The Position of Taqwa and Its Importance in Islam
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
(Friday Speech delivered by Imam Mohamed Baianonie, at the Islamic Center of Raleigh, NC on August 28, 1998.)
Allah (S.W.T.) said in the Qur’an, in surat An-Nisa’, (Verse 131), what may be translated as, "Verily we have directed the people of the book before you and you (O Muslims) to have taqwa of Allah."
What does taqwa mean? Linguistically taqwa means protection and shield from what is harmful. In Islam taqwa means for a person to have a protection and shield between him and the anger and punishment of Allah (S.W.T.). That protection and shield can be established by true Iman, which in return will cause great love and fear of Allah, that will lead to doing righteous deeds and avoiding the evil ones. This is mentioned here, so that we will understand what the meaning of the word taqwa is when mentioned in the Qur’anic verses and the sayings of the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.)
Allah (S.W.T.) is showing the Muslims the importance of taqwa that it is his advice to all the people of the book and to the Muslims. To achieve taqwa and to establish it in the servants of Allah, Allah sent the messengers. Allah said in surat Ash-Shu’ara, (Verses 10 & 11), what may be translated as. "Behold, Allah called Moses "Go to the people of iniquity" The people of Pharaoh will they not have taqwa of Allah."
Also Allah (S.W.T.) said in surat Ash-Shu’ara (verses 105 & 106), what may be translated as, "The people of Noah rejected the apostles Behold their brother Noah said to them will you not have taqwa of Allah."
Also Allah said in surat Ash-Shu’ara (Verse 176 & 177), what may be translated as, "The companions of the wood rejected the Apostles. Behold Shu’aib said to them will you not have taqwa of Allah."
Also Allah said in surat As-Saffat, (Verse 123 & 124), what may be translated as, "So also was Elias among those sent (by us) Behold, he said to his people: Will you not have taqwa of Allah."
For this reason Allah (S.W.T.) sent prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) and revealed many verses in the Qur’an which advice us about taqwa.
Allah said in surat Al-Baqarah, (verse 21), what may be translated as, "O you people Submit to your Lord, the One who created you and those who came before you, that you may have the chance to learn taqwa."
Also Allah said in surat Al-Baqarah, (verse 187), what may be translated as, "Thus does Allah make clear his signs to men that they may learn taqwa."
From what mentioned from verses we can see that taqwa is a general goal for sending messengers. To achieve this goal there were the laws of Allah. Because if the taqwa is found in the heart of the individuals, they don’t need any one to watch over them. Because his taqwa is a shield between him and evils and it is pushing him to do righteousness. If taqwa is missing or became weak in the heart of individuals nothing will stop and protect people from wrongdoing. Because of that, we see in the Qur’an in many verses that the message of the messengers to their people is one "Obtain taqwa of Allah and obey me." Allah mentioned it about Noah, Hud, Salih, Sha’uib and Jesus (Peace Be Upon Them All). Also Allah said to the Muslims in the Qur’an in surat Al-Emran, (verse 102), what may be translated as, "O you who believe obtain taqwa of Allah as should be, and do not die except in a states of Islam."
Allah (S.W.T.) made the measure too be near or away from Allah is taqwa. Allah said in surat Al-Hujurat, (verse 13), what may be translated as, "Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is the most muttaqi among of you."
Also it is mentioned that the best provision a man can have in this life is taqwa.
Allah said in surat Al-Baqarah, (verse 197), what may be translated as, "and take a provision for the journey But the best of provisions is taqwa."
Also He said in surat Yunos, (verses 62 & 63), what may be translated as "Behold, verily on the friends of Allah there is no fear nor shall they grieve. Those who believe and they had taqwa."
Also Allah mentioned in surat Al-Ma’edah, (verse 30), that he will not accept any deed except from those who have taqwa. Allah said what may be translated as, "Allah does accept of the sacrifice of those who are muttaqin".
Also Allah mentioned in the Qur’an that those who will be guided by Qur’an are those who have taqwa. Allah said in surat Al-Ha’qqah, (verse 48), what may be translated as, "But verily this is a reminder for those who have taqwa". In another verse in surat Al-Emran, (verse 138), what may be translated as, "Here is a plain statement to men, a guidance and instruction to those who have taqwa." In another verse in surat Al-Baqarah, (verse 2), what may be translated as, "This is the book in it is guidance sure without doubt to those who have taqwa".
We can deduce from this an important reason that many Muslims are away from the guidance of the Qur’an and away from its teachings because they either lost taqwa or it is weak in their hearts.
Also the economic prosperity in this life comes from taqwa of Allah. Allah said in surat Al-Ma’edah, (verse 66 ), what may be translated as, "If only the people of the book had believed and had taqwa we should indeed have blotted out their iniquities and admitted them to gardens of bliss. If only they have stood fast by the law, of the Torah, Gospel, and all the revelation that was sent to them from their Lord they would have enjoyed happiness from every side. There is from among them a party on the right course, And many of them do evil deeds."
If the people apply the book of Allah they can solve the economic problems as the verse said. But how can this be done? And what is the relationship between the economic prosperity and implementation of the rules of Allah? Allah had legislated a complete system that coves all aspects of life that will lead to happiness in this life and the hereafter. And we can find in Islam a part that covers the economic system. This Islamic economic system is completely independent and different from other man made systems.
Also taqwa is a reason for sustenance and removing hardships. Allah said in surat At-Talaq (verse 2 & 3), what may be translated as, "Whoever has taqwa, He Allah prepares a way out for him. And He provides for him from sources he would never expect.
Also the victory, the assistance and love of Allah are for the people who have taqwa. Allah said in surat An-Nahil, (verse 128), what may be translated as, "For Allah is with those who have taqwa and those who do good". Also in another verse in surat At-Tawbah, (verse 36), what may be translated as, "But Know that Allah is with those who have taqwa."
Also in another verse in surat Al-A’raf (verse 128), what may be translated as, "And the end is (best ) for the muttaqin".
Also Al-Furqan (The criterion) by which the believer knows truth from the falsehood Allah promised it to the people who have taqwa. Allah said in surat Al-Anfal, (verse 29), what may be translated as, "O you who believe if you obtain taqwa, Allah will grant you a criterion to judge between right and wrong. Remove from you all evil that may afflict you and forgive you."
Also taqwa will lead you to have right deeds, repentance to Allah, and the forgiveness of Allah. He (S.W.T.) said in surat Al-Ahzab, (verse 70 & 71), what may be translated as, "O you who believe ittaqu Allah and Always say a word directed to the right. That He may take your conduct whole and sound and forgive you your sins".
Also facilitating jobs and removing difficulties is a fruit of taqwa. Allah said in surat At-Talaq, (verse 4), what may be translated as, "And whoever has taqwa of Allah, Allah will make their path easy."