Sunday, 23 August 2009

My Ramadan Diary - Day 2

Taqwa - Piety

How wonderful it was to hear that here in the UK we all managed to begin Ramadan on the same day this year without any  confusion about following moon sightings elsewhere in the world or using calculations.

It would be very poor to start the month with acrimony over which day to start just as we should be doing ou best to avoid such unsuitable thoughts.

I have been trying to understand the meaning of taqwa, it is not the same as the western concept of piety and has much more to do with being concious of how all one's actions have a consequence and that it is important in every choice to seek to do the right thing.

Taqwa may sometimes be seen  as being of right conduct, of protecting oneself from evil and its consequences and, as a result, from the punishment that God would otherwise inflict.  In reading the Qur'an we can find it used to describe that God is the Lord of Righteousness or all that is right (Sura al-Muddaththir 56), a cloak of righteousness [that guards against evil] (Surah al-Araf 7) and God's command of self-restraint that was sent as a gift to the believers in Surah al-Fath.

It is this trait that we should be seeking to improve with or fast this Ramadan; each morning in my dua I shall, insh'allah, ask that God grant me taqwa and each evening I shall, insh'allah, reflect on it and give thanks for what God has granted me.

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