Translated by Shaykh Saleem Bhimji and edited by Arifa Hudda, this work looks at 30 topics through the supplications taught by Prophet Muhammad, prayers of God be upon him and his family, to be recited in the Blessed Month of Ramadan. In this installment, the topic of "Active Consciousness of Allah (Taqwa)" is elucidated upon.
Allahumma tahirni fihi min al-danasi wa al-iqdhar. Wa sabbirni fihi ‘ala ka’inat aqdar, wa waffiqni fi lituqa, wa subhati al-abrar, bi’aunika ya qurrata ‘ayni al-masakin [ Du'a of Day 13]. Oh Allah, on this day, purify me from uncleanliness and dirt, and on this day make me patient over the events that are decreed, and on this day grant me the ability to be pious and keep company with the good by Your help. Oh the beloved of the destitute.
'A'udhu billahi min al-Shaytan al-rajim, Bismillah, al-Rahman, al-Rahim. Assalamu alaykum, wa rahmatuLlahi wa barakatuh.
We have now reached to the 13th day of the blessed month of Ramadan. And today our topic from Ramadan Reflections is on active consciousness of Allah. What is deemed or termed in the Islamic culture as Taqwa.
Now Taqwa is a phrase which you hear on a very frequent basis. If you go to the Friday prayers, you will know that it is an obligation of the Khateeb of the Speaker of the Friday prayer to advise himself and the congregation to observe Taqwa. This is an obligation in his responsibilities on the Friday sermon. When we reflect on the Qur'an, we will see that Taqwa has been spoken about in so many different places. How Taqwa is the vehicle that will give a person felicity in this world and the next we are told that Taqwa or that trait of being one of Taqwa is what will lead one into paradise.
We are also told that if you have the Taqwa, this consciousness of Allah that Allah will grant you a Furqan a criterion to judge right from wrong and so many other versus of the Qur'an. But let me first begin our discussion with the Hadith on Taqwa. That comes to us from the Commander of the Faithfuls, Imam Ali, may God's peace and blessings be upon him, in which he has defined Taqwa in the following way by saying: "Taqwa means that Allah does not find you missing from that place which he has ordered for you to be in, and he does not find you in that place which he has forbidden you to go to."
In this short, saying we are given the definition of Taqwa at one particular level, which is that we are in those places that Allah wants us to be and that we refrain from those areas where Allah would not want us to be.
Now we know that Allah would not want to see a believer, a human being in a nightclub, in a casino, in an area where forbidden and debauchery and sin are being performed, but also Allah would not want us to see want us to be present, let us say, in areas where people are being back bitten, where gossip is happening, where people are lying, where things of any immoral trait is taking place. And conversely, when Allah wants us to see us in places where he approves of.
This can be the religious centers, it could be the homes of the believers, it could be in the park. It could be spending time with family, with friends, anything which is able to earn the pleasure and the contentment of Allah, which again, his pleasure is the paradise, which we are being promised when we perform these noble, virtuous actions.
When we look at the Qur'an and we look at how Allah again defines Taqwa, one of the prime examples that we see is chapter 49, verse number 13, or rather a portion of verse number 13. In this portion, Allah says the following: "Indeed, the noblest of you in the site of Allah is the most God conscious amongst you" (49:13).
This verse is beautiful for many reasons. Allah tells us that the most noble, the closest of human beings to Allah is the one who has the most active consciousness awareness of his creator in his or her life. We do not see in the Qu'ran that the richest of you is the closest to Allah, the one who has the most beautiful of clothing or the largest of homes or the biggest of families, or even the one who performs the most acts of worship. No, Allah says, the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the one who has the greatest level of Taqwa or consciousness of Allah, and this is something which we are trying to inculcate within ourselves in the blessed month of Ramadan, because we know when the Qur'an spoke about the month of Ramadan and the fasting, Allah says that the verse at the end of that portion of the verse, that: "fasting has been prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those who came before you, so that perhaps you may gain Taqwa"(2:183). And so our entire pursuit in these 30 days or one of our pursuits should be the attainment of the Taqwa of Allah.
We close with a Hadith again from the Commander of the Faithfuls Imam Ali, may God's peace and blessings be upon him in which he has said the following: "Indeed, God-consciousness is the medication for your spiritual heart."
Taqwa, this active consciousness and active awareness of Allah in our lives is the cure, as the Imam says, for all of the spiritual maladies that we have as human beings and in society, whether this be discrimination, whether this be the economic disparity, the social upheavals, the social imbalances around the world, all of these evils of our heart, the cure for these evils, the cure for these sicknesses, is that to begin to begin to attain the Taqwa of Allah.
And as we attain that Taqwa, we will be able to remove these sicknesses and bring about a safe and sound heart and a safe and sound community, society, and a safe and secure global community.
Wa assalamu alaykum, wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.