Almighty Allah says:
“O you who believe! Fear Allah as he should be feared.” (Quran 3:102)
In the opening verses of Surah Al-Baqarah, Almighty Allah describes distinct qualities of the believers who have Taqwa.
“This is a book in which there is no doubt, a guidance for the Muttaqin (the God-fearing ones).” (Quran 2:2)
The term Muttaqin (the people of taqwa) is derived from Taqwa which literally means “to fear” or “to refrain from”.
What is Taqwa?
The Arabic word Taqwa cannot be adequately explained by any one word in the English language. Taqwa is defined as fearing Allah, keeping that continuous awe and reverence in the heart for Him which prevents a person from doing deeds which are prohibited by divine law. Taqwa is that shield that comes between a person and what may harm his spirituality.
Qualities of the Muttaqin
- They have firm faith in everything that the Prophet ﷺ taught us
- They are steadfast in Salah
- They spend in the way of Allah
- They believe in what is revealed in the Quran and the previous scriptures
- They have firm conviction in the hereafter
Almighty Allah praises these people who strive to uphold the quality of Taqwa by saying:
“It is these who are upon guidance from their Lord and it is these who are successful.” (Quran 2:5)
In every sphere of life a true believer is expected to beautify himself with Taqwa as true honour is in adopting Taqwa only. As the stars beautify the heavens, the obedient beautify the earth. Almighty Allah says:
“Verily, the most honourable of you in the sight of Allah is he who is the most righteous.” (Quran 49:13)
Often we label individuals ‘super-religious’ and ‘over-pious’ when they try and uphold even simple injunctions of faith. A person who has Taqwa strives to do the things that Allah has commanded and avoids things that Allah has prohibited. The under strengthening factor of Taqwa is love and recognition of Almighty Allah which is a favourable state that a believer has to constantly nurture in his heart. When asked about Taqwa, Allah’s Messenger ﷺ pointed to his heart and said: “Taqwa is here!” (Muslim)
The Quran and Hadith are replete with commands and exhortations pointing towards the necessity of inculcating Taqwa in the heart. The numerous times that the command of Taqwa repeats should serve as a message to us indicating its importance.
Here are 5 benefits of adopting Taqwa from the Qur’an
1. Ease in matters
“And whoever fears Allah, He will make for him ease in his matter.” (Quran 65:4)
Almighty Allah mentions the above verse in Surah At-Talaq where the guidelines of the worst of permissible deeds i.e. divorce are discussed. The Quran in its majestic style and wisdom alternates these injunctions with the virtues of Taqwa. Whoever has Taqwa, Allah makes matters easy for him in this world as well as the next. This does not necessarily mean that the person will not face difficulty, but through the blessings of his Taqwa, he is guaranteed ease and the strength to bear these difficulties without losing faith or hope.
2. A way out of problems and difficulties
“And whoever fears Allah, He will make for him a way out.” (Quran 65:2)
Taqwa serves as a divine guard against trials of this world as well as the difficulties of the hereafter. We see an example of this in the Quran where, in the story of Khidr (alayhissalam), it was the righteous nature of the father that saved his sons from loss even after his death. The Quran says: “As for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the town; and there was under it a treasure belonging to them; and their father was a righteous man, and their Lord intended that they should attain their age of full strength and take out their treasure as a mercy from your Lord (Quran 18:82). Muhammad ibn al Munkadir (rahimahullah) says: “It is because of the piety and righteousness of a servant that Allah protects his children and the children of his children and his family and even the homes built around his home.” (Tafsir Mazhari)
3. Unexpected sustenance
“And He will provide for him from sources he could never imagine.” (Quran 65:3)
Almighty Allah is the creator, sustainer and nourisher of the universe. Whatever a person requires and desires of sustenance can be found in His vast treasures. The divine promise is that the God-fearing will be sustained from sources they would never perceive to receive sustenance from. The Noble Quran reiterates this in another verse: “And if the people of the towns believed and had Taqwa, certainly We should have opened for them blessings from the heavens and the earth.” (Quran 7:96)
4. Ability to distinguish truth from falsehood
“O you who believe! If you fear Allah, He will grant you a criterion (furqan).” (Quran 8:29)
When a believer sees to it that his obedience to Allah and love for him stay above everything else, he is gifted by Allah with furqan (such insight that leaves no doubt between truth and falsehood). Every matter becomes clear in his mind and when he is faced with confusing situations of the heart, he will be guided to the light. In the Noble Quran, the day of the Battle of Badr has been termed “Yawm-al-Furqan” (the day of distinction). This was a decisive day in the history of Islam that proved that no enemy can destroy a people who have the support of Allah and such individuals will be successful in all missions they undertake.
“It is He (Allah) who sent down tranquility into the hearts of the believers.” (Quran 48:4)
Calmness and tranquility are sought after states in the daily rat-race of life. These are bounties from Allah which are specifically focused towards the hearts of the true believers. People seek solace in material items, sports, relationships and some even seek it in sin and vice, whereas the true solace that the heart craves can only be acquired from the creator of the heart himself. When a servant attaches his heart, actions, longings and aspirations to Allah, Almighty Allah sees to his affairs and keeps him in a state of peace which even those with abundant worldly wealth envy. The Quran says: “Those who believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.” (Quran 13:28)
Besides the above benefits of adopting Taqwa, the Lord of great bounty has many more long term benefits in store for the righteous believers. The high status of the people of Taqwa is mentioned in various verses of the Noble Quran, one of which will suffice for all.
“For those who have Taqwa there is Triumph (Paradise).” (Quran 78:31)
A frequent supplication of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ was: “O Allah! Instill righteousness in my soul, and purify it as You are the best to purify it, You are its Guardian and Protecting Friend.” (Muslim)