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 On the Issue of Taqwa (Being in Awe of Allah)

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Obedient Angel

Join date : 2011-04-30
Posts : 2448

PostSubject: On the Issue of Taqwa (Being in Awe of Allah)   Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:53 am

The Reality of Taqwa, Its Scope and Ten Causes

Its Definition

Taqwa means to abandon religious prohibitions and observe religious injunctions. It is defined by Shari’ah as, “A person’s protection from what will harm him in the Hereafter.”

Its Scope

Abandoning the prohibitions and observing the injunctions implies an inner and outer reality. Thus, its application falls under four types:

1. Abandoning the outer prohibitions (like leaving prayers or smoking weed)
2. Abandoning the inner prohibitions (like envy or despairing His mercy)
3. Observing the outer injunctions (like prayer and being good to one’s neighbors)
4. Observing the inner injunctions (like the love of God and fearing Him)

Gaining Balance

Based on what was mentioned previously, it could be said of a person who observes religious acts, but harbors arrogance in his heart, that his taqwa is unbalanced. The same could also apply to a person who has no malice in his heart towards others, but fails to observe certain ritual acts.

It is also possible that a person’s heart is balanced, but his outer worship is not. For example, he attends rally after rally, meeting after meeting and class after class, but fails to observe the dawn prayer regularly. This common disease is a sign of an imbalance in a person’s taqwa. The same could also apply to a person who observes the ritual acts of worship, but fails to take part in his share of community work. Ponder this, because its possibilities are mind boggling.

The Causes of Taqwa are 10:

1. Fear of worldly punishment
2. Fear of punishment in the Hereafter
3. Hope for rewards in this life
4. Hope for rewards in the Hereafter
5. Fear of being audited in the Hereafter
6. Realization that God sees you
7. Being thankful for His blessings with obedience
8. Knowledge
9. Extolling His magnificence
10. Sincerely loving Him

We ask Allah to make us from the people of taqwa.

Five Levels of Yaqwa and Four ways to Acquire It

Being mindful of one’s relationship with God is an individual obligation whose foundation is knowledge, and whose life is practice according to Islam. Allah call’s the believers, ordering them to be cautious: “Oh you who believe, be cautious of Allah.”

5 Stations of Taqwa (God-consciousness)

Ibn Juzay al-Maliki a great classical scholar, wrote, “The degrees of taqwa are five:

1. Being cautious of falling into disbelief. This is the station of submission to God (الإسلام).

2. Being cautious of falling into sin and evil. This is the station of repentance (التوبة).

3. Being cautious of doubtful things. This is the station of carefulness (الورع).

4. Being cautious of the permissible. This is the station of indifference (الزهد). Ibn al-Qayyim said, “There are some people who will observe the obligations and avoid the prohibited. However, Shaytan will busy them with the permissible acts until the fail to make use of their extra time.”

5. Being cautious of letting anything enter the heart save Allah. This is the station of witness (المشاهدة).”

Taqwa in Practice:

Once ‘Umar radi Allahu ‘anhu (may Allah be pleased with him) asked a companion, “describe for me taqwa.” The companion responded, “If you were to walk through a thorny pathway with a flowing robe, how would you walk?” ‘Umar answered, “I would gather my garments, squeezing them tight, and walk carefully.” The companion responded, “That is taqwa.”

How to Gain Taqwa?

If you were born a Muslim, or accepted Islam, then you already possess taqwa. This is great news and should serve as a spring board to preserve and develop your existing relationship with Allah! There are some pretty clear ways to do this. However, knowledge and practice are two very different entities:

1. Make a sincere intention to improve your taqwa.

2. Ask Allah to increase your tawqa. It is authentically reported that the Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him) used to supplicate:

اللهم إني أسئلك الهدى والتقى والعفاف والغنى

“Allahum Inni asalukal huda wa ttuqa wal ‘afaaf wal ghinaa.“

“Oh Allah, I ask You for guidance, piety, virtue and sufficiency.”

3. To increase your worship. Allah says, “Worship Allah…you will obtain taqwa.”

4. Observe the sunnah whenever possible. The Prophet ﷺ said, “I am the most God fearing person.” Thus, following him is a guarantee, if one’s intention is right, that one is on the ways of taqwa. Imam Malik said, “The Sunnah is like the Ark of Noah. Whoever got on board was safe. Who didn’t, drowned.”

At the end of the day, these steps are like tools hanging in our garages. If we use them, we will build something. If we neglect them, making excuses, being lazy or having bad feelings about our Lord, then we have none to blame but ourselves. Start by observing the obligatory acts, increase the number of sunnah, charity and civic engagement. All of those, if done for Allah alone, are Red Bulls for taqwa without the withdrawal!

Taqwa is a quality whose virtues are astounding. Imam al-Faruzabadi mentioned 22 virtues of taqwa mentioned in the Qur’an! Look for them here in the future, God willing
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