turn on the switch and you hear the same prayer…is that what Allah is after? A recording of our prayers? There must be something deeper, perhaps our prayers need to come from the heart.
I am privileged to have children, and when they speak to me from the heart, I can appreciate it very much. When they tell me they love me, it thrills my soul. But if they would record their love on a CD and play the same recorded message over many times to me, I would not be impressed in the least. It must be somewhat similar when we approach God. Our communion with Him must come from deep inside and expressed from a heart of appreciation.
Is there something which happens to the heart when Allah touches us inside?
True righteousness is when right actions come from deep inside a person. Actions like…refusing to take revenge and retaliate when someone has wronged you. Actions like being kind to your enemies, kind in heart…feeding them when hungry, without resentment. Refusing to hurt someone who has deeply offended you when it is in your power to do them harm. Praying private (du’a) prayers for those who persecute you. Only God can give us this type of ‘righteousness’. With man this is impossible. It is a gift from Heaven through one sent down called Isa al-Masih. We need souls who will plead for this holiness of heart… Again from the great ones of the East of Ancient times, comes this promise which you can claim as your own. “He [man] shall pray to God, and He will be gracious to him; and he shall see His face with joy, for He will restore to man his righteousness.” Ayub Job 33:26
Allah has promised to restore what was lost in Eden! Friends this is powerful good news…though fallen and flawed, yet we are not forsaken. We can be restored to the character of Allah! He is kind to the unthankful. He cares for the heathen, provides sunshine and rain, their sores He heals… the ungrateful have food, clothing and shelter. Allah provides salvation to the unjust. He will again cover us with the robe of His Righteousness. Do we believe it? That means “true religion” not just a form but real. Something real from the heart and expressed in the daily life! When this happens our prayers take on a completely different form. No longer some recorded prayers we mumble and hurry through as though accomplishing some duty, but rather a heart response to what Allah means to us. Friends is that what you desire in your heart? You can have it and it is free! It all comes through the gift of the “Righteous Son” sent down from Allah. Sura 19:19 Maryam.
This is the state of every person…“I know there is nothing good in my sinful nature. I want to do what is good, but I can’t.” Romans 7:18 But we like Ibrahim can believe the promises… “Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” Taurat Genesis 15:6
Regardless of the defects of the people of God, Christ does not turn away from the objects of His care. He has the power to change their raiment. He removes the filthy garments [all selfishness and sin], He places upon the repenting, believing ones His own robe of righteousness, and writes pardon against their names on the records of heaven. He confesses them as His before the heavenly universe. Iblis their adversary is shown to be an accuser and deceiver, but Allah will do justice for His own elect. Our God says…
“Take away the filthy garments from him [the sinner]. And unto him He said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity [sin] to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment…“ Zechariah 3:4, 5.
Even so God will clothe you with “the garments of salvation,” and cover you with “the robe of righteousness.” Isaiah 61:10.
Remember this raiment of righteousness is a sign from Allah… “But the raiment of righteousness,- that is the best. Such are among the Signs of Allah…” Sura 7:26 Al-Araf
Surely this raiment or covering of Allah is the righteousness of Christ, His own unblemished character, that through faith is imparted to all who receive Him as their personal Saviour.
The white robe of innocence was worn by our first parents when they were placed by God in holy Eden. They lived in perfect conformity to the will of God. A beautiful soft light, the light of God, enshrouded the holy pair. This robe of light was a symbol of their spiritual garments of heavenly innocence. Had they remained true to God it would ever have continued to enshroud them. But when sin entered, they severed their connection with God, and the light that had encircled them departed. Naked and ashamed, they tried to supply the place of the heavenly garments by sewing together fig leaves for a covering.
Nothing can man devise to supply the place of his lost robe of innocence. Only the covering which Christ Himself has provided can make us fit to appear in God’s presence. This covering, the robe of His own righteousness, Christ will put upon every repenting, believing soul. “I counsel thee,” He says, “to buy of Me . . . white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear.” Revelation 3:18. He says “buy”, it will cost you everything to obtain it, yet it is free.
This robe, woven in the loom of heaven, has in it not one thread of human devising. Christ in His humanity wrought out a perfect character, and this character He offers to impart to us. “All our righteousness are as filthy rags.” Isaiah 64:6. Everything that we of ourselves can do, is defiled by sin. But the Son of God “was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin.” Sin is defined to be “the transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:5, 4.
The righteousness of Christ will not cover one cherished sin. Only that which is in accord with the principles of God’s law will stand in the judgment.
There will be no future probation in which to prepare for eternity. It is in this life that we are to put on
the robe of Christ’s righteousness. This is our only opportunity to form characters for the home which Christ has made ready for those who obey His commandments. The days of our probation are fast closing. The end is near. “Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” Revelation 16:15.
Dear friends we have no time to delay and neglect this most important topic. Now is the time to earnestly pray and plead that Allah may grant unto us this blessing. Make no mistake, to miss here is to miss eternity. May Allah grant unto His sign…the Raiment of Righteousness.