Wednesday 2 December 2020

What is Taqwa?

For quite sometime, I thought Taqwa meant to be higher in piety and morals. A man of Tawas meant to me a man of very moral fiber and goodness. Although the implied meaning do point towards these virtues and qualities in a believer, Taqwa literary means the "Fear of Allah, or the God's consciousness"

بَلٰى مَنۡ اَوۡفٰى بِعَهۡدِهٖ وَاتَّقٰى فَاِنَّ اللّٰهَ يُحِبُّ الۡمُتَّقِيۡنَ‏  
But Allah loves only those who fulfil their covenant and fear Allah. Truly Allah loves the God-fearing.(Surah 3. Al' Imran :76) 

The above said verse means that those believers who believe in Allah and do not transgress from the prescribed by Allah and are fearful of Allah's retribution are the people of Taqwa. These are the people  who abide by their covenant with Him are the ones who hold status and position in the eyes of God and remain within the limits prescribed by such a covenant all the time. People who adhere to such an attitude are pious in the sight of the Almighty and God befriends such pious people only; those who have no qualms in crossing the limits set by God and still claim to be pious and loved ones of the Almighty are only making castles in the air. 

Explaining the above said ayat, Ibn Kathir notes: (Yes, whoever fulfills his pledge and fears Allah much,) fulfills his promise and fears Allah among you, O People of the Book, regarding the covenant Allah took from you to believe in Muhammad when he is sent, just as He took the same covenant from all Prophets and their nations. Whoever avoids Allah's prohibitions, obeys Him and adheres to the Shari`ah that He sent with His Final Messenger and the master of all mankind. (verily, then Allah loves the Muttaqin.)

According to Tafsir ibn Kathir, the root meaning of taqwa is to avoid what one dislikes. It was reported that Umar bin Khattab asked Ubayy ibn Ka'b about Taqwa. Ubay said, "Have you ever walked on a path that has thorns on it?" Umar said, "Yes." Ubayy asked, "What did you do then?" to which Umar replied, "I rolled up my sleeves and struggled." Ubayy said, "That is taqwa, to protect oneself from sin through life's dangerous journey so that one can successfully complete the journey unscathed by sin." A man of Taqwa is the one who when walks on a track full of thorns (that is sins and alluring of the Satan) and yet saves his robe from being caught by the thorns and and getting it torn.

The worldly life is full of Satanic allurements and sinful invitations and it is only those who are God Conscious and all the time fearful of wrath of Allah for choosing a path other than the one prescribed by Him, are the ones who hold a high status in the Eyes of Allah than those who get lured in by the Satan and get their robes torn with sin.

Taqwa and its derivatives appear more than 250 times in the Quran; Abu al-Ala Mawdudi identified taqwa as the basic Islamic principle of God-consciousness, together with brotherhood, equality, fairness, and justice, on which the true Islamic society is established.

You may now like to listen to Mufti Ismail Menk who beautifully defines Taqwa in his talk:
May Allah help us develop Taqwa to establish a barrier between the sins and Satanic allurements and the Consciousness of Allah by obeying His commands. Ameen.

For more Scholarly views and videos, please read our reference page: Scholars' Viewpoint on Important Issues Related to Islam.

You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.

May Allah show us the right path so that we do not go astray due to what man has interpreted verses of religious scriptures to suit their own religions and faith. Aameen.

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |
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