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The Necessity of Taqwa of Allah

Allah states that He is the Owner of the heavens and earth and that He is the Supreme Authority over them. Hence Allah's statement,

﴿ وَلَقَدۡ وَصَّيۡنَا ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ مِن قَبۡلِڪُمۡ وَإِيَّاكُمۡ

(And verily, We have recommended to the People of the Scripture before you, and to you) meaning, We have recommended to you what We recommended to the People of Scriptures; Taqwa of Allah, by worshipping Him Alone without partners. Allah then said,

﴿ وَإِن تَكۡفُرُواْ فَإِنَّ لِلَّهِ مَا فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَمَا فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ‌ۚ

(But if you disbelieve, then unto Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth). In another Ayah, Allah said that Musa said to his people,

﴿ إِن تَكۡفُرُوٓاْ أَنتُمۡ وَمَن فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ جَمِيعً۬ا فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَغَنِىٌّ حَمِيدٌ

("If you disbelieve, you and all on the earth together, then verily, Allah is Rich (free of any need), Owner of all praise.''). Allah said,

﴿ فَكَفَرُواْ وَتَوَلَّواْ‌ۚ وَّٱسۡتَغۡنَى ٱللَّهُ‌ۚ وَٱللَّهُ غَنِىٌّ حَمِيدٌ۬

(So they disbelieved and turned away. But Allah was not in need (of them). And Allah is Rich (free of any need), Worthy of all praise) meaning, He is far too Rich than to need His servants, and worthy of all praise in all His decisions and commandments. The meaning of Allah's statement,

﴿ وَلِلَّهِ مَا فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَمَا فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ‌ۚ وَكَفَىٰ بِٱللَّهِ وَكِيلاً

(And to Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is Ever All-Sufficient as a Disposer of affairs.) He has perfect watch over every soul, knowing what it deserves, He is the Watcher, and Witness of all things. Allah's statement,

﴿ إِن يَشَأۡ يُذۡهِبۡڪُمۡ أَيُّہَا ٱلنَّاسُ وَيَأۡتِ بِـَٔاخَرِينَ‌ۚ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ ذَٲلِكَ قَدِيرً۬ا

(If He wills, He can take you away, O people, and bring others. And Allah is Ever All-Potent over that.) means, He is able to take you away and replace you with other people if you disobey Him. In a similar Ayah, Allah said,

﴿ ٱلۡفُقَرَآءُ‌ۚ وَإِن تَتَوَلَّوۡاْ يَسۡتَبۡدِلۡ قَوۡمًا غَيۡرَكُمۡ ثُمَّ لَا يَكُونُوٓاْ

(And if you turn away, He will exchange you for some other people and they will not be your likes) Allah's statement,

﴿ مَّن كَانَ يُرِيدُ ثَوَابَ ٱلدُّنۡيَا فَعِندَ ٱللَّهِ ثَوَابُ ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَٱلۡأَخِرَةِ‌ۚ

(Whoever desires the rewards of this life, then with Allah is the reward of this worldly life and of the Hereafter.) means, O those whose ultimate desire is this life, know that Allah owns the rewards of this life and the Hereafter. Therefore, if you ask Allah for both, He will enrich you, award you and suffice for you. As Allah said,

﴿ فَإِذَا قَضَيۡتُم مَّنَـٰسِكَڪُمۡ فَٱذۡڪُرُواْ ٱللَّهَ كَذِكۡرِكُمۡ ءَابَآءَڪُمۡ أَوۡ أَشَدَّ ذِڪۡرً۬ا‌ۗ فَمِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ مَن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِنَا فِى ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَمَا لَهُ ۥ فِى ٱلۡأَخِرَةِ مِنۡ خَلَـٰقٍ۬ وَمِنۡهُم مَّن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِنَا فِى ٱلدُّنۡيَا حَسَنَةً۬ وَفِى ٱلۡأَخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً۬ وَقِنَا عَذَابَ ٱلنَّارِ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ لَهُمۡ نَصِيبٌ۬ مِّمَّا كَسَبُواْ‌ۚ

(But of mankind there are some who say: "Our Lord! Give us in this world!'' and for such there will be no portion in the Hereafter. And of them there are some who say: "Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire!'' For them there will be alloted a share for what they have earned),

﴿ مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ حَرۡثَ ٱلۡأَخِرَةِ نَزِدۡ لَهُ ۥ فِى حَرۡثِهِۦ‌ۖ

(Whosoever desires (by his deeds) the reward of the Hereafter, We give him increase in his reward), and

﴿ مَّن كَانَ يُرِيدُ ٱلۡعَاجِلَةَ عَجَّلۡنَا لَهُ ۥ فِيهَا مَا نَشَآءُ لِمَن نُّرِيدُ

(Whoever desires the quick-passing (transitory enjoyment of this world), We readily grant him what We will for whom We like) until,

﴿ ٱنظُرۡ كَيۡفَ فَضَّلۡنَا بَعۡضَہُمۡ عَلَىٰ بَعۡضٍ۬‌ۚ

(See how We prefer one above another (in this world)). So Allah said here,

﴿ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ سَمِيعَۢا بَصِيرً۬ا

(And Allah is Ever All-Hearer, All-Seer.)

﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ كُونُواْ قَوَّٲمِينَ بِٱلۡقِسۡطِ شُہَدَآءَ لِلَّهِ وَلَوۡ عَلَىٰٓ أَنفُسِكُمۡ أَوِ ٱلۡوَٲلِدَيۡنِ وَٱلۡأَقۡرَبِينَ‌ۚ إِن يَكُنۡ غَنِيًّا أَوۡ فَقِيرً۬ا فَٱللَّهُ أَوۡلَىٰ بِہِمَا‌ۖ فَلَا تَتَّبِعُواْ ٱلۡهَوَىٰٓ أَن تَعۡدِلُواْ‌ۚ وَإِن تَلۡوُ ۥۤاْ أَوۡ تُعۡرِضُواْ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ خَبِيرً۬ا

(135. O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, Allah is a better Protector to both. So follow not the lusts, lest you may avoid justice; and if you Talwu or Tu`ridu, it, verily, Allah is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do.)

Commanding Justice and Conveying the Witness for Allah

Allah commands His believing servants to stand up for justice and fairness and not to deviate from it, right or left. They should not fear the blame of anyone or allow anyone to prevent them from doing something for the sake of Allah. They are also required to help, support and aid each other for Allah's sake. Allah's statement,

﴿ شُہَدَآءَ لِلَّهِ

(as witnesses to Allah) is similar to His statement,

﴿ وَأَقِيمُواْ ٱلشَّهَـٰدَةَ لِلَّهِ‌ۚ

(And establish the testimony for Allah). Testimony should be delivered precisely, for the sake of Allah, thus making the testimony correct, truly just, and free of alterations, changes or deletions. This is why Allah said,

﴿ وَلَوۡ عَلَىٰٓ أَنفُسِكُمۡ

(even though it be against yourselves,) meaning, give correct testimony, and say the truth when you are asked about it, even if harm will effect you as a consequence. Indeed, Allah shall make a way out and give relief for those who obey Him in every matter. Allah's statement,

﴿ أَوِ ٱلۡوَٲلِدَيۡنِ وَٱلۡأَقۡرَبِينَ‌ۚ

(or your parents, or your kin,) means, even if you have to testify against your parents and kin, do not compromise for their sake. Rather, give the correct and just witness even if they are harmed in the process, for the truth presides above everyone and is preferred to everyone. Allah's statement,

﴿ إِن يَكُنۡ غَنِيًّا أَوۡ فَقِيرً۬ا فَٱللَّهُ أَوۡلَىٰ بِہِمَا‌ۖ

(be he rich or poor, Allah is a better Protector to both.) means, do not favor someone (in your testimony) because he is rich, or feel pity for him because he is poor, for Allah is their caretaker, a better Protector of them than you, and has better knowledge of what is good for them. Allah's statement,

﴿ فَلَا تَتَّبِعُواْ ٱلۡهَوَىٰٓ أَن تَعۡدِلُواْ‌ۚ

(So follow not the lusts, lest you may avoid justice;) means, let not desire, lust or the hatred you have against others, lure you into injustice in your affairs. Rather, stand for justice in all situations. Allah said;

﴿ وَلَا يَجۡرِمَنَّڪُمۡ شَنَـَٔانُ قَوۡمٍ عَلَىٰٓ أَلَّا تَعۡدِلُواْ‌ۚ ٱعۡدِلُواْ هُوَ أَقۡرَبُ لِلتَّقۡوَىٰ‌ۖ

(And let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety) when the Prophet sent `Abdullah bin Rawahah to collect the tax on the fruits and produce of the Jews of Khaybar, they offered him a bribe so that he would go easy on them. He said; "By Allah! I have come to you from the dearest of the creation to me (Muhammad), and you are more hated by me than an equivalent number of apes and swine. However, my love for him (the Prophet ) and hatred for you shall not prevent me from being just with you.'' On that, they said, "This (justice) is the basis which the heavens and earth were created. '' We will mention this Hadith later in Surat Al-Ma'idah (chapter 5) Allah willing. Allah's statement afterwards,

﴿ وَإِن تَلۡوُ ۥۤاْ أَوۡ تُعۡرِضُواْ

(and if you Talwu or Tu`ridu) means, "Distort your testimony and change it'', according to Mujahid and several others among the Salaf. Talwu, includes distortion and intentional lying. For instance, Allah said,

﴿ وَإِنَّ مِنۡهُمۡ لَفَرِيقً۬ا يَلۡوُ ۥنَ أَلۡسِنَتَهُم بِٱلۡكِتَـٰبِ

(And verily, among them is a party who Yalwuna (distort) the Book with their tongues (as they read)). Tu`ridu, includes hiding and withholding the testimony. Allah said,

﴿ وَمَن يَڪۡتُمۡهَا فَإِنَّهُ ۥۤ ءَاثِمٌ۬ قَلۡبُهُ ۥ‌ۗ

(Who hides it, surely, his heart is sinful) The Prophet said,

« خَيْرُ الشُّهَدَاءِ الَّذِي يَأْتِي بِشَهَادَتِهِ قَبْلَ أَنْ يُسْأَلَهَا »

(The best witness is he who discloses his testimony before being asked to do so.) Allah then warned,

﴿ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ خَبِيرً۬ا

(Verily, Allah is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do.) and will reward or punish you accordingly.

﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ ءَامِنُواْ بِٱللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِۦ وَٱلۡكِتَـٰبِ ٱلَّذِى نَزَّلَ عَلَىٰ رَسُولِهِۦ وَٱلۡڪِتَـٰبِ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَنزَلَ مِن قَبۡلُ‌ۚ وَمَن يَكۡفُرۡ بِٱللَّهِ وَمَلَـٰٓٮِٕكَتِهِۦ وَكُتُبِهِۦ وَرُسُلِهِۦ وَٱلۡيَوۡمِ ٱلۡأَخِرِ فَقَدۡ ضَلَّ ضَلَـٰلاَۢ بَعِيدًا

(136. O you who believe! Believe in Allah, and His Messenger, and the Book (the Qur'an) which He has sent down to His Messenger, and the Scripture which He sent down to those before; and whosoever disbelieves in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Last Day, then indeed he has strayed far away.)

The Order to Have Faith after Believing

Allah commands His faithful servants to adhere to all the elements of faith, its branches, pillars and cornerstones. This is not stated as mere redundancy, but from the view of completing faith and the continual maintenance of it. For instance, the believer proclaims in every prayer,

﴿ ٱهۡدِنَا ٱلصِّرَٲطَ ٱلۡمُسۡتَقِيمَ

(Guide us to the straight way.) which means, make us aware of the straight path and increase us in guidance and strengthen us on it. In this Ayah (4:136), Allah commands the believers to believe in Him and in His Messenger, just as He said elsewhere,

﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَءَامِنُواْ بِرَسُولِهِۦ

(O you who believe! Have Taqwa of Allah, and believe in His Messenger, ). Allah's statement,

﴿ وَٱلۡكِتَـٰبِ ٱلَّذِى نَزَّلَ عَلَىٰ رَسُولِهِۦ

(and the Book which He has sent down to His Messenger,) refers to the Qur'an, while,

﴿ وَٱلۡڪِتَـٰبِ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَنزَلَ مِن قَبۡلُ‌ۚ

(and the Scripture which He sent down to those before (him);) refers to the previously revealed divine Books. Allah then said,

﴿ وَمَن يَكۡفُرۡ بِٱللَّهِ وَمَلَـٰٓٮِٕكَتِهِۦ وَكُتُبِهِۦ وَرُسُلِهِۦ وَٱلۡيَوۡمِ ٱلۡأَخِرِ فَقَدۡ ضَلَّ ضَلَـٰلاَۢ بَعِيدًا

(and whosoever disbelieves in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Last Day, then indeed he has strayed far away.) meaning, he will have deviated from the correct guidance and strayed far away from its path.

﴿ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ثُمَّ كَفَرُواْ ثُمَّ ءَامَنُواْ ثُمَّ كَفَرُواْ ثُمَّ ٱزۡدَادُواْ كُفۡرً۬ا لَّمۡ يَكُنِ ٱللَّهُ لِيَغۡفِرَ لَهُمۡ وَلَا لِيَہۡدِيَہُمۡ سَبِيلاَۢ بَشِّرِ ٱلۡمُنَـٰفِقِينَ بِأَنَّ لَهُمۡ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا
﴿ ٱلَّذِينَ يَتَّخِذُونَ ٱلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ أَوۡلِيَآءَ مِن دُونِ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ‌ۚ أَيَبۡتَغُونَ عِندَهُمُ ٱلۡعِزَّةَ فَإِنَّ ٱلۡعِزَّةَ لِلَّهِ جَمِيعً۬ا وَقَدۡ نَزَّلَ عَلَيۡڪُمۡ فِى ٱلۡكِتَـٰبِ أَنۡ إِذَا سَمِعۡتُمۡ ءَايَـٰتِ ٱللَّهِ يُكۡفَرُ بِہَا وَيُسۡتَہۡزَأُ بِہَا فَلَا تَقۡعُدُواْ مَعَهُمۡ حَتَّىٰ يَخُوضُواْ فِى حَدِيثٍ غَيۡرِهِۦۤ‌ۚ إِنَّكُمۡ إِذً۬ا مِّثۡلُهُمۡ‌ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ جَامِعُ ٱلۡمُنَـٰفِقِينَ وَٱلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ فِى جَهَنَّمَ جَمِيعًا

(137. Verily, those who believe, then disbelieve, then believe (again), and (again) disbelieve, and go on increasing in disbelief; Allah will not forgive them, nor guide them on the (right) way.) (138. Give to the hypocrites the tidings that there is for them a painful torment.) (139. Those who take disbelievers for friends instead of believers, do they seek honor with them Verily, then to Allah belongs all honor). (140. And it has already been revealed to you in the Book that when you hear the verses of Allah being denied and mocked at, then sit not with them, until they engage in talk other than that; certainly in that case you would be like them. Surely, Allah will collect the hypocrites and disbelievers all together in Hell.)