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The Effect OF Taqwa (piety) On The Life Of The Believer

The following is a draft translation of a recent arabic leaflet issued by Islamic activists in Kuwait.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


Allah (swt) ordered his worshippers -in many texts- to be pious, from which is his saying:
((يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُواْ رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ))
“O mankind! fear your Guardian Lord, Who created you from a single person” [An-Nisa’: 1] and His saying:
((وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ إِنَّ اللّهَ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ))
“And fear Allah, for Allah knoweth well the secrets of your hearts” [Al-Maida: 7] and His saying:
((وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ إِنَّ اللّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ))
“And fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do” [Al-Maida: 8]. And in the Hadith which was narrated by Ahmad after Abi Thar and Mu’ath Ibn Jabal Rasulallah (saw) said:
«أوصيك بتقوى الله في سِرِّ أمرك وعلانيته»
“I recommend you to be pious to Allah in your secret and open affairs”. Mu’ath said: Oh Rasulallah advise me, he said:
«عليك بتقوى الله ما استطعت»
“Be pious to Allah as long as you can” [al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer]. Also (saw) said:
«فاتقوا الله ولو بشق تمرة»
“Be pious to Allah even with a piece of dates” [Saheeh Muslim]. He who examines the texts, realizes that the word (piety) and its derivatives were mentioned abundantly in them, and in the Qur’an it was mentioned in 239 verses, and it is difficult to count it in the Sunnah of the prophet. One should not be surprised for its being mentioned so much, if he knows that it is the key for the happiness of mankind in life and the afterlife.
The linguistic meaning of the word piety is -awe and fear- as was mentioned in Al-Taj, and in Lisan Alarab it was mentioned -I dreaded something- means I was cautious of it. It was mentioned in the Qur’an and Sunnah in its linguistic meaning. So to be pious of Allah means to dread, fear and be cautious of Him by obeying His orders and avoiding his prohibitions.
Allah (swt) said:
((وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلاَّ لِيَعْبُدُونِ))
“I have only created Jinns and men, that they worship serve Me” [Al-Thariyat: 56], worshiping here means obedience which is not realized except by abiding to the orders of Allah and avoiding His prohibitions, the reason for which mankind was created, Allah Almighty gave mankind a reward for his obedience, when we review these texts we notice that the reward is of two kinds: the first one is after death, and the second is earthly in life, the first is to achieve paradise and be safe from hell and what is more to gain the content of Allah on the day of judgment in the afterlife, Allah (swt) said:
((لِلَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ جَنَّاتٌ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَارُ))
“For the righteous are Gardens in nearness to their Lord, with rivers flowing beneath” [Al-Imran 15] and:
((إِنَّ الْمُتَّقِينَ فِي جَنَّاتٍ وَعُيُونٍ))
“The righteous (will be) amid Gardens and fountains (of clear-flowing water)” [Al-hijr: 45] and:
((وَأُزْلِفَتِ الْجَنَّةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ))
“To the righteous, the Garden will be brought near” [Al-Shuara’: 90] and He (swt) also said:
((إِنَّ الْمُتَّقِينَ فِي مَقَامٍ أَمِينٍ))
“As to the Righteous (they will be) in a position of Security” [Al-Dukhan: 51].
As for the earthly reward, which is the theme of this word, it is abundant and multiple, many fixed texts had decisively pointed to in the Holy Qur’an, which manifested the earthly reward for the believer in his life, Allah (swt) said:
((وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِ يُسْراً))
“And for those who fear Allah, He will make things easy for them.” [Al-Talaq: 4], which means that Allah facilitates the affairs of the believer and finds a relief and a quick solution for him, Allah also said:
((وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَجاً، وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لاَ يَحْتَسِبُ))
“And for those who fear Allah, He (ever) prepares a way out, And He provides for him from (sources) he never could imagine” [Al-Talaq: 2-3] meaning, he who fears Allah in what He ordered and abandons what He prohibited, Allah will find a way out for him, and will provide him with the means of subsistence from a place that couldn’t cross his mind, Allah said:
((يا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إَن تَتَّقُواْ اللّهَ يَجْعَل لَّكُمْ فُرْقَاناً))
“O ye who believe! if ye fear Allah, He will grant you a Criterion (to judge between right and wrong)” [Al-Anfal: 29], he who fears Allah by executing His orders and abandoning his prohibitions, will succeed in knowing truth from falsity which will be the cause of his triumph and rescue and a way out for him from the problems of life and his happiness on doomsday, Allah also said:
((وَإِن تَصْبِرُواْ وَتَتَّقُواْ لاَ يَضُرُّكُمْ كَيْدُهُمْ شَيْئاً))
“If ye are patient and do right, not the least harm will their cunning do to you” [Al-Imran: 120], here Allah guides them to be safe from the evil of the vicious and the deceit of the dissolute by using patience, piety and relying on Allah who is aware of their enemies, Allah said:
((يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلاً سَدِيداً، يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ))
“O ye who believe! Fear Allah, and make your utterance straight forward, that He may make your conduct whole and sound” [Al-Ahzab: 70-71], Allah orders the believers to fear him and worship Him as if they see Him, and to utter straightforward words without any swerving, if they do so Allah will make them succeed in doing correct deeds, Allah said:
((وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللّهَ مَعَ الْمُتَّقِينَ))
“But fear Allah, and know that Allah is with those who restrain themselves” [Al-Baqara: 194], this is an order for them to obey Allah and fear Him, and telling them that He will triumph and support -in life and the afterlife- those who were pious, Allah said:
((فَأَمَّا مَن أَعْطَى وَاتَّقَى، وَصَدَّقَ بِالْحُسْنَى، فَسَنُيَسِّرُهُ لِلْيُسْرَى))
“So he who gives (in charity) and fears (Allah), And (in all sincerity) testifies to the best, We will indeed make smooth for him the path to Ease” [Al-Layl: 5-7] meaning that if someone gives away what he was ordered to give, and was pious in his affairs and was charitable, then Allah will lead him to goodness, Allah said:
((وَلَوْ أَنَّ أَهْلَ الْقُرَى آمَنُواْ وَاتَّقَواْ لَفَتَحْنَا عَلَيْهِم بَرَكَاتٍ مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالأَرْضِ))
“If the people of the towns had but believed and feared Allah, We should indeed have opened out to them (All kinds of) blessings from heaven and earth” [Al-A’raf: 96], meaning that if their hearts believed what the messengers had brought and followed it and were pious by doing the rituals and abandoning the prohibitions, then Allah will open the skies for them and the plants of earth, Allah said:
((وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ اللّهُ))
“So fear Allah. For it is Allah that teaches you” [Al-Baqara: 282] meaning fear Allah, watch Him in what you do, follow His orders and stop rebuking Him, then He will make you succeed in knowing truth from falsity, Allah also said:
((يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَآمِنُوا بِرَسُولِهِ يُؤْتِكُمْ كِفْلَيْنِ مِن رَّحْمَتِهِ وَيَجْعَل لَّكُمْ نُوراً تَمْشُونَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ))
“O ye who believe! Fear Allah, and believe in His Messenger, and He will bestow on you a double portion of His Mercy: He will provide for you a Light by which ye shall walk (straight in your path), and He will forgive you (your past): for Allah is Oft- Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Al-Hadeed: 28] He will bring you double of his mercy and will bring you guidance with which those who are bind and ignorant will be led. Piety of a person could extend to his descendants, Allah said:
((وَأَمَّا الْجِدَارُ فَكَانَ لِغُلاَمَيْنِ يَتِيمَيْنِ فِي الْمَدِينَةِ وَكَانَ تَحْتَهُ كَنزٌ لَّهُمَا وَكَانَ أَبُوهُمَا صَالِحاً فَأَرَادَ رَبُّكَ أَنْ يَبْلُغَا أَشُدَّهُمَا وَيَسْتَخْرِجَا كَنزَهُمَا رَحْمَةً مِّن رَّبِّكَ))
“As for the wall, it belonged to two youths, orphans, in the Town; there was, beneath it, a buried treasure, to which they were entitled: their father had been a righteous man: So thy Lord desired that they should attain their age of full strength and get out their treasure - a mercy (and favor) from thy Lord” [Al-Kahf: 82] this is little of abundance which shows the effect of piety on the daily life of the believer.
Thus mankind -in his daily life- is in between two things, one is from himself which he has free will over, and the second is from Allah and lies within the sphere which dominates him (Qada), meaning the things which occur upon him or to him, and he has no control over them in order for them to occur or to stop them from happening. Revelation used to come down on the Prophet (saw) to inform him the different forms of affairs which happen from Qada (beyond our sphere of control), Allah (swt) told them that He made them victorious with angels in Badr (a battle) as well as in Hunain (another battle) and also by a wind in Al-Khandak (another battle). After the revelation stopped these matters of Qada continue without any statement or explanation, no one knows the soldiers of Allah except Allah Himself.
When we look at the texts that mention the worldly reward they came within the texts about the rewards of the afterlife. The worldly reward can be easily overlooked due to the numerous texts concerning the rewards of the afterlife, this is not strange as for Allah this life is worth less than the wing of a mosquito, the prophet (saw) said:
«لو كانت الدنيا تزن عند الله تعالى جناح بعوضة ما سقى كافراً منها شربة ماء»
“If life was -for Allah- equal to the wing of a mosquitoes, he would not have given the Kafir water to drink from it” [Sunan Al-Tirmithi], Allah (swt) said:
((وَلَلدَّارُ الآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لِّلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ أَفَلاَ تَعْقِلُونَ))
“But best is the Home in the Hereafter, for those who are righteous. Will ye not then understand” [Al-An’am: 32] and He said:
((وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلاَّ لَعِبٌ وَلَهْوٌ))
“Nothing is the life of this world but play and amusement” [Al-An’am: 32] and He said:
((وَمَا هَذِهِ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلاَّ لَهْوٌ وَلَعِبٌ))
“What is the life of this world but amusement and play” [Al-Ankabut: 64] and He also said:
((إِنَّمَا الحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا لَعِبٌ وَلَهْوٌ))
"The life of this world is but play and amusement” [Muhammad 36] and He said:
((اعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا لَعِبٌ وَلَهْوٌ وَزِينَةٌ))
“Know ye (all), that the life of this world is but play and pastime, adornment and mutual boasting” [Al-Hadeed 20] and He also said:
((قُلْ مَتَاعُ الدَّنْيَا قَلِيلٌ وَالآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لِّمَنِ اتَّقَى وَلاَ تُظْلَمُونَ فَتِيلاً))
“Short is the enjoyment of this world: the Hereafter is the best for those who do right: Never will ye be dealt with unjustly in the very least” [An-Nisa’: 77].
One question is left which is; how can the Muslim achieve piety? The answer is: he achieves it by knowledge and working according to it. The proof of that is the saying of Allah (swt):
((إِنَّمَا يَخْشَى اللَّهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْعُلَمَاء))
“Those truly fear Allah the most, among His Servants, are those who have knowledge” [Fater: 28] meaning that the scholars who know Allah well and fear Him the most. As knowing Allah -the Great, the Capable who is described with perfection and with the 99 attributes, the more we know Allah, the more we get acquainted with Him, therefore the fear of Him will be more and greater. Aisha (r.a) said:
«صنع النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم شيئا فرخص فيه فتنزه عنه قوم فبلغ ذلك النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فخطب فحمد الله ثم قال: ما بال أقوام يتنزهون عن الشيء أصنعه فوالله إني لأعلمهم بالله وأشدهم له خشية»
“Rasulallah made something and allowed people to follow it, a few refrained from following, Rasulallah (saw) came to know that, so he gave a speech, thanked Allah then said: what is wrong with these people, they refrain from following what I did, I swear by Allah to be the most acquainted with Him and fear Him most” [Saheeh Al-Bukhari], Anas -may Allah be pleased with him- said:
«خطب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم خطبة ما سمعت مثلها قط قال: لو تعلمون ما أعلم لضحكتم قليلاً ولبكيتم كثيراً قال: فغطى أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وجوههم لهم خنين»
“Rasulallah gave a speech -which I never heard better than it- he said: if you knew what I know, you would laugh a little then weep a lot, he said, then the companions of Rasulallah (saw) covered their faces and snuffled from crying” [Saheeh Al-bukhari]. To be ignorant of the shar’i Ahkam leads to sin, Allah Al-Mighty said:
((أَنَّهُ مَن عَمِلَ مِنكُمْ سُوءاً بِجَهَالَةٍ))
“If any of you did evil in ignorance” [Al-An’am: 54] He also said:
((ثُمَّ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لِلَّذِينَ عَمِلُواْ السُّوءَ بِجَهَالَةٍ))
“But verily thy Lord,- to those who do wrong in ignorance” [An-Nahl: 119]. Therefore knowing the Shar’i Ahkam and not working according to them drowns the person in sins, accounting and torture, more than the one who is ignorant of these Ahkam, because he who does not work according to what he knows, is aware of being astray, he disobeys out of being lowly, his destiny will be dark, Allah said:
((أَفَرَأَيْتَ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ إِلَهَهُ هَوَاهُ وَأَضَلَّهُ اللَّهُ عَلَى عِلْمٍ وَخَتَمَ عَلَى سَمْعِهِ وَقَلْبِهِ وَجَعَلَ عَلَى بَصَرِهِ غِشَاوَةً فَمَنْ يَهْدِيهِ مِنْ بَعْدِ اللَّهِ أَفَلاَ تَذَكَّرُونَ))
“Then seest thou such a one as takes as his god his own vain desire? Allah has, knowing (him as such), left him astray, and sealed his hearing and his heart (and understanding), and put a cover on his sight. Who, then, will guide him after Allah (has withdrawn Guidance)? Will ye not then receive admonition?” [Al-Jathiya: 23] and He also said:
((وَاتْلُ عَلَيْهِمْ نَبَأَ الَّذِي ءَاتَيْنَاهُ ءَايَاتِنَا فَانْسَلَخَ مِنْهَا فَأَتْبَعَهُ الشَّيْطَانُ فَكَانَ مِنَ الْغَاوِينَ، وَلَوْ شِئْنَا لَرَفَعْنَاهُ بِهَا وَلَكِنَّهُ أَخْلَدَ إِلَى الْأَرْضِ وَاتَّبَعَ هَوَاهُ فَمَثَلُهُ كَمَثَلِ الْكَلْبِ إِنْ تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْهِ يَلْهَثْ أَوْ تَتْرُكْهُ يَلْهَثْ))
“Relate to them the story of the man to whom We sent Our Signs, but he passed them by: so Satan followed him up, and he went astray. If it had been Our Will, We should have elevated him with Our Signs; but he inclined to the earth, and followed his own vain desires. His similitude is that of a dog: if you attack him, he lolls out his tongue, or if you leave him alone, he (still) lolls out his tongue.” [Al-A’raf: 175-176].
So knowledge and working according to it is the door for piety, because he who does not know the reality of Allah’s greatness, his noble influence, the perfection of His characteristics, the accuracy of His accounting, the pain of His torture, the joy of His reward, the generosity of His forgiveness, the narrowness of His curse, and the width of His mercy, will not fear Him or be cautious of Him, the more a person gets to know Allah the One and Only, who does not beget nor is begotten, and work according to his knowledge, he will become pious and cautious of Allah.
And to spread piety among people and let it be from the characteristics of society, it is important to originate an atmosphere of Iman (faith), by implementing the Shar’i Ahkam, showing goodness and enjoining good, forbidding evil, erasing corruption, spreading Shar’i concepts and protecting the Islamic values. This will not be achieved except by originating the Islamic community by establishing the Khilafah, because the Khilafah alone can protect for the nation, its religion and purify its atmospheres of faith, and incite piety in its people, in order to return to be the best nation sent from mankind, which orders goodness and forbids evil and believes in Allah. So we call you oh Muslims; to work with us to implement the Shari’ah of Allah by establishing the Khilafah.
((إِنَّمَا كَانَ قَوْلَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِذَا دُعُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَهُمْ أَن يَقُولُوا سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا وَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ))
“The answer of the Believers, when summoned to Allah and His Messenger, in order that he may judge between them, is no other than this: they say, "We hear and we obey": it is such as these that will prosper.” [Al-Nur: 51]

01 Ramadan Al-Mubarak 1427 AH
23 September 2006 CE
Wilayah of Kuwait


Anonymous said…
As-Salamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatu

Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim

I am sorry but this article is wrong and it goes against the adopted culture of HT such as the book "Min Muqawwimat An-Nafsiyya Al-Islamiyya".

The article states, without any proof whatsoever, that "The linguistic meaning of the word piety is -awe and fear- as was mentioned in Al-Taj, and in Lisan Alarab it was mentioned -I dreaded something- means I was cautious of it."

This is incorrect because of a wrong conjugation of the word at-taqwaa or al-muttaqun.

The word "al-muttaqun" is found in the Quran in surah Az-Zumar chapter 39 verse 33 in the form VIII masculine plural active participle and is in the nominative case. The active participle's triliteral root is "waw qaf ya" which means "to protect" and "to guard" according to the very good "F. Steingass Arabic English Dictionary" and "Al-Maurid Arabic English Dictionary".

Further, the article states that "It was mentioned in the Qur’an and Sunnah in its linguistic meaning. So to be pious of Allah means to dread, fear and be cautious of Him by obeying His orders and avoiding his prohibitions."

Now, first of all, there is no daleel to support this. The word is not used in its linguistical meaning in the Quran and Sunnah, which is supported by all the different views by the Sahaba (raa) on what the meaning of at-taqwaa is. Likewise on the different explanations cited by the Prophet himself (saaws).

Secondly, even if a person holds that the word is mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah in its linguistical meaning, then the linguistical meaning is not "fear" or "dread" rather it is "to protect" and "to guard".

Without going into much detail the word at-taqwaa covers a subject which is defined more correctly as "Investigating the sharia and submitting to the commands of Allah in order to 'protect' oneself from the punishment."

It is not about fearing Allah, but about avoding the consequences of disobeying Allah, and this can even be achieved - if Allah wills it - on the basis of love, without the need of fear being present. Such as discribed by the majority of the ulama.

And Allahu alim.
Islamic Revival said…
Salam, jazakallah khair for your points we will try to forward this to the brothers in Kuwait who wrote the article.

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Q&A: Shari' rule on songs, music, singing & instruments?

The following is a draft translation from the book مسائل فقهية مختارة (Selected fiqhi [jurprudential] issues) by the Mujtahid, Sheikh Abu Iyas Mahmoud Abdul Latif al-Uweida (May Allah protect him) . Please refer to the original Arabic for exact meanings. Question: What is the Shari’ ruling in singing or listening to songs?  What is the hukm of using musical instruments and is its trade allowed? I request you to answer in detail with the evidences? Answer: The Imams ( Mujtahids ) and the jurists have differed on the issue of singing and they have varying opinions such as haraam (prohibited), Makruh (disliked) and Mubah (permissible), the ones who have prohibited it are from the ones who hold the opinion of prohibition of singing as a trade or profession, and a similar opinion has been transmitted from Imam Shafi’i, and from the ones who disliked it is Ahmad Ibn Hanbal who disliked the issue and categorised its performance under disliked acts, a similar opinion has been tran