بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is an extract of a letter, from the discourses of Shaykh Ibrahim ibn ‘Abdullah Niyas al-Kawlakhi (q.s.): “On taqwa.”
“Imam ash-Shafi’i (r.a.) wrote a poem which contains this meaning: ‘I complained of having a poor memory and I was guided to abandon disobedience. I was told that knowledge is a light, and the Light of Allah is not given to a disobedient person.’
Taqwa is to obey the commands and to avoid the prohibitions of Allah, outwardly and inwardly. I also say that taqwa is to fear abandoning what Allah has made Obligatory upon you and to fear doing what Allah has Forbidden to you. The righteous person is the one who fears to do what Allah has Prohibited or to abandon what He has Commanded. Taqwa is the guarantor for the obtainment of everything which is hoped for by the servant of Allah, whether it is wilayat or otherwise. Allah Says:
أَلَآ إِنَّ أَوۡلِيَآءَ ٱللَّهِ لَا خَوۡفٌ عَلَيۡهِمۡ وَلَا هُمۡ يَحۡزَنُونَ (٦٢) ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَڪَانُواْ يَتَّقُونَ (٦٣)
Behold! Verily on the friends of Allah there is no fear, nor shall they grieve; those who believe and (constantly) guard against evil ― (Surah Yunus:62-63)
Imam Abu Hanifah (r.a.) said, ‘If the right acting scholars are not the friends of Allah, then Allah has no friends!’
Whosoever believes in Allah and obeys the Commands and avoids the Prohibitions of Allah is among the friends of Allah, those whom no fear shall come upon, nor shall they grieve. They shall have no grief, either in this life or the next. If the servant of Allah seeks to receive glad tidings in this life and the next, that is for the friends of Allah:
لَهُمُ ٱلۡبُشۡرَىٰ فِى ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَفِى ٱلۡأَخِرَةِۚ لَا تَبۡدِيلَ لِڪَلِمَـٰتِ ٱللَّهِۚ ذَٲلِكَ هُوَ ٱلۡفَوۡزُ ٱلۡعَظِيمُ (٦٤)
For them are glad tidings, in the life of the present and in the Hereafter: no change can there be in the Words of Allah. This is indeed the supreme Felicity. (Surah Yunus:64)
The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) was questioned about the identity of those described in the verse, ‘there is no fear, nor shall they grieve’, and he replied, ‘They are a people coming from various tribes who meet and gather for the sake of Allah. O people! Listen, understand and know it well. Allah has servants who are neither prophets nor martyrs and whom the prophets and martyrs yearn to be like, due to their proximity to the Real.’ The Prophet (s.a.w.) went on to describe their Great Reward on the Day of Resurrection, ‘By Allah, their faces will be luminous and they will be upon light. They will feel no fear when the people will be feeling fear, and they will feel no grief when the people will be grieving.’ Then he read the verse:
أَلَآ إِنَّ أَوۡلِيَآءَ ٱللَّهِ لَا خَوۡفٌ عَلَيۡهِمۡ وَلَا هُمۡ يَحۡزَنُونَ (٦٢)
Behold! Verily on the friends of Allah there is no fear, nor shall they grieve; (Surah Yunus:62)
This was reported by Imam Abu Dawud (r.a.), Imam at-Tirmidzi (r.a.), and in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad (r.a.).
Loving for the sake of Allah is a great matter, and I call you to bear witness that I love you all for the sake of Allah, just as I bear witness that you love me for the sake of Allah. Verily, Allah servants who will be under His Shade on a Day in which there is no shade but His. There are seven groups of people who will be under the Shade of His ‘Arsh on the Day of Judgement: a just leader; a youth who grew up in the obedience Allah, the Mighty and Majestic; a person whose heart is attached to the masjid from the time he leaves it until he returns; a man who refuses the advancements of a beautiful woman, and says, ‘I fear Allah’; a person who remembers Allah so much that he cries tears; a person who gives in charity and hides it, such that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives in charity; and two people who love each other for the sake of Allah, Glorious and Exalted is He. This hadits was narrated by Abu Hurayrah (r.a.) and reported in Swahih al-Bukhari and Swahih Muslim.
The easiest to attain and most meritorious is the last group. Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) said, ‘A man is with whom he loves.’
ibn Jarir (r.a.) narrated that Sa’id bin Jubayr (r.a.) said, ‘An Answari man came to the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) while feeling sad. The Prophet (s.a.w.) said to him, ‘Why do I see you sad?’
He said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! I was contemplating about something.’
The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, ‘What is it?’
The Answari said, ‘We come to you day and night, looking at your face and sitting by you. Tomorrow, you will be raised in the company of the prophets, and we will not be able to see you.’
The Prophet (s.a.w.) did not say anything, until Jibril (a.s.) came to him with this ayah:
وَمَن يُطِعِ ٱللَّهَ وَٱلرَّسُولَ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ مَعَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنۡعَمَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيۡہِم مِّنَ ٱلنَّبِيِّـۧنَ وَٱلصِّدِّيقِينَ وَٱلشُّہَدَآءِ وَٱلصَّـٰلِحِينَۚ وَحَسُنَ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ رَفِيقً۬ا (٦٩)
All who obey Allah and the Messenger are in the company of those on whom is the Grace of Allah ― of the Prophets (who teach) the sincere (lovers of Truth), the witnesses (who testify), and the righteous (who do good): ah! How a beautiful fellowship! (Surah an-Nisa’:69)
And the Prophet (s.a.w.) sent the good news to the Answari man.’ This hadits was narrated in mursal form from Masruq (r.a.), ‘Ikrimah (r.a.), ‘Amir ash-Sha’bi (r.a.), Qatadah (r.a.) and ar-Rabi’ ibn Anas (r.a.). This is the version with the best chain of narrators.
In a hadits collected in the swahih and mussanad compilations, in mutawatir form, narrated by several companions, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) was asked about the person who loves someone but his status is not close to theirs. He said, ‘A man is with whom he loves.’
Anas (r.a.) commented, ‘We never rejoiced in Islam at anything more than when we heard the Messenger of Allah say, ‘A man is with whom he loves.’ Verily, I love the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.), Abu Bakr (r.a.) and ‘Umar (r.a.), and I hope that Allah will Resurrect me with them, even though I did not perform actions similar to theirs.’ All praise and thanks belongs to Allah because we love them all as well. We love men whom we are certain they are not from the inhabitants of the Hellfire. A man is with whom he loves. This is the hope we have for ourselves and for our beloveds.
Taqwa is the key to Paradise, which has been prepared for the muttaqin. Taqwa is therefore the means to Salvation from the Hellfire.
وَإِن مِّنكُمۡ إِلَّا وَارِدُهَاۚ كَانَ عَلَىٰ رَبِّكَ حَتۡمً۬ا مَّقۡضِيًّ۬ا (٧١) ثُمَّ نُنَجِّى ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّقَواْ … (٧٢)
Not one of you but will pass over it: this is, with your Lord, a Decree which must be Accomplished. But We shall Save those who guarded against evil .... (Surah Maryam:71-72)
Taqwa is the means to a praiseworthy end.
تِلۡكَ ٱلدَّارُ ٱلۡأَخِرَةُ نَجۡعَلُهَا لِلَّذِينَ لَا يُرِيدُونَ عُلُوًّ۬ا فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَلَا فَسَادً۬اۚ وَٱلۡعَـٰقِبَةُ لِلۡمُتَّقِينَ (٨٣)
That House of the Hereafter We shall Give to those who intend not high-handedness or mischief on earth: and the end is (best) for the righteous. (Surah al-Qaswasw:83)
Taqwa is the way out of difficulties and it is the key to provision and sustenance.
وَيَرۡزُقۡهُ مِنۡ حَيۡثُ لَا يَحۡتَسِبُۚ وَمَن يَتَوَكَّلۡ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسۡبُهُ ۥۤۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بَـٰلِغُ أَمۡرِهِۦۚ قَدۡ جَعَلَ ٱللَّهُ لِكُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ قَدۡرً۬ا (٣)
And He Provides for him from (sources) he never could imagine. And if anyone puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is (Allah) for him. For Allah will Surely Accomplish His purpose: verily, for all things has Allah Appointed a due proportion. (Surah ath-Thalaq:3)
Taqwa is the key to ease and facilitation.
… وَمَن يَتَّقِ ٱللَّهَ يَجۡعَل لَّهُ ۥ مِنۡ أَمۡرِهِۦ يُسۡرً۬ا (٤)
… and for those who are consciously aware of Allah, He will Make their path easy. (Surah ath-Thalaq:4)
Taqwa is the means to obtain the Forgiveness of Allah.
… وَمَن يَتَّقِ ٱللَّهَ يُكَفِّرۡ عَنۡهُ سَيِّـَٔاتِهِۦ وَيُعۡظِمۡ لَهُ ۥۤ أَجۡرًا (٥)
… And if anyone is consciously aware of Allah He will Remove his ills from him, and will Enlarge His Reward. (Surah ath-Thalaq:5)
Taqwa is the means to obtain the Help of Allah.
سُوۡرَةُ آل عِمرَان
… وَإِن تَصۡبِرُواْ وَتَتَّقُواْ لَا يَضُرُّڪُمۡ كَيۡدُهُمۡ شَيۡـًٔاۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بِمَا يَعۡمَلُونَ مُحِيطٌ۬ (١٢٠)
... But if you are patient and do right, not the least harm will their cunning do to you for Allah Compasses round about all that they do. (Surah Ali ‘Imran:120)”