By Kaniz Fatma, New Age Islam
8 Jun 2021
The Quran and Sunnah guide the Muslims to the Seven Grades of Taqwa
Meaning of Taqwa and Muttaqee
Physical and spiritual forms of Taqwa
Virtues of Taqwa
Seven Grades of Taqwa and Muttaqeen
The Arabic word Taqwa literally means to fear, safeguard, protect and abstinence etc. Taqwa often mentioned in the Quran, Sunnah and other Islamic sources refers to ‘God-consciousness’, ‘piousness’, ‘virtue’, God-fearing and ‘performance of righteous deeds and avoidance of forbidden activities’. The word Muttaqee literally denotes one who fears or one who abstains. Hence, a Muttaqee is a person who fears Allah and refrains from all erroneous beliefs and impious deeds.
Taqwa is of two types, physical and spiritual. The physical form of Taqwa is abstaining from sins and doing good deeds, while the spiritual Taqwa is the veneration of those who are dear to Allah as Allah says in the Quran, “And whosoever respects the signs of Allah then it is from the piety of hearts” (27:32).
The Quran and Sunnah have encouraged Muslims to perform Taqwa and become Muttaqeen. The Quran and Sunnah mention several virtues that denote Taqwa, such as “the keeping of trusts (amana) (2:283), ‘patience’ 3:186, and ‘faithfulness’ (3:76) and ‘the fear of God in terms of protecting oneself from displeasing God Almighty’. The imperative form of taqwa is found in the phrase Ittaqullah (fear God or be aware of Allah) which is in a number of verses.
Allah says in the Quran, “O People who Believe! Fear Allah (ittaqullah) in the manner He should rightfully be feared, and do not die except as Muslims.” (3:102)
“O People who Believe! Fear Allah (ittaqullah), and speak rightly. He will rectify your deeds for you and forgive you your sins; and whoever obeys Allah and His Noble Messenger, has indeed achieved a great success.” (33:70-71)
According to a Hadith, the Prophet said, “There is no superiority of an Arab over a non-Arab and neither for a non-Arab over an Arab; also there is no superiority of a white man over a black man, neither for a black man over a white man except by piety (Taqwa)”.
Taqwa can be classified into seven grades. The Quran and Sunnah guide Muslims to all these seven degrees of Taqwa.
1. Protecting oneself from the acts of Kufr and Shirk is the first grade of Taqwa
2. Protecting oneself from the misguided acts (badmazhabi)
3. Avoiding major sins (Kabeera Gunah) including Haram (forbidden acts) and Makrooh Tahrimi (condemned acts) etc.
4. Avoiding minor sins (Sagheera Gunah)
5. Avoiding doubts (Shubhaat), that is, one should avoid the thing about which there is doubt in terms of being lawful or unlawful
6. Avoiding the evil desires (Nafsani khawahishat)
7. Avoid paying attention to anything that takes you away from Allah Almighty, that is, avoid everything that takes you away from the remembrance of Allah.
All the good deeds including the ones related to Huququl Ibad (Human rights) please Allah and the evil deeds including the ones that violate human rights displease Allah Almighty. So performing the good deeds and avoid doing evil deeds are also included in the forms of Taqwa.
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