What is taqwa in Islam? Best guide on Taqwa

Taqwa meaning in Islam means having self-control and Taqwa comes from Arabic root “wa-qa-ya,” which means “protection” or “support. Taqwa does not mean fear or avoidance, but having fear is a necessary condition to protect oneself from something and avoid it.

What is taqwa in islam

Taqwa in Islam is about being mindful of Allah (ﷻ) in everything we do. It means sincerely intending to please Allah (ﷻ) and aligning our actions with His approval. This involves being aware of our behavior, avoiding haram, and striving to improve ourselves.

Taqwa also includes purifying our thoughts and actions and balancing spiritual growth with righteous behavior. Regular acts of worship, like obligatory Salah on time, strengthen our connection with Allah (ﷻ). Reading and reflecting on the Qur’an nurtures Taqwa and provides spiritual insight.

Acquiring knowledge about Islam and Halal principles is crucial for understanding the guidelines that lead to a life of Taqwa. Reflecting on our actions, seeking self-improvement, and learning from mistakes are essential for developing Taqwa.

Maintaining physical and spiritual cleanliness and respecting the Prophet’s (ﷺ) traditions are practical aspects of Taqwa. Praying with focus and humility, individually and in the congregation, show Taqwa.

Being ethical, promoting righteousness, and fulfilling social responsibilities with compassion are integral parts of Taqwa. Kindness, generosity, and charity reflect the compassionate aspect of Taqwa.

Providing sincere advice, exchanging greetings, and fostering positive opinions contribute to a harmonious community life based on Taqwa.

Repenting for mistakes, hoping in Allah’s (ﷻ) mercy, and fearing His displeasure are essential elements of a life imbued with Taqwa.

Dua for Taqwa

Benefits of Taqwa in Islam

  • Closeness to Allah means your worldly life will start making sense because everything happens by the will of Allah alone.
  • When you’re close to Allah, you’ll find yourself making better decisions – whether in a business meeting or for your kid’s future, whatever it may be.
  • At first, things might seem confusing, but as time passes, you’ll look back and see how everything fits into Allah’s plan, adding beauty to your life.
  • Every person, including you and me, has a purpose in this life, a divine purpose. Sadly, many people don’t realize this and leave the world without understanding their meaning. Allah wants you to have Taqwa because He has something unique to give you.

Taqwa on certainty

Beloved brothers and sisters, make your trust in Allah (ﷻ) stronger and better with every breath you take. When you genuinely believe in your heart, the things you can’t see become apparent, and you feel like you can see them.

It’s like what Imam ‘Ali, (عليه السلام) said: “If the curtains were taken away, my belief wouldn’t get stronger.”

(“Curtains” appears to refer metaphorically to a veil or barrier that hides the unseen or spiritual truths from the individual)

It is easy by the grace of Allah (ﷻ) to believe strongly is like having a powerful and unshakable faith. Taqwa has changed my whole thought process. Doubts and confusing thoughts can’t shake my faith. Doubts and confusion disappear.

I don’t pay attention to these evil thoughts anymore. If you strongly believe, the Devil stays far away from you. He’s scared of you and runs away even from your shadow.

This is a special gift and can only be achieved by sacrificing worldly things and by paying close attention to things with your heart and ears about Allah’s (ﷻ) greatness. How perfect He is, and how He’s in charge of everything.

Look up at the sky and the earth and see all the fantastic things Allah (ﷻ) created. There are signs everywhere showing His greatness. Allah (ﷻ) says in the Quran.

سَنُرِيهِمْ ءَايَـٰتِنَا فِى ٱلْـَٔافَاقِ وَفِىٓ أَنفُسِهِمْ حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُ ٱلْحَقُّ ۗ أَوَلَمْ يَكْفِ بِرَبِّكَ أَنَّهُۥ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىْءٍۢ شَهِيد

We will show them Our signs in the universe and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that this ˹Quran˺ is the truth. Is it not enough that your Lord is a Witness over all things?

Surah Fussilat 53

Act wisely, according to what you believe, avoid harmful things, and believe in Allah’s (ﷻ) plan no matter what. Allah (ﷻ) says, “Those who work hard for Us, We will guide them to the right path.” This means that you become more certain when you truly believe and act on it.

Believers have three levels of certainty:

  1. Like having a strong belief, but sometimes it can waver. This is called faith.
  2. When faith is deeply rooted in your heart, doubts are no longer possible. This is called certainty.
  3. The highest level is where the unseen becomes seen, which is called unveiling and contemplation.

Each level has different grades; all are good, but some are better than others. This is a gift from Allah (ﷻ), and His gifts are plentiful.

Best Dua for taqwa

Taqwa and Intention

Intentions are the basis of our deeds, and as per them, our deeds will either be good or evil. We need to examine our intentions to improve the soundness and sincerity of our actions.

The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said, ‘Deeds are only according to intentions; each man has what he intended.’

You must, therefore, refrain from speaking any words, taking any actions, and making decisions with the sole intention of coming closer to Allah and seeking the reward He has assigned through His beneficence and grace for the intended purpose.

For instance, they are eating to have energy for prayers or sleeping with a spouse to have a child who will adore Allah (ﷻ).

If someone avoids telling others what’s right or stopping them from doing wrong, pretending it’s for self-protection, they are part of the wrongdoing. If a bad intention is connected to a good deed, it turns the good deed bad. The same goes for doing good things just for money or fame.

When a person decides to do something, they can be in one of three situations. First, they decide and act. Second, they decide but don’t act even though they can.

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), may blessings and peace be upon him, said that Allah (ﷻ) writes down both good and bad deeds.

If someone plans to do something good but doesn’t do it, Allah (ﷻ) records it as one good deed. If they intend and then do it, Allah (ﷻ) records it as ten good deeds, and even more.

If someone plans to do something bad but doesn’t do it, Allah (ﷻ) records it as one good deed. If they intend and then do it, Allah (ﷻ) records it as one bad deed.

The third situation is when someone decides on something they can’t do at the moment and says, “If I could, I would do this.” They are treated the same as someone who actually does it, whether it’s for or against them.

Taqwa on Vigilance

Being mindful of Allah, my brothers is like divine guidance in every part of our life. When you move, when you’re still, every moment, every blink, every thought or wish.

We should be respectful to Him by avoiding things he doesn’t like and being where he wants us to be. As Muslims, we should worship Him as if we see him, even if we don’t know that he sees us.

Suppose you feel like doing anything that will cause you to feel guilty, then remind yourself of Him watching over you. If that doesn’t help, think about the two angels who write down all the good and bad things you do.

مَّا يَلۡفِظُ مِن قَوۡلٍ إِلَّا لَدَيۡهِ رَقِيبٌ عَتِيدٞ ,إِذۡ يَتَلَقَّى ٱلۡمُتَلَقِّيَانِ عَنِ ٱلۡيَمِينِ وَعَنِ ٱلشِّمَالِ قَعِيدٞ

“When the two receivers receive, sitting on the right and on the left; he utters no word but there is with him a watcher, ready”

(Quran 50:17-18).

And if that’s not enough, think about how close death is—it’s the closest thing that’s hidden and bound to happen. Scare yourself a bit about it suddenly coming, especially if you’re not in a good state.

When you feel a bit shy in your heart because you know Allah (ﷻ) is watching, and that shyness stops you from doing things you shouldn’t and encourages you to do good, that’s a bit of what we call vigilance.

The Prophet (ﷺ) once said, “Being excellent is worshiping Allah (ﷻ) as if you see Him, and even if you don’t, remember He sees you.” Every believer knows that nothing can be hidden from Allah (ﷻ), whether on earth or in the sky.

Allah (ﷻ) is always with you, seeing everything you do, no matter where you are or what you’re up to. That’s the real deal about vigilance!

Inner and outer-self taqwa

The benefits of improving your inward aspect are immense; if told, this whole post is not enough. You must strive to enhance your inner-self part until it becomes superior than your virtuous outward appearance.

Prophet (ﷺ) always talked about being good inside first. The Prophet (ﷺ) used to ask Allah (ﷻ) to make his inside better than his outside.

When your inside is good, your outside naturally becomes good, too. The Prophet (ﷺ) once said that a tiny part inside our bodies, like the heart, affects the whole body. If it’s good, the rest is good; if not, the rest isn’t either.

If someone says they’re good inside but doesn’t do good things on the outside, they’re not being truthful.

And if someone only cares about looking good on the outside but is not good inside, they’re just showing off and not doing right by Allah (ﷻ).

Taqwa in regular devotions

Doing obligatory Salah and performing Namaz-e-Shab (Tahajjud prayer) has taught me discipline. Not only this, but whatever I had asked the Almighty in this Tahajjud prayer, Alhamdulillah, it has been granted, or the better has been provided to me.

I also do morning Azkar and Daily dhikr (short dua before entering bathroom, dua for leaving the house, etc).

At the beginning of this practice, I used to say these words and ignored their outcome, but gradually, I started seeing things that have improved my life.

For instance, with these dhikrs, I followed the sunnah practice and noticed that the outcome has been in my favor wherever I am.

It is like the Almighty itself started showing me every correct way to choose and what would be its outcome if I chose it.

Make sure you spend your time doing good things, especially acts of worship. Only let time go by by doing something good, day or night. This is how you make your time memorable, fulfill your life’s purpose, and stay close to Allah.

Plan specific times for your regular activities like eating, drinking, and working. Neglecting your responsibilities or not paying attention can mess things up.

A wise person once said, “Organize your time, set aside time for your regular prayers, and give each task the right amount of time.

Someone smart once told me that in life, you have two main choices: either insist on being right or opt for peace. The more I think about it, the more I realize that wanting to be right is tied to ego while going for peace is a sign of wisdom.

If you waste your time doing whatever comes to mind, like animals do, you’ll end up wasting most of your life. Your time is your life, and your life is essential for your relationship with Allah (ﷻ) and for your happiness in the long run.”

Taqwa on acquiring knowledge

Most of us are the slaves of this world and its offerings, and if you tell them, they will get offended. If we reflect on this chapter from Quran at-Tariq, which says.

يَوْمَ تُبْلَى ٱلسَّرَآئِرُ ٩

Yawma tublas saraaa’ir

The Day when secrets will be put on trial,

فَمَا لَهُۥ مِن قُوَّةٍۢ وَلَا نَاصِرٍۢ ١٠

Famaa lahoo min quwwatinw wa laa naasir

Then man will have no power or any helper.

وَٱلسَّمَآءِ ذَاتِ ٱلرَّجْعِ ١١

Wassamaaa’i zaatir raj’

By the sky which returns [rain]

وَٱلْأَرْضِ ذَاتِ ٱلصَّدْعِ ١٢

Wal ardi zaatis sad’

And [by] the earth which cracks open,

إِنَّهُۥ لَقَوْلٌۭ فَصْلٌۭ ١٣

Innahoo laqawlun fasl

Indeed, the Qur’an is a decisive statement,

إِنَّهُمْ يَكِيدُونَ كَيْدًۭا ١٥

Innahum yakeedoona kaidaa

Indeed, they are planning a plan,

وَأَكِيدُ كَيْدًۭا ١٦

Wa akeedu kaidaa

But I am planning a plan.

فَمَهِّلِ ٱلْكَـٰفِرِينَ أَمْهِلْهُمْ رُوَيْدًۢا ١٧

Famahhilil kaafireena amhilhum ruwaidaa

So allow time for the disbelievers. Leave them awhile.

You must make it your habit to learn and acquire knowledge that is present in the Book of Sunnah, Nahjul-Balagha.

It’s good to read books that give you helpful knowledge. This knowledge helps you understand more about Allah’s (ﷻ), His qualities, what He does, and the good things He gives us.

It also helps us know what Allah (ﷻ) wants us to do and not do so we can live better. Reading these books can make you think less about things in this world and more about what comes after.

It also helps you see your mistakes and what you need to improve.

Taqwa on cleanliness

It’s important to be clean both on the outside and inside. When you’re completely clean, it’s like you become a good person inside, even though you still look like a regular person on the outside.

The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) once said that religion is all about being clean, and Allah (ﷻ) likes cleanliness.

Being clean on the inside means getting rid of bad habits like being too proud, showing off, being jealous, or loving the world too much. Instead, you should have good habits like being humble, modest, sincere, and generous.

Taqwa, being clean on the outside, is about not doing anything wrong, following the rules, and staying away from haram (Forbidden acts).

If you keep doing good things and try to be a righteous person inside, then you will become truly clean.

Some things for being clean on the outside are following the rules like trimming your hair and nails, keeping clean from dirt, and doing the Ghusl when needed.

Taqwa and reflection

Do start your day in Allah’s name and for Allah’s sake. Regular reflection can bring about positive changes in your life and lead to excellent results. 

  • Spend an hour or more each day for reflection, especially during quiet times like the deep night.
  • The condition of your religious and worldly matters depends on the quality of your reflection.
  • Reflection is powerful; having a share of it means having a percentage of all things good.
  • Imam Ali عليه السلام said, ‘There is no worship like reflection,’ and a wise person said, ‘An hour’s reflection is better than a year’s worship.’
  • Reflect on the wonders of Allah (ﷻ)’s creation in the world and within yourself to deepen your understanding of Allah (ﷻ)’s Essence, Attributes, and Names.
  • Allah (ﷻ) encourages reflection, saying, ‘Look at what is in the heavens and the earth!’ (Quran 10:10).
  • Reflect on the fantastic creatures Allah (ﷻ) made, including yourself. Allah (ﷻ) says, ‘In the earth are signs for those who have certainty, and in yourselves; can you not see?’ (Quran 51:20-21).
  • Think about the favors and bounties Allah (ﷻ) has bestowed upon you.
  • Remember Allah (ﷻ)’s favors to find success.

Taqwa on kindness and charity

My brothers and sisters feel the presence of Allah in yourself and that can only be achieved when things are done solely for the sake of Almighty and All merciful one and only our Rabb.

  • Love and hate for the sake of Allah (ﷻ) are crucial for a strong faith.
  • The Prophet (ﷺ) said that the best deeds are loving and hating for Allah (ﷻ)’s sake.
  • If you love obedient people because of their goodness and hate disobedient people because of their disobedience, then you truly love and hate for Allah (ﷻ).
  • If you don’t feel love for good people because of their goodness or hate for bad people because of their evil, your faith might be weak.
  • Spend time with good people and avoid bad company. The Prophet (ﷺ) said a person’s religion is influenced by their close friends.
  • Associating with good people helps you love and practice goodness, while being with bad people encourages love for evil.
  • Be mindful of who you spend time with, as you will be with those you love in this world and the next.

Promoting good and preventing evil

It’s really important to encourage people to perform righteous acts and stop them from doing bad things. This is a vital part of our Islam, so Allah revealed His Books and sent Messengers to teach us about it. 

All Muslims agree that it’s a duty, and many verses in the Quran and the sayings of the Prophet (ﷺ) talk about it.

Allah says in the Quran that there should be a group among you who invite others to do good, encourage kindness, and stop them from doing bad things. This is indeed a sign of success. 

The Prophet (ﷺ) said that you should try to change something with your hands if you see something wrong. If you can’t, then with your words. And if that’s not possible, at least feel bad about it in your heart. 

The Prophet (ﷺ) also warned that Allah might send punishment if people stop doing this.

If you get angry because someone mistreated you, and you hate that more than any other bad thing you see or hear about, it means your faith is weak. Your money and honor should not be more important to you than your religion.

  • If there’s a risk of harm to yourself or your things, or if stopping the bad might make things worse, it’s better to stay quiet, and sometimes it is necessary.
  • Don’t pretend or hide the truth because you’re afraid of losing something like a job or money from someone doing something wrong.
  • When you speak up or stay quiet, do it sincerely for Allah (ﷻ), with kindness and compassion. This makes your words more effective and respected.
  • If you genuinely care about Allah (ﷻ) and His servants, you won’t hold back from stopping evil unless there’s something you can’t overcome.
  • Spying to find out others’ secrets is wrong. The Prophet (ﷺ) said that if you try to discover someone’s secrets, Allah (ﷻ) will expose yours, even if you’re hiding in your house.
  • Hidden sins harm only the person doing them, but if they become known and are not stopped, they can harm everyone.
  • If you see many bad things happening around you and feel like the truth won’t be accepted, it’s okay to isolate yourself or move to a better place. Allah (ﷻ) knows what’s best.

Author

  • Arish Husain

    Assalam Alaikum beautiful people! someone who loves Prophet Muhammad and his family a lot. I like finding new ways to teach important stuff, so everyone can understand what Allah wants from us and His plans. We learn to listen for whispers from Allah, understand big plans, get ready for whatever Allah has for us, and try our best. I hope Allah's blessings guide us on this special journey.Allah hu Akbar!

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