Heart Softeners

  • Taqwa
  • Test and Tribulations
  • Love of God

    بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِِ

    In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

    Meaning of at-Taqwa:

    Taqwa is an essential aspect of Iman or faith, and it means to guard yourself from Allah’s anger. Guarding the self from Allah’s anger entails avoiding everything that He has prohibited or whatever “may” lead to His prohibitions. Taqwa is also to do whatever He has commanded or whatever He has recommended.

    Below is a list of statements concerning Taqwa from the early Muslims: the Sahabah or Companions, their followers, and the early Scholars of Islam (May Allah be pleased with them all).

    1. Ibn Manzur (rahimahullah) has stated that the Arabic word Khawf (fear) means fear in its intransitive form. In its transitive form it means to frighten. (Lisanul Arab 2/1292)

    2. Imam al-Qurtubi (rahimahullah) says that Khawf is fright and alarm in the future in its intransitive form. In its transitive form it means alarm and frighten (Tafsir al-Qurtubu)

    3. Abu Qasim (rahimahullah) said that whoever fears something runs away from it, and whoever fears Allah runs to Him. (Ihya Ulum 4/153)

    4. Abu Hafs (rahimahullah) said Khawf is the whip of Allah that disciplines those who desert Him. Khawf is a lamp in the fear: a person can see by its light what is good and what is evil. Everybody who fears creation runs away from it. Those who fear Allah run to Him. (Madirij Salikin 1/550 and Qushariyah epistles)

    5. Ibn Qayyim (rahimahullah) said escaping means to run away from something to something. There are two kinds of escape: one of the fortunate and the other of the unfortunate. The unfortunate run away from Allah, not to Him. The fortunate run to Him. As running away from Him to Him, that is escape of His friends. (Ibid 1/504)

    6. Ibn Qayyim (rahimahullah) says Khawf is one of the highest posts on the highway and most prolific of the heart. It is incumbent upon every Muslim (to fear Allah).

    Allah says, “Do not fear them, but rather fear Me if you are indeed believers”
    (Aal Imran 175). ”

    “And Me alone should you fear”
    (Baqarah 40)

    Allah has praised and commended those who fear Him:

    “Those who become apprehensive of out of His fear…they are the ones who race in goodness and win” (al-Miminun 57-61)

    So the positive and recommended fear is that which bars man, the individual, from haram. Fear beyond that is in danger of leading a person to despondency which is forbidden (Madirij salikin 1/548)

    7. Abu Hurairah (radiyallahu anhu) was asked about taqwa so he asked the questioner whether he had trodden a thorn-infested path. The man said he had. Abu Hurairah asked how he walked on it. The man said: ‘When I saw a thorn, I took evasive action, lest I was pricked by it.’ Abu Hurairah answered him by saying: ‘That is exactly what taqwa means (to take evasive action on seeing sin.’

    8. Ibn Mua’taz (the poet) rephrases this:

    Leave sin big and small, this is taqwa.
    Be like the one walking on thorns, dreading what he sees.
    Don’t underestimate the minute (small), for mountains are made of small stones
    (Qurtubi and ibn Kathir says that this was composed by ibn Mu’taz)

    9. Hasan Basri (rahimahullah) says, “The ones who have taqwa protect themselves from what Allah has prohibited and act upon what He has mandated. Taqwa remains with them until they forsake many halal things fearing that they could be haram”

    10. Sufyan ath-Thawri (rahimahullah) said, “They have been called, ‘The Fearing’, because they fear what is not usually feared.”

    11. Umar ibn Abdul-Aziz (rahimahullah) says, “Taqwa is not fasting by day and standing for prayers at night. Rather it is to refrain from what Allah has prohibited and act upon what He has mandated. Whoever is granted anything beyond (this level of obedience), he has been given goodness upon goodness”

    12. Ibn Rajab (rahimahullah) says, “The essence of taqwa is to make a shield (which guards) against Allah’s anger and punishment. That shield is to obey His commands and abstain from His prohibitions. Perfect taqwa requires that one performs all voluntary and recommended acts as well as refraining from all reprehensible and dubious acts. This is the ultimate form of taqwa.” Jamiul Ulum wal Hikam 190/191)

    13. Ali (radiyallahu anhu) says, “Protect yourselves with your actions and protect your families by advising them”

    14. Ibn Qayyim (rahimahullah) says, “That this proceeding) verse shows that necessity of taking an account of oneäs action” (Ighathatul Lahfan 1/101)

    “O you who believe! Fear Allah as He is supposed to be feared an die not unless you are in the state of complete submission” (Al Imran 102)

    15. Ibn Abbas (radiyallahu anhu) says, “ ‘As He is supposed to be feared’, Means that they strive in His path as they should: they do not care abut any one criticising them and they establish justice even against their own kith and kin. The phrase ‘and die not…’ means they preserve Islam in both health and sickness so that they are able to die in the state of it”

    16. Ali (radiyallahu anhu) says, “Taqwa is to fear the All Mighty; to act upon the Revelation; to be content with little and to prepare for the Day of Travel (A combination of all four qualities)

    17. Abu Dada (radiyallahu anhu) says, “The complete form of taqwa is to fear Allah so much that one begins to fear Him from (the potential sin in) a mustard seed and until one leaves what might be halal in the fear that it could be haram. This is substantiated by the verse: ‘So whoever does an atom’s amount of good, he will see it; and whoever does an atom’s amount of evil, he will see it.’ So do not undermine any goodness an act upon goodness. Likewise, do not underestimate any evil and protect yourself from it”

    18. Ibn Abbas (radiyallahu anhu) says, “The ones with taqwa are those believers who prevent themselves from shirk. He also said, “They are the ones who fear Allah’s punishment for failing to follow what they know to be guidance and hope for his Mercy with regard that which they believe came from Him.”

    19. Muadh ibn Jabal (radiyallahu anhu) says, “On the Day of Judgement, it will be announced: ‘Where are the ones who had taqwa?’ So they (tone ones with taqwa) will stand up from under the Shelter of The Compassionate. Allah will not be invisible to them” People asked Muadh who are the ones with taqwa. He replied, “Those who stay away from shirk and worshipping idols and then purify their din for Allah”

    بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِِ

    In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

    Tribulations are among the sunnan of Allah, the Most High, and a promise from Him in the Glorious Qur’an. Allah has said in the Qur’an,

    “And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sâbirin (the patient ones, etc.)” (al-Baqarah 2:155)

    Tribulations may come as a test for a believer, or it may come as a punishment from Allah. Among the various signs that a tribulation is a test from Allah, is the end result of that tribulation.

    If a believer increases in faith, and practice, and Allah gives him victory, then indeed this is a sign that Allah has tested him in order to raise his ranks, and to forgive him for his sins.

    However, if a believer decreases in faith, and practice, and becomes debased without sign of a victory, then this is a sign that Allah has intended punishment and humiliation due to what his own hands have brought forth.

    Tribulations require patience, steadfastness, adherence to the Shari’ah, and a constant examination of one’s own soul while repenting for sins. Knowing the above, a believer may examine himself to see how close or distant he is from the above requirements.

    If one finds that they are maintaining the above, then it’s quite plausible, though never definitively known, that his tribulation was indeed a test from Allah. That should have a positive affect and encourage him to continue upon goodness until Allah has removed him of his trial.

    Oppositely, if one finds that they are unable to maintain the above requirements, then it’s likely that Allah is punishing him, and so he must search himself for his mistakes and abandon whatever it is that brought about Allah’s punishment. His being patient while remaining upon something that brought about Allah’s anger will not benefit him in terms of removing punishment – instead he must abandon his error and adopts that which is correct.

    To be continued …


بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِِ

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful


A question that many sincere hearted Muslims ask themselves is the following: “How do I attain the love of Allah?”

This question is an important one indeed, as it is a door towards real happiness in this life as well as in the hereafter.

Our noble and beloved Prophet (sallahu alayhi wa sallam) has informed us in a Qudsi hadith,

“When Allah loves a servant of His He calls Gabriel and says: I love so-and-so, therefore, love him. He said: So Gabriel loves him. Then he (i.e Gabriel) calls out in heaven, saying: Allah loves So-and-So, therefore love him. And the inhabitants of heaven love him. He said: Then acceptance is established for him on earth.”

So what are the ways and means of attaining Allah’s love? Below are a list of those ways and means as mentioned in the Qur’an and in the authentic narrations of the Prophet (sallahu alayhi wa sallam).

#1 Purifying One’s intentions for the Pleasure of Allah

#2 Loving Allah and His Messenger

#3 Obedience to Allah

#4 Obedience to the Messenger of Allah

#5 Forsaking Sins and Repentance

#6 Much Rememberance of Allah

#7 Seeking Knowledge of Allah’s Religion

*more to come