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REFLECTIONS: The Real Meaning Of Taqwa and Its Significance
Posted By:jasmin On 2/22/2012


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REFLECTIONS: The Real Meaning Of Taqwa and Its Significance 

Taqwa is one of the most profound concepts in Islam. It has been referred to numerous times in the Quran and Sunnah in order to emphasize its relevance and significance to Muslims. In fact, the word taqwa and its derivatives are mentioned in 239 verses of the Quran and mentioned countless times in the Sunnah of RasulAllah (saw). This emphasis is not surprising once we see that it is the key to happiness and success in this life and the hereafter. Taqwa is an avenue by which Muslims relate to one another in society and a means to channel their actions.Allah (swt) said: "O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared and die not except in a state of Islam." [TMQ 3:102]“O mankind! Fear your Guardian Lord, Who created you from a single person” [TMQ 4:1]

“O you who believe! If you fear Allah, He will grant you a Criterion (to judge between right and wrong)”
[TMQ 16:29]

RasulAllah (saw) said on the authority of Abu Dhar (ra) and Muath Ibn Jabal (ra): “I advise you to have taqwa (be pious) to Allah in your secret and open affairs” [Ahmed].Allah (swt) strongly emphasizes the rewards of people with taqwa in this life and in the Hereafter. He (swt) said: “And for those who fear Allah, He prepares a way out, And He provides for him from (sources) they never could imagine” [TMQ 65:2-3]“For the Muttaqeen (pious believers) are Gardens in nearness to their Lord, with rivers flowing beneath” [TMQ 3:15]It is the Muttaqeen (i.e. believers who observe taqwa) whom Allah (swt) grants assistance, victory and provision. Therefore, understanding the concept of taqwa is vital and mandatory for every Muslim. In the last few decades, some fundamental Islamic concepts have been distorted because of the colonial invasion that has taken root in the Muslim lands. Today, Muslims are more pressured than ever before to confine Islam to their private lives. They are pushed to limit Islam to personal Ibadat and Akhlaq (morals), while detaching Islam from any other aspect of life such as economics, politics or social affairs.


The concept of taqwa does not have the same meaning to the Ummah as it did with the Sahabah (ra). To some Muslims, taqwa is limited to acts of worship such as prayer, fasting, and charitable acts (e.g. donating to the masjid, helping the needy, etc). Consequently, to increase one's level of taqwa, one will only perform extra (i.e. mandoub) fasts, prayers, and charitable acts. These are truly important actions that each and every Muslim should strive for, however, it is incorrect to confine taqwa to the mandoub acts of worship. In other words, the picture is not complete, as Allah (swt) said: “And We have sent down to you the Book as an explanation of everything, a guidance, a mercy and glad-tidings for those who submitted themselves to Islam.” [TMQ 16:89]The Complete Picture of Taqwa The Quran and Sunnah define the concept of taqwa as protecting oneself from the Hellfire by following the orders of Allah (swt), by doing what He (swt) has commanded and by avoiding what He (swt) has forbidden. Many ayat in the Quran point to this: “And unto Allah belongs all that is in the Heavens and all that is on Earth. And, verily, We have recommended to the people of the Scripture before you, and to you (O Muslims) that you (all) fear Allah, and keep your duty to Him, But if you disbelieve, then unto Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, and Allah is Ever Rich, Worthy of all praise.” [TMQ 4: 131]

Taqwa comes from the root word 'waqiya', which means to protect. It is a protection from the Anger of Allah (swt) and His Punishment. This is why taqwa is used to describe the performing of actions, which please Allah (swt) and abstaining from those actions that displease Him (swt). Taqwa, in essence, means God consciousness - being conscious of Allah (swt) in all our actions and affairs. In the Prophet’s (saw) last khutbah, he said: “I ask you to fear Him (swt), listen to Him (swt), and obey.”In another hadith narrated by Imam Ahmed (rh), when RasulAllah (saw) was asked by a sahabi “Oh Messenger of Allah, give me some advice", the Prophet (saw) responded, “I advise you to fear Allah because it is the head of everything.”In another occasion the Prophet (saw) replied, “Fear Allah because it is the collection of all goodness.”The ayah and the ahadith are commanding Muslims to fear, obey and listen to Allah (swt). This will be the barrier between the Muslim and the Anger and Displeasure of Allah (swt). Umar bin al Khattab (ra) once looked at people praying and said, "The great number of times any of you raises and lowers his head does not deceive me. The real deen is to be cautious and meticulous in the deen of Allah, and refraining from what Allah has forbidden, and acting according to what Allah permits and forbids.”

The son of Ali (ra), Al-Hasan (ra) once said, “The people who have taqwa (al-muttaqoon) are the people who avoided whatever Allah has prohibited and have done whatever Allah has ordained”. Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz(rh) once said, “taqwa is not by fasting the day and not by praying the night. And it is not by mixing between the two of them. But taqwa is leaving what Allah has made Haram and by doing what Allah has made Fard. After one has done this, Allah will provide good things for that person”. Ibn Juzayy (rh) said in his dictionary of terms from the introduction to his tafsir: "taqwa's meaning is fear, clinging to obedience to Allah and abandoning disobedience to Him. It is the sum of all good". In essence, taqwa is to fear Allah (swt); to listen to Him (swt); to obey Him (swt); to strive in seeking His (swt) pleasure. It is through the obedience of Allah (swt), by following His commands (hukum sharie), that one can attain taqwa. Effect of Taqwa Hence, from what Allah (swt) has outlined through the Quran and Sunnah, a person that only obeys Allah (swt) in the ritualistic aspects of worship, but fails to obey Allah (swt) in other matters (e.g. transactions) - is not considered to be someone who possesses taqwa. Instead, the muttaqoon are those who fear Allah (swt) and look to what Allah (swt) has ordained in their actions to avoid His (swt) Displeasure and Anger. It is this understanding of taqwa that a Muslim strives for.

So, when Allah (swt) commands us: "So establish regular Prayer and give Zakat; and obey the Messenger; that you may receive mercy" [TQM 24:56]we pray, pay zakat and follow the Sunnah of RasulAllah (saw), fulfilling Allah's (swt) command. When He (swt) orders us to: "And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in their life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor" [TQM 17:23]we worship Allah (swt) only, and obey and respect our parents, in response to Allah's (swt) command.

When RasulAllah (saw) tells us in the hadith: "Riba (interest/usury) is seventy two types, the least of them (as a sin) is equivalent to that of a man committing Zina (adultery) with his mother",knowing how great of a sin it is to commit adultery with one's mother (may Allah (swt) forbid), we will be running away from dealing with interest in any way or form (e.g. taking mortgage or investing in bonds). When Allah (swt) tells us: "The Believers are but a single Brotherhood"
[TQM 49:10]we obey Him (swt) and leave behind all types of nationalistic divisions and view and deal with all Muslims as one Ummah. When RasulAllah (saw) tells us: "and whoever dies without a pledge in his neck (for the imam or khalifah), dies the death of Jahyliyah"we strive to implement the rule of Allah (swt) by establishing the Islamic State and give our pledge to the khalifah - fulfilling the command of Allah (swt). When Allah (swt) tells us: “The answer of the Believers, when summoned to Allah and His Messenger, in order that he may judge between them, is no other than this: they say, "We hear and we obey": it is such as these that will prosper.” [TQM 26:51]

We totally submit to the rule of Allah (swt) and the Shariah that He (swt) revealed to us. When we hear Allah (swt) condemning those who take their desires as their source of legislation (Ilah): "Have you seen the one who takes his own vain desire as Ilah (god)? Allah has, knowing left him astray, and sealed his hearing and his heart (and understanding), and put a cover on his sight: Who, then, will guide him after Allah? Will ye not then receive admonition?"[TQM 45-23]we abstain from using our inclinations or likings to overrule the hukm of Allah (swt) for any reason - once again fulfilling His Command and avoiding His Anger. This understanding of taqwa is what will drive the muttaqeen to acquire knowledge about the rules of Allah (swt) for the sake of applying them in all aspects of life in a comprehensive way to please Him (swt) and to avoid His anger.

It puts us in a state of alertness to ensure that we fulfill all of His (swt) commands, i.e. looking for all of our obligations and fulfilling them, and abstaining from everything that is haram, regardless of what the consequences might be. With this understanding, we can now realize the importance of what Umar bin al Khattab, Al-Hasan, and Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz, may Allah (swt) be pleased with them all, said, and why Ibn Juzayy summarized taqwa by saying "it is the sum of all good". May Allah (swt) make us among the muttaqeen, who realize the true meaning of taqwa, and are worthy of receiving His (swt) promise: “And whoever fears Allah, and keeps his duty to Him, He will forgive his sins from him and will enlarge his reward.” [TMQ 65:5]

 courtesy : awaremuslim.blogspot.com

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8/1/200520 Things Sisters can do for Islamjasmin
7/12/2005The IDEAL MUSLIMAHjasmin
7/4/2005Three Scholars' Reply to the Atheistspeer
7/3/2005Life After Deathameermamba
7/3/2005Spouse Selection: Do's and Don'tsameermamba
6/8/2005Quranic Way of Lifejasmin
6/8/2005Tips for a Happier Muslim Marriage - Part 1jasmin
5/30/2005Twelve proofs of Prophet Muhammad's prophethoodjasmin
5/30/2005Modern Science finds Godjasmin
4/29/2005Celebration of Prophet's birth day is Bidahmohamedris
1/22/2005Selecting a Marriage Partnerjasmin
12/20/2004Education your childred in Ramadanjasmin
12/20/2004A Muslim's Income and Expenditurejasmin
9/22/2004Fighting the Egojasmin
9/22/2004New Faces of Islamjasmin
9/22/2004Personality Development in Islamjasmin
9/15/2004Who is the evil Dajjal (the anti-Christ)?peer
8/7/2004Manners of Eating / Drinkingjasmin
8/7/2004Why Prophet (sal) married more than one wife?jasmin
8/2/2004Who Wrote the Holy Qur'an?peer
7/28/2004Quran: Only for Ramadhan? (in Tamil)peer
7/28/2004Have you read Quran?: For your thoughts (A nice reading in Tamil)peer
7/25/2004ISLAM AND TERRORISMjasmin
7/18/2004Miracles of the Qur'anjasmin
7/18/2004Is Your Home an Islaamic Home?jasmin
7/14/2004The Last Sermon of the Prophetjasmin
7/14/2004What do bible, vedas and Quran say about birth of a female?jasmin
7/14/2004Did Jesus Christ (PBUH) Die on Cross?jasmin
7/13/2004Invitation to our Hindu brethrenjasmin
7/13/2004Is Jesus God?jasmin
4/6/2004இன்றைய பெண்களின் முக்காடுpeer
3/20/2004E codes in food products and Pig Fatspeer
3/20/2004What can you do in one minute?peer
3/16/2004Q & A : "FIRSTS" in Islampeer
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