yaa Ayyuhal-ladhina amanu
Kutiba alaykumus siyamu
kama kutiba alal-ladhina min qablikum
la 'allakum tattaqun.
O you who securely believe!
Fasting is prescribed for you
just as it was prescribed for people of the past,
so that you may attain Taqwa.
~ The Qur'an 2:183
Taqwa is: to be in awe of the Supreme Divine Awesomeness (Jaleel),
Acting upon the Tanzeel (divinely revealed message, Quran),
Being content with Qaleel (little),
and preparing for the day of Raheel (Journeying from this world).
~ Ali ibn Abu Talib
The following are from the teachings of Sufi Guide and Imam Syed Rasheed Ahmed Jaunpuri, may Allah bless his soul.
WHAT IS TAQWA
Taqwa indicates both love of Allah and reverence of Allah.
Once our Master told to his companion Abu Hurayra, "Ya Abu Hurayra, if I counsel you something, can you convey it to my community?" Abu Hurayra said: "I will O Prophet."
Then our Master said, "Be a scholar of sacred knowledge (alem), or be a seeker of true knowledge, or be in the company of those who seek knowledge, or be a lover of God - but do not be among the fifth group."
In the Tafsir ar-Razi this hadith is explained as:
1) True religious scholars or alems are those who are in deep reverence for Allah. They literally shake in awe of their Lord. Those who have knowledge and taqwa, they are the real alem.
2) Those who follow the incitements of the arch deceiver satan while they attain knowledge, they are apprentice of satan.
So seek knowledge, but do not be companion of ego-centric desires.
3) Be in the company of those who seek knowledge, those who are eager to listen to truth, then you shall also be like them.
4) Those who wish to become lovers of God and seek sacred knowledge towards that goal, be a lover of God through their companionship.
5) But do not be of the fifth group because other than these above mentioned four groups, the remaining people will be loser both in this world and the next.
TAQWA DESTROYS THE INCITEMENT OF SATAN
Indeed, those who are people of Taqwa - when an impulse touches them from Satan, they remember [Him] and at once they have insight.
But their brothers - the devils increase them in error; then they do not stop short. (7:201-202)
In these Signs of the Qur'an Allah speaks about the characteristic of people of taqwa. When they attain taqwa, one of the grace bestowed upon them is protection against the whispering and incitements of the satan through its many disguises.
Such people have the eyes of their heart open so that they can recognize instantly what is wrong, injustice and evil from what is right, just and good.
Here the meaning of Taqwa is that light which illuminates the consciousness and give birth to heightened mindfulness.
When such illumination occurs, the activity of the arch deceiver and its brethren stops.
PURPOSE OF TAQWA
There is a purpose of taqwa. If we call that purpose attainment, then the single minded desire to that attainment can be called longing. Spiritual discipline is what takes one from longing to attainment of the object of longing.
But this longing, this desire is a level which can be dangerous. We ourselves dont know properly what we want, what we desire. What we want, do we really want them? If we wanted something really, then how come our wants never end? Why we keep falling off from one want to next, endlessly.
About this want and desire the Qur'an declares:
Verily, those who hope not for their meeting with Us, but are pleased and satisfied with the life of the present world, and those who are heedless of Our Signs, Lessons and Revelations.
Those, their abode will be the Fire, because of what they used to earn. (10:7-8)
There is an ultimate rendezvous, an appointed meeting with the Lord which is certain and for the people of taqwa this is the best of desire - meeting with the Beloved Lord. But those who are heedless of the truth, revelation and lessons, they only deny this inevitable reality of the Day when this meeting with take place between individual souls and the Supreme Lord.
EXPLANATION OF TAQWA
The word taqwa (root is Waw Qaf Ya) appears in many places of the Quran (more than 250 times in various forms of the word). Generally speaking Taqwa means reverence. It is profound respect and esteem mingled with fear and affection. Reverence is the synthesis of love and fear. Just as Taqwa implies being mindful, careful, awe mixed with veneration - similarly it also means love.
In Surah Tawba The Qur'an says:
O you who have believed, have taqwa of Allah and be with those who are truthful. (9:119)
alternative translation would be: O faithful ones, have taqwa of Allah and be part with the truthful ones.
Here taqwa is addressed to the faithful, one with iman. And to give definition of iman, the Rasul has said, "The place of iman is between reverence and love."
So in this context, Taqwa is not just fear or reverence or fear mixed awe but has to do with love also.
When Taqwa is mentioned in the context of satan or deceiving agent, in that case Taqwa means guarding against evil, being careful and being mindful. This carefulness is not an ordinary carefulness. Taqwa means to be careful with all the heart, all the mind and all the spirit.
A parable can be employed here. Lets say you are passing through a wild rose garden where there are countless thorns in every branch and you are wearing a very fine clothe. If you are not careful your clothe will get entangled with the sharp end of the thorns and will ruin the clothe. How would you pass through that wild rose garden? Indeed you will careful very careful. This is Taqwa.
The Prophet said, “The most common thing which leads people to Paradise is taqwa of Allah and good conduct, and the most common thing which leads people to the Hell Fire is the mouth and the private parts.” (Tirmidhi)
A knower of Allah used to define taqwa as the shunning of everything and anything that causes a deficiency in one’s relationship with Allah.
O believers! Have Taqwa of Allah as is His right to have Taqwa. And die not except while you are one who submits to Him. ~ Surah Al-Imran: 102
And the good end [Paradise] is for the [people of] taqwa.
~ Surah Taha:132
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