Taqwa is the central concept running through the Quran. It is translated normally as piety, heading or God fearing. In fact, Taqwa combines piety, heading, God fearing and God consciousness.
1.God Fearing in Context of ISLAM
Here fear should not be understands as scare, which can be without any love or respect. But in Islamic context fear means.
- Fear of the punishment of ALLAH on the day of Judgement.
- Fear of the losing the blessings of ALLAH in our worldly life.
- To be afraid of displeasing ALLAH –the one who is most worthy of Love.
2. God consciousness as the element of Taqwa
The person who has Taqwa is one who is most conscious about the things that displease the God.
God consciousness is the core of the quality Taqwa. God consciousness is the quality of being conscious of the presence of Allah at all times. The most God conscious person is one who is most pious. Islam therefore encourages Muslims to be pious in every aspect of Life
3. Love of ALLAH in context of Islam
- Love if ALLAH refers to man’s necessary dependence on ALLAH —the realization that he is not sufficient.
- True love of God is manifested in pure acts of worship.
- Muslim is required to manifest this love by Following God’s Path and, if necessary, sacrificing some personal desires, property, time, if require his life for the sake of ALLAH.
According to a hadith of Prophet (PBUH), If a person love God and His Messenger more than he loves anything else he will have the sweet taste of faith in his heart. In addition God will reciprocate his love Sura 3 Verse 31: Say if you do Love ALLAH follow me, Allah will love you and forgive your sins. For ALLAH is oft forgiving and most merciful.
4. Specific acts that nourish ALLAH’S love
- Have Taqwa
- Constantly repent to ALLAH
- Engage in self purification
- Do good
- Place Trust in ALLAH
- Be steadfast
- Act with justice
5. Actions that keep away Man from Allah’s Love
- Corruption and mischief
- Rejection of faith
Sura 4. Verse 36: ALLAH love not the arrogant, the vainglorious
6. Benefits that derive from having Taqwa
Taqwa assists a man in his journey in the hereafter through this life to successful conclusion.
- He will be receptive of to Guidance
- He will have proper vision, Knowledge and wisdom.
- His affairs will be easier
- He will receive forgiveness for his sins.
- He will receive mercy from ALLAH.
- He will achieve ultimate victory and bliss in this life and in the Hereafter.
Sura Anfal Verse 29 “O you who believe; if you fear ALLAH, He will grant you a criterion, remove (all) evil deeds and forgive you for ALLAH is the lord of grace unbound.”
ISLAM calls for equality between people. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “An Arab has no superiority to a non-Arab and a white man has no superiority to a black one except through piety and good deeds.”
The following examples prove this Islamic concept.
Abu Dharr of the Ghifar tribe somehow got angry with the freed slave of Abu Bakr, Bilal of Abyssinia. Both of them were the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
The altercation became prolonged and Abu Dharr in his fury called Bilal, the son of a black-skinned mother.
Bilal complained to the Prophet, who addressed Abu Dharr saying, “Did you call him a name reviling his mother? It appears you still retain vestiges of Jahiliyyah (Period of Ignorance before Islam).” The Prophet also said in reply, “You are his brother (and should be considerate and kind to him).”
Abu Dharr was ashamed and repentant and out of extreme repentance and humility requested Bilal to trample his face with his feet.
Another example is when, during the lifetime of the Prophet, a woman of the Bani Makhzoom tribe, Fatimah, was found guilty of theft. She was brought to the Prophet so that she might receive her punishment according to the Shari ‘ah (Islamic Law).
The Quraish tribe very much resented it since it involved their tribal prestige and dignity. So they thought of intercession by somebody for the remission of her punishment.
It was therefore decided after deliberation to send Osamah Bin Zaid for such intercession since he was very much in favor with the Prophet. So he was approached, prompted to intercede and he talked to the Prophet on this issue.
The Prophet was very angry and said to Osamah, “You intercede in the matter of the limits prescribed by God?”
Then he called a big gathering of the believers and, in a touching manner, said, “The people before you who met their doom, discriminated between the austocrats and the common people in the dispensation of justice for crimes like theft. The high-placed were spared while the weaker sections of society were readily punished. By God, if Fatimah Bint Muhammad had committed theft, I would have amputated her hand also. A third example involves Adi Bin Hatim(one of the elite of his time) who came to Madinah before embracing Islam and found the companions sitting around the Prophet.
They had just returned from some battle and some of them still had the armory and helmets on. ‘Adi, witnessing the awe of the Prophet and their reverence for him, himself fell in awe.
Meanwhile, a humble woman of Madinah came to the Prophet and requested to see him in private.
The Prophet readily agreed to talk to her. He got up and at some distance from the gathering talked to her for a sufficiently long time, and having finished with her came back to the gathering.
When ‘Adi witnessed this state of affairs, he was very much touched by this inconceivable concept of generosity in action and embraced Islam.
A fourth example was offered when, after 21 years of hard struggle, the Prophet conquered Makkah. Those who had rejected him, had driven him out of his home and had been waging wars with him, were brought before him vanquished. But even then, he called them to the Faith and kept in view those lofty principles that he had preached in the vales of Makkah or had enforced in Madinah as a ruler when he was laying the foundations of a new civilization in the Islamic history.
That day he proclaimed those principles that he had been preaching while he had not yet gained his final victory.
Standing at the gate of the Ka’aba he said, “O you people of Quraish! Allah has, this day, put an end to your pride of the Jahiliyyah (Days of Ignorance) and also the pride of your ancestry. Keep in mind! All men are the offspring of Adam, and Adam was fashioned out of clay”. The Quraish who held an exalted position in the Arab society, and had a high opinion of themselves, listened to him in silence with bowed heads. On this occasion he recited the following Qur’anic verse which he had been reciting off and on: “O Mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other (not that you may despise each other). Verily, the most honored of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you.”
The fifth example came in the period of the caliphate of Abu Bakr. He set the example of a ruler whose heart was full of sympathy for his subjects without distinction of rank or class. Notwithstanding his position as the head of the Muslim state, he would visit the girls of the locality whose fathers had fallen martyrs in wars.
He milked their goats for them and assured them that his new responsibilities would not stand between him and his routine of benevolent acts such as that.
It can be said with certainty that there is not a single incident as glorious, outstanding and based on the noble sentiments of fraternity as the ones cited above, anywhere in the lives of the greatest men in the history of mankind.
There is an incident connected with George Washington, the savior of America, that he was once going along the road when he saw some soldiers trying to lift a stone but were unable to do so. Their supervisor was standing close by but not lending a helping hand. Washington asked him to come to their help, but he refused saying that it was below his dignity.
Washington , kept his sheet on one side of the road and helped them lift the boulder, and said to them when departing that whenever they needed help in a difficulty of that type they could enlist his help at such and such address.
Certainly this is a unique incident and is an example of a high standard of morality, but cannot be compared with the incidents mentioned above.
Islam is a complete way of life. It considers the family the cornerstone of Islamic society. It bases the atmosphere in the family on sacrifice, love, loyalty, and obedience. When we say “family” we mean the traditional definition of it, namely husband, wife and children. Grandparents are also part of the extended Muslim family.
It may be asked here: how does Islam organize family relationships? To answer this, we have to concentrate on husband-wife relationship and parent-children relationship.
As for husband wife relationship the following verse portrays the right Islamic atmosphere:
“And among His Signs is this: He created for you spouses from yourselves, that you may find rest in them, and He ordained between you affection and mercy.” (Qur-an, 30-21)
If we contemplate the Noble Qur-an, we find that it refers to parents-child relationships in four main places. Before it asks children to be good and loyal to their parents, it requires parents to be extremely careful in upbringing their children. In other words it asks parents to do their duty before asking for their rights.
These are the two main chapters of the Noble Qur-an that decide and clearly depict the Islamic relationship between parents and children. It is a relationship based, as we see, on belief in Allah, and feeling that He observes all that we do and that we are accountable to Him even in the bad breath that we may release against our parents when we are angry. Even this has to be controlled.
Let us remember, however, that it is only parents who do their duty, who deserve this honorable treatment of their children. That is why when a parent came to the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) and complained to him about the ingratitude of his son, the son said: He was ungrateful to me oh Messenger of Allah, before I showed ingratitude to him. So the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) did not blame the son but disliked the attitude of his parent. This is a message to all parents.
The third place in the Noble Qur-an that refers to parents child relationship is in chapter 46 called Al Ahqaf where Allah says:
“And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind toward his parents. His mother bears him with hardship and delivers him with hardship. His bearing and weaning are thirty months, till when he attains full strength and reaches forty years, he says: ‘My Lord! Arouse me that I may give thanks for the favor where with you have favored my parents, and I may do right acceptable unto you. I have turned unto you repentant and Lo! I am one of the Muslims.”
Concerning this type of child the Noble Qur-an has the following comment: “Those are they from whom We accept the best of what they do, and We overlook their evil deeds among the dwellers of Paradise – a promise of truth, which they have been promised (in the world).”
The Noble Qur-an then turns to the other category of or children who are disbelievers and are, as a result, ungrateful to their parents. It declares:
“As for him who said to his parents: Fie upon you both! Do you threaten me that I shall be brought forth (again) when generations before me have passed away! While they too cry unto Allah for help and say: Woe unto you! Believe! Verily, the promise of Allah is true. But he says: This is nothing but fables of the ancient.”
Commenting on this attitude Allah says:
“Such are those whom the Word concerning nations of the jinn and mankind which have passed away before them has effect. Verily, they are the losers. And for each there will be degrees due to what they did; that He may recompense them in full for their deeds! And they will not be wronged.” (Qur-an, 46:15-19).
The forth and last place in the Noble Qur-an that refers to parents-child relationship is what is mentioned briefly in chapter 29 that says:
“We have enjoined on man to be good and dutiful to his parents. But should they strive to make you join with Me that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not. Unto Me is your return and I shall tell you what you used to do.” (Qur-an, 29:8)
Charity is amongst the most virtuous deeds in Islam. Some forms of charity are obligatory, others optional, yet, all forms of charity are highly meritorious. However, even when giving in charity, moderation has been prescribed so that the one who gives in charity may not harm himself in the process, nor does he cause harm to his dependents and inheritors after death. The following Hadeeth explains this matter perfectly.
Narrated Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas (radhi allahu anhu), ‘I was stricken by an ailment that led me to the verge of death. The Prophet (s.a.w.s) came to pay me a visit. I said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! I have much property and no heir except my single daughter. Shall I give two-thirds of my property in charity?’ He said, ‘No.’ I said, ‘Half of it?’ He said, ‘No.’ I said, ‘One-third of it?’ He said, ‘You may do so though, one-third is also too much, for, it is better for you to leave your off-spring wealthy than to leave them poor, asking others for help. And whatever you spend (for Allah’s sake) you will be rewarded for it, even for a morsel of food which you may put in the mouth of your wife.’?’ [Saheeh al-Bukharee, vol.8, no. 725]
Monastic religions often teach their followers, that the only way to God or the only way to inner enlightenment, is that one does away with all his worldly possessions leading a life of hermits and ultimately depending on begging and the charity of others for sustenance. Islam, on the other hand, teaches its followers to ?
(a) Earn an honest bread (1)*
(b) Spend on oneself and on the family
(c) Spend in charity and we have seen earlier the broad definition of charity in Islam
(d) To be the upper hand rather than the lower (2)
(e) The extreme undesirability of begging without a need (3)
1. Anas (radhi allahu anhu) said that when a man of the Ansar came to Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘aliahi wa-sallam) and begged from him, he asked him whether he had nothing in his house. When he said that he had a piece of cloth, which he used for wearing as well as for spreading on the ground, and a wooden bowl from which he drank water, he told him to bring them to him, and when he did so he took them in his hand and asked, ‘Who will buy these?’ When a man offered a dirham he asked twice or thrice. ‘Who will offer more than a dirham?’ and he gave them to a man who offered two dirhams. He then took the two dirhams and giving them to the Ansari he said, ‘Buy food with one of them and hand it to your family, and buy an axe with the other and bring it to me.’ When he bought it, Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu ‘aliahi wa-sallam) fixed a handle on it with his own hands and said, ‘Go gather firewood and sell it, and don’t let me see you for a fortnight.’ The man went away and gathered firewood and sold it. When he had earned ten dirhams, he came to him (r) and bought a garment with some of them (i.e. dirhams) and food with the others. Then Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu ‘aliahi wa-sallam) said, ‘This is better for you than that begging should come as a spot on your face on the Day of Resurrection. Begging is right for only three people; one who is in grinding poverty, one who is seriously in debt, or one who is responsible for blood-wit that he finds difficult to pay.’ [Abu Dawood]
2. Ibn Umar (radhi allahu anhu) reported, ‘While the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘aliahi wa-sallam) was on his pulpit (in the mosque) delivering a Khutbah (religious talk) about Sadaqah (charity) and begging, he said, ‘the upper hand is better than the lower hand, the upper hand is the one which gives and the lower hand is the begging one.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim]
Thauban (radhi allahu anhu) reported, ‘The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘aliahi wa-sallam) said, ‘He who guarantees me that he will not beg anything from anyone, I will guarantee him (to enter) Jannah.” I said, ‘I give you the guarantee.’ Then Thauban (radhi allahu anhu) never begged anything from anyone. [Abu Dawood]
3. Abdullah bin Umar (radhi allahu anhu) reported that Allah’s Messenger(s.a.w.s) said, ‘When a man is always begging from people, the result will be that he will come on the Day of Resurrection with no flesh on his face.’ [Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim]
There is no one worthy to be worshiped but Allah, Muhammad is His (last) Messenger.
Islam and Rationality
Islam secures consistency and rationality of belief through its logical and rational principles. Islam is embraced strongly by its followers. Islam keeps the Muslim away from ideological confusion, because it has no illogical or irrational principles that are not consistent wrong with one another.
Clear concept of Allah
Islam does not cause confusion to the believer concerning Allah. Allah is one in Islam. Allah has no son or father. Allah has no parallel or equal.
According to Islam, Jesus (Peace Be Upon Him) is not the son of Allah. Jesus is Allah’s apostle. So is Moses and he so is Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Them). So are all Prophets and Apostles. Allah has no son or sons.
To believe that God is unique, and vastly superior to His creation, and yet has a son is inconsistent. This lowers God to a human, carnal level.
In today’s Christianity, it is said that God had His son killed in order to save humanity With all respect to our Christian friends, it is difficult to accept this, because it is against the justice and might of God. Why should God kill to save? It is unfair to kill an innocent person to save others. In addition, Allah does not need to kill anyone to save others. Allah can save without killing. Further, it is difficult to see the relationship between killing and saving. It is difficult to convince a person of how, if Allah kills his son, other men are saved. Further, it is difficult to convince people that Allah killed his only son, when he should protect him.
Allah Has No Son
In Islam, this issue is clear, logical, and rational. In Islam, Allah is one. Allah has no son. Allah does not kill. A person is not saved by God’s killing another person. In Islam, you are saved or doomed by yourself and your deeds. In Islam, Allah shows us the right path and the wrong path through the Noble Qur’an. Our responsibility is to choose either path. Each one of us is saved or doomed according to his choice and, consequently, according to his deeds.
Allah is one
Islam does not have the concept of the Trinity, or the concept of ” three in one.” It is very difficult for the mind to accept or understand how one being can be father, son, and Holy Spirit simultaneously. Furthermore, Allah has no son and does not need sons, because Allah is the owner of everything and the Creator of all beings.
No Mediation between Man and Allah
In Islam, there is no mediation between Allah and man. You do not need to visit a priest to confess or repent. In Islam, every Muslim has direct contact with Allah, no matter how weak, poor, or ignorant he is. In Islam, Allah is the God of all. Every Muslim decides by himself how near or how far he wants to be from God, depending on his own free will and deeds. In Islam, there are no mediators between man and Allah.
In Islam, there are no men of religion as in some other beliefs. In Islam, every Muslim is responsible for his own beliefs and for Islam in general. In Islam, there are scholars of religion, but there is no class of clergymen.
In Islam, there is no celibacy, because celibacy is against human nature. Islam urges the Muslim to get ‘married as soon as he can, because it is difficult for-normal people to be religious and unmarried at the same time. Islam, as a rule, organizes human nature, but never destroys or goes against it.
Islam establishes a wonderful harmony between the demands of the soul and the demands of the body. The religion that considers celibacy as necessary for purity goes against human nature and theoretically puts an end to the human race. Prophet Muhammad, (Peace Be Upon Him) says, “Your God has rights over you. Your body has rights over you. Your soul has rights over you. Give to each his due rights. ”
A Complete Code of Life
Islam is a religion, but not in the western meaning of religion. The western connotation of the term “religion” is something between the believer and God. Islam is a religion that organizes all aspects of life on both the individual and national levels. Islam organizes your relations with God, with yourself, your children, your relatives, your neighbors, your guests, and other brethren. Islam clearly establishes your duties and rights in all those relationships. Islam establishes a clear system of worship, civil rights, laws of marriage and divorce, laws of inheritance, code of behavior, what to drink, and what not to drink, what to wear, and what not to wear, how to worship God, how to govern, the laws of war and peace, when to go to war, when to make peace, the laws of economics, and the laws of buying and selling.
Islam is a complete code of life, and it is not for their mosque only. Islam is for life, daily life. Islam is a guide to life in all its aspects: socially, ethically, economically, and politically. Islam is a complete constitution. Islam keeps the Muslim away from confusion, because Islam is logical and rational. Allah is one and has no sons. Allah is not a trinity. Allah does not kill to save. No mediation is required between Allah and man. Islam organizes human nature, but does not go against it. There is no class of clergy in Islam nor is there celibacy. Islam is a complete code of human life.
“Yes, but whoever submits his face (himself) to Allah (i.e. follows Allah’s Religion of Islamic Monotheism) and he is a Muhsin (good-doer i.e. performs good deeds totally for Allah’s sake only without any show off or to gain praise or fame, etc., and in accordance with the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger Muhammad Peace be upon him ) then his reward is with his Lord (Allah), on such shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.”
(Sura Baqarah: #112)
How to Serve Islam
1 SERVE ISLAM: By having a correct resolve and sincere intention, for Allah blesses an action that is done sincerely for His sake alone, even if it is little. Sincere devotion, if it becomes a constant feature of acts of worship and obedience, even if they are small or simple in the sight of the one who does them, makes them great in the sight of Allah, so Allah will forgive him for major sins because of that, as it says in the hadith about the piece of paper on which is written La ilaaha ill-Allaah.
2 SERVE ISLAM: By knowing the right way and following it. The Straight Path means following the way of our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) with regard to the principles, ways and means of da’wah and being patient in adhering to that, whilst treating people with kindness and compassion, because they are suffering from the disease of sin.
3 SERVE ISLAM: By making the most of all available means and circumstances. This is a great blessing, for all means are permissible except those which have been forbidden by Allah. So we call people to Allah, by all means prescribed in sharee’ah, whilst paying attention to the evidence of sharee’?ah and correct etiquette.
4 SERVE ISLAM: By giving precedence to that which is in the interests of Islam over your own whims and desires. Serving this religion means giving what is most precious of your money, effort, time, thought, etc. Have you not seen those who love sport (football or soccer) for example, how they devote their efforts, time and money to their beloved sport? But more is expected of you than that.
5 SERVE ISLAM: By following in the footsteps of the scholars, daa’iyahs and reformers, having patience as your companion and putting up with tiredness and exhaustion. For you are doing a great act of worship which is the mission of the Prophets and Messengers and those who follow in their footsteps.
6 SERVE ISLAM: By shunning laziness, weakness and apathy, for this religion is the religion of resolve, ambition and courage, and its call is only harmed by laziness or reckless ignorance.
7 SERVE ISLAM: By connecting your heart to Allah and reciting a lot of du’aa and prayers for forgiveness, and persisting in reading Qur’an. There is nothing that is more effective in cleansing the heart and refreshing the soul, and making it active and energetic so that it will not get tired or bored, than remembering Allah much and drawing nearer to Him by means of obeying Him and doing naafil (supererogatory) acts of worship.
8 SERVE ISLAM: By forming bonds with scholars who practice what they preach, those who are known to be sincere and who are well established in jihad and supporting this religion. Marching under their banner and following their lead is very good and beneficial.
9 SERVE ISLAM: By organizing your time on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. There are actions which should be done every day, others which should be done every week, and others which should be done every month or every year.
For example, you should make da’wah to those whom you see every day and to those whom you see once a week. You may have a family gathering once a month, and there may be annual conferences, or journeys for Hajj or Umrah once a year, and so on.
10 SERVE ISLAM: By paying it some attention and giving it some of your time, thoughts and money, and making it your main concern.
So when you stand up, it is for Islam;
when you walk, it is for Islam;
when you think, it is for Islam;
when you give, it is for Islam;
when you sit, it is for Islam.
11 SERVE ISLAM: By hastening to contribute every time you find an opportunity to do good. Do not hesitate or delay or put it off.
All praises and thanks be to Allah, Lord of everything that exists.The most Gracious, the Most Merciful.Master of the Day of Judgment You (alone) we worship, and You (alone) we ask for help.Guide us to the Straight Way The Way of of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger, nor those who went astray. Ameen