Principles of Taqwa

On Saturday, February 24, UICA presented their first youth event of 2018 by hosting Ustadh Faraz Khan of Zaytuna University. The beautiful gems the Ustadh imparted on the community were rich with wisdom and love, providing the importance of righteousness as well as means on how to attain this piety.

Ustadh Faraz Khan began his speech by explaining that all believers are people of Taqwa (righteousness) by default. Taqwa comes from the root word Wiqaayah (meaning shield). Taqwa is in essence blocking off the paths of spiritual harms and disobedience to Allah (SWT). Taqwa is the basis of everlasting happiness: Jannah, as well as happiness in this life.

The Ustadh explained by quoting verses from the Holy Qur’an (10:62-64) that the people who are close to Allah (SWT), those of Wilaaya or piety, there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they suffer. There are glad tidings for them in this worldly life and the Hereafter. Those who have Taqwa, Allah (SWT) will provide for them by blessing them with worldly gifts and protections, as well as a way out from anxieties and difficulties by His (SWT) mercy.

To attain taqwa, righteousness, we can study the statement of the great scholar: Sayyidina Abul Hasan Shadhili (RA) – “Whoever departs from disobedience from their outward behavior (their limbs and how they speak) and they cast out the love of this life from their heart. The hearts are oriented towards Allah in devotion. They hold fast to preserving and safeguarding their limbs and watching over the state of their heart.”

REMOVE ATTACHMENT: It is from the Sunnah of the Prophet (S) to partake of this world with our hands, but not with our hearts and the true believer takes from this world what is of benefit to him to live comfortably, but their hearts are attached to Allah (SWT) and the Beloved Prophet (S).

REFLECT: Believers are constantly in a state of self-reflection if they want to attain Taqwa. We think to ourselves: Was I arrogant? Was I was envious? Was I miserly? Was I full of malice? Did I hold a grudge? The believe is constantly remembering Allah (SWT) and the Beloved Prophet (S), ensuring that their hearts are connected to them.

GRATITUDE: Those who want taqwa are always watching over the state of their heart. They are also constantly showing gratitude to Allah (SWT) for what they have been blessed with as well as what they have been protected from. One example of this is the blessing of our health and senses. As believers we are grateful for sight and grateful for not being blind. Though both of these appear similar, there is a great distinction and it is up to the believer to remain grateful for both sides. Those who show gratitude, Allah (SWT) increase for them provisions, blessings, and gifts in this life and the next. Shukr is the way to better one’s self to receive the divine grace of Allah Almighty (SWT). Alhamduilllah.

HUMILITY: Taqwa is the best garment of a believer. According to the saying, “The best garment of a servant is humbleness, lowliness and broken-heartedness to Allah (SWT).” The believer is constantly humble, presents himself/herself lowly before Allah, not arrogantly. They come before Allah (SWT) in a state of broken-heartedness with sincerity that Allah (SWT) is the ultimate creator and provider, seeking to be fixed.

CONCIOUSNESS: Sayyidina Ibn Atta Al-Iskandari (RA) states: “Taqwa has an outward dimension and inward dimension. Outward is staying within the limits Allah (SWT) has sent down.”  The outward dimension discusses the limbs and actions. What we speak, what we hear, where we go, and what we say. Protecting our tongues is a major element to taqwa. Being conscious of one’s speech and habits is what someone with Taqwa focuses on.  Instead of engaging in backbiting, lying, cheating, a believer keeps his tongue moist with remembrance of Allah (SWT) in Dhikrullah and the Beloved Messenger (S) by reciting Salawaat (Durood) constantly. Remembrance of Allah (SWT) and the Beloved Messenger (S) is nourishment for the soul.

REPENTANCE: The Ustadh explains that the door to repentance is always open so long as the soul has not left the body.  One must come to Allah (SWT) in that state of broken heartedness mentioned earlier begging Allah (SWT) to forgive them and work hard to never commit the sin again. Reciting istighfar and making tawba is important for each believer on the way to piety.

COMPANIONS: The intimate friends of the believer can have a major affect on his/her religion. This is why Muslims are instructed to be very careful with whom they keep as an intimate friend. We refer to the Sahabahs (RA) as companions and not any other title because that is the importance of their status; they were intimate friends of the Prophet (S). The word Sahabah comes from Sohbah: the company of a person. Surrounding one’s self with righteous people will only affect the believer in a positive way and preserve the deen of that person by encouraging, motivating, and assisting their fellow companion to do better, be better, and remember Allah (SWT) and the Prophet (S) in all aspects of life.

May Allah (SWT) preserve Ustadh Faraz Khan, Imam Didmar Faja, and all of our scholars. May Allah (SWT) increase us all in our Taqwa and make us all amongst those who have taqwa: Muttaqeen. May Allah (SWT) make us to be amongst the righteous: Saaliheen. May Allah (SWT) make us amongst those who are constantly seeking forgiveness: Taa’ibeen. May Allah (SWT) make us amongst the grateful: Shaakireen. May Allah (SWT) enable us all to be amongst His closest ones: Muqarribeen and increase our love for the Beloved Prophet (S) so that we are true believers who love Him (S) more than our family, our property, and our own selves. Aameen.

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