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2) Stages of Piety

Moralists consider three stages for Taqwa:

a. To safeguard self from the eternal chastisement and from abiding in hell due to correcting one’s beliefs. When a human being tries to rectify his beliefs, to avoid atheism, to improve his belief in monotheism, prophethood, and the Day of Judgment, to adopt a right path in Imamate, to perform obligatory duties, and to leave the forbidden acts, he will save himself from chastisement and fire.

b. To avoid committing sins verbally and practically; such a meaning of Taqwa is best known to the people of religion.

c. To safeguard the heart from what keeps it busy away from truth, from the forbidden, blameworthy, and permissible acts. This is the excellent stage of Taqwa.