TAQWA (author unknown)
My talk to you today is about an important subject which influences our daily lives' activities, behaviors, manners and characters. The title of the subject is Taqwa. Since there is no English meaning for the word Taqwa, I will use the Arabic word for Taqwa as such that I will explain its meaning directly from the Qur'an.
The word Taqwa has been mentioned in the Qur'an 251 times in many surahs. This large number of verses related to Taqwa is an indication of the importance of the subject and the dimension that the concept of Taqwa is involved.
To appreciate the significance of the concept of taqwa, I will summarize some of the verses in the Qur'an. The first verse to be quoted from the Qur'an summarizes the meaning of taqwa. Allah says in Surah Al-Baqarah (The Cow):
"Alif. Lam. Mim. This is the book wherein there is no doubt; a guidance unto those who ward off (evil): who believe in the unseen, and establish worship, and spend of that we have bestowed upon them: and who believe in that which is revealed unto thee (Muhammad) and that which was revealed before thee, and are certain of the Hereafter." (2 : 1-4)
Some more meanings for the word taqwa are to be mentioned here. Allah says in the Qur'an in Surah Al-'Imran (The family of Imran):
"And vie one with another for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a paradise as wide as are the heavens and the earth prepared for those who ward off (evil); those who spend (of that which Allah has given them) in ease and in adversity, those who control their wrath and are forgiving toward mankind; Allah loves the good; and those who, when they do an evil thing or wrong themselves, remember Allah and implore forgiveness for their sins - who forgives sins save Allah only? And will not knowingly repeat (the wrong) they did." (3 : 133-135)
Some more meanings for the word taqwa may be mentioned here directly from Qur'an. Allah says in Surah Al-Baqarah ( The Cow):
"It is not righteousness that you turn your faces to the East and the West; but righteous is he who believes in Allah and the last Day and the angels and the Scriptures and the Prophets; and gives his wealth for the love of Him, to kinsfolk and to the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and those who ask, and to set slaves free; and observes proper worship and pays the poor-due. And those who keep their treaty when they make one, and the patient in tribulation and adversity and time of stress. Such are they who are sincere. Such are the God-fearing." (2 : 177)
>From the above three different verses, one may be able to conclude the following meanings for the word Taqwa:
1.Belief in: Allah; the Unseen; the Revelation to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh); the Revelations before Prophet Muhammad (pbuh); the Day of Judgment; the Angels, and the prophets of Allah to mankind.
2.Performance of regular prayers.
4.Spending money in the way of Allah while at ease or in adversity for the love of Allah; and giving money to the kinsfolk, the orphans, the needy, the wayfarers, those who ask, and those in slavery to be set free.
5.Controlling one's wrath.
6.Forgiveness to others.
7.Fulfilling one's own commitments.
8.If one commits a mistake, he/she should ask forgiveness from Allah.
9.A person should not knowingly repeat the wrong deeds of he/she did before.
10.To have patience in tribulation, in adversity or at time of stress.
One may ask for the types of rewards that the muttaqeen will receive from Allah Almighty. Since taqwa includes beliefs, practices and good deeds in one's own life, the rewards from Allah are plenty. Among the many worldly and heavenly rewards are the following.
1.Love of Allah to the muttaqeen. In this regard Allah says in Surah Al-'Imran:
"Nay, but (the chosen of Allah is) he who fulfils his pledge and wards off (evil); for lo! Allah loves those who ward off (evil)." (3 : 76)
2.Allah is with the muttaqeen. In this regard Allah says in Surah Al-Baqarah (The Cow):
". . . observe your duty to Allah, and know that Allah is with those who ward off (evil)."(2 : 194)
You may also read (9:37) and (9:124).
3.Allah is the supporter, the Friend and the Helper to the muttaqeen. In Surah Al-Jathiyah (The Crouching) Allah says:
". . . and Allah is the Friend of those who ward off (evil)." (45 : 19)
4.Leaders are to be among the muttaqeen. In this regard, Allah says in Surah Al-Furqan:
". . . and make us patterns for (all) those who ward off (evil)." (25 : 74)
5.The muttaqeen during the Day of Judgment will continue to be friends to one another, while others will be foes to one another. In this regard, Allah says in Surah Az-Zukhruff (about al-muttaqeen:
"Friends on the Day will be foes one to another, save those who kept their duty (to Allah)." (43 : 67)
6.In the Day of Judgment, the muttaqeen are not to fear or grieve. In this regard, Allah says in Surah Az-Zukhruff about al-muttaqeen:
"O my worshippers! For you there is no fear this Day, nor is it you who grieve." (43 : 68)
7.The muttaqeen will go to paradise with all the good life they are to enjoy there. There are many verses in the Qur'an about this reward. Allah says in Surah Al-Hijr:
"Lo! Those who ward off (evil) are among gardens and water springs (And it is said unto them): Enter them in peace, secure." (15 : 45-46)
You may also read (51:15); (52:17); (54:54); (68:34); (77:41); (78:31).
We have seen from the above presentation that we should heed Allah, fear Him, love Him, seek refuge in Him, praise Him and call upon Him. We should request Him to guide us, to make us good worshippers, to keep us on the straight path, and to make us of the muttaqeen. If we live as muttaqeen, we will, indeed, be among the best creatures of Allah, and among the best worshippers of Allah.
I request you kindly to look into the concept of taqwa, and to practice the total meaning of taqwa in your private life as well as in your public life. If you do so, you will be loved by Allah; you will enter paradise and you will have the best of what is in paradise. Ameen.
Let us ask Almighty Allah forgiveness.