A Simple Explanation of Taqwa

Taqwa is the reason a person gets goodness in the world and hereafter. It’s mentioned numerous times in the Quran and Hadith. So, we need to understand what it is, why it’s important, and how to apply it. 

There are various definitions of taqwa, but they all come down to making a shield to protect oneself from the displeasure and punishment of Allah.

This shield is by obeying Allah’s commands and staying away from Allah’s prohibitions.

The foundation of taqwa i.e. God-consciousness is the shahadah. Not just lip-service, but really understand and practice what it entails.

Saying the first part of the shahadah means that you must be absolutely certain that only Allah worthy of any form of worship. You don’t worship anything else. Not other living or dead beings (they’re all created by Allah). And not “concepts” such as money, sports, etc.

Being sure of the second part of the shahadah means you believe Muhammad bin ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abdul Mutalib (sallallahu ‘alayhi wassalam) is the last and final messenger and slave of Allah. We don’t worship him but we believe what he said as true. 

Loving Allah & His Messenger

Saying the shahadah also means you love Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wassalam) more than any other .

What does this mean?

That you obey Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wassalam) above all else. Above your spouse, parents, sons, daughters, friends, boss, colleagues, etc. Even above your own desire.

Let me elaborate a bit.

You have to get your priorities right. Performing properly your salah is more important than meeting other deadlines.

Don’t hurriedly send your kids to school (in the morning) by skipping Fajr salah so that they don’t arrive late at school.

Don’t continue shopping (to save time) with your wife until your salah time expires without you and/or your wife having prayed that particular salah.

Pray!

The biggest commitment to fulfilling the shahadah is the five daily prayers.

And the men should pray in congregation in the mosque. Some ulema don’t make it a must (wajib).

But think about it.

Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wassalam) always prayed in congregation. Always.

Even when very ill. Even during his final illness, and he had to be supported by two Companions, with his feet dragging on the ground, Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wassalam) went to the mosque to pray in congregation!

I don’t know about you, but I’d be quite embarrassed to use the excuse that I’ve a headache or running nose and couldn’t go pray in congregation at the nearby mosque …

Praying in congregation at the mosque is the biggest visible sign of Islam. It’s something we should guard as proof of our taqwa.

Focus – don’t be misled

Let’s always be wary of things that can prevent or divert us from our taqwa.

This could be TV programmes, entertainment shows, or useless talk (which usually involves backbiting  – don’t deny it …)

Of course, he needs to obey other commands of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) like protecting himself and his family from the Hellfire and treating others with respect.

Beautify your akhlaq — don’t argue

A person may start to change quickly by doing or increasing certain acts such as salah or sadaqah. Or stopping certain things such as going to pubs or gambling.

The hard part is changing the akhlaq (manners) which have been ingrained by daily habits for years. He may continue to talk dirty, tell little lies, backbite, look down on others, argue, debate, etc.

A significant improvement to your akhlaq can be achieved by avoiding argument.

How?

Knowing and applying this hadith 1 would definitely help. Avoiding arguing with another person isn’t something that’s easy to do., especially when you’re in the right. Doing this is very commendable and a great reward (Paradise) awaits the doer.

Arguing with someone is a useless and risky thing. Win or lose, it only creates bad feelings between both sides, and this is a major cause of damaged relationship among people.

Just say what you want, and then keep quiet. If the other person responds negatively, just keep quiet. Have sabr.

So, avoid arguing. This is not an easy thing to do, but the reward is so great. Both in your Akhirah, as well as the Dunya now.

Wallahu A’lam

How to maximize what you get from your Quran reading

It’s a fact. Many people find reading the Quran rather dull. They’d instead open ‘Facebook’ or ‘Whatsapp’ and spend hours scrolling through their gadgets.

Don’t abandon the Quran2. Find the time to make it a part of your life. Let’s change our attitude towards Quran reading.

How?

Treat the Quran as a very much needed guidance for living successfully. Your interaction should be like a thirsty person trying to quench his thirst – somebody who really needs the wisdom given by the Quran.

Don’t act like you know it all! ‘Coz if you do, you may find yourself looking at your watch, wondering how much longer you have to read the Quran.

Adjust your attitude. At the start of your Quran reading ask Allah for help and guidance – you have a problem and you’re seeking a solution from the Quran. You could say, “O Allah, I need your help, give me guidance.”

Establish a PERSONAL relationship with the Quran. This is where you approach reading the Quran seeking answers to your everyday problems – issues with your family or workplace. This is different than having a relationship with the Quran that is merely academic (reasons for revelation, miracles, etc.) or spiritual (blessings, reward, etc.).

Wallahu A’lam.