O You Who Believe: Indeed the attainment of a heartfelt reverential consciousness of Allah, termed Taqwa, is the best of what a person can possess in this ephemeral and transitory world, and the best of provisions he can take with him into a hereafter of perpetuity. For Allah, the Most Exalted, Most Majestic states:
And take provisions, but indeed, the best provision is Taqwa of Allah. And have Taqwa of Me, O you of understanding. [Qur'an: 2:197]
For this reason all of the Prophets enjoined upon their people to embody Taqwa and advised them to seek to adhere to it in all of their states and circumstances. By way of example, Allah informs us of the people of Noah, may Allah's peace and blessing be upon him:
When their brother Noah said to them, "Will you not have Taqwa of Allah ?" [Qur'an: 26:106]
Similarly, Allah informs us of the people of Thamud:
When their brother Salih said to them, "Will you not have Taqwa of Allah ?" [Qur'an: 26:142]
And about the Prophet Abraham, may peace and blessing be upon him, Allah says:
And [We sent] Abraham, when he said to his people, "Worship Allah and have Taqwa of Him. That is best for you, if you should know." [Qur'an: 29:16]
Likewise, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) used to counsel his companions (may Allah be pleased with all) about Taqwa:
Abu Dharr al-Ghifari (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that: "I said: O Messenger of Allah, counsel me." The Messenger of Allah responded: "Have Taqwa of Allah wheresoever you are." [al-Tirmidhi: 1987, Ahmad: 22012]
The Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) used to supplicate to Allah saying: "O Allah: Bestow upon myself, Taqwa." [Muslim: 2722]
Likewise from his supplication are the words: "O Allah, I ask You for guidance and Taqwa" [Muslim: 2721]
So what exactly is Taqwa? How can we become from those who embody it?
O Servants of Allah:
The reality of Taqwa lies in acting upon that which Allah has commanded us to do and abstaining from that which he Has prohibited; it is in striving to always do that which is pleasing to Him, be it in words, deeds, or states in our hearts. Ultimately, it is true obedience and to sincerely follow the guidance in the way of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him), for Allah says:
And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger and has Taqwa of Allah and is conscious of Him, it is those who are the truly successful. [Qur'an: 24:52]
They are indeed the truly successful, as it is they who have attained the pleasure of Allah, having simultaneously attained safety from His retributive justice. [Tafsir al-Tabari: 343/17)
O People of Taqwa:
To turn towards the Qur'an, to listen intently to its verses, to contemplate and reflect upon the meaning of its words, to act in accordance with what it is tasking us to do, are all from the attributes of those who are possessors of Taqwa. As Allah says:
Alif, Lam, Meem. This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those who have Taqwa of Allah
Similarly, whosoever wishes to be from the people of Taqwa, should be diligent and avid in ensuring that their earnings are from the lawful, and that their provision contains nothing but the good and pure. For Allah says:
And eat of what Allah has provided for you [which is] lawful and good. And have Taqwa of Allah, in whom you are believers. [Qur'an: 5:88]
Thus, many a Scholar has said: "Indeed no man can lay claim to be a person of Taqwa until he is aware from whence his clothes have come, and where he gets his food and drink." [attributed to Maymun ibn Mihran]
From the clearest signs that one is attaining Taqwa is the embodiment of praiseworthy character and righteous attributes: such as patience, sincerity, loyalty to one's oaths, fulfilling one's promises, and the like from noble character. All of which indicates that Taqwa is truly taking root in the heart of a person, making him beloved to the One who knows what is truly in the hearts of men, for He states:
Yes undeniably, whoever fulfills his commitment and has Taqwa of Allah - then indeed, Allah loves those who have Taqwa of Him.
O You Who Believe:
Indeed the basis of interaction between a husband and wife should be that of love and compassion, kindness and gentleness; and that too is from the Taqwa of Allah. For the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said:
"Have Taqwa of Allah concerning your womenfolk. For indeed you have taken them [in marriage] as a trust from Allah." [Muslim: 1218]
Similarly, to provide a spiritual upbringing in the raising of one's children, to give them one's affection and sense of belonging, to be just between them and their siblings in gifts and one's attention, all of this and the like is from the Taqwa of Allah. For the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said:
"Have Taqwa of Allah and be just between your children" [Bukhari: 2587]
From that which allows for the actualization of Taqwa in hearts and purifies its spiritual realities and meanings in the souls of its adherents, is to interact with all people from a position of justice and fairness. For Allah says:
Be just; that is nearer to Taqwa. And have Taqwa of Allah ; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do. [Qur'an: 5:8]
Through justice and fairness, a person attains the trust of the people and their love, as well as their respect and affection. So the more a Muslim transcends his ego, and overlooks and pardons the faults of others, interacting with people in the spirit of grace and forbearance, forgiving their offenses, the closer he gets to Taqwa. As Allah says:
And to forego is nearer to Taqwa. [Qur'an: 2:237]
O Servants of Allah:
Indeed those who are able to embody Taqwa in all of their affairs, and all of their states, blissfully enjoy themselves in this temporal world through peace of mind and self-contentment. Allah opens up for them the doors of His grace, facilitating and making easy for them their affairs, as He says:
and for those who have Taqwa of Allah, He will make their path easy. [Qur'an: 65:4]
So you find them living in felicity and happiness, as Allah makes for them in every difficulty, relief, and in every constricting circumstance, a way out. Their sustenance comes to them from places they could never have imagined for themselves, as Allah says:
And whoever has Taqwa of Allah - He will make for him a way out. And will provide for him from where he does not expect. [Qur'an: 65:2-3]
Allah will encompass such people with His support, guard them with His divine care, ennoble them through His mercy, and apportion for them in His presence a noble and lofty rank, for He says:
Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the one with the most Taqwa. [Qur'an: 49:13]
O Allah: Bestow upon us Taqwa! And purify our souls, You are the best of those who purify, and You are its guarding Protector and its Lord. And assist us all in the way of piety and obedience, piety towards Your trustworthy Messenger, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), and to be dutiful towards those You have commanded us to be dutiful towards, in accordance with Your words: O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. [Qur'an: 4:59]
May Allah bless me and bless you with the Noble Qur'an and with the Way (Sunnah) of His Noble Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). I say this, and I seek forgiveness for me and for you, so seek His forgiveness, for He is the All-Forgiving and the All-Merciful.
The Second Khutbah:
All praises are for Allah, Caring-Lord of all domains of existence, Gloriously Transcendent, the Protecting Guardian for those who have Taqwa. And I bear witness, with every facet of my being, that there is nothing worthy of absolute love; nothing worthy of attaching our hearts upon in worshipful adoration, except Allah, the Uniquely One, having no competing second in that One-ness. And I bear witness that our Leader and Master, our Prophet, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon his name), is the perfected example of dutiful servanthood towards Allah, and is His sent Messenger unto the entirety of the created cosmos. O Allah: We ask you to bestow Your peace, blessings and grace upon him; his family; all of his companions; and whomsoever follows and seeks to emulate him in the way of embodied spiritual conduct till the Last Day.
From the fruits of Taqwa that one may avail in the Hereafter, is that Allah forgives the people of Taqwa their shortcomings, and magnifies their reward, for Allah says:
and whoever has Taqwa of Allah - He will remove for him his misdeeds and make great for him his reward. [Qur'an: 65:5]
The people of Taqwa are thus carried towards Allah, the Most Merciful, as a great delegation, as Allah says:
On the Day We will gather the righteous to the Most Merciful as a delegation. [Qur'an: 19:85]
So they enter into the sacred Presence in their groups, and they find that the Doors of Paradise in recognition have been opened up for them, as Allah says:
But those who had Taqwa of their Lord will be driven to Paradise in groups until, when they reach it while its gates have been opened and its keepers say, "Peace be upon you; you have become pure; so enter it to abide eternally therein," [wherein they will enter]. [Qur'an: 39:73]
Thus souls which possess Taqwa succeed in this life and the next.
And with this, let us send our peace and blessings upon the one we have been commanded to send our peace and blessings upon, as Allah says: Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [ Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [ Allah to grant him] peace. [Qur'an: 33:56]. So, O Allah, bestow Your peace, blessings and grace upon our Master, our Prophet and upon his family and all of his companions.
And may Allah be pleased with the Righteous Caliphs: Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali ; and the noble companions of the Prophet, the Sahaba, May Allah be pleased with all of them. O Allah, we ask You for soundness in our faith, and trust in good character, and a true success that will be followed by eternal bliss. O Allah, we ask You for Your mercy, for true prosperity, for Your redemptive forgiveness and Your pleasure. O Allah, make us from those who are obedient, respectful, those who venerate their parents, honoring their mothers and their fathers, embodying excellent character towards their families and wider societies.
O Allah, grant success to the UAE President HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and guide him to all that is good. O Allah, we seek Your favour in granting him continued good health and care. O Allah, we also ask You to grant success to the Vice-President, the Crown Prince and his Brothers, their Highnesses, the Rulers of the Emirates.
O Allah, we ask You to forgive all of the Muslims, both the men and women, the living and dead. O Allah, bestow your mercy on the late Sheikh Zayed, Sheikh Maktoum and the other late UAE Sheikhs who have passed onto the mercy of their Lord. O Lord, grant them from your abundant mercy and bless them with Your kindness and satisfaction. O Allah, we ask you to admit them into Paradise, being given bounties therein without being taken to account. O Lord, forgive and show mercy on our parents, relatives and whosoever may have a right upon us.
O Allah, we ask You, from and for your loving kindness, for the immensity of your forgiveness, for the reward of all righteousness, for the safety and protection from all sin. O Allah, we ask you for the ultimate success in attaining Paradise, and the ultimate relief in being saved from the Fire. O Allah, do not allow us to sin except that You forgive us, nor to have any worry except that you relieve us therein, nor for any debt to come upon us except that You see it compensated, nor for there to be any sick amongst us except that You see them healed. Let there be no dead, except that You have covered them in Your mercy, and let there be no pressing need, amongst any of us, except that You see it met and fulfilled. O most Noble of the Noble, You are capable over all things, and You are the most generous in responding to those who call upon You.
We ask You, O Allah, the Lord of all domains, to continue blessing the UAE with stability, welfare, increase in its bounties, knowledge, civilization, happiness, beauty and tolerance. O Allah, please continue blessing it with safety and security. O Allah, have mercy on the honourable martyrs of our nation and gather them with the ones upon whom Allah has bestowed favour of the Prophets. O Allah, make the dwelling of the martyrs, their families, parents and relatives with the righteous. Indeed, You are ever-responsive to those who call upon You. O Allah, grant to the people of Yemen that which is good, and unite them upon that which is True and Sacred, and provide for them all manners of prosperity, O most Noble of the Noble.
O Allah, spread peace and security amongst all the Muslim nations, and the entirety of the world. O our Lord, we ask You for the best of this World, the best of the Hereafter, that You will protect us from the punishment of the Fire, and that You enter us into Your paradise with the righteous, You are the Most Generous and Most Forgiving.
Servants of Allah: Remember Allah, the Majestic, and He will remember you. Thank Him for His blessing, and He will increase you therein. And establish the prayer.
Stand up for prayer.