What Is Taqwa? (Part 2)

The universal principle of submission to the Divine Will of Allah is beautifully expressed in the character of one who is a servant of Allah, known as an “ Abd-Allah ” which is an ideal state of Taqwa.

Taqwa cannot be classified simply as “piety” or “fearing God”; rather, it’s much deeper and more intricate than that. A person who has Taqwa is a Muttaqi (pl. muttaqin). A Muttaqi demonstrates this constant state of endearment throughout his/her actions in every facet of his/ her life. (S)he reduces all the obstacles that prevent him/her from dedicating everything to Allah. (S)he minimizes the distractions and all the ‘noise’ in his/her life that drowns out his/her awareness of Allah.

It is also said that Allah manifests Himself in the silences of the soul, and if a person has a lot of noise – desires, diseases of the soul, Haram passions, etc. – (s)he will never be able to feel the presence of Allah in his/her soul. The soul will never be awakened to the reality of the Eternal Being, because it is cluttered and clogged with all other pursuits.

The messenger of Allah ﷺ said in a Hadith, reported in the Sahih Muslim that, “Taqwa is here”, pointing to his chest.

Taqwa is one of the most profound concepts in Islam. It is an avenue by which Muslims relate to one another in society and a means to channel actions for the pleasure of Allah. Possessors of Tawqa are called Al-Muttaqun or Muttaqeen.

The following verse of the Qur`an Surah Al Bakarah, Verse 183 confirms that Taqwa is for everyone and not for a select group:

“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, so that you may attain Taqwa.”

This verse confirms two points. Firstly, that fasting is for everyone and secondly, that the development and attainment of Taqwa is an essential part for all who aspire for tranquility and a contented heart.

Establish Taqwa is the responsibility of the rich and the poor, the knowledgeable and the uneducated, the leader and the follower, the ruler and the ruled, the old and the young, the man and the women. All must develop and enhance Taqwa. The most honored in the sight of Allah is the believer with the most Taqwa, i.e. the most conscious and aware of Him.

The Holly Qur`an illustrates this in Surah Al Hujurat (49:13):

“O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you (Muttaqi). And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).”

The ideal Islamic society is a Taqwa conscious society, conferring its highest respect on those considered to be high in Taqwa. Though Taqwa is a state of the heart, we cannot judge the Taqwa of others, but many aspects of Taqwa will have a reflection in their character and behavior. The Qur`an prohibits anyone from claims of self-purity.

In Surah An Najm (53:12) Allah reminds us that:

“Hold not yourself purified. Allah knows best who has Taqwa.”

The word Taqwa has been mentioned 151 times in the Holly Qur`an. Allah has taken us through the various aspects of His Guidance and Blessings in the Glorious Qur`an. The Qur`anic descriptions of Taqwa are so precise and distinct that it is an indication of the importance of this concept in the lives of Muslims. Taqwa enables Muslims to be living examples as vicegerents of Allah on earth.

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