Quarterly: Issue No 67
IMAAN AND TAQWA
All Praise is due to Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala), our only Sustainer and Creator. And Blessings and Peace be upon His beloved Messenger Muhammad, his family and all his companions.
We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is His servant and the Seal of all His Messengers.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale-Imraan verse 102:
O you who believe! (O you who have Imaan!) Fear Allah (ittaqoo Allah) as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims (those who submit to Him completely).
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 59 Surah Hashr verse 18:
O you who believe! Fear Allah (ittaqoo Allah). And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow - and fear Allah (ittaqoo Allah). Indeed, Allah is Fully Aware of what you do.
To be extremely honest, there is no word in the English language that has the capacity to do justice to the vast and comprehensive meaning of the Arabic and Quranic term of ‘taqwa’.
The Quranic term ‘taqwa’ - because of the shallowness of the English language - is translated as Piety, Righteousness, God-Consciousness, duty, or simply as the ‘Fear’ of Allah (SWT). But the true meaning is much more comprehensive than all these terms put together.
The state of constant consciousness of standing in the Presence of the Majestic and Supreme Lord on One Inevitable Day (Day of Judgement) is what Allah (SWT) calls ‘taqwa’ or piety in His Quran. And it is this state of ‘taqwa’ alone that inspires one towards the doing of deeds that earn the Eternal Pleasure of their Lord. And it is this same state of ‘taqwa’ that inspires one to abstain from doing anything that brings about the Unbearable Wrath and Anger of our Supreme and Majestic Lord. ‘Taqwa’, therefore, is to live every moment of our lives consciously striving to do deeds that would earn the Pleasure and Good Will of our Lord, Most Merciful; and to abstain from doing deeds which would bring about His Displeasure and Wrath.
If one studies the Glorious Quran, one would realize that, more often than not, wherever Allah (SWT) promises His servants the Eternal Gardens of Paradise, the manifestation of the term ‘taqwa’ is always associated with it. For example:
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale Imraan verse 133:
And hasten towards (the path that leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for Al-Muttaqoon (i.e. the pious and righteous persons who fear Allah much - by abstaining from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which He has forbidden - and love Allah much (by performing all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained).
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 16 Surah Nahl verse 31:
'Adn (Eden) Paradise (Gardens of Eternity) which they will enter, under which rivers flow, they will have therein all that they wish. Thus Allah rewards the Muttaqoon.
Thus, the best way to bring about a reformation and develop ‘taqwa’ in our hearts is to get close to the Remembrance of Allah (SWT) Who Created us. And the best way to remember our Lord is to read, understand, obey, follow and completely submit ourselves to His Glorious Message which He Himself revealed for our guidance, the One and Only Noble Quran (Al-Qur’an Al-Kareem).
Some Benefits of Taqwa?
Imam Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Juzayy al-Kalbi (ra) said in his dictionary of terms from the introduction to his commentary of the Noble Quran: Kitab ut Tasheel li ‘Ulumit Tanzil:
“The meaning of ‘Taqwa’ is fear, clinging to obedience to Allah, and abandoning disobedience to Him. It is the sum of all good.” And in his commentary, he said:
Concerning its benefits derived from the Qur’an, and they are thirteen:
1. Guidance from Allah, because of Allah’s statement:
“a guidance to those who are Al-Muttaqoon” (the pious and righteous persons who fear Allah much and abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which He has forbidden; and love Allah much by perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained). – (Chapter 2: Verse 2);
2. Help from Allah, because
of Allah’s statement:
“Truly, Allah is with those who fear Him ...” (keep their duty unto Him) - (Chapter 16: Verse 128);
Close Protection and Friendship (with Allah), because of Allah’s statement:
“but Allah is the Waliy (Helper, Protector, Friend etc.) of the Muttaqoon ...” (see Benefit No 1 above) - (Chapter 45: Verse 19);
4. Love of
Allah, because of Allah’s statement:
“Verily, Allah loves the Al-Muttaqoon” (see Benefit No 1 above) - (Chapter 9: Verse 7);
of sins, because
of Allah’s statement:
“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.” - (Chapter 8: Verse 29);
6. A way out of difficulties and provision from where one did not expect, because of Allah’s statement: “And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide for him (rizq) from (sources) he never could imagine.” - (Chapter 65: Verses 2-3);
7. Making ease
of all matters, because of Allah’s statement:
“and whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make his matters easy for him.” - (Chapter 65: Verses 4);
8. Blot out evil deeds and magnification of rewards, because of Allah’s statement:
“… and whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will blot out his sins from him, and will magnify his reward.” - (Chapter 65: Verses 5);
Acceptance of good deeds, because of Allah’s statement:
“Verily, Allah accepts only from those who are Al-Muttaqoon” (see Benefit No 1 above). - (Chapter 5: Verses 27);
of Allah’s statement:
“and fear Allah, so that you may be successful.” - (Chapter 3: Verse 200);
11. Glad tidings, because of Allah’s statement:
“O My servants, therefore fear Me! … for them are glad tidings; so announce the good news to My servants” - (Chapter 39: Verses 16-17);
into Jannah, because of Allah’s statement:
“Verily, for the Muttaqoon (see Benefit No 1 above) are Gardens of delight (Paradise) with their Lord.” - (Chapter 68: Verse 34);
from the Fire, because of
“Then We shall save those who use to fear Allah and were dutiful to Him. And We shall leave the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers, etc.) therein (humbled) to their knees (in Hell).” - (Chapter 19: Verse 72).
RAMADAAN – ITS MERITS
The best of all nights (i.e. Lailatul-Qadr) with regards to worship is in this month. Allah says in Chapter 97, Surah Al-Qadr (Power, Fate):
Verily! We have sent it (Al-Qur'an) down in the night of Al-Qadr (Decree)
And what will make you know what the night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is?
The night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months).
Therein descend the angels and the Rooh [Jibreel (Gabriel)] by Allah's Permission with all Decrees,
Peace! (All that night, there is Peace and Goodness from Allah to His believing servants) until the appearance of dawn.
Therefore, all types of worship done on this night are better than doing the same for a thousand months (i.e. 83 years and 4 months) on other nights.
The Final Book (Al-Qur’an) was revealed to the Seal of Prophets (peace be upon them) in this month. Allah (SWT)
The month of Ramadaan in which was revealed the Qur'an, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). (Chapter 2: Surah al-Baqarah: Verse: 185)
We sent it (Al-Qur'an) down on a blessed night (i.e. night of Qadr, Surah 97 in the month of Ramadaan - the 9th month of the Islamic calendar). Verily, We are ever warning (mankind that Our Torment will reach those who disbelieve in Our Oneness of Lordship and in Our Oneness of worship).(Chapter 44: Surah al-Dukhaan: Verse 3-5)
O you who believe, FASTING is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may guard against evil. (Chapter 2: Surah Al-Baqarah: Verse 183)
FASTING is a means to attain Taqwa (nearness and closeness to Allah) so that Allah (SWT) becomes a reality in our lives. As we bear the difficulties of fasting purely for the sake of following a Divine commandment, knowing and feeling that Allah can see all our actions, however secret, it intensifies the consciousness of Allah in our hearts, resulting in a higher spiritual experience.
Let us all ask Allah (SWT), very sincerely, to help us (grant us tawfeeq) to do our best in the blessed month of Ramadaan with regards to the fasting, qiyaam (taraweeh) and obeying His commands and prohibitions to the best of our ability. May Allah grant us all a Great Forgiveness. Ameen!
May Allah help us all to be guided aright with His Great Blessings and Mercy! Ameen!
O Allah! Your Forgiveness is far greater than my sins and I have more hope in Your Mercy than in my own deeds.
Requesting your humble duas!
Abdul Haq Abdul Kadir
Kyalami Glen, Gauteng
Johannesburg, South Africa