So yesterday we learned a new term from Shaykh Muhammad bin Yahya An-Ninowy. He said we must strive to be a Taqi in the eyes of Allah. We deduced that it was in relation to having taqwa. And we browsed several versions of the translation for the word taqwa. The most commonly used meaning is God-fearing.
Al-Tafsir.com offered several translations by some highly credible translators and we noticed a few versions i.e. most pious, most righteous, best in conduct, most god-fearing, most deeply conscious of Him, and most devout.
"Surely the noblest of you in Allah's sight is the one who is most pious of you. Surely Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware." - from Al Hujurat:13
Obviously Allah is the best evaluator and there is no way we could play judge and say oh he/she has taqwa, he/she doesn't or he/she is a better Muslim, he/she is not.
Still as a human being, the basic yardstick is by looking at a person's conduct. He/she behaves well and kindly towards other people, he/she doesn't.
In this regard, we reflect on how people had reacted to the recent incident that befell our relatives. Picture this. The local authority decided to partially demolish our home. No advance notice was given, although the authority kept harping there was and there were many witnesses on that fateful day. Anyway, it was interesting to see how people behaved and responded to the incident.
Apparently a group of outwardly "pious" people who branded themselves as a party of "Islamic" people knew about the incident in advance but kept mum. Maybe because they thought it was an official order that must be carried out, fine. Then there was this rather "less Islamic" people (by the standard of a "pious Islamic" group) got news and immediately investigated and garnered whatever support they could to comfort and defend the victims. They were the first to come forward to check on their less fortunate neighbors, whereas the so called "Islamic" people continued to keep quiet and pretended nothing has happened. Whereas, several concerned people from a Buddhist association were also quick to turn up to offer whatever assistance needed. In fact they were the first organized group of people who made such an offer!
Allahu Akbar! I personally think those people who claim to be more "Islamic" than others, should re-read the Qur'an and ponder what religion is all about. Let us all check on ourselves, how "Muslim" we are, how good our conduct is rather than over emphasize on our Islamic image and talk rhetorically on religion. By the way, we have to put subjective terminology such as pious and Islamic in inverted commas because obviously the degree of a person's Muslim-ness and piety is very subjective.
Allahu 'alam. May Allah show us falsehood as falsehood and give us the strength to put it aside. May Allah enjoin us with those who have taqwa. Ameen.