On What Basis Do We Consider Someone Pious?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


On what basis do we consider someone a good or bad person? I know that people and actions are judged by their endings. I also understand that the one who repents is like someone who has never sinned in the first place. However, if someone is one of the worst people to have ever existed, do they really become a good person once they repent?


Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for your thoughtful question, and may He make all of us among those who are pious, righteous, and successful in this world in the next.

Quranic Description

Allah Most High has told us in the Quran, “Righteousness is not in turning your faces towards the east or the west. Rather, the righteous are those who believe in Allah, the Last Day, the angels, the Books, and the prophets; who give charity out of their cherished wealth to relatives, orphans, the poor, ˹needy˺ travelers, beggars, and for freeing captives; who establish prayer, pay alms-tax, and keep the pledges they make; and who are patient in times of suffering, adversity, and in ˹the heat of˺ battle. It is they who are true ˹in faith˺, and it is they who are mindful ˹of Allah˺. [Quran, 2:177]


You ask a very good question, and there is so much to consider. It is difficult to say who is good and who is bad. A person who repents really can become a God-fearing and awe-inspiring person. I prefer to stay on the practical side and say that if you are looking for good company, stick with someone who reminds you of God, helps you practice Islam correctly, and inspires you to learn and do more.

Please see these links as well:

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin and completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.