Taqwa, what is it?
Sisters Meeting: Chicago, Ill
Taqwa, what is it?
By Imam W. Deen Mohammed
Taqwa is the nature in us to respect
Taqwa, what is it? Respect. Along with the intellect or the mind and you should see where the focus is in revelation? On the mind. What makes us human? The human mind, if you don't have a human mind you don't have human life. If the human mind goes you don't have human life, you can have a dog. Do you see those (youth) barking and calling each other dogs?
That is what has happened to the society, this public it has been reduced to dog behavior so they call each other dog. "Hey dog, what's happening dog? Hey bitch, come here bitch." It is a female dog isn't it? If you lose your human mind you become nothing, any animal. One philosopher said, "The animal world is nothing but a picture of the human being's reality. In the human masses are all the animals of the forest," that is what he said. That includes snakes, the rat, all of them and we say, "that dirty rat," don't we?
Excellence is written in man's nature, not sin
Taqwa is the nature in us to respect things that deserve our respect and to challenge things that offend us and doesn't deserve our respect. So this is another side, these are the two main most important elements in the human soul. One that is curious and wants to be educated or wants to know and the other is the one that has a sense of self value, human value and doesn't want that value disrespected.
And that value G'd has written into our own creation when He made it, He wrote that right into the creation itself. That means it is part of the description of our own nature and creation, it is in the description of our own nature and creation. That is what G'd means when He says, "He inscribed it," in Arabic "katabal ensaan ala kulle shay," that He has prescribed, written into the nature or creation of everything the need to have excellence for it that is a whole other subject.
Taqwa speaks from your soul within
The humans being our excellence is our intelligence, this excellence that G'd has written into our very creation; this excellence is our intelligence firstly and our self respect. The respect for others comes from that same respect that is in our nature for our own worth. We don't take it personally it happens automatically - we just feel something that says, "Don't do that, it is not decent of you to do that." That is your taqwa speaking inside of you and sometimes it will tell you not to do something bad that you are getting ready to do to yourself, it says "no don't do that it is not decent." And then sometimes it is against another person not yourself, it says "no don't do that it is not decent."
Like in my case it was a tree, I was a young man about 14 or 15 years old, maybe younger and I was feeling my cheerios and I had chain and I'm just --- you women always have more sense than we men when it comes to nature, you have more sense than we do. I'm feeling my cheerios, I had a chain and I'm swinging the chain and I want to hit something, I'm swinging it in the air. I took that chain and hit that tree and knocked some of the bark off of the tree it was a pretty strong tree too. The end of the chain came around the tree and hit me, I still have the mark right here. That tree hit me back and left me marked until they bury me they are going to bury me with this mark on me.
It knocked a piece of flesh right out of my arm, that's right; that is how hard it hit. And you know what, G'd has been with me since I was born I believe and maybe before then in my mother perhaps, G'd was with me, that is the way I look at it now, then it just happened you know. But now I look back at myself with an adult intelligent mind with wisdom, I have wisdom I thank G'd I am not bragging, but I'm a wise man. And I look back and say, "It is not possible for a boy of that age to have that behavior that I had." Now I'm hurting, my arm is bleeding you know what I said? "Thank You Allah (swt)," and I didn't even know Allah (swt) in the big beautiful picture I see Him now. My mind wasn't even growing to see Allah (swt) better at that time, but I said, "Thank You Allah (swt) for teaching me not to harm any life foolishly." I harmed that tree foolishly. That is heavy and deep for some of you, but that's me, I don't want to harm anything.
Shirley used to say, "Wallace why do you go through all that trouble to find that fly, catch that fly and put it outside?" I said, "Because we invited it in here and I shouldn't hurt it I should put it outside rather that kill it." So I would try to get them to go shoo them to the door and I was told that Joe Louis could snatch a fly out of the air with his hand that's how fast his left hand was, he had a real fast left hand they said. And I practiced it I could do it; I would snatch a fly right out of the air, carry him to the door and open it and put him out, Shirley will bear witness to what I'm telling you, it might even make her perk up a little bit if you ask her about those days.
And my children will bear witness, the older children; I don't like to kill things and I don't feel bad if somebody takes a fly swatter I'm not going to say, "oh you murderer," no you handle it the way you have to handle it, I'll handle it the way I have to handle it. And if too many come in the house you're going to find me with a fly swatter too. I'll have the door open so they can get out if they can. That is the Fujura and Taqwa Allah (swt) wants us to know our own creation and He says, "Why don't they question their own creation?" Talking about those who have doubts about the religion, about al-Islam, those who have doubts about the Qur'an and Muhammed the Prophet (pbuh) Allah say in the Qur'an, "why don't they question their own creation?" Meaning their own nature, how they are created themselves, how they are made up.