Muhammad Anwar Hossain: Taqwa “ىتقو” is an Arabic word. It means abstinence, self-control and fear. Taqwa is the fear of Allah in human mind. Through develop it one can abstain from all types of sinful acts. Allah fearing means to protect from the wrath of Allah by not indulging in things that Allah forbids. Taqwa is one of the best qualities of Muslim. It is awe of Allah, which inspires a person to be on guard against wrong action and eager to do the things which please Allah the Almighty.It motivates the person who possesses it to perform righteous deeds and to avoid forbidden activities.Allah, the Exalted said about Taqwa in the holy Quran” O you who believe! fear Allah, and speak (always) the truth.” (Surah 33; Al-Ahzab: Verse-70)
The difference in respect and dignity of a servant to Allah is considered by the standard of Taqwa. It says in the Qur’an: “O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and have made you into races and tribes that you may (thereby) know one another. Indeed, the most honorable of you in the sight of Allah is (one who is) the most righteous (Muttaquee) of you. Surely, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware. (Surah 49: Al-Hujraat: Verse-13)
A study of the the Holy Quran will show that us every aspect of its teaching is directed towards the creation of this spiritual condition of Allah fearing in every action of the believers.Our beloved Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “On the authority of Abu Dharr Jundub ibn Junadah, and Abu AbdiRahman Mu’adh bin Jabal (may Allah be pleased with them) that the Messenger of Allah (Ppeace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said: “Be conscious of Allah wherever you are. Follow the bad deed with a good one to erase it, and engage others with beautiful character.” (Recorded in at-Tirmidhi)
Taqwa is profoundly explained in a discussion between ‘Umar and Ka’b who were companions of the prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam). It was reported that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab asked Ka’ab the meaning of Taqwa; Ka’ab was renowned for his deep understanding of the Qur’an. In reply Ka’ab asked Umar (RA), “What do you do when you have to pass through a thorny road?” ‘Umar (RA) replied, “I lift my cloth up to my calves and watch my footsteps and take each step slowly from the fear of thorns lest they don’t prick me”. Ka’ab said, “This is Taqwa”.
So, Ka’ab inquired from Umar if he had walked through a thorny bush path with his cloak. ‘Umar replied that he moved very cautiously, so as not to tear his clothing. This display of caution is a manner in which we should be approaching all actions in life with, to be cautious and careful so that we may please Allah.A person must be completely aware of their surroundings and their own selves, to be disciplined with the correct action and behavior that will achieve closeness to Allah and the reward of pleasing Him.
Taqwa, essentially, is to protect one’s self from punishment of Allah by obeying Him and by abstaining from what He prohibited. It is an internal compass for the path that leads towards Allah. Actually, Taqwa is a state of the heart that formulates that of the mind.Our prophet Muhammad (Ppeace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said in a Hadith reported in the Sahih Muslim that, “Taqwa is here,” as he pointed to his chest.
Taqwa is one of the most important ethical values and most profound concepts in Islam. It is a shield against wrongdoing. It is said to be that spiritual condition wherein a person, believing firmly in the Omnipotence of Allah and His Omnipresence, has an acute urge to distinguish between virtue and vice, and a burning desire to adopt the good and to avoid the evil in order to protect himself/herself from the displeasure of Allah. Taqwa is the only force which enables Muslims to reach the status of what is called ‘world class’ human beings.
Allah, the Exalted said in the holy Quran:Verily, Allah loves the Muttakin who adopt Taqwa. (Surah 3; Aal-e Imran: verse-76). In another surah Allah, the Exalted said:’For those who believe and practice Taqwa – there is glad tidings of the world and the hereafter.” Allah’s word will never change. These are great successes.’
(Surah 10; Yunus: Verse 63-67).
It is said that Taqwa is one of top most traits of a Muslim`s character that means a lot of more than just piousness: it is the combination of our beliefs, self awareness and attitudes. It is a reminder to stay on the path of uprightness, decency and knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is a common misconception that only Muslims have this quality, which is not true, instead, if a non-Muslim is doing good deeds, they also have this feature in their personality. It is about having Allah consciousness in terms of knowing and obeying all His orders including not only fearing Him but also acting on all His directions.
If we present Taqwa in a different way, then we will say – Taqwa is another name for saving oneself from all kinds of evil deeds with the fear of Allah. The spiritual happiness of faith brings peace. theed. Taqwa is to pass the life of the world by keeping the body and mind unscathed from all kinds of sins.
Taqwa is the top most traits of a Muslim`s character, which indicates more than just piousness: it is the combination of our beliefs, self awareness and accountability towards Allah in the day of judgement. It is a reminder to stay on the path of uprightness, decency and knowing the difference between right and wrong. Many Muslim scholars thing that the very first and most effective causes of obtaining Taqwa is the reminder of the existence of Almighty, which is considered as the heart of this good quality. It makes a person aware of the consequences of actions done. Taqwa not only takes account of fulfilling religious duties like offering Salah, (prayer) performing Siam (fasting) in the month of Ramazan, performing Hajj,paying Zakah etc. but also avoidance of many of the social evils, e.g. a Muttaquee the person having Taqwa will never try to snatch someone else` rights.
All of Muslims believe that our prophet Muhammad (Ppeace and blessing of Allah be upon him) is most perfect person to have ever lived on earth and Allah has indicated that the Prophet`s (Ppeace and blessing of Allah be upon him) success in spreading Islam was due to His humility which made him a righteous and respectable man. So we can also benefit from it by respecting others to achieve decency in our behavior. The Qur’an says:
“And whoever fears Allah, and keeps his duty to Him,He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). (Surah 65; At-Talaq: verse- 2)
Some Islamic scholors also think that Taqwa is not formal worship. It is an innate consciousness. Taqwa means cultivating ettiques and manners.
Another name for a believer is Muttaki. One cannot be a Mu’min without Muttaki although one can assume the name of Mu’min. In order to be a Muttaki, one must always practice Taqwa at every turn of life.
Taqwa is keeping the fear of Allah the Almighty awake in the heart at the forefront of every activity of human life. If one can pass every level of deeds keeping the fear of Allah awake in the heart, he will be a believer who adopts Taqwa.
If Taqwa i.e. the fear of Allah and the welfare of society is not always alive in the heart, then no good work can be expected from him. Corruption can be done by avoiding everyone’s eyes, chaos can be created, responsibility can be neglected, deposits can be betrayed, but Allah’s eyes cannot be avoided, therefore a person without Taqwa cannot be a human being.
What will happen if we adopt Taqwa? We have already learned the answer to this saying that one can be fully Muttaki (one cannot go to Paradise (Jannah) without being Muttaki) and there are many worldly benefits in adopting Taqwa.
Benefits of Taqwa in the light of holy Quran and Sunnah (Hadith):
- The doors of blessings of heaven and earth are opened for the servants who adopt Taqwa;
- Those who adopt taqwa get good news in this world and hereafter;
- Allah will ease the work of the servant who adopts Taqwa;
- Allah has infinite love and affection for the one who adopts Taqwa;
- The deed of a servant who adopts Taqwa is accepted;
- The reward of the servant who adopts Taqwa will be increased;
- A servant who adopts Taqwa has no fear except Allah;
- Allah bestows moderate income on those who adopt Taqwa;
- Consciousness will be created in the servant who adopts Taqwa to understand and distinguish between the right and wrong;
- One who adopts Taqwa cannot be touched by satanic conspiracy.
At last it may be said, Taqwa is the only virtue that brings honour to a believer, man or woman, in the Islamic society. The obeying of the great Lord i,e Allah the Almighty is not confined to only fulfilling religious actions, but being moral in every aspect of life. In fact, the pursepose of Islam is to rear up men and women as righteous and Allah fearing. The success of a believer’s life is also related to Taqwa. So, that he/she earn the mercy of Allah in this world and can attain Jannah in the hereafter and also salvation from Jahannam. Aameen.
Author: Muhammad Anwar Hossain is a columnist and Banker. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org