Allah (swt) made Taqwa (piety) the essence of what Islam called for and a key to the attainment of goodness and the triumph of Paradise. This term is therefore mentioned in the Quran in various contexts in which Taqwa is reflected as the basis of morality, worship, relations and transactions. Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said in its Shar’i definition: “The essence of Taqwa is to obey Allah out of belief, and in hope for His reward in His command and prohibitions; so, he does what Allah commands out of belief in the commander and believing His promise and leaves His forbidden acts out of belief in the one who forbid and in fear of His threat.”.
We had in the Messenger of Allah a good example and in his companions a good legacy, they were fasting, praying, performing Haj, fighting Jihad, and enjoining the good and forbidding the evil. They used to implement the whole command of Allah according to the disciplined Shari’ method. Allah (swt) says: قُلْ هَذِهِ سَبِيلِي أَدْعُو إِلَى اللَّهِ عَلَى بَصِيرَةٍ أَنَا وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِي وَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَمَآ أَنَا مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ “Say: ‘This my way: I invite unto Allah― on evidence clear as the seeing with one’s eyes; I and whoever follows me. Glorified and Exalted be Allah! And I am not among those who associate partners with Allah!’” [Yusuf 12:108]
They were a few vulnerable people who were tortured and killed to turn them away from their religion, but they remained steadfast and were true to what they promised Allah. So, Allah conferred great favor upon them when the Prophet ﷺ established a state to protect the Muslims and guard their territory and carry the call of Islam abroad. This is the goodness that Muslims receive from the state’s application of the full law of Islam – including the establishment of the Hudud (legal punishments) – so that people are secured in their Deen, themselves, their minds, their honours, and their money.
The Khilafah State provided the Islamic environment and established an atmosphere of Iman and has elevated the individual to live in worshiping Allah Almighty and fearing Him as He should be feared. He is obeyed and not disobeyed, remembered and not forgotten, and is thanked and not denied. Taqwa became one of the characteristics of the society by applying the rulings of the Shariah in full, because the people, both governors and the governed, are observing Allah in secret and in public. And this was not limited to the month of Ramadan but was their tradition in Ramadan and all other days of the year.
We are recalling here some events that demonstrate Taqwa of the public, scholars and rulers: the first event is of a mother, who wanted her daughter to mix milk with water, and her daughter reminded her that Ameer Al-Mu’minin forbade it. She said: Where is Ameer Al-Mu’mineen? He does not see us. The daughter replied: If Omar cannot see us, the Lord of Omar sees us. Omar ibn al-Khattab when he heard that he married her to one of his sons. The second event is when Abdullah bin Dinar went out with Omar ibn al-Khattab (r.a) to Makkah, he said we rested somewhere in the journey and a shepherd descended from the mountain, and Omar said to him: O shepherd “Would you sell me this sheep?” he replied, “I am a Mamluk (slave) and it belongs to my master.” Omar said, “If your master asks you, tell him that the wolf has eaten her.” He said: “Where is Allah?” Then Omar (r.a) cried and he bought the slave from his master and freed him.
This demonstrates the importance of the state in raising the environment of Taqwa by rewarding the righteous and motivating them to increase the performance of good deeds and the abstention from evil and compete in the performance of Allah’s duties and leave his forbidden acts. Whereas today, it is difficult for Muslims to perform the simplest acts of worship, for they are prevented from praying and fasting and are fought for their Islamic manifestations in their homes. And they even imprison and kill all who have Taqwa to Allah and refused to bear false witness, steal, bribe, cheat or refrain from the Haram and the major sins…
And the third is the statement of Hasan al-Basri to Omar bin Hubairah – the Wali (governor) of Iraq – who said: “The right of Allah is more binding than the right of Ameer Al-Mu’mineen, and Allah Almighty has more right to be obeyed, and no obedience to a creature is due in what leads to disobey the Creator. Compare the book of Ameer Al-Mu’mineen with the Book of Allah Almighty; if it agrees with the Book of Allah then act upon it, and if you find it contrary to the Book of Allah; then throw it away.”
So, where are the scholars of the Sultans today from the advice and accountability of the rulers and governors? Where are their steadfastness from the temptations that are offered to them to buy their consciences? Where are they from his ﷺ saying: «الْعُلَمُاءُ وَرَثَةُ الأَنْبِيَاءِ» “The Ulemah (scholars) are the heirs of the prophets”?
Where are they in tribulations and adversity while the people follow them and wait for their position to know the truth from others? Where are they from the words of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal to his uncle: “O uncle, if the scholar answers out of dissimulation, and the ignorant is ignorant, when will be the truth known?”
The fourth is the advice of our master Ali (r.a) to the governor of Egypt, Malik bin Harith Al-Ashtar, where he has ordered him to fear Allah, to prefer obedience to Him, and to follow what He has commanded in His Book (Qur’an) out of His obligator commands and Sunnah, and to help Allah the Glorified, with his heart, hand and tongue. The fifth example is Caliph al-Mustansir, may Allah have mercy on him, who was standing before his money and said: Will I live until I spend all of it? He constructed connections, hotels, and bridges in the roads from all sides, and he built in every locality of Baghdad a guesthouse for the poor, especially in the month of Ramadan.
However, the rulers today have sold the wealth of the Muslims and filled the vaults of their palaces, and then established themselves as rulers. They turned the unlawful (Haram) into Halal (lawful) and ruled by other than what Allah has revealed, controlling the livelihoods of the people and making their lives miserable and constricting them down to indulge them in the pursuit of living and subjected them to the brunt of need and deprivation.
This is Taqwa; correctness in the Aqeedah, discipline and integrity in the behaviour, and this is the product of the state’s spreading of the legitimate (Shari’) concepts and urging to show the righteousness and the command of virtue and reward the one who is pious and forbid the evil, making the Muslim automatically flow to follow the orders of Allah and abstain from his prohibitions. So, he establishes between him and what Allah has forbidden a barrier, not only one month in the year but throughout the entire year.
Taqwa is of the matters requiring determination, not weakness, and it is the foundation of the building, and any construction that it is not built upon it, it is inevitably going to collapse, and its resort is to the fire of Hell and wretched is the resting place: أَفَمَنْ أَسَّسَ بُنْيَانَهُ عَلَى تَقْوَى مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانٍ خَيْرٌ أَمْ مَنْ أَسَّسَ بُنْيَانَهُ عَلَى شَفَا جُرُفٍ هَارٍ فَانْهَارَ بِهِ فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ “Then is one who laid the foundation of his building on righteousness [with fear] from Allah and [seeking] His approval better or one who laid the foundation of his building on the edge of a bank about to collapse, so it collapsed with him into the fire of Hell? And Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people.’” [At-Tawba :109]
Taqwa is the commandment of the Prophet ﷺ to his Ummah. I heard ‘Irbad bin Sariyah say: “One day, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) stood up among us and delivered a deeply moving speech to us that melted our hearts and caused our eyes to overflow with tears. It was said to him: ‘O Messenger of Allah, as if you have delivered a speech of farewell: «أُوصِيكُمْ بِتَقْوَى اللَّهِ وَالسَّمْعَ وَالطَّاعَةَ وَإِنْ عَبْدًا حَبَشِيًّا مُجَدَّعًا، فَإِنَّهُ مَنْ يَعِشْ مِنْكُمْ فَسَيَرَى اخْتِلافًا كَثِيرًا، فَعَلَيْكُمْ بِسُنَّتِي وَسُنَّةِ الْخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ الْمَهْدِيِّينَ مِنْ بَعْدِي عَضُّوا عَلَيْهَا بِالنَّوَاجِذِ وَإِيَّاكُمْ وَمُحْدَثَاتِ الأُمُورِ فَإِنَّ كُلَّ بِدْعَةٍ ضَلالَةٌ» “He said: ‘I urge you to fear Allah, and to listen and obey, even if (your leader) is an Abyssinian slave. After I am gone, you will see great conflict. I urge you to adhere to my Sunnah and the path of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, and cling stubbornly to it. And beware of newly-invented matters, for every innovation is a going astray.”
Only when Islam is in power and has sovereignty, Taqwa becomes a concept and is not limited to worship. And the practical application of Islam can only be through Muslims appointing the Imam, the shield, who fears Allah on them and applies the law of Allah to them and restores to the Ummah its prestige and to the state its strength which will fuel Taqwa in the hearts of Muslims and urge them to possess it in their life in this world in fear of Allah’s wrath and in aspiration in his satisfactions.
Eng. Dura Al-Bakush