Quarterly: Issue No 51
Download your FREE copy of the detailed tafseer of Surah Yaseen in PDF format (810Kb) in multi colour with Arabic texts. Other chapters will follow soon, insha Allah.
TAQWA — CRITERION OF HONOUR & EXCELLENCE
Sayyiduna Abu Dharr (Radhiyallahu Anhu) narrates that
the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) once said to
him: ‘You, as a person, enjoy no superiority over a white-skinned or
a black-skinned man. You can, of course, be excellent through piety and fear of
Allah.’ (Musnad of Imam
shows that honour and superiority does not rest with wealth, nationality,
birth, language or face and figure. It
is determined by piety (the state of being constantly conscious of Allah) and
leading a way of life stemming from it.
Thus, the one who is greater in honour in the sight of Allah is the one
who is more pious. As
Allah says in the Noble Qur’an: Verily, the most
honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous. (Surah al-Hujuraat :
It is related by Imam-ul-Fuqaha Sayyiduna Mu‘aadh
Ibn Jabal (Radhiyallahu Anhu) that the
Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu Alayhi
Wasallam) sent him to Yemen (as the Governor or
Judge). When he was leaving for that
place, the Prophet went with him (for some distance by way of a send-off),
giving him the (necessary) instructions and advice. At that time, Sayyiduna
Mu‘aadh was riding on his mount while the Prophet was
walking on foot beside him. The last thing the Prophet said to him, after he
had given other necessary instructions, was: ‘We may not meet again after this year
(i.e. it is the last year of my life and I will soon depart from this
world). It is possible that (when you
return from Yemen) you may visit my mosque and grave.’ On hearing this, Mu‘aadh began to cry.
Turning his face away from Mu’aadh and in the
direction of Madinah, the Prophet remarked: ‘Much closer and dearer to me are
the servants who fear Allah (and are constantly conscious of Him), whoever they
are and wherever they may be.’
(Musnad of Imam Ahmad)
The concluding part of the above Hadith
denotes that spiritual nearness and attachment to our beloved Prophet is the
main thing. Hence, however distant a man
may be from the Prophet, physically he may be in Yemen or in any other part of
the world, if he possesses the trait of piety and fears Allah constantly, he is
close to him, or, rather, with him. On
the other hand, if a person is near him, in the physical sense, but his heart
is devoid of piety, he is removed from the Prophet and the Prophet is removed
from him, notwithstanding all the seeming nearness.
The Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) has, in this way, consoled Mu‘aadh (Radhiyallahu Anhu). He has advised him not to
grieve over the apparent separation for with piety and the fear of Allah in his
heart he will not be far from him even if he lived in Yemen. Moreover, the present existence is transitory,
and the permanent dwelling place is the future world where all the righteous
servants of Allah will live with the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) forever and there will be no
question of separation.
The Prophet had turned his face away
while speaking these words, probably, because he, too, had been moved to tears
at the weeping of Mu‘aadh and wanted to conceal it
from him. It could, also, be that the
sight of a true friend weeping was unbearable for the Prophet and, therefore,
he turned away. The Prophet ordered Mu‘aadh to ride
on his mount while, for himself, he preferred to walk on foot by his side. What a great lesson and example this event
contains for those who are regarded to be the religious and spiritual heirs and
deputies of the Messenger of Allah.
May Allah entitle all of us the spiritual nearness of Prophet
Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) and his physical company in the Hereafter by adopting the life of taqwa (the state of being constantly conscious of Allah)
and refraining from all sins to the best of our ability. Ameen!
THE LIFE OF TAQWA
In every Friday Khutbah, we
are constantly reminded to have taqwa or fear Allah.
TAQWA is one of the pillars of a Jumu’ah Khutbah. If any Khatib
that does not remind the congregation to have taqwa,
that Jumu’ah Khutbah is
deemed to be invalid.
Why is this so? Why are we reminded every week to have Taqwa (be in the state of constant consciousness of Allah
and fear Him)? It is simply because it
is the underlying theme of the Noble Qur’an. Nay, if
one had to summarise the whole Qur’an in one word,
then it is TAQWA. This is the very reason why in every Friday Khutbah, we are constantly reminded of Taqwa.
How can we increase our Taqwa? What are the
characteristics of a person who has Taqwa? Allah brings forth these qualities in the
verse 18 of Surah Al-Hashr: “O you who believe! Fear
Allah and keep your duty to Him. And let every person look to what he has sent
forth for the morrow, and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what you do.”
These, therefore are the
characteristics of those who have piety and taqwa.
They are not only preparing themselves for the challenges of this life. In
fact, more importantly, they are preparing for themselves to face the eternal
life of the hereafter (akhirah). Those that have Taqwa realize at every moment that life in this world is
only temporary and that the life in the Hereafter is everlasting. They know
very well that the promise of Allah is the truth and that death is certain.
Therefore they are not the least bit attracted to the luxuries of life in this world, that simply deceives and distracts. Let us reflect
and ponder upon the words of Allah in Surah Luqman,
“O mankind! Be afraid of your Lord (by keeping your duty to Him
and avoiding all evil), and fear a Day when no father can avail aught for his
son, nor a son avail aught for his father. Verily, the
Promise of Allah is true, let not then this (worldly) present life deceive you,
nor let the chief deceiver (Satan) deceive you about Allah.”
Allah commands us to have Taqwa for Him. Then this command is followed by another
command of fearing the coming Day of Judgement. The Day
whereby, all of mankind will be gathered in front of Almighty Allah.
Every action will be made answerable. Our book of deeds will be given to us and
during that time, everyone of us will see all of our
actions, from the smallest deed to the biggest. We will feel disappointed when
we find out that all our good deeds, when put together, could not outweigh our
bad deeds. We will definitely feel ashamed when our bad deeds are made known to
all mankind from Adam (alayhis salaam) to the very
last person who had lived.
Going to extremes in the way one
cares for oneself, in food, drink, clothing, housing and means of
transportation. Showing excessive interest in luxuries,
trying to be sophisticated, buying only the finest clothes, spending large
amounts on their choice of houses and cars and spending too much time and wasting
money on such unnecessary things, while their Muslim brothers are in the
greatest need of that money. This carries on until they sink into the
soft life of luxury which is forbidden. It is reported in the Hadith of Mu’aadh ibn Jabal (Radhiyallahu
Anhu) when the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) sent him to Yemen, he advised him: “Beware of luxury, for
the servants of Allah do not live a life of luxury.” (Musnad of Imam Ahmad).
In Surah Al-Kahf,
verse 49, Allah further says: “And the Book (one's Record) will be
placed (in the right hand for a believer in the Oneness of Allah, and in the
left hand for a disbeliever in the Oneness of Allah), and you will see the Mujrimoon (criminals, polytheists, sinners, etc.), fearful
of that which is (recorded) therein. They will say: "Woe to us! What sort
of Book is this that leaves neither a small thing nor a big thing, but has
recorded it with numbers!" And they will find all
that they did, placed before them, and your Lord
treats no one with injustice."
A Day whereby
every sinner and oppressor in this world will regret. They will say,
“Alas, my grief that I was undutiful to
Allah (i.e. I have not done what Allah has ordered me to do), and I was indeed
among those who mocked (at the truth)!” (Az-Zumar : 56). Then they will say, “If only Allah had
guided me, I should indeed have been among the Muttaqoon” (az-Zumar : 57)
Verily, Allah had sent down His
Book, and had sent His Messenger. Furthermore, we are all reminded every Friday
in the Jumu’ah Khutbah to increase
our Taqwa. Is it then justified for us to say that
Allah did not or never reminded us? “Or (lest) he should say when he sees
the torment: "If only I had another chance (to return to the world) then I
should indeed be among the Muhsinoon (good-doers)” (az-Zumar : 58).
Sad indeed will be the regret of
this group of mankind on the Day of Judgement. How then can we stay away from
being associated with this group. Allah gives His answer in verse 33 of Surah Luqman:
“O mankind! Be afraid of your Lord (by
keeping your duty to Him and avoiding all evil), and fear a Day when no father
can avail aught for his son, nor a son avail aught for his father. Verily, the
Promise of Allah is true, let not then this (worldly) present life deceive you,
nor let the chief deceiver (Satan) deceive you about Allah..”
Therefore, let us live the life
of Taqwa and always be aware of the pitfalls. Let us not be deceived with the life of this
world so that we forget the deeds that can prepare us for the Hereafter. Let us
not be constantly busy with our worldly duties, that we hardly give time to
worship Allah. Be careful of the attractions that Shaitaan
has installed to bait careless people. Verily death is certain. It is something
that no one can run away from. Therefore, let us always be prepared to face
Death. Truly, the most intelligent people are those who prepare themselves for
the time when they will meet their Creator.
SOME BENEFITS OF TAQWA
1. Taqwa is a means by which
a believer performs righteous deeds and Taqwa causes
these righteous deeds to be accepted by Allah.
Allah says: “O you who believe! Fear Allah (have Taqwa)
and always speak the truth. He will direct you to do righteous
good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His
Messenger he has indeed achieved a great achievement.” (Surah al-Ahzaab :
70-71) and: “Verily Allah accepts
only from those who are the muttaqoon (those who
posses Taqwa).” (Surah al-Maa’idah : 27)
2. Taqwa makes one deserving of Allah’s
Pleasure and Love. Allah says: “Verily, the most honourable of you
with Allah is that (believer) who is the most pious.” (Surah al-Hujuraat :
13) and: “Yes, whoever fulfils his pledge and fears Allah much; verily,
then Allah loves those who are Al-Muttaqoon” (Surah Aal-Imraan : 76)
3. Taqwa causes sins to be forgiven and
increases the rewards. Allah says: “And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will
remit his sins from him, and will increase his reward.” (Surah at-Talaaq :
4. Taqwa keeps one steadfast on the Straight
Path and protects him from deviation.
Allah says: “O you who believe! If you obey and fear Allah, He will grant
you Furqaan (a criterion to judge between right and wrong) and will expiate for
you your sins, and forgive you, and Allah is the Owner of the Great Bounty.” (Surah al-Anfaal :
Allamah Ibn al-Kathir (rahimahullah) said in his Tafsir
that Ibn Abbas, as-Suddi, Ikrimah, adh-Dahhak, Qataadah and Muqaatil, all of
them, said that 'Furqaan' means a way out (from
added: ‘A way out from difficulty both in this world and in the
Hereafter.’ In a narration from Abdullah
Ibn Abbas, he said: “It means, ‘Salvation’ and in
another narration from him, it means ‘being helped’. Taqwa will be the
cause for his salvation, his being helped; and the cause for his worldly
affairs being made easier and his happiness on the Day of Judgment. It will be
the cause for his sins to be expiated by Allah, and his being granted
forgiveness of his sins.
Likewise, taqwa will be the cause of him
being the recipient of a great reward from Allah, as He the Most High says: “O you who believe! Fear Allah, and believe
too in His Messenger (Muhammad ), He will give you a
double portion of His Mercy, and He will give you a light by which you shall
walk (straight),” (Surah al-Hadeed : 28)
May Allah, the Most Merciful, give us all the love to
tread the Path of Taqwah to the best of our ability.
May Allah guide us all in
understanding Islam in its pristine purity! Ameen!
Requesting your humble duas!
Abdul Haq Abdul Kadir,
Umhlanga Rocks, KZN,