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TAQWĀ: WARINESS OF ALMIGHTY ALLAH

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TAQWĀ: WARINESS OF ALMIGHTY ALLAH

MORAL GEMS IN THE QUR’AN

TAQWĀ: WARINESS OF ALMIGHTY ALLAH

﴿اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ﴾

Be wary of Allah with the wariness due to Him. (3:102)

A very frequent word used in the holy Qur’an is the term taqwā, a fundamental concept in the moral structure of a Muslim. The term taqwā is extracted from the root-word ‘wa qa ya’, which means to protect and safeguard, and it is an inner ability to observe constant awareness of Allah throughout one’s life. Being wary of Allah will enable a person to make the correct decisions in obedience to Him and in avoiding sin. 

Taqwā has been translated into English as piety, God-wariness, God-consciousness, fear of God, and self-restraint. Depending on the way it is used in the holy Qur’an, in general it carries the same overall feature of drawing awareness to Allah in our actions in this world. If we were to keep God in mind in absolutely everything we do, we would always act in compliance with what the Almighty wants from us. This is why it is narrated that Imam Ṣādiq (P.B.U.H.) has explained that taqwā means to “be present in a place Allah has ordered and to be absent from a place He has prohibited.”

Taqwā means ongoing caution throughout our lives by continuing to monitor ourselves and being vigilant. This itself will give us moral awareness in its highest form.  Like many other moral and Qur’anic concepts, taqwā has different levels, and what this holy verse refers to is that we must gain wariness of God in a way worthy of Him. This verse alongside the verse, “So be wary of Allah, as far as you can...” (64:16) means, to the extent possible, do not forego taqwā, and increase your level of piety throughout your spiritual journey in this life, so you die as a true Muslim. If we become pious people we will live a spiritual and morally felicitous life, and we will also be free from any punishment in the next life. This refers to the ultimate meaning of being a Muslim–absolute submission to the Almighty.

What a great society it would be if people were to place God ahead of them in every single step they make and every decision before it is executed. This could be why the Quran emphasises taqwā so much, and how it can lead us to the highest level of moral judgment.

* By: Dr. Sh. Zaid Al-Salami

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