“O You Who believe, if you fear Allah, Allah will give you a criterion.” Anfal 8:29
This verse deals with a few issues. The first is taqwa – an advice which has been given to those before us and in our time.
The definition of taqwa as mentioned by Talq ibn Habib is that you:
Act in obedience to Him
Comply with His legislation with ‘ilm hoping for the mercy of Allah
Leave disobedience to Allah with a light from Allah (‘ilm) based upon that which you have learnt from the legislation, fearing his punishment.
Another explanation of the meaning of taqwa taken from Abu Hurairah is when he asked a person “Have you ever taken a path where there are dangerous obstacles?” and he explained “I would avoid and be cautious it in order not to be harmed by those obstacles and this is taqwa.”
Allah has said that He is not going to leave you just to believe until he distinguishes between those that are impure and those that are pure. He is the One who created life and death to see who is best in good deeds. The one who is from the muttaqoon walks with precaution. You walk carefully for the short time that we are here, be in this world as if you are a stranger. We should be cautious as it relates to taqwa. As for taqwa in the Quran the command of having taqwa is often attributed to the name of Allah ,for example, in the verse which tells us to fear Allah, The One who you be gathered and the statement “Oh you who believe fear Allah and say a statement that is correct and your actions will be correct.
When Allah mentions His name then taqwa or His Punishment. It means have this cautiousness, fearing His Anger when Allah says to fear Him. If you fear Allah then avoid his anger with ‘ilm. When He mentions taqwa then his punishment, for example in these following verses:
“And Fear the Hellfire that has been prepared for the disbelievers” Aali Imraan 3:131
“And fear fire, the one whose fuel is men and stones that has been prepared for the disbelievers” Baqarah 2:24
“And fear that day that you will return to Allah” Baqarah 2:281
In the statement “Oh you who believe have taqwa” the benefits of having taqwa are that:
- Your actions are accepted.
- Allah does not accept from those who have no taqwa, as it says in The Quran: “Verily, Allah accepts only from those who are Al-Muttaqun” Maidah 5:27
- Allah is with those who have taqwa
Verily Allah is with those who fear Allah and those who do good. He aids and supports them. When taqwa is mentioned in the same sequence as ihsan, doing good, taqwa means ikhlas and ihsan means following the sunnah, and those who do that are the muttaqoon. Allah supports them.
Allah will have an exit for them. We have test in this dunya. Whoever has taqwa of Allah there will be way out for him. Be assured that whatever you are going through, if you have taqwa of Allah and avoid haraam Allah can make an exit for you. Allah didn’t say don’t do zina, He said don’t even get close to it. The people of taqwa avoid those things that lead to haraam. There is hope because you are from the muttaqoon, those who Allah aids and supports. He is above His throne but He is with you in terms of His support. As the Arabs say when Allah gives you Furqaan
In a tafsir of the Quran it is mentioned that this means that He will give you an exit from bidah. If you have taqwa you will not fall into bidah, and those are the people from Ahlus-Sunnah. If you have taqwa he will make you free and distance you from shubhat and misconceptions, and if you have them, you are weak in your taqwa. You are weak in your taqwa if you have doubts about Salafiyyah, fear Allah. There is fitnah everyday, this is from the sunnah. In the hadith of Abdullah ibn Zubair it says that there does not come a time except the one which comes after it worse, and it will get worse. You need this light from Allah (seeking knowledge the Quran and the Sunnah). Abdullah ibn masood said:
“knowledge is not just talking, it is that light which Allah puts in the heart.”
Another advice from him is that it is not just philosophy and rhetoric. Sheikh ul Islam ibn Taymiyyah said that they were given intellect but not purification. We need to seek knowledge to remove the ignorance from us.They had intellect but they didn’t have that noor.
The one who has taqwa, Allah will give him knowledge and action free from misconception. Ibnul Qayyim said that the two things that cause corruption for Bani Aadam are shuhabat (doubts) and shahawat (desires). Doubts – bringing something to the religion that Allah and His Messenger didn’t bring, and desires- falling into sins. The most lethal, is the doubts as it corrupts the heart. The salaf used to say that the people of bidah would not repetn as he thinks his actions are good, but the one who drinks knows that he has sinned. However, the person of taqwa, Allah gives him safety from this.
The furqan is that Allah keeps a distance between you and that which you fear. And it is something which we fear, which is why in salah we say keep us upon the straight path. Ibnul Qayyim said we have hidayah to the path and we need hidayah on the path which is why the muslims continue in saying that. Allah keeps the distance between him and the corruption fears if he has taqwa.
The ‘Ulema mention that the comprehensive understanding of having taqwa is doing that which he has commanded, and staying away from that which he has prohibited.
This lecture is courtesy of our brothers at Markaz Salafi at Loughborough @MarkazSalafi