Facing The Ka'aba

August 7, 2020

Taqwa, fear of Allah, keeps believer awake

Taqwa, fear of Allah

By Mohammed Zubair

Taqwa, the fear of Allah, is the only force that can restrain man from evil and wickedness. It is this fear of Allah that keeps the heart of a believer awake and enables him to distinguish right from wrong.

Fear of God for self-righteousness which in Arabic means Taqwa, in fact, epitomises the entire teachings of the Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him)

It is Taqwa that gives meaning to our simple worship rituals that otherwise would be nothing without it. Haven’t we pondered what would the physical actions of salat (prayers) such as bowing and prostrating mean without a heart infused with Taqwa?

What makes the hunger and thirst (when fasting) of a believer different from the same actions of a non-believer?

How would the physical acts of going between the two mountains of Safa and Marwa (in Haj and Umrah) become valuable in the eyes of Allah?

What makes the slaughtering of animal act of ibadah if not the taqwa?

It’s the Taqwa in our hearts that provide these simple physical rituals a special meaning in the eyes of Allah.

For example, when mentioning the ritual of sacrificing animals (in Allah’s name) in the Quran, Allah says, “It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, but it is Taqwa (piety, etc.) from you that reaches Him.

Thus have We made them subject to you so that you may glorify Allah for His guidance to you.” (Surah Al-Hajj: 37).

Let’s ensure, therefore, that our worship is not limited to empty acts but is rather adorned with Taqwa. Again, as the verse states, “.but it is the Taqwa (piety) from you that reaches Him.”

A study of the Holy Quran will show that every aspect of its teachings is directed towards the creation of this spiritual condition of God-fearing in every action of the believers.

Taqwa is the soul of fasting. 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 eschew the evil in order to protect himself 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.

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God-fearing means saving, guarding or preserving a thing from that which harms on injures it. In a religious sense it means guarding against evil or being saved from sin, and in the terminology of Shariah, connotes keeping aloof from all that is injurious to the human souls.

The root meaning of Taqwa is to save oneself from anything that causes apprehension of being harmful or injurious. It, therefore, includes the fear or apprehension of the consequences that follow from a certain act or behaviour. By extension, it means the awareness of one’s responsibilities to others.

According to the Holy Quran, Taqwa should be the ultimate result of all forms of worship. The Holy Quran says:

“People! Worship your Rab (Creator and Sustainer) Who created you and those before you, so that you may guard against evil…” (2:21). Again, the same virtue is emphasised as the objective of fasting: “O believers! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed for those who were before you, so that you may avoid evil” (2:183).

The Haj is also enjoined with the same objective: “Thus it is, and who so honour the symbols of Allah, then that indeed is from the piety of heart” (22:32). Animal sacrifices is also offered with this very aim: “Neither their meat nor their blood reaches Allah but your piety reaches Him…” (22:37).

The Holy Quran repeatedly asks us to observe Taqwa, to abide by the decisions of the holy Prophet, to act up to the injunctions of the Shariah, and to refrain from prohibited acts, and to attain glory. A Muslim surrenders before Allah and does what he is ordered to do and refrain from what he is told to keep away from.

Taqwa, the fear of Allah, is the only force that can restrain man from evil and wickedness. It is this fear of Allah that keeps the heart of a believer awake and enables him to distinguish right from wrong.

Besides, Taqwa is the only virtue that brings honour to a believer, man or woman, in the Islamic society. The Holy Quran says: “O men 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 honourable of you in the sight of Allah is (one who is) the most righteous of you. Surely, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware” (49:13).

Justice and Taqwa are two principles that emerge as necessary corollaries from the doctrines of Oneness of Allah, which according to the holy Quran and the tradition, is the basic article of faith, whereas the discipline and the dos and the don’ts of the canon law are merely its outward expression or means to the attainment of divinely ordained ends of man in its collective as well as individual existence.

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