Channel: Jamal Badawi
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In the Name of God, the benevolent the Merciful, the creator and the Sustainer of the universe, peace and blessings upon His servants and messenger Muhammad forever. I mean, I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship except the one true God. And I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger and servant of God. I greet you all with the customary greeting of peace. The greeting that has been used by all of the profits from Abraham through to Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon them all. Assalamu Aleikum, which means peace beyond you. I'm your host, Ahmed Rashid. Today we have our 21st program and our series on the moral teachings of Islam. More
specifically, today we'll be talking about moral virtues.
We'll be talking about taqwa is a moral virtue. I have joining me as usual on the program, Dr. Jamal Better Way of St. Mary's University tamala, Salaam Alaikum Assalamualaikum. Ani from Sudan.
I wonder if perhaps you could, we could commence today's program by connecting this program with the previous programs that we've been doing in this in this series. Okay. So far, we have done 20 programs in this series on modern teachings of Islam. In the first six programs, we discussed what you might call theory of ethics, the main conceptual framework of understanding the old question of ethics and morality. Questions like? What are the problems and main questions in ethics, the difference between secular morality and religious morality, these specific unique characteristics of Islamic moral approach or the approach to morality and Islam, questions like the position of the
individual in the universe?
How does a person relate to the universe and how does he sees it?
The search and other characteristics like stability and comprehensiveness of the stomach market. This was the first six programs.
The remaining 40 programs constituted what I might call the second portion, and the issue of moral teaching, which focused mainly on the forbidden or issues that lead to lawful and unlawful. In fact, this particular chart shows the summary of the 14 programs more or less that
followed the first six. And we divided that with that particular approach, that the main criteria for lawful and unlawful are basically the to achieve the main objective of Islamic law, which is to safeguard faith, life, mind,
honor, and property.
And then on each of these objectives, we discussed a variety of topics. This is not an inclusive list, but this is a kind of broad framework. We talked about check or associating others with God, sorcery, tyranny, under protection of faith, the various measures to fight or to preserve life.
We talked about the fighting
tradition on killing suicide, and related topics like euthanasia, and
other issues like abortion, social injustice, and we spent quite a fair amount of time on the question of impure diet and particularly the question for other things.
In the safeguarding the mind, we talked about prohibition of wine and other toxicants.
safeguarding honors, we talked about the prohibition against adultery, fornication, slander,
and the last program in
the 20s. That would be safeguarding of property by looking into issues like cheating, usury and related issues. This was the second portion. So the third portion really we're getting into is more or less, an emphasis on the fact that in order to achieve more an excellence, it is not enough to appeal to the intellect or to appeal to what is lawful and unlawful in an elaborate legal system. But above all,
There's also the moral appeal the spiritual appeal to the individual himself or herself.
To follow the moral code as prescribed, my God, this is how it connects
are going into today's program. The Arabic term of taqwa for those who understand Arabic is a very beautiful concept as expressed. One of perhaps you might explain the meaning of the word taqwa for those people who may not be familiar with the with the Arabic. Sure. Well, Sakura is a central concept that you find running through the passages of the Quran, especially those verses that deal with individual behaviors in social relations. In English, some of the common translations of that are things like piety,
heating, or the attitude of being God fearing.
While this translations, each of which gives on the attractions meaning of the meaning, through meaning of taqwa.
The way I'd like to define it is an attitude. taqwa is an attitude, which combines elements of fear of God,
elements of heating or being cautious.
And above all, an attitude of being God conscious.
I want to refresh we might be able to analyze some of these elements that you've included in your definition. Like to perhaps First of all, look at the
element of fear. This is quite often understood when you say fear God, people sometimes get confused in terms of what this means is being scared of something like this. Could you perhaps clarify when you use the term fear what you certainly
you see when when we use the term fear and the standard context here, at least as it refers to taqwa, or being that conscious, we are not really talking about being scared, because you could be scared, without any feeling of love, or respect. People might be scared of monsters, for example, but not necessarily loving or having any affinity with a monster. That's not the kind of fear I was talking about at all.
Being God fearing includes meaning such as the fear of his punishment, for example, in the Day of Judgment. And when we talk about fear of punishment, it is punishment, mainly for those who are ungrateful enough, so as to disregard God, to forget him, to disobey Him and to actually do things against his will.
Definitely, this is part of fishing. And there is nothing wrong with that, because this is part of the human responsibility that without this responsibility and accountability, everybody can just go around doing what he or she wishes.
It may include, partly also the fear of losing the blessings of God in our life, in our earthly life. Even many times when we go against the law of God, when we follow other laws, or other systems or philosophies, that manmade philosophies that are against the Word of God, we also suffer part of the consequences in this life here, so that to be deprived of the blessing of God when you follow his path is also another fear that induces the individual to follow his path.
But in addition to this also, there is another partial meaning of fear, which is quite different from this. First two meanings which must come and people can easily understand. It is a much more high and novel type of fear than these two types.
This is in a few words, the fear of displeasing the one you love. Let me give an example. If two people are really and truly in love, I'm not talking about empty romance or any true deep sense of love.
Each of them will try his or her best to please the other. Beloved, his or her beloved.
Try his or her best to avoid any act or action that may endanger that love or may displease the beloved one. Many times you hear about people getting very upset not only about committing a displeasing act, but forgetting even anniversaries or birthdays. So small things like that even people get very cautious or afraid of forgetting that not even doing something wrong. Now, we say that and we apply this criteria to even human relationship. I'm not making an analogy with man God's relationship. But I think that if we are doing
To our beloved ones are things on this in this earth, then it is much more appropriate for us if we are true believers, to really fears displeasing, the one we love most. And that is,
because this is an act of ungratefulness. It's an act which signifies forgetting what God has provided to us, because we owe everything to him our life, our property, and above all, the guidance that he provided for us to know Him, to worship Him and to have this feeling of inner peace through relationship with him. So in other words, this kind of fear is not founded on hate, or fear of the vengeful concept of God who is just cruel and punishing gods. As far from that it is actually based on love and because of luck that one has this fear or concern, or sensitivity, not to please,
please, God's not displeased, okay? Also, when you were giving your definition, you used the words heating in God, consciousness. Can you explain what these elements suggest in some context, perhaps I can explain that by referring to one statements that was made by American Heart was the second clip after Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him when he made a similitude of taqwa or being God conscious or heating, as a person who is going through a narrow path,
with all kinds of thorns around him, trying to snatch his clothing. So he's trying to go through this narrow path, protecting himself or his clothes, from being torn, torn apart. Now in Arabic,
the clothing are also used as a metaphor for the character of the individual.
Which means that the individual is trying to protect his pure characters, his moral character, which was endowed by God from all other diversions, deviations and temptation that are surrounding him in his path through life. So it's a delicate path that one has to go through. The thorns here doesn't have to be the source that you find them roses, it could also be the sun, in a form of temptation towards greed, getting money from any source, legitimate or illegitimate. The temptation towards elicit relationship and patient towards pride and vanity. So this is a kind of being heating. So a person also will have this quality of taqwa is a person who eats or try to avoid anything. Not only
that, things that displease God, but also things that may be harmful to himself and to others. As to the other term, you're asking about the attitude of being conscious, or conscious of the presence of God at all times. I consider that personally. The core
of taqwa the core of taqwa is to be God conscious to know and feel, and realize that God is with you that he's
looking after you at all times. He knows what you're doing, he knows what your soul even whispers to you.
This kind of feeling obviously,
results in an attitude of trying to follow your path in life.
Feeling at least a sense of shame to do something wrong in his presence and his presence is at all times. This was explained beautifully in a little story that happened also during the reign of Ahmed, the second killer after Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
And this explanation was not given by any philosopher or educated person, but by a very simple teenager girl.
That girl had a mother who used to sell milk. But in order to make a fast buck, this is an old attitude. She used to mix water with milk.
So the girl once saw her mother doing this so she said mothers Don't do that. Don't cheat.
So the mother said Why are you know we are inside our home? armor is not here. The ruler because they everybody fears Ahmad because he was very strong. Whenever he sees something wrong. He wants us to set it up.
So she's all right. Ahmad is not here. He doesn't see us. But the girls illiterate, as she might have been sinful. But this purity of faith said Yes, mother. Ahmad is not here. But the gods of armor is here's a general expression, so forth, God sees us. Are you going to cheat and God is looking and watching what
Two years doing this very simple and pure explanation, it shows that there are degrees also have this sense of being gut conscious. That is the highest degree of gut consciousness, the more you feel it more often. It's not that you feel it one hour per week or two hours per week when you go to some temporary place of worship, but to try to think in all your life, in all your pursuits and activities, to be conscious of the presence of God in your life that is with you at all times. And that's why Islam doesn't make separation between secular and religious, economic activities, political activities, or spiritual at all times, one has to conduct his behavior in accordance with
the feeling of the presence of God. You refer to love of God, what is the Muslim understanding of divine love? Well, in fact, the interesting thing that you find in the Quran that there are verses in the Quran that connects between divine love and taqwa or being God conscious. For example, in chapter 376, we need in the law of
God loves those who are Makino, those who practice this sense of God's consciousness.
When you talk about divine love, and Islam, we're not really talking about some kind of slogan which is repeated and to which only lip service is paid for combat. nor are we talking about sort of vague emotions. Because the term love evokes tender feeling or it's nice to hear and say, you know, this is not the superficial type of, of love that a Muslim with considered as genuine.
When we talk about the divine love or love of God, or the mutual love, man, God, relation in manga relationship, we're really talking about an attitude or sense of dependence upon God, and realization on the part of the human that a man of mankind is not self sufficient, that he depends on he needs a god, he doesn't get that feeling of arrogance and pride that he can do without God in his life. It is also a sense of gratefulness
for all his bounties and the realization that whatever we do our own effort as humans is nothing but an effort to test and use, things that has already been created and given by God to us. I mean, by if I got to,
the this kind of, of love is not only a kind of feeling or intellectual cognition or understanding, it is also a love which is manifested
in not only pure acts of worship, like rituals or prayers, but beyond that it is also reflected in all aspects of life, whether they are so called secular or religious as some people divide them. Indeed, the real heart test of the genuineness of this love
is to follow the path of God. There's a beautiful expression of that in the Quran, addressing Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him what is in the Quran that's particular in chapter three, verse 31.
In connection to Hebrew, Allah has a theory of common law, we have a lot to
say, oh, Muhammad, that's to mankind. If you truly
love God, then follow me. God will love you more, and forgive you your sins. So it's not to say I love I love and just keep talking about love, but to really manifest that love in action, commitment to the path established by this type of love, also, results in a requires steadfastness, that it is a type of love, which is not, does not waver or does not get shaken because of various trials and tribulation, in the human life. It is love that requires sacrifice of some desires, property time, and if need be even life for the sake of God that is for the sake of the one we claim, truly love. This love in that sense, is the foundation of any other type of love. That is, it is the foundation
of love of mankind. Because if one who does not love God would not have the sense of loving mankind in a deep and profound sense. It is the basis of loving even other creatures in the universe that God has created because again, it's connected with the divine divine love.
It is important also to indicate that I'm not pretending here to have explained everything about divine love. And after all philosophers and writers for centuries have tried to explore that. And there are things that cannot be expressed because it's a kind of feeling that's very hard to put in words, especially in whenever you move to higher degrees of love. I try to emphasize, however, that love and Islam is not a slogan. It is something practical that requires some commitment and some responsibility that goes with it.
The Quran, for example, indicate that, to have this true love, one has to put the love of God above all other types of love, like in the Quran, when levena and I said the favela that's in chapter two, in verse 165, that the believers are more fervent in their love of Allah or of God, in one saying of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. He says that there are three things which if the person finds or achieves, he will find the sweet taste of faith in his heart. And number one, he says, Is that a person would love God and His Messenger more than he loves anything else. And this, by the way, is also a mutual affair. When you talk about divine love. It is mutual affair, the Quran refers for
example, yes, in Africa, calm in your head, boom, on your ship, Buddha, God will bring people
whom he loves, and who love him. So it's also mutual. This is just a glimpse, perhaps of some of the beauties meaning of
Given that you said that, it's a very practical kind of thing. It's not just lip service, that kind of thing. Are there specific acts in Islam which will nourish such divine love? There are several I actually made a survey of various verses in the Quran dealing with that particular topic. But you find for example, just to give you seven examples of this,
to deserve or to end this love of God or receive it, one has to have this attitude of taqwa or being that conscious that we find referred to in the front. So that's one. Secondly, people who constantly repent to God that we find in chapter two verse 22, that if a person is doing something wrong, it doesn't mean that there is eternal damnation. I think that the door for repentance is awful. And God says that he loves not only accepts he loves those who repent.
Thirdly, God loves those who constantly purify themselves or engage in self purification.
And messinian are those who do good is mentioned also in the Quran in several verses
fifthly God loves those who have trust in Him. We find that in chapter three in the Quran,
God loves those who are steadfast, a submarine will persevere.
Seventh, God also loves those who are just or judge inequity. These are all examples of Acts, which relate to divine love.
And how about the other side of the coin? There's usually two sides to every situation what about those acts which can jeopardize
the Quran also mentioned the opposite, even though it doesn't say hate in the temporalities, not loving in the law, God does not love and it enumerates also several acts, I have made a survey of this just to give you
some examples. One is aggression or transgression is an act that the Quran mentioned God does not love does not like
secondly, corruption and earth on earth or doing mischief. We find that in chapter two verse two or five. Thirdly, God does not love those who are ungrateful, kuffar, those who do not acknowledge the blessings and boundaries of God. Firstly, those who reject faith, God does not love.
oppression is mentioned in chapter three also.
Six there is mentioned also in some verses about betrayal and the act of treachery. That's again, mentioned specifically, God does not love the waist, that's also mentioned.
Finally, there are also a number of verses that shows that God also does not love vanity, or vain glory, people arrogance and the sense of pride as we find for example, in chapter four, verse 35, in the Quran, so there is also counter
acts, what include the today's program, in your opinion, what are the what are the fruits, what are the manifestations of tax law that are separate and I can base that answer also on the Quran.
But just as examples of some of the benefits we derive from this quality, model quality of being cost conscious, first of all, is guidance. And the second chapter in the Quran, it talks about the Quran as who then live with that in the Quran, there is guidance for those who are God conscious. That's why many people would read scriptures or holy books or whatever, but they do not see the benefit from it because their hearts are not receptive to it. There is no sense of being that conscious first to start with.
Secondly, the Quran mentioned God consciousness as one of the things that help us have proper vision and knowledge. By the way, knowledge is just not book knowledge or series, but also wisdom and vision.
And in this we find a very beautiful verse in the Quran in chapter eight verse 29. Yeah, you have Latina Amano into tequila yet and for all you who believe if you are truly God's conscious, he will provide you with criterion that is the criterion that would help you have the proper sense of distinction between right and wrong between good and evil. And similarly on this point, also, the Quran mentioned that knowledge and vision is related to Taco taco La Jolla, Alamo como la, de garde conscious and God will teach you that will increase you in knowledge and wisdom
to give you more insight in what you learn.
Thirdly, the Quran mentioned piety also as one of the preconditions or one of the reasons for the blessing of having our affairs easy or having ease and
a way out of problems and tribulation that we find in life. A woman tequila her
Allahu maharjan are so common hi psoriasiform iya tequila hi Rhonda COVID me here. So for example, in chapter 65, the Quran at the beginning, it says that, whoever is God conscious, God will find a way out for him from every difficulty. And then he gets it in the following verse, whoever is God conscious, God will make his affairs easy for his methods easy. It has mentioned foresee in the Quran also as a prerequisite for forgiveness of our sins. For example, the interference as well many of you who say it, well, the law whoever is that conscious, God will forgive his sins and give him or her an abundant the word it is a precondition also for receiving the mercy of God. In a very
moving verse also in the Quran, what I met he was at kulesza in October halyna in a taco, God says My Mercy includes everything so I'm going to give it organic to those who are God conscious.
It also related to ultimate victory.
While aka battling with Turkey in chapter seven in the Quran, that the ultimate victory and success is for those who are Gods conscious.
Finally, I could also refer to a taqwa as related to the Ultimate Bliss, not only in this life, but in the hereafter. And now we are lucky to have another
Latina woman who can yet truly the Friends of God or those who are close to God, there is no fear on them, and they should not grieve
and Latina M and welcome yet upon those who believed and practiced this quality of God's consciousness. And then it says to them is the good tidings or glad tidings in this life and in the hair after. So there is no wonder then the doctor and constantly mentioned the quality of taqwa or gut consciousness as something which is very essential that one should not die without being in the state of submission to the will of God that this is something that one should take as that or provision, as the Quran explained in chapter two provision for the travel, the eternal travel from this earth life, to the more lasting, eternal life. If this quality can spread among people, there
will be perfect peace and there will always be a feeling of inner peace and peace from within by the canal. Thank you for a very interesting program. I trust that their viewers have found it informative. We want to thank you for watching, invite you back next week and we'll continue our series. Thank you for watching. Assalamu alaikum peace