Quite right, righteousness is not rituals but right beliefs backed by right action.
7:26 O Children of Adam! We have provided you with garments to cover your bodies as well as to adorn you. The best garment for you to wear, in addition, is good conduct. (Your character decorates you inside out.) These are the verses of God that they must take to heart.
2:177 [One consequence of this schism is their pre-occupation with rituals, with each sect leaving the revelation aside and taking delight in its own set of dogmas they call religion. 30:32] Righteousness and exponential development of the ‘self’ (‘al-Birr’) depends not on whether you turn your faces to East or West. But righteousness is that: (1) One has conviction in God, and (2) the Last Day, and (3) the Angels, and (4) the Book, and (5) the Prophets. And that one gives of his cherished wealth to: Family and relatives, orphans, widows, those left helpless in the society, and those whose hard-earned income fails to meet their basic needs, those whose running businesses have stalled, the ones who have lost their jobs, whose life has stalled for any reason, the disabled, the needy wayfarer, son of the street, the homeless, the one who travels for assistance, those who ask for help, and those whose necks are burdened with any kind of bondage, oppression, crushing debts and extreme hardship of labor. (And righteous are) those who strive to establish the institution of Salaat, (2:3, 2:153) And help set up the Economic System of Zakaat. They are true to their pledge whenever they make one. And they remain steadfast in physical or emotional distress and in times of peril. It is those who have proven themselves to be true, and it is those who live aright. [Belief in Books 4:136, 2:4, 3:91-92. Yateem, Miskeen, Ibn-is-Sabeel, Fir-Riqaab, carry all the meanings rendered above. Please note that this verse gives us the well-known Five Articles of Faith. But belief in Taqdeer = Predetermined destiny, has been interjected in the fabricated Ajami Ahadith as the sixth article of faith by ‘Imams’, making Muslims fatalistic in their thought and behavior. The Qur’an nowhere mentions Taqdeer or the predestined fates of individuals. Qadar or Taqdeer always denote the laws, the due measure of all things appointed by God. And man determines his own destiny by following or defying those laws]