General / Motivational


The TAQWA Footprint…


The Holy Qur’an is replete with the requirement to attain “taqwa”. Some examples include: {O believers, acquire taqwa and let every soul see what it has sent forward for tomorrow}[1], {O believers, have true and correct taqwa of God and die not except in a state of Islam}[2] and {Prepare provisions for yourself and indeed the best provision is taqwa. So fear Me o people of understanding}.[3]

            The beautiful words of the Messenger of Allah also mention about taqwa, its description and its excellences such as in the hadith: Most of the people in paradise will be people of taqwa as well as those with good character: “…the Messenger of Allah was asked about the kind of people who will enter Paradise and he replied those who have taqwa and good character…”[4]

سئل رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عن أكثر ما يدخل الناس الجنة ؟ فقال : تقوى الله وحسن الخلق ، وسئل عن أكثر ما يدخل الناس النار ، قال : الفم والفرج

Taqwa is variously translated into English as, ‘awareness of God’,[5] ‘awe’,[6] ‘God-consciousness’,[7] ‘fear of God’[8] and ’remembrance of God’. However, linguistically, it means ‘protection’, ‘preservation’.[9] In Islamic terms, it refers to [1] protecting oneself from polytheism (shirk); [2] to act according to the dictates of the revelation; [3] to fear God; [4] to prepare for the Hereafter[10] and [5] to avoid sin.[11] Thus, it is conscious effort to remove and be careful of anything that might jeopardise the Hereafter.[12]

Our noble scholars have discussed the notion of taqwa from the Holy Qur’an and Hadith at great length and have always advised the need for a person to trace the trail of their devotion (`ibadah) and to monitor it. They have also advised the need to continue on performing good deeds and living righteously according to our Sacred Law (the Shari`ah) with a view to offsetting sin and any shortcomings in hope of attaining spiritual excellence (ihsan) and God’s mercy in the Hereafter and hence ultimately His company.

“Spiritual excellence and taqwa are the ultimate realities behind all the commands of Allah […] The one with real and true power and authority is the only one worthy of being feared. Taqwa of God guarantees the reformation of the heart and protects it on its method in all its parts and aspects…”[13]

فالإحسان والتقوى هما مناط الأمر في النهاية فصاحب السلطان الحقيقي هو الذي يُخشى ويُخاف. وتقوى الله هي الكفيلة بصلاح القلوب، وحرصها على منهجه في كل جزئياته. كذلك يبين لمن يكفرون ضآلة شأنهم في ملك الله؛ وهو أن أمرهم عليه سبحانه؛ وقدرته على الذهاب بهم والمجيء بغيرهم

In a time where we are encouraged to adopt effective ways to decrease our carbon footprint through either decreasing the amount of energy needed for production or decreasing the dependence on carbon emitting fuels, we should be increasing our “taqwa footprint”…

…to gauge our state of spirituality and religiosity as well as its true sincerity and impact.



S. Z. C.

Peace and blessings upon the Messenger of Allah. 

And Allah knows best.

[1] Surat al-Hashr:18.

[2] Surat Al `Imran:102.

[3] Surat al-Baqarah:24.

[4] Tirmidhi, Sunan (#2004).

[5] R. Frager, Hear, Self and Soul: The Sufi Psychology of Growth, p.32.

[6] Ibid, p.32.

[7] Ibid, p.32.

[8] Ibid, p.32.

[9] See Ghazali et al, Taqwa: The Provision of the Believer, p.2.

[10] Ibid, p.2.

[11] Ibid, p.3.

[12] Birgivi, The Path of Muhammad, pp.104-11.

[13] S. Qutb, Fi Zilal al-Qur’an, 2:772.


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