ALLAH CONSCIOUSNESS OR TAQWA
“Everything has a polish (through which it shines) and the polish for the heart is the Remembrance of Allah.” (Bayhaqi)
What is Allah consciousness?
- It is to be aware of Allah’s presence in everything we do, whether it be eating, sleeping, travelling, praying, learning or relaxing.
- It is to serve Allah because of the love we have for Him.
- It is to avoid all evil actions because of the fear if Allah’s anger and displeasure.
- It is to please Allah by doing good deeds and avoiding bad deeds even when no one is watching you.
The Arabic word for Allah consciousness is “TAQWA”. The person who is conscious of Allah at all times is called MUTTAQI. In our very first lesson in Tahdhib we learnt about practicing good behaviour and keeping away from bad behaviour. Allah has given us the ability and knowledge to think and choose what is right and what is wrong
Iblees (Shaitaan) is our enemy and he has promised to try and lead us astray (on the wrong path). Knowing that Allah is watching over us all the time and that we have to answer to Him on the day of judgement will assist us in staying away from bad behaviour. Thus Allah tells us in the holy Quran in surah Al- A`raf, Surah 7 Verse 201.
“Indeed those who fear get alerted whenever a temptation from the devil troubles them, and they perceive immediately.”
Thus, wherever we are and whenever we are faced with evil we should turn towards the remembrance of Allah. When a Sahabi was proceeding on a journey he asked our beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) to pray for him. Our beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) replied:
“May Allah make Taqwa your provision for your journey.” (Mishkaat)
Meaning have Taqwa wherever you are and in whatever you do. In other words, be Allah conscious. Examples:
- When doing business or working.
- Speaking etc
It is stated in Surah Baqarah,Surah Number 2,verse 256:
There is no compulsion at all in religion; undoubtedly the right path has become very distinct from error; and whoever rejects faith in the devil (false deities) and believes in Allah has grasped a very firm handhold; it will never loosen; and Allah is All Hearing, All Knowing.
And in Surah Hashr, Surah Number 59, Verse 22, it is stated:
It is Allah, except Whom there is no God; the Knowing of all – the hidden and the evident; He only is the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
By this we mean that Allah knows what is in our heart and what is in our mind. Nothing can remain hidden form Allah and he is able to observe us all the time. Here is an interesting story that took place during the time of Sayyidina Umar’s Khilaafat. One day Sayyidina Umar was walking with a companion through the streets of Madinah. Whilst passing a milkmaid’s house they heard two people talking a women was saying to her daughter-
“Come my daughter. Today let us add some water to the milk to increase profit. We are poor and badly need the extra money. Let us do it. Nobody will know the difference.”
“But you have forgotten the Khalif’s order, mother,” said the daughter. “It is an offence to add water to the milk. It is dishonest. “There is no one who can see what we are doing,” explained the mother.
“Khalif or no khalif, his order must be obeyed by every Muslim,” responded the girl. “Besides we may escape the notice of the khalif, but how will we hide our dishonest action from Allah? He sees and knows everything! Sayyidina Umar and his companion silently walked away. “That girl deserves a reward for her honesty, don’t you think?” asked SayyidinaUmar. “Of course,” said his companion. “Say, a thousand dirhams.”
“No, that’s not enough,” said Sayyidina Umar. “She deserves more than that.” The next morning Sayyidina Umar sent for the girl and calling his three sons expressed a wish that he would be happy if she agreed to marry one of them. With her consent, she became the daughter in law of Sayyidina Umar.
Muslims and Mu`mins
When we accept and obey the 5 pillars of Islam i.e. Kalimah, Salah, Saum, Zakah and Hajj – we are Muslims and believers (Mu’min). Allah does not want us to be Muslims by name only, but he wants us to be Mu`mins too. A Mu`min is one who has faith, by that we mean Islam has entered our heart and we are conscious or aware of Allah at all times and our action prove it. One good example in being a Mu`min is when we are fasting. During Ramadan, we fast from dawn to dusk. During this time, we may be in a place where there is no one to see if we are eating or drinking. No matter how hot it maybe we will not even drink a drop of water. This is because we are Allah conscious – we are aware that Allah almighty knows what we are doing.
How to become Allah conscious?
On the day of judgement every part of our body will give an account of our actions i.e. our good deeds and our bad deeds. Our eyes ears legs etc. will be able to talk either in our favour or against us. Thus, the remembrance of and awareness of Allah day and night will make us Allah conscious and this is what we must try to do.
Ears: Avoid listening to un-Islamic matters and matters that do not concern you.
Tongue: Do not speak unnecessarily; avoid backbiting, gossip, lies etc.
Eyes: Admire Allah’s creation e.g. the sea, nature etc. Avoid looking at unlawful things. For example, indecent pictures, movies, TV programmes etc. Rather look at and ponder over the manner which Allah has created everything e.g. The Sea, sun, moon, stars, trees, fruit etc. in different colours and types. Do not abuse your eyes by looking at unlawful things e.g. indecent pictures.
Allah (The Exalted) tells us in the Qur’an in Surah Bani Israeel, Surah number 17. Verse: 36
Therefore, it will be best if we: In doing so, we will be attaining the pleasure of Allah (The Exalted). Our beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) states:
“Everything has a polish (through which it shines) and every polish for the heart is the Remembrance of Allah.” (Baihaqi)
Dhikrullah is the Remembrance of Allah (The Exalted). Some examples are:
- Tasbeeh: Subhan Allah (Glory be to Allah) p.29 book 5
- Tahmeed: Alhamdulillah (All praise be to Allah)
- Takbir: Allahu-Akbar (Allah is Great)
- Istighfar: Astagfirullah (I seek Allah’s forgiveness)
Remember: the best form of Dhikr is the recitation of the Qur’an.
Allah is watching
Sayyidina Junaid was a famous teacher in the city of Baghdad. He had a number of students in his class. One day, he noticed that some of his students were envious of his favourite student, Qasim. To prove to the students why Qasim was his favourite, he called all the students and gave each one of them a chicken and told them: “Students, you must slaughter the chicken in a place where no one can see you, and then bring the meat for a special dinner, which I want to cook for you.”
All the students returned with the meat of the chickens except Qasim. When Sayyidina Junaid asked why he had not slaughtered his chicken, Qasim replied, “Sir, I could not find a place where Allah (The Exalted) could not see me.” Qasim was always conscious of Allah (The Exalted) at all times. He always practiced good deeds for the pleasure of Allah (The Exalted). This is why his teacher was very fond of him. Therefore, we too must practice good deeds to attain the pleasure of Allah (The Exalted).Download Now