The Merits of Piety (Taqwa)

Taqwa: Not simply a theoretical concept. Its essence is rooted in action.

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ‏- رضى الله عنه ‏- قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اَللَّهِ ‏- صلى الله عليه وسلم أَكْثَرُ مَا يُدْخِلُ اَلْجَنَّةَ تَقْوى اَللَّهِ وَحُسْنُ اَلْخُلُقِ أَخْرَجَهُ اَلتِّرْمِذِيُّ, وَصَحَّحَهُ اَلْحَاكِمُ
الإتقاء أن تجعل بينك و بين ما تخافه حاجزا يحفظك

“Taqwa is the idea that you [A] place something [C] between yourself and that which you fear could destroy you [B].” – al-Tabrizi.

و قال سأقضي حاجتي ثم أتقي * عدوي بألف من ورائى ملجم

“I will satisfy my vengeance [on my brother’s killer by taking his life!], then I will defend myself from their reprisal with a thousand horses, all bridled in support of my cause!” – Zuhayr

واتقوا يوما لا تجزي نفس عن نفس شيئا ولا يقبل منها عدل ولا تنفعها شفاعة ولا هم ينصرون

“Have fear [protect] of a Day when no self will be able to compensate for another in any way, and no ransom will be accepted from it, and no intercession benefit it, and they will not be helped.” – Qur’an, 2: 123

According to Ibn Juzayy, taqwa has at least 15 merits which can be derived from the Qur’an. I will list five here:

  1. Guidance/الهدى
  2. Assistance/والنصرة – لقوله إن الله مع الذين اتقوا
  3. Guardianship/الولاية – لقوله الله ولي المتقين
  4. Love/المحبة – لقوله – إن الله يحب المتقين
  5. Forgiveness/يا أَيُّهَا الَّذينَ آمَنوا إِن تَتَّقُوا اللَّهَ يَجعَل لَكُم فُرقانًا وَيُكَفِّر عَنكُم سَيِّئَاتِكُم وَيَغفِر لَكُم ۗ وَاللَّهُ ذُو الفَضلِ العَظيمِ

“You who have iman! if you have taqwa of Allah, He will give you discrimination and erase your bad actions from you and forgive you. Allah’s favour is indeed immense.” Qur’an, 8: 29

The Du’ah of the Prophet:

أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَانَ يَتَعَوَّذُ مِنْ أَرْبَعٍ
مِنْ عِلْمٍ لاَ يَنْفَعُ
وَمِنْ قَلْبٍ لاَ يَخْشَعُ
وَدُعَاءٍ لاَ يُسْمَعُ
وَنَفْسٍ لاَ تَشْبَعُ

“O’ God, I seek your protection from knowledge which has no benefit, a heart which has no reverence, a supplication that is not listened to, and a soul which finds no satiation.”

Further references see:

Bridging Our Gaps: Thoughts on Piety and Taqwa on the Cusp of Ramadan

and

Ibn Juzayy’s Fifteen Merits of Piety (Taqwa)

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