The meaning of “Takwa” in the commentaries of the Koran is “to fear, to abstain and to refrain from God”. The fear of God is a feeling, a sensation. When a person meets a power -a force-, he is filled with awe and he is shaken. Piety means abstaining and refraining. The essence of piety is respect; a respect which is shown to the great. Piety descends from the heavens just like faith.
When a human contemplates about the power of Allah –the divine greatness of Allah, he is unintentionally shaken with awe same as he is shaken when he looks at the open sea and the boundless sky. He feels himself very little, unimportant on a ship in this vast sea, compared to that greatness and majesty. He senses something in his heart and spirit. This is a natural sensation. He feels respect for the Person who is the owner of this majesty and greatness unintentionally.
This is a natural respect. Allah is the King, the Ruler and the Sovereign Lord. This happens in the inner world, in the heart. This feeling is not like the fear for an ordinary person. He senses the greatness of Allah; he fears Him and becomes cautious. Allah is very beautiful, calm and patient and also He is very mighty, angry and wrathful. His greatness and majesty is from His Wrath and Might.
A person’s piety is according to the degree of his faith. “The only people who are really afraid of Allah are the knowledgeable.” (Al-Fatir, 28)
They sense the great power and feel fear. You should not hurt the King of the Kings even slightly. You feel the fear of God in your heart and it is not a physical or exterior feeling. The fear of God means to see yourself inferior in comparison to this great power and to restrict yourself due to it. Although He is very merciful, it should not be forgotten that He is also wrathful and He may give punishment. You ought to be cautious and not to lose self-control, not to be spoiled by indulgence.“Satan deceives you with My mercy.” (Fatır, 5 - Lokman, 33)
For instance: A person loves his father very much but he is also afraid of him. Allah gave the wrathful attribution to fathers and merciful attribution to mothers. Fathers are angry and wrathful but mothers are kind and merciful. These attributes on the parents are the reflection of the wrathful and merciful qualities of God on them.
Therefore, the mercy of Allah should not be misused and the commands of the Koran should be obeyed by people. Allah is very compassionate and forgiving but He is also very angry and wrathful. Allah has a justice. He does not have to forgive all the time. He may forgive or punish whomever He wills. We cannot qualify Him. He does not have only one kind of attribute. We ought to be cautious not to commit wrongs. If He decides to punish who is able to stop Him? “Verily the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the one who is the most God fearing.” (Hujurat, 13)
You should be in conscious of this. “The only people who are afraid of Allah are the knowledgeable”. They are the ones who know both the Person and the Attributes of Allah. The Imam (the spiritual Leader) of the righteous is our master Hz. Ali (k.v.). The noblest of us is Hz. Ali (k.v.). The reason why Hz. Ali was called as “Keremallahu Vechehu”is Allah honored his person and treated his face with respect because he was the most God fearing person after our Prophet Muhammad (A.S.). Hz. Ali (k.v.) was the person who has the most knowledge of Allah and who had the most fear of Allah after the Prophet of Allah. This is accepted by Hz. Abu Baqir, Hz. Osman, Hz. Omar and by all the Companions of the Prophet as well as the theologians. Both exterior and interior knowledge come from Hz. Ali (k.v.).
Hz. Ali (k.v.) is the Door of Knowledge, the King of Sanctity and the greatest Muslim -Muhammadan-. He is the Commander of the Ahl al Bayt of the Prophet. He is the greatest leader, the pious person and the guide of the Path of the Intercession and the People of Intercession.
HE IS THE GREATEST RELIGIOUS LEADER (İMAM-I AZAM)
4th November, 2004
(21st of Ramadan)