Sunday, 25 November 2007

Taqwa - The Fear of Allah SWT

Who defines what Taqwa is and what's not?
Who defines what Allah likes and what Allah dislikes?

It is clear that we get the definitions for the above from what has been preserved by our Pious Predecessors. And these all in turn come from Rasulullah SAW. The chain of Ulama from generation to generation have only preserved the understanding, depth, breadth and practice of Ahadith and thus – what defines Taqwa, what defines what Allah SWT likes / dislikes etc.

Once, Saiyidina Umar RA asked Saiyidina Ka'ab Ahbaar RA:

"What is the reality of Taqwa?"

Ka'ab RA said:

"Have you ever passed a thorny tree?"

Umar RA answered:


Ka'ab RA asked:

"How did you pass?"

Umar RA answered:

"I passed with such care that I ensured that no thorn got caught into my hem."

Ka'ab RA then elaborated:

"In the very same way, the reality of Taqwa is for one to save himself from the thorns of sins and negligence."

In achieving the above, the companionship of the pious plays a vital role for inculcating Taqwa.

In reality, there are two conditions in the life of a Believer – i.e. fear and hope. Both these conditions must exist together. A Believer cannot only have fear, as that will lead to despondency. Likewise a believer should not only have hope, as that will lead to complacency. Despondency is prohibited and complacency is also prohibited. There must be a balance between the two. However, at times, fear is dominant and at times, hope is dominant. When one does Ibadah and good deeds, one should continue with the hope that the Ibadah is accepted. We should not let fear overcome as that may lead to despondency and discouragement.

In the course of Taqwa, there are things that we do. The minimum level of Taqwa required by a person is that Taqwa which will prevent him or her from commiting sins. To do this one must know Shari'ah. Which in turn comes from preserved knowledge and understanding as taught by Rasulullah SAW.

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