The great saliheen of the past were asked about the nature of taqwa. Shaykh Abu Madyan Shu'ayb Al-Ghawth stated that I have read all of the books of the prophets, their companions and the great auliya. I have found that the thing that will bind you in spiritual proximity with Allah Almighty is Al-Ju‘ (hunger). Ibrahim ibn Adham also said Al-Ju‘ is the pathway to Allah. Rābiʿa al-ʿAdawiyya al-Qaysiyya, elaborating upon the meaning of Al-Ju‘ stated that this does not mean literal hunger of the stomach, but depriving the nafs of worldly wishes and desires and keeping the heart free from the love dunya. If one is able to free the nafs of these wishes and desires so that even any inclination towards them are vanquished, then this is the ultimate climax of taqwa. Unfortunately, we have become slaves to the greed and lusts of this world. Unless we break free from these shackles we will never be able to gain the marifaat of Allah. Bāyazīd Bisṭāmī states that taqwa means not just to abstain from things that have been explicitly prohibited by Allah but also to reject anything that is doubtful. This is the adab of the Shariah. Fuḍayl ibn ‘Iyāḍ states that a person cannot become a mutaqee unless they become the embodiment of peace and peace is the nucleus of tasawwuf.
By Ghazala Qadri