Taqwa Is Your Armour, So Prepare Yourself With It

There was a group of people, the Qur'an mentions, these individuals were very concerned about self building, being pure, staying away from sin, getting close to God, but these people made a fundamental error. What did these people do wrong? We want to find out what they did wrong and then inshaAllah move in the right direction.

What they did was in order to be pure, in order to be holy, in order to prepare themselves to receive God's blessings, they thought the solution was to withdraw from society, to leave society, people, what they're doing and so many sins gheeba, backbiting, mahram, non-mahram. We will stop ourselves from all of that, we will go off into the hills. These individuals, these are some monks from a Christian background and the Qur'an tells us their story and it tells us that they invented this concept of being a monk, of withdrawing themselves from society.

The Qur'an, surah fifty seven and verse number twenty seven, Allah says this, "A'udhu billahi min ash-Shaytan ar-rajim, wa-rahbanniya ib-tada'uhaa" (57:27). When it came to being a monk, the monastic lifestyle, withdrawing from society, "ib-tada'uhaa", it was a bid'ah, it was an innovation. "Maa katabna'haa 'alyihim" (57:27). We did not, God says, we did not write that for them. We did not ordain that for them. That was not part of their mission.

In Islam, brothers and sisters, taqwa is very different. Taqwa is not a means of escaping. We don't get to escape as Muslims. As Muslims we have a responsibility. Being an informed Muslim, an aware of Muslim, working for the Imam of the Time means that definitely we have a responsibility and there is no escaping that. There is no, for the proper Muslim, the real Muslim, I want to save my soul from sin, so let me stay away from those people who are committing sins and then I'll be saying. No actually, it is a little different.

I want you to give you an example, I will give you two examples. Let's say there was an area which was contaminated, people had some sort of a contagious disease. There was a plague. Right? There was a plague. Some of the individuals, when they heard about that, they said, well look, let's stay away from that. We do not want to get caught up in that. We do not want to get the disease. Maybe we will die. We will stay away from that. That's one set of people.

There's another set of people who go and put on a hazmat suit. They have protection. They'll go in there, they see other people are suffering or struggling or dying. They are in the plague. They put on their suit. They rush in there and they start rescuing those people who are suffering. The way Islam wants us to think about taqwa is that way. Taqwa is that armor, that gear that we put on, that body armor, that suit that we put on that enables us to go into the area where other people are suffering and to save those individuals, to rescue those individuals.

So God's expectation from us, we're talking about self building, having taqwa, acquiring those wonderful traits, preparing for the imam of the time. It never means there's escape, rather taqwa is that armor.

So then, now that we have talked about taqwa this way we have defined taqwa as armor, something that prepares the mu'min or mu'mina to be able to go into an area and rescue other believers. It is easy to see why that kind of taqwa in the Qur'an, it is a preliminary for victory. I will share the verse of the Qur'an, when you look at the verses of the Qur'an, instead of the, the idea of the mu'min being someone who withdraws themselves so terrified of the outside world, have to stay away from these people, otherwise they will bring me into Hell.

The mu'min is strong. It is a positive concept. The believer is strong. Arms himself or herself goes in and rescues others, as opposed to those believers who lose their identity. They forget their values, forget their religion. They live a two, a double faced or two face life. One lifestyle inside the community, one lifestyle at the center and then on the streets, you would not even recognize that mu'min in the workplace. So we do not want to be like that.

Now, let's look at the verse of the Qur'an. What does the Qur'an say about taqwa, it says, surah two verse number one eighty nine, "wat-taqulla"(2:189), have taqwa of Allah, be God weary. Why? "la'anna kum tuflehoon"(2:189), Maybe you will be successful, maybe you will prosper. So taqwa, the proper positive outlook towards taqwa is a muqaddama, and a preliminary for victory.

Now what are we afraid of? The Qur'an also tells us this, why is it that the mu'min would be so careful himself, herself. Why would they be so careful, well what is out there. What happens if I don't have taqwa? The Qur'an tells us, "wat-taqunnaar al-lati'uiddat lil-kafireen"(3:131), prepare yourself, or beware, guard yourselves from that fire which has been prepared for those who reject faith. So the believer the mu'min or mu'mina wants to be very careful about that.