What is Taqwa?

Imam Ibn Juzayy al-Kalbi said in his dictionary of terms from the introduction to his tafsir:

Taqwa’s meaning is fear, clinging to obedience to Allah, and abandoning disobedience to Him. It is the sum of all good.”

And in his commentary, he said:

Concerning its benefits derived from the Qur’an, and they are thirteen:

1.    Guidance, because of His words:

“guidance for the muttaqin (the people of taqwa)”(2:2);

2.    Help, because of His words:

“Truly, Allah is with the people who have taqwa(2:194);

3.    Close Friendship [with Allah], because of His words:

“Allah is the close friend of the muttaqin“ (45:19);

4.    Love, because of His words:

“Truly Allah loves the muttaqin“ (3:76″);

5.    Covering over [of wrong actions], because of His words:

“If you have taqwa of Allah He will make for you a discrimination and He will cover over for you your wrong actions”;

6.    A way out from unhappiness, and provision from where one does not expect, because of His words: “Whoever has taqwa of Allah He will make a way out for him and provide him from where he does not expect” (65:2-3);

7.    Facilitation of affairs, because of His words:

“Whoever has taqwa of Allah He will make ease for him in his affair” ( 65: 4);

8.    Full covering over of wrong actions and magnification of rewards, because of His words: “Whoever has taqwa of Allah He will cover over his wrong actions and magnify a reward for him” (65:5);

9.    Acceptance of actions, because of His words:

“Allah only accepts from the people of taqwa(5:27″);

10. Success, because of His words:

“Have taqwa of Allah in order that you might succeed” (3:200);

11. Good news, because of His words: “For them [i.e. people of taqwa] there is good news in this world and in the next” (10:64);

12. Entrance into the Garden, because of His words:

“Truly, there are for the people of taqwa with their Lord Gardens of bliss” (3:133);

13. Salvation from the Fire, because of His words:

“Then We will save the ones who had taqwa“  (19:72).

Source: Al-Kalbi, Ibn Juzayy. Kitabu-t Tashil li ‘Ulumu-t Tanzil. Trans. Abdassamad Clarke. 

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