Taqwa & Spirituality

The Journey of Hajj is for Muslims, a journey of a lifetime. Most of the Muslims undergo this journey only once in their lifetime. With the economic prosperity that many Muslims have witnessed, some Muslims undergo this journey more than once in their lifetime. The month of Dhul Hijjah and the Ibadah associated with this month are essentially the Sunnah of Prophet Ibrahim (A.S), be it Hajj or the sacrifice. The life of Ibrahim is amazing. An idol breaker son, born to an idol maker father. The spiritual presence of Prophet Ibrahim is always felt in the whole Muslim world, with his recurring remembrance, both in the Quran and a Muslim’s daily prayers. Islam attaches great importance to the annual pilgrimage of Hajj, which is intimately connected to the story of Ibrahim, his son Ismail and his wife, Hagar.

Prophet Ibrahim and Ismail’s story is about love and sacrifice. Unwavering love for Allah and the spirit of Sacrifice in His way. Hagar and Ismail were abandoned by Prophet Ibrahim at the place where Mecca stands today. It was to this valley that Ibrahim brought Hagar and their son Ismail. This valley between rocky hills, naked, hot and barren under the fierce desert sun. A place which was swept by flaming desert winds.

It was the proper setting for Ibrahim and his family to undergo the trial that Allah had set out for them. Prophet Ibrahim was convinced that Allah’s mercy is limitless. With this belief, Ibrahim left his weeping wife and the child in this uninhabited valley, leaving with them a water skin and a skin filled with dates.

A solitary tree stood in this valley. Hagar sat under its shadow with Ismail on her lap. Around them there was nothing. Just scorching heat, rocky slopes and an endless silence, with no other living being around. The hot day was followed by a cooler night and this went on. But on the third day, the dates in the skin were over and it was all despair. But when the child cried for water, Hagar could not do anything except crying out to her Lord. How could the distraught mother bear the sight of her dying child, crying for water? What could she do in a forlorn desert with no signs of any life around?

She started to run, to and fro with uplifted hands through this barren valley, over the same stretch, between two hills. It is in remembrance of her despair that the pilgrims who go for Hajj, run between these two hills, Saf’aa and Marwa.

The Lord was listening and then came the answer to her prayers. A stream of water gushed forth and the water began to flow over the sand. Hagar shouted with joy and immediately pressed the child’s face in the water so that he might drink. She drank with him and called out between her gasps, ‘Zummi, Zummi’.  Afraid that the water might run out, Hagar heaped a little wall of sand around the spring. The water ceased to flow and became a well, which came to be known as the well of Zamzam and the pilgrims, from centuries, have been filling water from this well and even carrying it back home with them.

Prophet Ibrahim returned to the valley after some time and found his son and wife alive. From then on, he visited them often. Ismail grew up there and married. Years later, Ibrahim and Ismail built the prototype of the sanctuary in Mecca known as the Kaaba. As they were cutting stones, Ibrahim exclaimed, ‘’Labbaik, Allahumma Labbaik’’—‘O my Lord, here I am at Your service, The pilgrims on their journey of Hajj, raise this chant.

Hajj is a journey which calls for immense patience, sacrifice, perseverance, persistence and humility among many other things. It is a journey which can drain you emotionally. The first sight of Kaaba leaves you speechless. The mind goes blank and tears start rolling down your cheeks. Is it true that I am in front of the Majestic Kaaba? How lucky does one feel at that moment? For a moment, you seem to be floating in the air. It just leaves you speechless and there is only language that you can speak—the language of tears. Don’t restrain yourself. Weep, sob, cry, repent, pray, plead, ask forgiveness from your Lord, for this is the chance to be born again. 

Islam believes in only one division in mankind and that is based on Taqwa. The one who is more dearer in the sight of Allah SWT is the one who is better in Taqwa. Allah SWT says: “Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is knowing and acquainted,” [Hujrath 49:13].

No superiority of the Arab over the Ajam, White over the Black, Rich over the Poor. In the two piece Ahram, the Prince and the pauper stand shoulder to shoulder. The great egalitarianism of Islam is on full display there. That is the main highlight of the Hajj.

This script is authored by Tariq Jameel


Common acts of SHIRK

After dealing with the meaning of Tauheed (Tauheed: The Islamic Monotheism), its types and shirk (SHIRK: The Gravest SIN), the moderators of this blog intend to shed some light on some of the common acts that are prevalent in our societies which are nothing but Shirk.                                                            

There is a common misconception among masses that one can be free of shirk merely by avoiding the worship of statues and idols. Shirk encompasses a wide range of practices and we shall deal with them in brief.

Seeking help from other than ALLAH SWT

Help should be sought only from Allah SWT. In every rakath of our salat we proclaim that “It is You we worship and You we ask for help,” [Al-Fatihah 1:5] and later on if we seek help from other than Allah SWT, we will be falsifying this testimony. “And do not invoke besides Allah that which neither benefits you nor harms you, for if you did, then indeed you would be of the wrongdoers.”[Yunus 10:106]

Prophet PBUH clearly mentioned in one of his traditions, “If you ask, ask of Allah, if you seek help, seek help from Allah SWT.” [Tirmidhi]

Knowledge of unseen

One should register in mind that the Knowledge of the unseen rests only with Allah SWT. Having a belief that any individual be it prophet or a companion or a righteous man or any other person has the knowledge of unseen is an act of Shirk. A huge mass of people are victims of this heinous form of shirk. Allah SWT says: “And with HIM are the keys of Ghaib (all that’s hidden), none knows them but HE.”(Al-Anam 6:59)

The Prophet PBUH said: “No one has knowledge of the unseen except Allah SWT” [At-Tabrani]

Seeking help from dead

The foremost thing regarding the dead is that they do not have the capacity to hear so where does the

“Verily, you cannot make the dead to hear,” An-Naml 27:80

question of seeking help from them arise. Allah SWT clearly mentions in Quran: “But you cannot make hear those who are in the graves,” [Fatir 35:22]. In another verse the Quran says: “Verily, you cannot make the dead to hear,” [An-Naml 27:80]

Swearing oaths to any other besides Allah

Making a vow is an act of worship and directing a vow to other than Allah amounts to Shirk. Allah SWT says in glorious Quran, “And whatever you spend of expenditures or make of vows – indeed, Allah knows of it. And for the wrongdoers there are no helpers.” [Al-Baqarah 2:270]

Prophet PBUH said, “Whoever vows to obey Allah, should obey HIM and whoever vows to disobey HIM, should not disobey HIM,” [Bukhari].

Wearing a Talisman (Taweez)

Wearing talismans or any kind of threads on any part of the body is nothing but shirk. Prophet PBUH said: “Ar Ruqa (incantations) or At-Tamaim (Amulets/Taweez) and At-tiwalah (bewitchment) are all acts of Shirk,” [Ahmed and Abu Dawood] We have dealt this particular topic in detail on our blog. Please visit the Amulets: Do they make a difference and read more.

Sacrificing an animal in any name beside ALLAH SWT

Sacrificing or slaughtering an animal by any other name beside Allah SWT is Shirk. Allah SWT says in Quran, “So pray to your Lord and sacrifice [to Him alone],” [Al-Kawthar 108:2]. The meet of that animal is forbidden to eat. The Messenger of Allah PBUH said, “Allah curses whoever sacrifices (or slaughters) in any name other than Allah,” [Muslim]


The practice of magic/sorcery is considered rejection of faith (Kufr), as Allah SWT said: “But the devils disbelieved, teaching men magic.” [Al-Baqarah 2:102] “They believe in Al Jibt and At Taghut,” [An-Nisa 4:51] Umar RA is reported to have said that Al Jibt is magic (sorcery) and At Taghut is Ash Shaitan.

Prophet PBUH said: “Avoid the seven grave sins; associating partners with Allah, magic…” [Muslim] Furthermore the punishment for the sorcerers or magicians is nothing but execution. Prophet PBUH said: “The punishment for the sorcerers/magicians is that he be struck with the sword (executed).” [Tirmidhi]

Soothsayers and Fortune-tellers

Prophet PBUH said: “Whoever visits a fortuneteller or a soothsayer and believes in his words, has disbelieved in what was revealed to Muhammed PBUH.” [Hakim Saheeh]

SHIRK: The gravest SIN

Shirk is antithesis of Tauheed (Tauheed: The Islamic Monotheism). Shirk, linguistically means to associate, and in terms of Islamic Shariah, shirk means ascribing a partner or rival to Allah in HIS Lordship (ruboobiyyah), HIS worship (Uloohiyyah) or in HIS names and attributes (Asma-was- sifaat). Allah SWT orders, “Then do not set up rivals unto Allah (in worship) while you know (that He Alone has the right to be worshipped)” [Al-Baqarah 2:222] Shirk is the gravest transgression and sin that a human being can commit. ‘’Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills.” [An-Nisa 4:48]. ‘’And he who associates others with Allah has certainly gone far astray’’ [An-Nisa 4:116].

Prophet PBUH said: “Whoever dies while ascribing partners to Allah SWT, enters the hell-fire.” Bukhari

The most horrendous sin mankind can commit is associating partners with the Magnificent Creator Allah SWT. In the chronology of most dreadful sins, Shirk tops the list. Mercy of Allah SWT can prevail over any sin except Shirk. Ibn Masud RA narrated that the Prophet PBUH said: “Whoever dies while ascribing partners to Allah SWT, enters the hell-fire.”[Bukhari]

Mankind, from the beginning was a single nation which was on the doctrines of Tauheed (Oneness of Allah). Allah SWT says in the Quran: “Mankind was one Ummah, then Allah sent prophets bringing good news and warnings.” [2:213] Ibn Abbaas RA said: “Between Nooh (Noah) and Aadam were ten generations, all of them were upon Sharee’ah (law) of the truth, then they differed. So Allah SWT sent prophets as bringers of good news and as warners.” [Related by Ibn Jareer at-Tabaree in his Tafseer (4/275) and al-Haakim (2/546)]. From this statement of Ibn Abbas RA we can infer that the deceit of Shirk started to nurture only after ten generations. In a Hadith al Khudsi Allah SWT says “I created all my servants upon the true Religion (upon Tauheed, free from Shirk). Then the devils came to them and led them astray from their true Religion. They made unlawful to people that which I had made lawful for them, and they commanded them to associate in worship with Me, that which I had sent down no authority.” [Muslim and Ahmad]

The Prophet PBUH said, “Every child is born upon the Fitrah [natural inclination towards Islam] but his parents make him a Jew or a Christian or a Maigan. It is like the way an animal gives birth to a natural offspring. Have you noticed any born mutilated, before you mutilate them?” Abu Hurayrah said: Recite if you wish:“Allaah’s Fitrah with which He created mankind. There is to be no change to the creation (Religion) of Allaah.” [Ar-Rum 30:30] [Agreed upon] After this clear and lucid elucidation, it is of supreme importance for the Muslim to know how Shirk made its unpleasant roots in the minds of believers, after they were Muwahideen (people upon Tauheed). Allah SWT says about the people of Nooh: “And they have said: You shall not forsake your gods, nor shall you forsake Wadd, nor Suwa’, nor Yaghooth, nor Ya’ooq, nor Nasr.” [Nuh 71:23] Ibn Abbas relates: “Indeed these five (Wadd, nor Suwa’, nor Yaghooth, nor Ya’ooq, nor Nasr) were the names of righteous men from the people of Nooh. When they died, Shaytaan whispered to their people to make statues of them and to place these statues in their places of gathering as a reminder of them, so they did this. However, none from amongst them worshipped these statues, until when they died and the purpose of the statues was forgotten. Then (the next generation) began to worship them.” [Bukhari]

Thus Allah SWT sent Prophet Muhammed PBUH as the final prophet and made his Shareeah a compulsion to follow for the rest of the ummah. This Shareeah prohibits all means and avenues by which people may fall into Shirk at large. Once a person falls into the muck of Shirk all his deeds are of no use.

Brothers!! Building shrines over the graves and intending to travel towards them for having once wishes fulfilled, sacrificing an animal in their name, asking help from them or swearing an oath by the inmate of the grave are all heinous forms of Shirk which the Creator SWT for sure dislikes to core.

This being the case even more so in an age in which knowledge is diminishing, ignorance is increasing, there are few sincere advisers (to the truth) and Shaytaan is co-operating with men and jinn to misguide mankind and to take them away from the worship of Allah SWT alone – the Blessed, the Most High

Tauheed: The Islamic Monotheism

Tauheed (توحيد) is “The Doctrine of Oneness”, the root word of which is ‘Wahdt’. The linguistic meaning of this is to ascribe unity to something or some object. When it comes to Islamic sciences, Tauheed refers to the unification of Allah (SWT) or the uniqueness of Allah (SWT)-

  1. When it comes to His Lordship
  2.  His Right to be worshipped &
  3.  His Names and Attributes.

The concept of Tauheed is the one of the major distinguishing factors between Islam and other religions.We will briefly define the concept of Tauheed as it is understood as per the Shariah. Tauheed is broadly categorized as follows

  • Tauheed ar-Ruboobiyyah, ( Tauheed of Lordship)
  • Tauheed al-Uloohiyyah (Tauheed in Worship ) and
  • Tauheed al-Asmaa was-Sifaat ( Tauheed in Names & Attributes)

Tauheed ar-Ruboobiyyah: Ruboobiyyah is based on the root word ‘Rabb’ which symbolizes true and complete owner. In other words, ALLAH SWT is ONE and the fact that HE is the master of all creation. HE is the ONLY one who sustains all the creations and the ONLY one who has control over the administration of the dominion of earth, heavens, and all that is there in the Universe. ALLAH SWT proclaims “Indeed, your Lord is Allah, who created the heavens and earth in six days and then established Himself above the Throne. He covers the night with the day, [another night] chasing it rapidly; and [He created] the sun, the moon, and the stars, subjected by His command. Unquestionably, His is the creation and the command; blessed is Allah, Lord of the worlds.” [Al Aaraf 7:54]                                       

In simple terms Tauheed ar-Ruboobiyyah means declaring that there is only ONE who controls the divine functions of creating and sustaining the universe. In stark contrast there are two kinds of shirk that negate this, which are polytheism and atheism. Polytheism pronounces that there are many gods who are responsible for creating and nourishing the universe, while atheism declares that there is neither Creator nor Sustainer.

Tauheed al-Uloohiyyah is the natural follow up of Tauheed ar-Ruboobiyyah. Once the slave of ALLAH SWT acknowledges that ALLAH SWT is the Only Creator, Nourisher, and Sustainer the natural corollary is that HE alone is to be worshipped. Therefore Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah is isolating ALLAH SWT with worship so that none besides HIM is worshipped, called upon or sought for rescue, except HIM. HE IS THE ONE AND HE IS THE ONLY ONE. None is sacrificed to or slaughtered for, or made an oath for, except HIM. ALLAH SWT said, “Say: My prayer, my sacrifice, my life and my death are for ALLAH, the Lord of the worlds. He has no partner. This is what I have been commanded with and I am the first of those who submit (to Him with Islam and Tauheed)” [Al-An’aam 6:162]. ALLAH SWT commanded, “Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice (to HIM only)” [Al-Kawthar 108:2].

Tauheed al-Asmaa was-Sifaat epitomizes “the Tauheed in the Names and the Attributes of Allah “. Abu Hurairah RA narrates: “ALLAH has ninety-nine Names, and whoever believers in their meanings, and acts accordingly, will enter Paradise…” [Bukhari]. The Names and Attributes of ALLAH SWT should be accepted and believed upon without any alteration, neither in words nor in meaning. None of these names and attributes should be assigned to any of HIS creations. They should be understood in the absolute sense and free from human deficiencies because the similarity between the Attributes of ALLAH and mankind is only in name and not in degree.

For example, ALLAH SWT mentions: “That HE may punish the hypocrites, men and women, and the pagan men and women, who have an evil opinion of ALLAH. A circle of evil is around them; ALLAH is Angry with them, Curses them and has prepared for them an evil end.” [Al-Fat-h 48:6]. In this verse, ALLAH is described with the Attribute of Anger. It is wrong to believe that ALLAH’s anger has any semblance to those of the humans. It is also wrong to change the meaning of the verse saying, ‘HIS anger must mean HIS Punishment, because anger is a sign of weakness and weakness cannot be attributed to ALLAH SWT. It is sufficient to believe in the Attribute of ALLAH SWT and believe that “There is nothing like unto HIM.” The Names and Attributes of ALLAH SWT should be accepted and affirmed without inquiring about their exact nature. Believing in their apparent meaning is an obligation and deeply reflecting about ALLAH is an innovation, as the Messenger of ALLAH (PBUH) said: “Reflect upon the creation and do not reflect upon ALLAH.” [Silsilaat as-Saheehah]

Shirk in Tauheed al-Asmaa wa-Sifaat is to accredit someone else than ALLAH SWT, the qualities (Attributes), which are explicit to ALLAH Alone. For example, amongst the Attributes of ALLAH is that HE is the Knower of the Unseen (Ghayb) and HE alone knows what the heart conceals. ALLAH SWT says: “Say, None in the heavens and earth knows the unseen except Allah, and they do not perceive when they will be resurrected” [Naml 27:65]. Therefore, to consider someone other than ALLAH to have the knowledge of the ghayb or the unseen is Shirk (associating partners with ALLAH).

Allah does not have any negative attributes or qualities. Allah SWT says in Quran in Ayatul Kursi [Surah Baqarah 2:255] “Allah – there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of [all] existence. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is [presently] before them and what will be after them, and they encompass not a thing of His knowledge except for what He wills. His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth, and their preservation tires Him not. And He is the Most High, the Most Great.” This verse mentions that Allah does not sleep. Similarly Allah says in [Surah Ikhlas 112:1-4] “Say, He is Allah , [who is] One, Allah , the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born, Nor is there to Him any equivalent.” In this chapter the attribute of birth is denied.

For more enlightening material on Tauheed please keep visit our blog.

Halal and Haram

ALLAH SWT the Almighty created this magnificent and immaculate universe to favour HIS crowned creation, human beings. ALLAH SWT mentions in holy Quran, “And HE has subjected to you whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth – all from him. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought” [Al-Jathiyah 45:13]. By virtue of HIS wisdom ALLAH SWT has proclaimed many things comprised within this world as Halal (lawful) and few others Haram (unlawful) in order to assess our obedience towards HIM. One of the objective of this earthly live is to being constantly examined. Quran quotes, “(HE) who created death and life to test you (as to) which of you is best in deed” [Al Mulk 67:2]. Hence the one who complies with Halal and abstains from Haram in all his matters will succeed. Imam Bukhari narrated that Jundab (RA) said, “The first thing of the human body to purify is the abdomen, so he who can eat nothing but good food (Halal and lawful) should do so”.

Islamic rulings clearly emphasize on Halal and Haram, albeit there are some matters that have not been categorized as legal or illegal. What is the way out then? Narrated by An-Nu’man bin Bashir (RA):  I heard ALLAH’s Apostle PBUH saying, ‘Both legal and illegal things are evident but in between them there are doubtful (suspicious) things and most of the people have no knowledge about them. So whoever saves himself from these suspicious things saves his religion and his honour. And whoever indulges in these suspicious things is like a shepherd who grazes (his animals) near the private pasture (hima) of someone else and at any moment he is liable to get in it. (O people!) Beware! Every king has a hima and the hima of ALLAH on the earth is HIS illegal (forbidden) things. Beware! There is a piece of flesh in the body if it becomes good (reformed) the whole body becomes good but if it gets spoilt the whole body gets spoilt and that is the heart.” (Bukhari). This hadith enlightens us to refrain from doubtful matters. It also elucidates that the one who consumes unlawful, pollutes his blood that circulates to his heart resulting the heart being rendered corrupt and ultimately the whole body is ruined. There could be times when a person may not know the lawfulness of a particular thing as mentioned in the hadith “and most of the people have no knowledge about them”. He should then seek advice from a pious scholar. ALLAH the Merciful says, “So ask the people of the message if you do not know” [Al-Anbiya’ 21:7].

We Muslims have a common tendency to be cautious about food and are casual about other matters concerning Halam and Haram. Sharia (Islamic law) has outlined rules pertaining to Halal and Haram in all religious and worldly affairs regarding food, drinks, clothes, marriage, business transactions, behaviour towards others, private issues, or issues related to public, hunting, medication, festivals, living habits and so on and so forth. In fact, one can say that Islamic rulings are mostly encompassing Halal and Haram thus making it complicated to elaborate what is lawful and what is not. Rather the following verses enlighten us …

ALLAH says, “Say, Who has forbidden the adornment of (i.e., from) ALLAH which HE has produced for HIS servants and the good (lawful) things of provision?. Say, They are for those who believe during worldly life (but) exclusively for them on the Day of resurrection. Thus do We detail the verses for a people who know. Say My Lord has only forbidden immoralities – what is apparent if them and what is concealed – and sin, and oppression without right, and that you associate with ALLAH that for which HE has not sent down authority, and that you say about ALLAH that which you do not know.” [Al A’raf 7:32-33]

Furthermore ALLAH the greatest instructs, “Say: Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. (He commands) that you not associate anything with HIM, and to parents, good treatment, and do not kill your children out of poverty; WE will provide for you and them. And do not approach immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed. And do not kill the soul which ALLAH has forbidden (to be killed) except by (legal) right. This has HE instructed you that you may use reason. And do not approach the orphan’s property except in a way that is best (i.e, intending improvement) until he reaches maturity. And give full measure and weight in justice. We do not charge any soul except (with that within) its capacity. And when you speak (i.e., testify), be just, even if (it concerns) a near relative. And fulfil the covenant of ALLAH. This has HE instructed you that you may remember. And (moreover), this is my path which is straight, so follow it; and do not follow (other) ways, for you will be separated from HIS way. This has HE instructed you that you may become righteous” [Al An’am 6:151-153]

Benefits of TAQWA

Elaborating on TAQWA: The Fear of ALLAH , I wish to enlighten dear audience about the blessings the most merciful ALLAH has granted for devoted slaves for being Taqwa compliant. ALLAH SWT enjoins the mankind to submit to HIM so as to safeguard our own selves from HIS wrath. Indeed, securing from HIS rage and earning HIS gratificaton is adequate for us as a reward of Taqwa, but it does not cease here. There are more glad tidings from ALLAH the Almighty for fearing HIM. Remuneration of Taqwa in our lives is immense hereafter and not less compensating here. Casting light on few ….                                                                                                                                                                                  

Easeness of matters

Things get trouble-free and affairs are simplified for the one who fears ALLAH SWT. ALLAH SWT mentions, “And whoever fears ALLAH – HE will make for him of his matter ease” [At-Talaq: 65:4]. HE further pronounces, “As for he who gives and fears ALLAH and believes in the best [reward], WE will ease him toward ease,” [Al Lail, 92:5-7].

Blessings from the heaven and the earth

Blessings of both the worlds are enclosed within Taqwa. ALLAH SWT proclaims, “And if only the people of the cities had believed and feared ALLAH, WE would have opened (bestowed) upon them blessings from the heaven and the earth…” [Al Aaraf, 7:96]

Help from ALLAH during distress and grieves

Help from the source you least expect. That is the wonder of Taqwa! ALLAH promises, “And whoever fears ALLAH – HE will make for him a way out. And will provide for him (his needs) from where he does not expect,” [At-Talaq, 65: 2,3].

Good news in both the worlds

Showers of blessings. ALLAH mentions, “Those who believed and were fearing ALLAH. For them are the good tidings in the worldly life and in the hereafter,” [Yunus 10:63,64]. Ubadah RA asked Prophet PBUH the meaning of the mentioned verse. He was replied, “It (good news) is the good dream which a muslim sees or is shown to him,” [Ibn Majah: Hadith 3898].

Protection from the enemies

Feel protected with Taqwa. ALLAH SWT says, “And indeed, the wrong-doers are allies of one another; but ALLAH is the protector of those who fear ALLAH,”[Al Jathiyah 45:19]. In another verse HE pronounces, “And if you are patient and fear ALLAH, their plot will not harm you at all,” [Al Imran, 3:120].

Rectification of deeds

Taqwa betters your actions. ALLAH SWT the glorified says, “O you who believe, fear ALLAH and speak words of appropriate justice. HE Will (then) amend for you your deeds and forgive you your sins,” [Al Azhab 33:70,71].

Obtaining ALLAH’s mercy

Gain most merciful ALLAH’s mercy through Taqwa. HE mentions, “My mercy encompasses all things. So I will decree it (especially) for those who fear ME…” [Al Aaraf, 7:156].

Protection from ALLAH’s punishment

Resurrected are the ones who fear ALLAH SWT. ALLAH SWT warns that the hell fire will be exposed to all on the day of Judgement and none will be saved from that but HE promises, “Then WE will save those who feared ALLAH and leave the wrong-doers within it, on their knees” [Maryam 19:72]

The path to paradise

Undoubtedly greatest reward for the good deeds is paradise. ALLAH SWT has reiterated that paradise will be especially for God-fearing persons. HE says, “And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden (i.e., paradise) as wide as the heavens and earth, prepared for those who fear,” [Al Imran, 3:133]. HE mentions, “That is paradise, which WE give as inheritance to those of Our servants who were fearing of ALLAH,” [Maryam 19:63]

Forementioned are some of the many benefits affirmed in the holy Quran. May ALLAH help us to fear HIM every moment of our lives, in the daylight and in the darkness, in open and in secret, in our blessings and during the times of trails and tribulations; perhaps to gain HIS forgiveness. ALLAH SWT proclaims that, “HE is worthy of fear and adequate of granting forgiveness” [Al Muddathir 74:56]

TAQWA: The Fear of ALLAH

ALLAH SWT has decreed in Holy Quran: “Every Soul will taste Death” [Al Imran 3:185] and accordingly the Creator has specified a time when HIS creation will cease to exist. Death is as certain for all as life. Even an atheist will concur that death is a universal truth. Post death, on the day of resurrection (Qiyamah), all of us will assemble and our Book of Deeds will be revealed. None will be spared from presenting the Account of Deeds. Wise is the one who reflects on this and is better prepared in advance for the ultimate examination. What could be the best thing a person can possess to present to ALLAH?

Fear of ALLAH SWT is the best thing what a servant (of ALLAH) can take as a provision for the goodness of his Deen (way of life). ALLAH SWT states, “And take provisions, but indeed, the best provision is fear (of ALLAH)” [Baqarah 2: 197]. No good deed is acceptable except that which is a result of Taqwa. ALLAH says: “But righteousness is (in) one who fears (ALLAH)” [Baqarah 2:189].

Let us understand the meaning of Taqwa. Taqwa essentially is to protect self from punishment of ALLAH by obeying HIS orders and by abstaining from what HE has prohibited. It was reported that Umar bin Khattab asked Ubay Ibn Ka’b about Taqwa. In reply Ka’b queried Umar (RA), ” O Leader of the believers, what do you do when you have to pass through a thorny road? Umar (RA) replied, “I lift my cloth up to my calves and watch my footsteps and take each step slowly from the fear of thorns lest they don’t prick me”. Ka’b said, “This is Taqwa”.

ALLAH SWT says, “O you who have believed, fear ALLAH as HE should be feared and do not die except as Muslim (in submission to HIM) [Al Imran 3:102]. He who fears ALLAH SWT and acts according to HIS instructions will be secured from HIS punishment. ALLAH SWT says: “And fear ALLAH and know that ALLAH is severe in penalty” [Baqarah 2:196]. He who is safe from the torment of that day (Qiyamah) will notice that his days on earth were nothing compared to what he is rewarded. ALLAH says: “And the hereafter is better for one who fears (ALLAH)” [Nisa 4:77].

Some of the factors that lead to Taqwa are:

Obedience to ALLAH’s diktat and abstinent from what HE SWT prohibits;
Submission to the Will of ALLAH and to the decree HE SWT has set;
Love of ALLAH SWT and HIS Messenger PBUH;
Striving in the way of ALLAH and HIS Messenger.

We observe that the affection towards this worldly and materialistic life has corrupted our heart to renounce Islam and its beautiful teachings. We have become slaves of this perishing life to such an extent that we consider the rich and those who have gained this world and its splendours or luxuries to be the most successful. Woe on us!! Whereas ALLAH says, “Indeed the most noble of you in the sight of ALLAH is he who has the most consciousness and fear (of ALLAH)”. [Al-Hujraat 49:13].

Abu Zar RA narrates that the Prophet SAW said to him, “Fear ALLAH wherever or however you are, and make a good deed subsequent to a bad deed; so that the good wipes away the bad, and treat people with the best of characters” [Tirmizi]. Our beloved Prophet SAW always advised his companions to fear ALLAH in all their matters. He once said, “Fear (ALLAH) in your worldly matters and fear HIM regarding your wives” [Ibn Majah]. In another hadith, Abu Ummah RA narrates that he heard the Prophet SAW saying in a speech during his Hajj, “Fear ALLAH, and pray your five prayers, fast your month, and pay the zakat of your money, and obey those who are in authority among you so that you will enter your Lord’s Paradise.” [Tirmizi].

The ill morale and character of the present society has deprived us the fear of ALLAH. Satan has showcased evil deeds in such an attractive package that the evils are being glorified and not considered harm. The condition of Muslim society can be improved only by retaining and refreshing Taqwa in our lives, i.e. by fearing ALLAH SWT and acting on HIS orders. May ALLAH guide us to HIS fear and reward us better than what we deserve and may HE love us in return of our fear for HIM. Aameen. ALLAH mentions, “whoever fulfils his commitment and fears (ALLAH) – then indeed, ALLAH loves those who fear (HIM)” [Al-Imran 3:76].