Taqwa is a central concept that has been frequently mentioned in the Qur’an, especially in verses that deal with individual behaviour in social relations. The term Taqwa is often translated as ‘piety’ or ‘God-fearing’, but a better equivalent would be ‘God-consciousness. It is considered to be the essential quality of a believer. Taqwa of a believer should illuminate through all facets of his/her life, just like a bright light would shine through all openings of an empty house in an empty field in a night. Allah says:
وَآمِنُوا بِمَا أَنزَلْتُ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا مَعَكُمْ وَلَا تَكُونُوا أَوَّلَ كَافِرٍ بِهِ وَلَا تَشْتَرُوا بِآيَاتِي ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا وَإِيَّايَ فَاتَّقُونِ
“And believe in what I have sent down confirming that which (is) with you, and (do) not be (the) first disbeliever of it. And (do) not exchange My Signs (for) a price small, and Me Alone consciously revere [Me].” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:41)
Taqwa acts as a channel through which Muslims relate to one another in society and also a medium to link their actions. Taqwa, when coupled with Imaan (faith), makes a well-rounded believer. Taqwa goes hand in hand with Imaan; one cannot be complete without the other, and vice versa. Taqwa is the greatest and the best investment, which a true believer can make. Allah says:
يَا بَنِي آدَمَ إِمَّا يَأْتِيَنَّكُمْ رُسُلٌ مِّنكُمْ يَقُصُّونَ عَلَيْكُمْ آيَاتِي فَمَنِ اتَّقَىٰ وَأَصْلَحَ فَ
“O Children (of) Adam! If come to you Messengers from you relating to you My Verses, then whoever consciously reveres Allah and reforms, no fear on them and not they will grieve.” (Surah Al-A`raf 7:35)
Allah granted us and all things that Allah created and subjected for us are to help us achieve righteousness. It is about having Lord Consciousness in terms of knowing and obeying all His orders including not only fearing Him but also acting in all His directions. Taqwa means a lot 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. Allah says:
قَالَ مُوسَىٰ لِقَوْمِهِ اسْتَعِينُوا بِاللَّهِ وَاصْبِرُوا إِنَّ الْأَرْضَ لِلَّهِ يُورِثُهَا مَن يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ
“Musa said to his people, “Seek help from Allah and be patient. Indeed, the earth (belongs) to Allah. He causes to inherit it whom He wills of His servants. And the end (is) for the righteous.” (Surah Al-A`raf 7:128)
Taqwa is the state of hyper-vigilance against falling into sin in negligence. It is the idea that a believer is always on guard and is perpetually alert of not committing any action that would earn the displeasure of the Almighty. It is the state of preparedness of anticipating a situation where one might be coerced into doing Haram, and as a result of this readiness, to avoid and stay out of that Haram. In its higher forms, Taqwa is the fear of not taking the best path towards Allah’s Pleasure and His Grace.
We can increase your taqwa levels by implementing the following examples:
- Strive to increase your night prayers.
- Recite more Qur’an at night and try to read the Tafseer of the same.
- Reflect upon the verses and strive to get closer to Allah.
- Don’t waste time sleeping excessively during the day. Rather, make use of your time in indulging in dhikr or helping someone out by giving charity.
- Take this opportunity to help your family members in getting closer to learning the Book of Allah
- Do good deeds together as a family to earn more rewards.
- Pick out one weak aspect in yourself and make sure you work on eliminating it by the time Ramadan finishes.
The common meaning of the term “Taqwa” known to us all is “piety or the fear of Allah Almighty”. But this is not the complete and exact interpretation of this terminology. The Creator of the universe has been mentioned as being “merciful” to all His mankind repeatedly in the Quran. Allah says:
وَسَارِعُوا إِلَىٰ مَغْفِرَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالْأَرْضُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ
“And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a Garden – its width (is like that of) the heavens and the earth prepared for the pious.” (Surah Al-Imran, 3:133)
All of us Muslims believe that Muhammad (PBUH) is the most perfect person to have ever lived on earth, and in the above Quranic verse, Allah has indicated that the Prophet`s (PBUH) 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 behaviour.
Benefits of Taqwa, Allah Almighty says in the Quran:
- Guidance, because of His words: “guidance for the muttaqin (the people of taqwa)” (2:2)
- Help, because of His words: “Truly, Allah is with the people who have taqwa“ (2:194)
- Close Friendship [with Allah], because of His words: “Allah is the close friend of the muttaqin“ (45:19)
- Love, because of His words: “Truly Allah loves the muttaqin“ (3:76)
- A way out from unhappiness, and provision from where one does not expect, because of His words: “Whoever has taqwa of Allah He will make a way out for him and provide him from where he does not expect” (65:2-3)
- Facilitation of affairs, because of His words: “Whoever has taqwa of Allah He will make ease for him in his affair” ( 65: 4)
- Full covering over of wrong actions and magnification of rewards, because of His words: “Whoever has taqwa of Allah He will cover over his wrong actions and magnify a reward for him” (65:5)
- Acceptance of actions, because of His words: “Allah only accepts from the people of taqwa“ (5:27″)
- Success, because of His words: “Have taqwa of Allah so that you might succeed” (3:200)
- Good news, because of His words: “For them [i.e. people of taqwa] there is good news in this world and the next” (10:64)
- Entrance into the Garden, because of His words: “Truly, there are for the people of taqwa with their Lord gardens of bliss” (3:133)
- Salvation from the Fire, because of His words: “Then We will save the ones who had taqwa“ (19:72)
One of 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 by many Muslim scholars. It makes a person aware of the consequences of actions done: it not only takes account of fulfilling religious duties like offering salah, paying Zakah, etc. but also avoidance of many of the social evils, e.g. a Muttaquee (a person having Taqwa) person will never try to snatch someone else` rights. Allah says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن تَتَّقُوا اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّكُمْ فُرْقَانًا وَيُكَفِّرْ عَنكُمْ سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ
“O you who believe! If you consciously revere Allah, He will grant you a criterion and will remove from you your evil deeds and forgive you. And Allah (is) the Possessor of bounty, the Great.” (Surah Al-Anfal 8:29)
The notable matter here is that patience is linked to gaining righteousness, i.e. Taqwa. It can also be observed that the decorum of a Muslim is not only affected by praying and believing in God but also by satisfying many other important social responsibilities and most importantly being true to oneself. The lack of complaint in times of hardships teaches us to accomplish our religious duty to rely only on Allah, Who has promised His help for the patient ones. Should pray to Allah Almighty to guide us to the right path and help us become godly and righteous Muslims. Ameen!