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The Triangle of Bliss: Ramadan, Quran and Taqwa

EsinIslam Ramadan Explorer

By Raya Shokatfard

Would you like to get the very best out of Ramadan this year?

A better understanding of these important elements may help you achieve your goal.

Allah informs us that Ramadan is the blessed month in which the Quran was revealed and fasting prescribed.

{The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it...} (2:185)

We understand from the above verse what Quran is all about: ''as a guide to mankind, also clear (signs) for guidance and a criterion (between right and wrong)…''

We also understand that it is in Ramadan that fasting was prescribed. But what is the purpose of fasting?

{O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may become righteous (achieve Taqwa).} (2:183)

So we note that the importance of the month of Ramadan is the advent of the revelation of the Quran and it is thorough understanding followed by action, the commandments in this blessed book, that we are to achieve Taqwa (God consciousness!)

{(It is) a Quran in Arabic, without any crookedness (therein): in order that they may become righteous (achieve Taqwa).} (39:28)

We see a very important triangle of bliss here: fasting in Ramadan, the Quran and Taqwa. This heavenly connection is possible at its highest level only in Ramadan!

One may not obtain full aspiration unless the three are interwoven together.

So, one who is interested to achieve taqwa may ask themselves: ''Can I achieve this without the Quran?''

The answer is clear no.

The next question is "What if I incorporate the Quran into my life. Can I achieve Taqwa without fasting?" the answer is most likely no. And obviously the best time to fast is in the month of Ramadan.

Allah gives us clear signs how to achieve Taqwa.

{Thus does Allah make clear His Signs to men: that they may learn Taqwa (God consciousness).} (2:187)

Why Should We be so Concerned about Taqwa?

Let us use some practical examples:

George works as an actor and is a very kind, honest and decent man. He harms no one and in fact he helps others as much as he can. He adheres to no religion. People who know him, really love and respect him.

George has a few girlfriends with whom he has premarital relationships. In fact women are so attracted to his loving kind behavior and good looks, they often offer themselves to him for companionship and pleasure. He accepts when he wishes and they all seem to be winners. But are they?

Now let us look at a similar scenario with Ahmad. He has similar nature, but with one very distinct difference! He is very God conscious and will not approach any sinful activities. He has Taqwa.

Will God reward the good deeds George is doing?

We do understand that Allah rewards those who do good deeds in this world but as for the Hereafter, He informs us:

{Allah does only accept from those who are righteous (Muttaqeen).} (5:27)

Muttaqeen are those who have achieved Taqwa and are righteous by having a clear understanding of Allah's commandments in the Quran and adhering to them. They are more concerned about the Hereafter than this world.

{That home of the Hereafter we shall give to those who intend not high-handedness or mischief on earth: and the end is (best) for the Righteous (Muttaqeen)} (28:83)

The ones who have Taqwa consider the life of this world a short journey. They do their best to prepare the proper provision for the Hereafter.

But what is that provision?

{…and take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best of provisions is Taqwa (righteousness). So fear Me, O you that are wise.} (2:197)

When Ali ibn abi Talib was asked to define Taqwa he said:

''Taqwa is to fear the Most Exalted One, work upon His revelation, become content and ascetic and always prepare for the departure from this life.''

Taqwa is an elevated level of consciousness of the Creator in all its aspects. Fearing and loving Him and having the highest hope in Him above all His creation are among the fruits of Taqwa. When a person reaches this stage, he/she is considered a righteous person. It is this stage that gains the servant the most honorable position with Allah.

{…Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he/she who is) the most righteous of you…} (49:13)

Attainment of the station of a Muttaqi (one who has Taqwa) is a life-long journey and not limited to the month of Ramadan only. However the most potent time of the year is Ramadan which facilitates this great opportunity. The heart and the soul is most in-tune with the Quran - the words of Allah. The soul is receptive and the mind flushes out the forbidden and impure thoughts, if Ramadan rules were observed righteously and with sincerity.

How Do I Reach this Station?

The number one element is the desire to get closer to Allah and intense longing to be in a higher spiritual station than the one we are in.

There is no book, guide, teacher or course than can help a person reach this station better than the Quran. Of course a teacher of the Quran can help explain some verses and backgrounds. A tafseer (Interpretation) book can shed more light on the depth of the verses and historical background on events. Yet, most of the words of the Quran speak to the heart of the seeker without any interpretation or teacher.

Many Muslims try to read the entire Quran in the month of Ramadan. Some do so without even understanding the Arabic meaning and some try to complete the Quran so fast that they pay little attention to the spiritual depth of this Holy Book.

It is better to read one chapter with full understanding than reading the entire Quran for the sake of completing a task!

It is also highly recommended to memorize as many chapters of the Quran as possible and recite them during the daily prayers. Repetition with understanding the meaning will continue nurturing the longing soul and bring him closer to understanding Allah's message to humankind.

One understands that fasting is not limited to abstaining from food only, but having Taqwa is the key.

Taqwa means consciousness, awe or fear of Allah, which inspires a person to be on guard against wrong action and eager for actions which please Allah and stay away from those actions which displease and anger Him.

In the next article we will explain in detail what fearing Allah really entails, God willing.


Raya Shokatfard holds an MA in Journalism/Mass Communications and an M.A.D. in TV journalism. BA in Communication and BA in Islamic Studies. She has been Islamic propagator in the U.S and Egypt for many years and academic lecturer, writer, international presenter, consultant, foreign correspondent, and former Editor in Chief for Reading Islam website. She can be reached at: raya4peace@gmail.com
 

EsinIslam Ramadan Team

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