A special series of reflections on specific themes from the foundations of the Qur’an with Zaytuna College president, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf.
Taqwa arabic for God-consciousness
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Bismillah R Rahman r Rahim Assalamu alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh. inshallah, I hope to do a series of reflections on very short verses or statements from the Quran that will help us better understand some of the fundamental principles collide the Quran, those foundational principles of the Quran. One of the extraordinary aspects of the Quran is that because it's a nonlinear book when you read it, unlike, for instance, the Bible or previous dispensations that have come to people, it's, it's, it's constantly pulling you back into these core virtues. So there's verses that will come in different ways. Again and again. One of the most important concepts in the Quran is their
idea of taqwa. And this is why it's foundational In fact, the very first verse that gives a command in the Quran is that we are told in in Surah Baqara out the blame and shutdown regime spinarak man Rahim
you have ness abou Dora back home, oh, humanity, worship your Lord. And lady Harper comala Dyneema. Public Land lucam takuan. So worship your Lord, humanity. And
know that he created you, the one who created you and those before you so that you don't think you're in some kind of infinite regress, or circular type of reasoning. There was a beginning to all this. There was a first parents, Adam and Adam and Eve. And so it's a reminder that you had a beginning your species had a beginning, although you came from your parents, your parents had parents who had parents all the way back, there's no infinite regress, and there's no circular reasoning. There's you have to arrive at a first cause. So Allah subhanho wa Taala is reminding us that once you determine once you understand that you have a Lord, you have to worship that Lord. And
the purpose of that worship is to achieve what the Quran calls lambda Come on, that perhaps you might gain this piety. taqwa is a difficult word to pin down in because it has a semantic field that gives a lot of nuanced meanings. But primarily it has to do with prevention. With Chi is prevention. And so when you when you when you tukey, when when you ward off something you're warding off harm. The word in Arabic for believer Mothman means the one who secures and Mothman is one of the names of God, because God secures us and means to secure something from Amina. yetman means to be secure. So M and a means to secure something. How do you secure something as a believer BelAir and to be law, I
have secured myself through God. In other words, with God, I find security and this is at the essence of what tequila is, it's a way of protecting yourself from harm through your devotion to your Lord. And so no matter what comes to you, you will be in a good situation. So for instance, when we read the Quran, in a very interesting Hadith about the latter days in which said Ali heard the prophet of Islam say that the calamities, civil strife, sedition, fitna would continue and become so constant, that eventually it would become like portions of a dark black night. And that's certainly the case. In some places right now in the world. There are Muslims that their lives are
like portions of a dark black night, and the prophets who lies to them when he said that said, not only are the Latino said to the Prophet, sallAllahu wasallam? What's the way out of that? How do we get out of that situation? And this is one of the interesting things about the companions, they always ask the right question. If you see Heidi's where they ask questions, they always ask the right question. He didn't say, oh, how terrible that day is going to be? No, he wanted to know, what's the right out? model holla. So how do we get out of that situation? And the reason that he asked that question, in my estimation, is because he knew a Quranic principle, woman, tequila is
Allah who Maharaja, whoever has taqwa of God. God will always give him an exit strategy. God will always give him an exit away out of a situation always. This is a promise. Woman. Yeah, tequila, Uganda who Maharaja This is known in Arabic as a Joomla sharqiya or
conditional sentence. If you fulfill this condition, then this is the result. And so if you have Taqwa, you will have a way out. And so when the prophet SAW them said it was the book of Allah Kitab, a law, he told them he he never oma political, or hybridoma radical, it tells you what happened in the past, and it gives you insights into what's going to happen in the future. What that means is, there are many stories in the Quran, that are sacred history. While we can't prove them, in some historical account, that archaeologists and others go through, we believe them to be true because they've been revealed. But the historical nature of them is not what's important. It's the
lessons that are important. And that's why it's sacred history in that way. So we could never prove the Garden of Eden or what happened in the Garden of Eden. But we know that it is sacred history. In order for us to understand the lessons of the beginning of our species. The most constant story that we find in the Quran coming in different ways with different nuances is the story of Pharaoh and Moses, around and Moosa, this conflict between good and between evil between humility and between arrogance, between the divine revelation and between one's own independent thought, free of Revelation, the difference between those who exalt themselves and those who exalt their Lord, the
difference between those who serve others, and those who have others serve them. This is the fundamental problem on this planet. And the people of the prophetic tradition, the mosaic people, the Jesuit people, the Mohammed and people salaallah alayhi wa sallam, and present peace be upon all of the prophets. These are the people of service. And that's why if even if you look at the religious iterations that exists today, the people that take their religion seriously are people of service, whether they're Christians or Jews, or Muslims, you will see that this is a fundamental hallmark of profoundly religious people is that they serve others they don't serve themselves. And
the reason they're serving others is because they're serving their Lord, but the reminder through the service of others. But the reminder in the Quran is allow people to the taqwa that the end affair will allow people to the taqwa the end affair is for taqwa. And so inshallah in the next session, I'm going to talk about taqwa and its meaning. So I hope you join us again as salaam alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.