** bold texts are excerpt from Risalah al- Mustarshidin written by al-Muhasibi
What is Taqwa?
Constantly be dutiful (to constantly have Taqwa) to Allah because a Muslim is he whose tongue and hands other Muslims are safe, and a believer is he who people are secure from his evil.
Taqwa was explained as a shield between a person and Allah's wrath. and the component of this shield is iman, ibadah and good behavior. in a person, like a tree, he should has strong root (Taqwa) to be able to produce fruits (Akhlaq').
what is your idea of Taqwa? I have always heard that, loosely translated, Taqwa means fear of Allah. which is true. we should fear Him, so that we will leave all prohibitions.
let's look at this from a different angle.
say, if you fear someone, do you respect them? some of you may say yes, and some no. some people do not truly respect those they fear. they just pretend they do, for whatever reason they choose to do so.
if you love someone, do you respect them? i am pretty sure most of us will say yes. oui?
thus, maybe we could apply it this way. say you love your mother. you do not want to cause her anger and grief. you love her and have all the respect in the world for her. you will try to make her happy by doing all the things she loves and avoid all she does not.
maybe, taqwa can be applied in this sense? at least i do see taqwa from this angle. i love Allah so much, i do not want to cause His anger and wrath on me, thus i avoid all He forbids. and to please Him, i try my best to enjoin in all that is good and encouraged.
so, i ask, what is your idea of Taqwa?
another important point from Brother Suhaib (in his explanation of the bold text above)
a Muslim should always protect another Muslim from two things; his own hand and tongue.
oh brothers and sisters of faith. can we try our best to do this? i am afraid that we are slurring each other more than we care to count. and for what reason? just to see the fall of our own brethren. a hadith from the Prophet;
None of you truly believes unless he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.Do not envy one another; do not inflate prices one to another; do not hate one another; do not turn away from one another; do not undercut one another, but be you, oh servants of Allah, brothers.
A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim: he neither oppresses him nor does he fail, he neither lies to him nor does he hold him in contempt. Piety is right here -- and he pointed to his breast three times. It is evil enough for a man to hold his brother Muslim in contempt. The whole of a Muslim for another Muslim is inviolable: his blood, his property, and his honor.
(note: Imam Suhaib stated that we harm people more using our tongue and hand)
Abu Bakr said, 'Fear Allah with His obedience. Obey him by fearing him. Keep your hands from the blood of Muslims, your stomach from their wealth and your tongue from their honor. And call yourself to account (muhasabah) at every thought.'
Ibn Qayyim al Jawzziyah r.a. said;
Sins start with a thought. Repel bad thoughts, because if you don't, it become desire. Declare jihad on the bad desire. If you don't it become aspirations, goals and objectives. If you still don't repel them, it become actions. And if you don't stop these actions, it become a habit. And then, to stop it will be very hard.
Imam al-Ghazali once said; 'Zina starts with your thoughts, not your eyes.'
here we can see the danger of thoughts. there is a famous saying that goes like this; 'thoughts are nothing if you don't work on them.'
as a Muslim, we have been constantly advised to purify our thoughts. I believe that somebody told me, for every good thought we have in our mind, we are granted with reward from God. as for the bad thoughts, we will not be punished for it unless we act on it. aren't we the luckiest people on earth?!
only God knows how some thoughts just crossed our mind without we intending it. (eh?)