Hakim bin Hizam reported to Urwa bin Zubair that he said to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be to him): “Do you think that there is anything for me (of the reward with the Lord) for the deeds of religious purification that I did in the state of ignorance?” Upon this he (the Messenger of Allah) said to him: “You accepted Islam with all the previous virtues that you practised.”
Good deeds done in the state of ignorance show a man is inclined towards piety. But to be truly pious it is essential to have correct understanding of the will of God. This can be realised only through what is embodied in Islam. Thus without having faith in Islam, we cannot serve God according to His Will. When we embrace Islam, we recognise God, His Virtues, His Love and Power, His Will and His Desire, how He wants us to behave and act. It is the conscious adherence to His commandments that makes one a true Muslim. Acts of virtue may be good in their own way but it is by coming to the fold of Islam that they become significant and meaningful in the eyes of the Lord. When a man accepts Islam as the code of life, his previous acts of piety, which had been dark and dreary due to lack of the light of faith, begin to glow with God-consciousness and true sense of religious piety which is developed only by true faith in Allah and sincere devotion to Him.