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Prescriptions for developing Taqwa (Piety) by Shaykh Ahmed Abdul Mu eeb !

asmi "advi (translated by Muhammad #wais $afrey)

Allah (SWT) says in Aayah 119 of Surah Taubah: O Believers fear Allah and be with those who are truthful. To fear Allah !eans to avoid sins at all "ost and to !a#e sin"ere re$entan"e and see# for%iveness fro! Allah in "ase a sin is "o!!itted. Alon% with fearin% Allah& this Aayah also "o!!ands to be with the $eo$le who are truthful& i.e.& who always s$ea# the truth& who at heart are truthful and whose a"tions refle"t their belief in truth. This is Allah (SWT)'s !er"y that when he "o!!ands to do so!ethin%& whi"h !ay a$$arently see! hard& (e sends a "o!!and soon after& whi"h !a#es the first "o!!and easy and doable. )n other words the se"ond or the followin% "o!!and $aves the way for the fulfill!ent of the first "o!!and. A $erson& who is livin% in an a!oral& i!!oral or unethi"al environ!ent& !ay as# a *uestion: (ow to build a barrier a%ainst sins and be safe fro! their influen"e. +isten to what ,ro$het (SAW) on"e said before ) answer this *uestion. (e (SAW) said that a ti!e will "o!e when holdin% on to -aith will be as diffi"ult as holdin% a burnin% "oal in hand. .ost $robably we are livin% in su"h a ti!e $eriod. )t re*uires !oral "oura%e and stren%th of "hara"ter to adhere to our faith in the "urrent environ!ent. +oo# around and you will find that vi"es are "ree$in% in "orrodin% the !oral fabri" of our so"iety. -alsehood has be"o!e an art for!. )!!odesty is "alled fashion and inde"en"y is in vo%ue. /orru$tion is ra!$ant. The e$ide!i" is %lobal. Those who fear Allah (SWT) and "ontinue to stru%%le to u$hold their faith and "hara"ter under su"h adverse "ir"u!stan"es& ,ro$het (SAW) had %iven the! %ood tidin%s. (e (SAW) said that there will be a $eriod "lose to the +ast 0ay& when a $erson holdin% fast to his 0een& will %et a reward for one of his a"ts fro! Allah (SWT) e*ual to the reward of fifty "o!$anions of ,ro$het (SAW). 1Abu 0awud& Tir!idhi and )bn .a2ah3 )n the Aayah of Surah Taubah& ) referred earlier& Allah (SWT) has also "o!!anded us to be with the honest and truthful $eo$le& i.e. the $eo$le who are true to what they believe in and translate their belief into a"tion and thus save the!selves fro! sins. Su"h $eo$le will always be there as $er (oly 4ur'an& whi"h addresses the !an#ind of all ti!es. When a $erson lives with& and ado$ts the "o!$any of the $eo$le who fear and love Allah& he is then naturally effe"ted by the $urity whi"h $er!eates in the environ!ent "reated by the $ious $eo$le. The S"holar Abdul (a'yee (5eh!A) used to say that if there is $it"h dar#ness and you see a tiny li%ht far away& it will #indle a ho$e in you and you will try to %et "loser to it. The "loser you %et& the !ore it will show the $ath for you to tread& and when you will %et still "loser you will even feel its war!th& and after you "over even that !ini!al distan"e& the li%ht will absorb you and you will be"o!e a $art of it. This is the truth& the !ore you %et "loser to the 6Allah7lovin%6 $eo$le& the !ore you are driven away fro! sins and lead towards li%ht& towards $urity and towards $iety. -or the last 1899 years& this li%ht is s$readin% far and wide throu%h the "hannels of the $ure and the $ious.

5e"o!!ended a"ts: The early s"holars and the lovers of Allah have $res"ribed !ethods to enable us to a"hieve $iety. The S"holar .aulana Abrar7ul7(a*ue (5eh!A) re"o!!ends: Be in the "o!$any of lovers of Allah and be with the! for the sa#e of Allah. 5ead bio%ra$hies of those who love Allah& and learn fro! their life stories. 5e!e!ber death& be fearful and !a#e $re$arations for death and the (ereafter. Thin# about the $unish!ents of sins and thin# about the (ell. These re"o!!endations ensure $iety. Thin%s to avoid: Two $re"autions& however& are ne"essary as in the "ase of $hysi"al si"#ness: a $hysi"ian does not only $res"ribe !edi"ation& but also re"o!!ends $re"autions. A "o!bination of !edi"ine and $re"autions ensures re"overy and health. Avoid ba"#bitin%& a sin whi"h destroys all %ood deeds. Allah (SWT) says in Aayah 1; of Surah Al7(u2urat: Believers& avoid !a#in% too !any assu!$tions < so!e assu!$tions are sinful < and do not s$y on one another or s$ea# ill of the $eo$le behind their ba"#s: would any of you li#e to eat the flesh of your dead brother= >o& you would hate it. So be !indful of Allah: Allah is ever relentin%& !ost !er"iful. Avoid loo#in% at >on7.ahra!: )n today's i!!odest environ!ent of !i?ed %atherin%s& this si"#ness is very "o!!on. )n Aayah @9 of Surah >oor& Allah (SWT) says: 1O ,ro$het3& tell believin% !en to lower their %lan"esA One $erson sent a letter to .aulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (5eh!A) and wrote: ) loose self "ontrol when ) "ast a sinful %lan"e on so!e one but its avoidan"e is also $ainful. The .aulana wrote ba"# in res$onse: Bou "annot tolerate the little $ain in the avoidan"e of a sin& how would you bear the %reater $ain of (ell fire to whi"h you will be sub2e"ted as a result of "astin% a sinful %lan"e. ,lease do not indul%e in s$ea#in% evil of others& and always lower your %lan"es wherever you are& visitin% a !ar#et $la"e& a relative& a friend& or in a so"ial %atherin%. )t is Allah (SWT)'s "lear "o!!and and in2un"tion. )nsha Allah you will a"hieve $iety by ta#in% these $re"autions.

0r. Abdul (a'yee (5eh!A) has %iven so!e dire"tions for the a"hieve!ent of $iety& whi"h if ta#en into $ra"ti"e will o$en u$ $ossibilities of establishin% a s$e"ial relationshi$ with Allah (SWT). Cstablishin% a s$e"ial relationshi$ with Allah: -irst thin% is to e?$ress than#s and %ratitude to Allah (SWT). The essen"e of than#s is not to !a#e unfair use of (is blessin%s. Say Alha!duli+ah& (All $raise be Allah alone) or& Allahu!!a +a#al (a!du wa +a#asshu#r (All $raise and than#s be to Allah alone) to ea"h blessin% and everythin% favorable that ha$$ens to you day and ni%ht. )t !ay be stri#in% a %ood deal in business& any a"hieve!ent in "lass or at wor#& hearin% %ood news& or solvin% a $roble! et". This is si!$le and easy. Aayah 18D of Surah An7>isa says: Why should Allah !a#e you suffer tor!ent if you are than#ful and believe in (i!. Allah always rewards %ratitude and (e #nows everythin%. )t !eans that e?$ressin% than#s to Allah saves fro! $unish!ent. Aayah D of Surah )brahi! says: A)f you are than#ful& ) will %ive you !ore& if you are than#less& .y $unish!ent is terrible indeed. The %reatest Boo# of all ti!es& the (oly 4ur'an's Surah Al7-atiha starts with Al7(a!duli+ah& and this Surah is re*uired to be re"ited in every 5a#'aa of ea"h $rayer si%nifyin% it to be the first ste$ on the $ath of than#fulness. Another $ositive effe"t of than#in% Allah is that the !an does not ta#e Allah's %ifts and blessin%s for %ranted and as his ri%ht& but "onsiders the! only as favors fro! Allah. The $erson who does not "onsider his wealth& $ro$erty& s#ill& #nowled%e& or $ersonality as his own a""o!$lish!ent& but as a %ift fro! Allah& he is always safe fro! Ta#abbur ($ride or vanity)& whi"h is a %reat sin. ,ro$het (SAW) said that who ever has an iota of Ta#abbur in hi!& would not enter ,aradise. 1.usli!3. Ta#abbur is worst than adultery and drin#in% al"ohol. Than#in% Allah saves !an fro! su"h serious sins. The habit of than#in% Allah auto!ati"ally be"o!es a barrier between !an and sins. Whenever a !an is te!$ted by a sin& his "ons"ien"e 2olts hi! and he is re!inded of Allah's favors. As a re"i$ient of blessin%s and %ifts& a than#ful !an does not %et u$set if so!ethin% does not ha$$en a""ordin% to his e?$e"tations. (e "onsiders it as a will of Allah. A than#ful !an& by sayin% Al7(a!dulillah& su""eeds in establishin% a relationshi$ with Allah (SWT)& and that is %reat a"hieve!ent in itself. )t is the very soul of $iety& a safe%uard and $rote"tion fro! internal and e?ternal sins. Se"ond is Sabr (,atien"e and fortitude) Third is )sta%hfaar (5e$entan"e and see#in% for%iveness) -ourth is )sta'aaEah (Sayin% Aa'ooEubillah) ) ur%e you to "on"entrate& thin# about the! and $ra"ti"e to a"hieve Ta*wa ($iety). .ay Allah (SWT) enable us all to obey (is "o!!ands. Aa!eenF