The Ayah Laysal-Birrah (Surah Baqarah - 177) (“Qur’ān’s Concept of Birr” by Syed Akbar Hassan, Radiance 25-31 Mar, 2012) has been very nicely explained. This, in fact, is a yardstick for a person who claims to be Muslim to judge himself as to what qualities he/she has embodied in his character, before claiming to be recognised as a Muslim. After explaining ‘righteousness’ in his book Keynotes of Holy Qur’ān , my father Dr. S.M. Mohsin had written that the Muslims of Pakistan should see, in the light of this ayah, as to where they stand. When the book was published in Pakistan (titled On Understanding Qur’ān), this portion was removed! Can you imagine?
May Allah give guidance to all of us to inculcate the essence of this Qur’ānic ayah in our self and build a character which is exemplary for others (ameen).