The Pinnacle of Piety – Taqwa
Taqwa is the consciousness of Allah. Many scholars of Islam have explained the concept of taqwa, but the most appealing elucidation was given by the Companion, Ibn Ka’ab RA when Sayyidina Umar RA asked him the definition of taqwa. In reply Ka’ab RA asked,“Have you ever passed from a thorny path?” Sayyidina Umar RA responded in the affirmative and Ka’ab RA continued,” How do you pass?” Sayyidina Umar RA said that he would carefully pass through after collecting all loose clothing in his hands so that nothing gets caught in the thorns hence injuring him. Ka’ab RA said,” This is the definition of taqwa, to protect oneself from the sin through life’s dangerous journey so that one can successfully complete the journey without indulging in sin”. Thus effort to save one’s self from the ills of this world because of fear of Allah is taqwa.
The teachings of the Holy Quran and Sunnah give us the guideline to become Muttaqeen (people of taqwa) and many great shaykhs of Islam have set glaring examples in order to achieve taqwa. However, a general guideline for a Muslim to achieve taqwa is as follows:
- Muslims should seek Allah’s help to achieve taqwa and pray for protection from the sinful deeds
- Muslims should strictly adhere to the religious duties like prayer, fast etc for strengthening his relationship with Allah
- Remembering death and the Day of judgment. This helps in inculcating mortality of this world in our minds
- Performing the night prayer. The night prayer has immense importance for purification of heart and it is referred to as the prayer of Muttaqeen
- Being careful in what we consume
- Lastly, love for the Prophet SAW should be the cornerstone of our being
These golden rules can lead us to attain taqwa insyaAllah.
The consciousness of fear of Allah and fervent wish to stay away from sin has miraculous effects on the life of the individual. Such an individual weighs everything related to his life in terms of right and wrong according to Allah’s terms. Taqwa inculcates such feelings in a Muslim that he develops a true and eternal love for Allah and gets rid of materialistic and lustful wishes of this mortal world. Whatever a person of taqwa does in his life – from dressing, eating, sleeping to job and marriage – is for Allah’s sake.
A person of taqwa pays heed to self accountability and rectify himself because of taqwa. The muttaqeen are like jewels in the social setup of Islamic society, they build the basis for an egalitarian, pious and peaceful society. The muttaqeen are like torchbearers and their taqwa leads them to the pinnacle of humanity.
The Holy Quran says a lot about the rewards for those who have taqwa and fear Allah. Their rewards are not only manifest in this life but in the next as well. Allah says in the Holy Quran (Surah al Hijr 15:45) “Truly, the muttaqeen (people with taqwa will) be amidst gardens and water springs (in paradise)”. The Holy Prophet SAW said in his Last sermon: “There is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab and for a non-Arab over an Arab or for the white over the black or for the black over the white except in God-consciousness (taqwa).”
May Allah give us strength to attain taqwa in our lives and to become successful in the next life. Ameen.