Taqwa - Fear of Allah

Ibn Juzayy said in his dictionary of terms from the introduction to his tafsir:

"Taqwa's meaning is fear, clinging to obedience to Allah and abandoning disobedience to Him. It is the sum of all good."

And in his commentary:

We will discuss taqwa in three sections.

First section:

Concerning its benefits derived from the Qur'an, and they are fifteen:

  • Guidance, because of His words "guidance for the muttaqeen (the people of taqwa)";
  • Help because of His words "Truly, Allah is with the people who have taqwa";
  • Close friendship [with Allah] because of His words, "Allah is the close friend of the muttaqeen";
  • Love because of His words, "Truly Allah loves the muttaqeen";
  • Covering over [of wrong actions] because of His words, "If you have taqwa of Allah He will make for you a discrimination and He will cover over for you your wrong actions";
  • A way out from unhappiness, and provision from where one does not expect because of His words, "Whoever has taqwa of Allah He will make a way out for him and provide him from where he does not expect";
  • Facilitation of affairs because of His words, "Whoever has taqwa of Allah He will make ease for him in his affair";
  • Full covering over of wrong actions and magnification of rewards because of His words, "Whoever has taqwa of Allah He will cover over his wrong actions and magnify a reward for him";
  • Acceptance of actions because of His words, "Allah only accepts from the people of taqwa";
  • Success because of His words, "Have taqwa of Allah in order that you might succeed";
  • Good news because of His words "For them there is good news in this world and in the next";
  • Entrance into the Garden because of His words "Truly, there are for the people of taqwa with their Lord Gardens of bliss";
  • Salvation from the Fire because of His words "Then We will save the ones who had taqwa".

Second Section

There are ten things which awaken taqwa:

  • Fear of punishment in the next life;
  • Fear [of punishment in] this life;
  • Hope of worldly reward;
  • Hope of the reward of the next world;
  • Fear of the reckoning;
  • Shyness and bashfulness before the gaze of Allah, and this is the station of fearful watchfulness (muraqabah);
  • Showing gratitude for His blessings by obeying Him;
  • Knowledge, because of His words, "They only fear Allah, of His slaves, the ones who have knowledge";
  • Exalting and honouring His majesty, and it is the station of awe;
  • Sincerity in love because of the words of the one who said:

"You disobey God while you make apparent that you love Him,

          This, by my life, in analogy is a marvel.

If your love were sincere you would obey Him,

          Truly, the lover towards the one he loves is obedient."

And to Allah be attributed the good of the one who said:

"She said, and she had asked about the state of her lover,

          'For Allah's sake, describe him and do not omit nor exceed!'

I said, 'If he had feared death from thirst,

          and you had said, "Stop! don't approach the water!" then he would not have approached.'"

The Third Section

There are five degrees of taqwa:

  • That the slave should protect himself from kufr (covering over the truth), and that is the station of Islam;
  • That he should protect himself from acts of disobedience and forbidden things, and it is the station of turning or repentance (tawbah);
  • That he should protects himself from doubtful matters, and that is the station of caution or carefulness (wara');
  • That he should protect himself from even those things that are permitted, and that is the station of doing without (zuhd);
  • That he should protect himself from the presence of other than Allah in his heart, and it is the presence of witnessing (mushahadah).

That ends what Ibn Juzayy al-Kalbi wrote on taqwa.


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