Imtithaal Sampson is a 20-year-old student who recently completed Matric at Al-Azhar High School in Athlone. After spending three years in Hifth, she felt drawn to the spiritual environment of the institute and found herself longing to learn more about Islam. She is currently in the B.A. degree at Madina Institute.
What does Taqwa mean?
Contrary to popular belief, Taqwa does not mean to fear or be afraid of Allah. Defining the term Taqwa like this would be incomplete. However, many of us were raised to believe this misconception.
Taqwa is the Islamic term for being cognizant of Allah. This term encompasses many things, one of them being consciousness. Hence, one should know that Allah is all-knowing of ones actions, intentions and beliefs. “O, you who believe! When you hold secret counsel, do it not for sin and wrong-doing, and disobedience towards the Messenger (Muhammad SAW) but do it for Al-Birr (righteousness) and Taqwa (virtues and piety), and fear Allah unto Whom you shall be gathered.” (Quran, 58:9) This verse from the Quran shows us that Taqwa is a broad concept and not just restrained to one idea.
The word Taqwa comes from the word ‘Wa-Qa-Ya’ which could be translated as shield. This word can therefore be defined as a shield from wrongdoing. This shield can be built up with the consciousness that Allah is all-knowing. One can make this shield strong by refraining from partaking in prohibitions.
Therefore, during Ramadan, we as Muslims should focus on increasing our levels of Taqwa as it will instil in us the cautious behaviour of doing more good than evil. We can do this by engaging in as much Thikr and goodness as we are able to. Achieving Taqwa will allow us to continue a spirit of goodness and growth after the holy month of Ramadan has left us. In-Shaa-Allah Ameen.