- Among the most essential and repeated commandments in Islam is taqwā
- Allah commands us to have taqwā to the best of our ability [al-Taghābun 16], which implies that taqwā is a general and non-specific obligation that is flexible and relative, varying by situation and circumstance. This verse also teaches us that our responsibility for fulfilling commands is dependent upon our ability and capacity. Therefore, we should fulfill our obligations to the best of our capacity and as much as we possibly can, leaving the rest to Allah’s mercy. Conversely, if we suffer from lack of capacity in some aspect of the obligation, that doesn’t absolve us of the entire obligation. An example is the prayer, which must be prayed standing or, if unable to stand, by sitting or, and if unable to sit, by lying down, etc.
- Taqwā also necessitates that we be truthful and straightforward in our speech [al-Aḥzāb 70], for speech is among the greatest weakness of human beings and the cause for many of them to enter the Hellfire.
- Taqwā is the solution to our worldly and financial difficulties, for Allah promises a way out of difficulties for those who have taqwā and promises to provide for them [al-Ṭalāq 2-3]
- Taqwā develops in us an inner sense of recognition (Furqān) of guidance and truth, which illuminates the road before us and guides us in our affairs [al-Anfāl 29]
- Taqwā also serves to erase our sins and grant us forgiveness
- Taqwā is the only valid basis for differentiating among human beings and establishing virtue and superiority
- The physical world has been made alluring and tempting (sweet and green) in order to try us and determine who has taqwā
- The Prophet would frequently supplicate for taqwā: O Allah I implore you for guidance, taqwā, purity and self-sufficiency.
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسأَلُكَ الهُدَى وَ التُّقَى وَ العَفَافَ وَ الغِنَى
- When taqwā is mentioned along with guidance, the guidance refers to knowledge and taqwā to the practice of that knowledge
- Knowledge in Islam is useless unless it transforms you and influences your actions and grants you taqwā
- These 4 things are essential for all believers: knowledge, practice, purity from all sins and freedom from dependency upon others
- Oaths are generally not recommended in Islam, but Islam enjoins that if one does make them, he/she is obligated to fulfill them; But even in an obligatory matter such as fulfilling one’s oath, the guiding principle is taqwā; if not fulfilling an oath or acting contrary to it is more conducive to taqwā, one should break the oath to choose the path of taqwā (and offer the expiation or kaffārah for breaking the vow)
- In his farewell pilgrimage towards the end of his life, the Prophet delivered a series of addresses, all of them emphasizing the imperative of taqwā
- In one of these final addresses, he summarized the path to Paradise as involving the following steps: taqwā, the 5 daily prayers, the fast of Ramaḍān, Zakāh, and the obedience/discipline of leadership.