The meaning of Taqwaa

The Benefits of Fearing Allah

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

From the footnotes of the book ‘The benefits of Fearing Allah’

By Shaikh Muhammad Saalih Al-Uthaymeen

The word Taqwaa is a derivative of the word ‘Ittaqa’ from the root word ‘Waqa’, which means, ‘he protected himself from what which harms him.’ essentially, this is what Taqwaa is – a protection from that which harms the self.

Hasan al Basri, (rahimuallah) said, ‘The ones who have Taqwaa protect themselves from what Allaah has prohibited and act upon what he has commanded. Taqwaa remains with them until they forsake many Halaal things fearing that they could be Haraam.’

Abu al-Dardaa, (radiyallaah’anhu) said, ‘The complete form of Taqwaa is to fear Allaah so much that one begins to fear him from the potential sin a mustard seed and until one leaves what might be Halaal in the fear that it could be harm based on the verse, So whoever does an atom’s amount of good, he will see it; and whosoever does an atom’s amount of evil, he see it.’ So do not prohibit any goodness and act upon goodness. Do not underestimate any evil and protect yourself from it.’

Abu Hurayah, (radiyallaah’anhu) was asked about Taqwaa so he asked the questioner whether he had trodden a thorn infested path. The man said he did. Abu Hurayrah asked him how he walked on it. The man said, ‘when I saw a thorn, I kept away from it because I might be pricked by it.’ Abu Hurayrah (radiyallaah’anhu) said ‘That is exactly what means (to take actions to avoid sins).’

Ibn Rajab, (rahimaullah) said, ‘The essence of Taqwaa is to make a shield (which guards) against Allaah’s anger and punishment. That shield is to obey his commandments and abstain from his prohibitions… ’Jaami’ul-‘Uluum al-Hikaam [190/191].

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