Taqwa which means 'God Fearliness is one of the most emphasised attributes which distinguishes a believer from a non believer. The origin of the word Taqwa is from the Arabic word 'Ittaqa which means to 'be wary, God Fearing. Consciousness of Allah is the highest plane a true Muslim must always strive to achieve. It means to stay away from forbidden things and to do all the things ordered by Allah Subhanahu. It literally means to protect oneself from diverging from the path of Allah. The concept of Taqwa has been linked to that of Ibadat i.e. to enjoin what is commanded by Allah and to avoid what He has prohibited. The essence of Taqwa remains in curbing ones 'Nafs. It involves harnessing ones natural instincts which form the basis of human nature. For it is then, when a believer becomes closer to Allah and earns his blessings when he combats against the mortal wishes out of love and fear of Allah. The holy month of Ramadan, which is a gift to Muslim Ummah has in its very ritual of fasting an encouragement towards practicing Taqwa. It is during fasting that we demonstrate utmost control of worldly desires such as eating and drinking, engaging in backbiting, foul mouthing, lying and deceit. All these evils are harnessed to be chained during fasting and this is the result of Taqwa. Henceforth, Taqwa is linked with doing what is correct and avoiding that which is wrong. Taqwa is the fruit of doing the actions of Ibadat. In other words, if one does what Allah has commanded him to do, and abstains from that which he has been forbidden, he will achieve taqwa. Allah mentions in His Book (that means): O you who believe Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become muttaqoon ( those who have taqwa or piety ). [Al-Baqarah 2:183]. Taqwa means to cleanse or purify the heart and the soul. Among the missions of the Prophet, Allah sent him with the command to purify the souls of the Muslims in particular and of mankind in general. Allah says; He it is who sent among the unlettered ones a Messenger from among themselves, reciting to them His ayaat, purifying them, and teaching them the Book and the Hikmah, while before they had been in error. [ Al-Jumuah 62:2 ]. In order to develop the sense of Taqwa, one must harness the attribute of 'Ikhlas i.e. any act of goodness must be done solely for the pleasure of Allah, to obtain his blessings and out of love for Him and fear of making Him angry or disobeying Him. Taqwa can never be sustained on the intentions of 'showing off, for this eats into the good deed as fire crumbles wood. A person once asked the Prophet SAW, O Messenger of Allah Give me some advice He replied, I advise you to fear Allah because it is the head of everything. This is because Taqwa encourages goodness and forbids evil. Similarly, one who feels Allah in their heart at every breath they take and in every aspect of their lives and in everything they do, from the important and profound to the everyday, simple tasks becomes aware of the great thirst, the Great Dependence, and the great joy his/her life had been lacking without this devotion, without this urge to serve (the Creator).And with it, they strive for the pleasure of their Lord, finding fulfillment and happiness in this world and the next. The Noble Prophet SAW said: The most common reason for people to enter Jannah is taqwa and good manners and the most common reason for people to enter the Hellfire is the mouth and the private part Truly, the muttaqoon (those with taqwa) will be amidst Gardens and water springs (in Paradise). (Surah al-Hijr 15:45) Umar ibn Abdul Aziz (ra) once said, Taqwa is not by fasting the day and not by praying the night. And its not by mixing between the two of them. But taqwa is leaving what Allah (swt) has made Haram and by doing what Allah (swt) has made Farz. After one has done this, Allah (swt) will provide good things for that person. Today, we as Muslims have detached ourselves from the act of God Feariness. Fear of Allah is just rhetoric for us. We indulge in all sorts of vices and activities of hypocrisy without even pondering for a moment, whether what we are doing will derive the pleasure of Allah Subhanahu Taala or are we trading it for His wrath. We fear external factors in our lives, fear of failure in our chores, fear of material loss, fear of enraging or offending our social contacts but we dont fear the Creator of this universe, the teachings He has bestowed upon mankind and the demands He makes of us. We conveniently disregard what He wants from us without thinking of the repercussions. The ideas of the importance of Taqwa brought forth in the Quran are also further reiterated in the collection of Prophet Muhammads sayings known as Hadith. One such saying is Have Taqwa wherever you are, and follow up a bad deed with a good one and it shall erase it; and behave toward people in a gracious manner. It is clear from this Hadith that having Taqwa is considered to be something worth striving for and incorporating into daily life. It is through Taqwa that Muslims will be able to modify their behavior in accordance with the teachings of Islam as laid down by God in the Quran. Allah has erased all distinctions of racism, cast and color and made all human beings equal. He has established a unique criterion for greatness and that is Taqwa. Taqwa is the essence of the teachings of Allahs Messenger (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam).Whenever Allahs Messenger (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) sent his Sahabah on a military expedition, he would advice them to have deep-rooted Taqwa of Allah and he would also advise the rest of his military party likewise. Umar Ibn Khattab (radhiallahu anhu) wrote to his son, Abdullah: To proceed: 'Verily I advise you to have taqwa (fear) of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, for whoever fears Him, Allah will protect him, and whoever gives a loan to Him, Allah will reward him, and whoever thanks Him, Allah will increase Him. Thus, Taqwa inhabits the heart and it is only within the capability of Allah to know what the hearts conceal. Therefore, judging peoples righteousness and spirituality is beyond the ability of the slave, Allah pointed out to this fact when he said: There is among people, he whose speech will dazzle you in this life and he will claim that Allah is witness (to the sincerity of) what is in his heart, yet he will be among the most vicious enemies (of mankind). [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 204] May the entire Muslim Ummah enjoin the beautiful concept of Taqwa and practice it wholeheartedly in their lives. Amen. Email: azizsirajuddin@gmail.com