Stages of Piety (Taqwa)

1- Avoidance of disbelief and polytheism 

اتِّقاء الكُفر والشرك: 

The first thing a person must avoid is associating partners with Allah in worship.

2- Avoidance of heresies

 اتِّقاء البِدَع: 

By believing in things that contradict the truth which Allah sent to the Messenger (peace be upon him) or worshipping things which Allah prohibited.

3- Avoidance of grievous sins

 اتِّقاء كبائر الذُّنوب: 

When Satan whispers to a person, he decorates for him major sins and beautifies them in his eyes and opens for him the gate of long hope.

4- Avoidance of minor sins

 اتِّقاء صغائر الذنوب: 

Satan insinuates to man saying: You have no blame if you commit minor sins as long as you avoid major sins. Have not you known that minor sins are expiated when you avoid major sins and by doing good deeds?

Satan keeps underestimating the matter of sins until a person insists on doing them, so the committer of major sins who fears to do them shall be in better condition than him.

The Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:  

إِيَّاكُم وَمُحَقَّرَاتِ الذُّنُوبِ؛ فَإِنَّمَا مَثَلُ مُحَقَّرَاتِ الذُّنُوبِ كَقَومٍ نَزَلُوا فِي بَطْنِ وَادٍ، فَجَاءَ ذَا بِعُودٍ، وَجَاءَ ذَا بِعُودٍ حَتَّى أَنْضَجُوا خُبْزَتَهُمْ، وَإِنَّ مُحَقَّرَاتِ الذُّنُوبِ مَتَى يُؤْخَذْ بِهَا صَاحِبُهَا تُهْلِكْهُ

“Beware of (evil) deeds for the similitude of evil deeds is like a people who camped in the middle of a valley and some of them brought a branch of wood and some brought a branch of wood until they could cook their bread. When a person accumulate evil deeds, they destroy him.”

5- Avoidance of permissible matters 

اتِّقاء المباحات: 

There is no blame on a doer of permissible matters, but going too far in doing them may harm their doer and could make him fall into prohibited matters

6- Avoidance of preferring outweighed actions

اتِّقاء تفضيل الأعمال المرجوحة: 

Satan commands a person with outweighed righteous actions by decorating and approving them in his eyes and shows him the profit and reward they contain to busy him from what is better. When Satan succeeds in making him loses the origin of reward, he becomes greedy to make him lose perfection and virtue.

Some people guard themselves from remaining forever in Hell-Fire by admitting monotheism and believing the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم), but they cannot guard themselves against Hell-Fire.

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