When we hear taqwa we often think consciousness of Allaah (سبحانه و تعالى); although this is only a part of taqwa. Scholars have several interpretations of Taqwa, all of which are correct. Taqwa essentially incorporates the fear and consciousness of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), as well as piety. Piety is righteousness. Righteousness can only be obtained through obedience of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) and abstaining from His prohibitions. Fear and consciousness of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and piety creates a barrier between you and the Hellfire. Most importantly, taqwa increases your spirituality and love of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), the Prophet (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم) and Islam as a whole. Taqwa is a quality every Muslim should strive to attain. Here are 10 steps to increase your taqwa and spirituality :
1. Healthy Mind Filter your thoughts
Our minds are filled with multiple things all at once. Consciousness of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) begins with your thoughts; to filter thoughts will be the first step towards taqwa. Replace unnecessary and negative thoughts with healthy, positive thoughts. Every time you think you can’t do something, make yourself think you can! Put your trust in Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). Another way to create a healthy mind is by busying yourself with adhkar instead of the latest tunes. For example, The Messenger of Allah (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم) said: “Two words are light on the tongue, weigh heavily in the balance, they are loved by the Most Merciful One” (SahihMuslim)
سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَبِحَمْدِهِ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ الْعَظِيم
(Glory be to Allah, and Praise, Glory be to Allah, the Supreme)
2. Stay Away from Major and Minor Sins
Shamelessness can block your ability to attain taqwa, therefore, stay away from all forms of shamelessness. Be aware of the major and minor sins. If you make a mistake, follow it up with a good deed and make tawba. A sign of piety includes asking for forgiveness. Allah is Al-Ghafur, so always turn to Him.
The Messenger of Allah (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم) said: “Have taqwa (fear) of Allah wherever you may be, and follow up a bad deed with a good deed which will wipe it out, and behave well towards the people.” (At- Tirmidhi)
3. Perfect Salaah
Once you have cleared your thoughts and stayed away from sins to the best of your ability, you can build greater concentration in salah. For example, perfect your salah by praying on time and reciting different surahs and understanding their meanings.
4. Pray Sunnah Salah and Qiyam-al-Layl
Salah is your main connection with Allaah (سبحانه و تعالى), increase your connection by praying additional salah. For example, wake up for Qiyam-al-Layl and pray the sunnah salah before Fajr. Set an alarm clock, and most importantly sleep early to wake up for Qiyam- al- Layl. If Qiyam – al-Layl is difficult for you, then at least make a routine to pray other sunnah salah, InshaAllaah.
5. Make continuous Dua’a to Allaah
Make time during the night or day to converse with Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). If you aren’t asking for something specific, just thank Allah for His blessings and favors He has granted you. We can never thank Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) enough! The time of Qiyam is a good time to make dua to Allah, as well as other times the Prophet (صلی اللہ علیہ وسل) mentioned (on Fridays, Fajr, after Asr and Maghrib, etc.) And always remember the Ummah in your duas, especially with all the sufferings we are facing today.
6. Incorporate Sunnah into your life
The Prophet (صلی اللہ علیہ وسل) has taught us many duas to help us be conscious of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) throughout the day. Memorize some daily dua. For example, say the dua when waking up in the morning and when leaving the house.
7. Being kind to family
The Prophet (صلی اللہ علیہ وسل) said he is the best to his family members. We should try to follow his steps and be kind to our family as well. Especially your parents; they are our keys to Paradise.
8. Reading Quran in Arabic and in a language you understand
Quran is the tool which Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) has given us so that we may attain taqwa. If Arabic isn’t your first language then read Quran in a language you understand. Understanding the words of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) will make you more conscious and fearful of Him.
9. Implement Quran
For example, if you were to read surah Al-Humazah, a lesson to take from this surah is to avoid speaking badly of others.
Ibn `Abbas (رضي الله عنه) said, “Humazah Lumazah means one who reviles and disgraces (others).” Mujahid said, “Al-Humazah is with the hand and the eye, and Al-Lumazah is with the tongue.”
You could try to avoid disgracing your Muslim sisters and brothers by avoiding backbiting.
10. Check Yourself Daily
Most importantly do not stray from attaining taqwa of Allaah. Mistakes may be made, but that is why Allah is At-Tawab and Al- Ghafur. You can always turn to Allah and make dua. Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says to fear Him as much as you can.
“So fear Allah as much as you are able and listen and obey and spend [in the way of Allah]; it is better for yourselves. And whoever is protected from the stinginess of his soul – it is those who will be the successful.”
(Surat At-Taghabun 64:16)
Authored by Bint Ahmed