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a well wisher  
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 24 May 2014 at 4:15pm
A word that is coming very often in surat al Hujurat is “Taqwa”. In traditional translations, Taqwa is fearing God, or piety through fearing God. In others, it is about being mindful and yet it is deeper than that.


The Prophet (sws) said “at-taqwa ha-huna/taqwa is here” pointing to his chest, which means that in the journey of life, the best provision is Taqwa. The end of verse 13 says “inna akramakum ‘inda Allahi atqakum/In God’s eyes, the most honoured of you are the ones most mindful of Him”. Therefore it isn’t fear, it is something that has to do with reverence, love, and fear out of love and love out of this fear. It is more than mindfulness, it is a loving reverence towards Allah (swt). Mindfulness is from the mind, Taqwa is the heart. It is the heart when your mind is open to God’s presence. It is about being mindful with your heart.

It is very difficult to get this. You have in the first verse “wattaqullah”—meaning, be aware, be mindful, get this loving reverence towards Him because if you love Him, you don’t act a certain way with Him. Love is essential in this equation because Allah is the Rahman. Rahma is a love that comes from very deep in your being. It is, for instance, why many psychologists have said that there is something which is specific between the mother and the child; it’s coming from within. Al Rahman is something which is coming from this. What He is expecting us to get is that Taqwa is about remembering Him not with our mind, but something that is as deep as you get from Him.

You’re not going to change your behavior if you don’t get this from the very beginning. What “wattaqullah” means is to get this relationship, this adab, which is coming from your heart, from your mind, and from yourself. This is a process, and it is going to come. The more you behave, the more you look at yourself, the more you control, the more you master, the deeper this is going to be in your heart. Through this behavior you will get an understanding of what Taqwa is.


~Dr.Tariq Ramadan~
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 28 August 2014 at 4:26am
Taqwa Between Love & Fear (by Dr. Jamal Badawi)

Is Taqwa Simply Fear?

The term fear, when used to refer to God-consciousness in the Islamic context, does not mean being scared of God because being scared excludes any feeling of love or respect.

Fear of God means to fear His disobedience and punishment, on the Day of Judgment, and to fear forgetting Him and losing His blessings.


Another partial meaning of fear, which is nobler, is the fear of displeasing God, the One Whom you love. For example, when two people love each other, you find each of them trying their best to please the other and to avoid even forgetting their anniversaries or birthdays. If this is the attitude of humans towards each other, then it is more appropriate that people fear God’s displeasure. People should love God most because they owe everything to Him: their lives, property, and, above all, His guidance to know and worship Him.

So, fear of God is not founded on a vengeful concept of hate and fear of God. It is actually based on love, which leads to a feeling of fear of God’s displeasure...

http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/understanding-islam/ethics-and-values/439939.html
 
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 28 January 2015 at 7:21pm
God In Transit


Away from the classroom environment, amidst the hustle and bustle of the Newark International Airport, I was engulfed in a soufflé of the senses. Passing through security, I proceeded to my designated gate. I checked the time, realizing it was time for one of the daily prayers. I searched for signs with any sort of religious symbol, but found none. I stopped an airport cleaner to ask for the quiet room or chapel. His weary face took in my headscarf and the corners of his mouth went up slightly. He directed me back towards the way I had come to a nondescript door. I walked into a small dimly lit room and the door swung shut behind me, blocking out the cacophonous noises of announcements, wheels dragging across the floor, and the shuffling of shoes that are unique to the airport. A navy industrial carpet lined the floor. A few steps into the room on the left stood a metal sign that read “Please remove shoes.” The small enclave in the back left of the room had a rectangular prayer mat on the floor. The geometrical patterns beckoned me.

Two sets of chairs, three rows of chairs face the front of the room, against the sides an aisle down the middle. A cross sits at the end of the aisle affixed to the top of the room facing the chairs. The edifice of Jesus rests atop it, the light beaming across the face.


Dropping my bag, I pulled off my shoes and placed them against the side of the wall. Stepping to the bottom of the mat, back to the wall, I raised my hand, my thumbs reaching slightly below my covered ears, fingers outstretched. The intimate conversation began...

As I stroll to my gate I couldn't help but think of all the journal articles I read over the previous year about the absence or resurgence of religious practice in the West and the global south. What does it mean to practice, to be religious? Who is unchurched or unmosqued in America? What does it mean in our everyday? What made those people come into that room for those few stolen moments in the middle of all the chaos? I won't get any answers from them, but I found one of my own...

The journey, the steps, the people, and the uncertainty, was where the connection took place. My religious tradition says that one should be in the world as a traveler. I've heard this during various stages of my life. Preachers talk about the importance of not living for this world. Of avoiding being enamored with all that glitters because such gold has no meaning in the afterlife. They encourage abstinence from the material trappings of life. Ascetics are therefore revered for their ability to live a minimalist lifestyle. Yet, neither on the groundings of the everyday nor up in the air was where the revelation occurred. It was in transit.



All of us who passed through that room shared recognition of the fragility of life and acknowledged the one who kept it all together in an unknown way. This meaning of being in the world as a traveler resonated. It isn't just eschewing the consumerism of life alone. Life can be exhilarating, happy, dangerous, complicated, just plain messy., Being home with loved ones, in familiar surroundings provides a sense of comfort and maybe a false sense of ultimate security. When we're thousands of miles away the comfort is thrown off and return isn't guaranteed. This instability, this lack of certainty forces one to reckon with a higher power.It is in the fragility where comfort resides. So as my life as a socially accepted stalker comes to an end, I embrace the lack of familiarity around me, with a plan to always be a traveler.



http://almadinainstitute.org/blog/god-in-transit/

Edited by a well wisher - 28 January 2015 at 7:35pm
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 05 February 2015 at 4:05pm

At the end of the day all we have is Allah. If we can recognize that fact then we will realize that if we have Allah, we have everything; and if we do not have Allah, we have nothing. The Prophet, peace upon him, reminds us, “Whenever you seek help, seek the help of Allah.” We claim that we seek Allah’s help every time we recite the Fatiha, "You alone do we worship, and from you alone do we seek assistance." (1:5) However, we have to work to translate that claim into reality.


One who is conscious of Allah realizes that at the end of the day no one can help or assist him save Allah. If Allah determines that someone will be a means to bring you some help that Allah has ordained for you, then that help ultimately has come from Allah. This is true in all of our affairs. If you believe that anyone or anything in Allah’s creation can ultimately help you, independent of Allah, then you will be placed in the care of that person or thing. Hasan al-Basri wrote the following words to ‘Umar bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, “Do not seek the help of anyone other than Allah, for if you do, Allah will leave you in the care of that other.”

~Imam Zaid Shakir
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 06 February 2015 at 4:44pm
“The Messenger (BPUH) conveyed to women the twofold requirement of spiritual training and of asserting a womanhood that is not imprisoned in the mirror of men’s gaze or alienated within unhealthy power or seduction relationships.



Their presence in society, in public space and in social, political, economic, and even military action was an objective fact that the Prophet (PBUH) not only never denied or rejected, but that he clearly encouraged. In the light of spiritual teachings, he guided them to asserting themselves, being present, expressing themselves and claiming the real freedom of heart and conscience.


They had to choose it by themselves and trace it out for themselves, trusting in the Most Gracious.”

“The loving fear of the One frees us from the fear of all others. It arises from an inner journey that gives roots to our presence, it is the daughter of a withdrawal that prevents us from escaping, it is our weakness before the Divine which gives us strength before humans.”

—Dr.Tariq Ramadan


Edited by a well wisher - 06 February 2015 at 4:47pm
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 21 March 2015 at 5:00pm
True Dependency

Jafar al-Sadiq said once to a devout atheist, "Have you ever been on the sea?" The atheist told him of one time when he was on a ship during a storm that tore apart his ship and drowned the sailors on board. "I was left clinging to a board. Then the ocean took the board from my hands, and I was left with nothing. An ocean wave then carried me to the shore, and I survived." Jafar said, "When you first boarded the ship, did you place trust in that ship? Didn't the sailors also? Then God took those away from you; then you put your trust in the plank. And when you lost that plank, where did you place your trust? Did you hope that you would survive?" The man told him, "Yes, I did have hope." Jafar al-Sadiq said, "There must be an object of hope. Who did you hope for?" The man didn't know how to answer. So Jafar told him, "The one who took away all your means and saved you despite them - that was God."

Even believers become complacent about where they place their trust. We often trust the material things around us, the shelter, the stream of paychecks, cupboards full of food, and so on. We can forget that all of this can be swept away, leaving us with the realization of our only true dependency. How many times have we seen storms take away everything from people: their homes, cars, clothing, and savings?

There is an overriding religious ethic in Islam whose truth is self-evident. If people are serious about living the covenant with God then there is no choice but to keep our trust in God alive and to affirm our faith and belief in Him. This is not an activity for one day of the week or special sacraments performed a few times a year. This is not the way humans were made. We require a constant and conscious connection with God the Exalted. Supplication is an excellent way to enliven our spiritual growth. When we ask of God, we should do so with trust and certainty that God will answer it.


"Purification of the Heart" - Sh.Hamza Yusuf
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 02 April 2015 at 8:45am
Taqwa is sometimes translated as “God-consciousness,” and sometimes it is rendered, “piety.” In reality, it is a combination of both. It is a degree of God-consciousness that manifests itself in piety. Piety in turn lies in avoiding those things that Allah has forbidden and doing those things He has commanded.

Devotion is closely associated with piety. The difference between the two lies in the fact that devotion speaks more of our motivation for undertaking our actions. Devotion can arise from many different sources such as seeking Allah’s reward or good pleasure, fleeing from his punishment, out of thankfulness to Him, or simply as an expression of our love.

Ibn Juzayy al-Kalbi mentions ten ascending motivations that push believers towards righteous actions:
Fear of an otherworldly punishment.
Fear of a worldly punishment.
Hope for a worldly reward.
Hope for an otherworldly reward.
Fear of a [difficult] reckoning.
Shyness before Allah’s all-encompassing gaze.
Thankfulness for His blessings with obedience.
Acknowledging His ontological uniqueness.
Magnifying the majesty of Allah.
The truthfulness of one’s love for Him.

We should always endeavor to move to a higher motivation until we readily implement all of His commandments and prohibitions based on the depth of our love for Him.

~Imam Zaid Shakir
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 05 June 2016 at 6:31am

How Does the Quran Define Taqwa?

Dr. Jasser Auda answers this question in a lecture he recently gave at Abrar High School, in Ottawa

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2OYrUx_KFg

(36 minutes)


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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 14 July 2016 at 6:35am

God Consciousness After Ramadan

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf reflects and offers profound insights into Ramadan and what comes after it and the need to maintain God-consciousness after the blessed month has passed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvfWKoyHRPc

(28 minutes)


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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 08 September 2016 at 3:45am

What's for Taqwa

Sheikh Hamza Yusuf mentions 15 benefits of fearing God and having taqwa:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLv3euX2JuY

(8 minutes)


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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 11 May 2017 at 3:29am
8 Ways Ramadan Enhances Your Taqwa

The purpose of fasting is not to make us hungry and thirsty, or to deprive us some of our comfort and conveniences.

The real purpose of fasting is that we learn taqwa

Taqwa is highly emphasized in the Qur’an and Sunnah. There are more than 158 verses in the Qur’an on taqwa, and there are hundreds of hadiths on this subject.

Taqwa is Islam itself. It is the sum total of all Islamic values and virtues. If one has taqwa one has achieved everything.

Taqwa is the consciousness of Allah. It is to do one’s best efforts to live by His commands and to avoid His prohibitions.

The Qur’an has used the word taqwa to mean consciousness of Allah, fear of Allah, worship of Allah, sincerity in faith, and avoidance of disobedience to Allah.

Fasting builds the character of taqwa if it is done in the right way...

http://aboutislam.net/spirituality/8-ways-ramadan-enhances-taqwa/


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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 22 May 2017 at 1:25pm
The Triangle of Bliss: Ramadan, Quran and Taqwa

One who is interested to achieve taqwa may ask themselves: “Can I achieve this without the Quran?”

The answer is clear no.

The next question is “What if I incorporate the Quran into my life. Can I achieveTaqwa without fasting?” the answer is most likely no. And obviously the best time to fast is in the month of Ramadan.

Allah gives us clear signs how to achieve Taqwa...

http://aboutislam.net/spirituality/triangle-bliss-ramadan-quran-taqwa/
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 03 June 2017 at 10:24pm
Towards Taqwah in Worship: Applying Reflection into Action

These methods are something that has worked for me, and has heightened my faith, piety and worship- and I merely post them in the hope that it might set others upon the same path I have trod, though I cannot in any way guarantee the success of this method, nor can I truly claim this to be some truth that is universal for all.

My hope, therefore, is that I can at the very least set others upon a similar path to that I have taken myself- even if it is never necessarily identical, and will necessarily be taken, by each individual, in their own way.

All they need to do, to begin- is to open their hearts to God, and to ask for light, guidance and piety.

1. Praying to God with an Open Heart for Taqwa & Guidance

And so that is precisely the first point, and the first step towards achieving this elevated state of worship and connection– and Salah, the Arabic word for prayer, means literally that: a connection, which is made with God- and so the five prayers a day are, then, our deepest, and most pervasive connection to our Lord and Creator.

But, in order to heighten this connection, to truly feel its depth, and to feel the fullest benefits of it, it is my opinion that the first thing any who seek to achieve these ends- is to pray. To make dua’a, from the bottoms of their hearts, that God guide them to serenity, and piety, and faith, and connection...

https://beyondtime2017.wordpress.com/2017/06/03/towards-taqwah-in-worship-applying-reflection-into-action/


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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 04 January 2018 at 2:58am
Is Taqwa Simply Fear?

The term fear, when used to refer to God-consciousness in the Islamic context, does not mean being scared of God because being scared excludes any feeling of love or respect.

Fear of God means to fear His disobedience and punishment, on the Day of Judgment, and to fear forgetting Him and losing His blessings.

Another partial meaning of fear, which is nobler, is the fear of displeasing God, the One Whom you love...

http://aboutislam.net/spirituality/taqwa-should-we-love-god-or-fear-him/


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