Wara’ and taqwâ’. A symptom of true worship



This letter, written to Muhammad Murâd, gives advice and praises wara’ and taqwâ:

Hamd be to Allâhu ta’âlâ and salâm to the people whom He chooses and loves! I am afraid that my dear friends might have been deceived by the decorated and ornamented sins of the world. I feel worried thinking that they might fall for its pretty and sweet appearance, like children. I feel anxious that with the prodding of the accursed devil and the human satans they may cease from what is mubâh (permitted) and do what is dubious or dive into the harâm, thus falling down to a shameful state in the presence of our Owner. It is necessary to repent and ask for Allah’s pardon and entreat Him. Things that are harâm or dubious should be known as fatal poisons. Couplet:

In short, what is there to tell you is that,

You are a child, and the way is dreadful.

Being very bounteous, generous and merciful, Allâhu ta’âlâ made many things mubâh (permissible) for His born slaves; He gave us permission to do many things. So wretched and poor are those who, not being satisfied with the mubâh because of their sick souls and corrupt hearts, exceed the borders of Islam and go as far as to do the dubious or harâm things, leaving off so many inexhaustible mubâh choices. It is necessary to observe the borders of Islam and not to go beyond them. There are many people who perform namâz and who fast customarily and habitually. But those who observe the borders of Islam and who pay attention so as not to fall into the harâm and dubious activities are very few. The distinction that differentiates those who worship correctly and sincerely from those who worship habitually and insincerely is observing the commandments of Allâhu ta’âlâ. The sincere namâz and fast are outwardly the same as those that are done insincerely. Our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ stated: “The basic pillar of our religion is wara’.” He stated in a hadîth: “Nothing can be compared to wara’.”

[While describing the conditions for being an imâm, Ibni ’Âbidin says: “It is called wara’ to abstain from the dubious. It is called taqwâ to abstain from the harâm. It is called zuhd to abstain from the majority of the mubâhs for fear that they may be dubious.”

At the end of the book Hadîqa it is stated: “In our time it has become very difficult to have wara’ and taqwâ. At present, those who keep their hearts, tongues and other organs from the harâms and those who do not torture humans or animals and who do not take away others’ goods without paying for them and those who know that everything which belongs to others is others’ halâl property are said to have taqwâ. Property is said to be halâl, unless it is known for sure that specific goods were usurped, stolen, acquired by way of interest, [gambling, bribery], torture, treachery, or that the items themselves are harâm. This is the case even if it is known that a certain person has a history of acquiring property by harâm means. If one gives it to another party, it is permissible to accept it, even il the property is tainted (mulk-i-khabîth). If the gifted property is known to be harâm in any case, it will by no means be permissible to accept it. If one mixes all of the harâm goods taken from various people with one’s own halâl property or with things that have been entrusted to him for safekeeping, and if one cannot easily distinguish the harâm ones from the others, this mixture becomes one’s own property. This mixture is called mulki- khabîth. However, if one is able to distinguish the harâm goods, one should give them back to their owners or to their heirs. But if one is unable to do so, one should reimburse the owner(s). Compensation is possible by giving back its mithl (similar, equal) from one’s halâl zakât goods. If one does not have the mithl, one should pay the value of the goods at the time when one usurped them. After reimbursement, it becomes mubâh for one to use. [The zakât of it should be paid. But, in case one knows the owner, one cannot use it before reimbursing the owner, or one can dispense it as alms or as a present. And it is not necessary to add it to the amount for zakât. If one does not know the owner or his heir, it will become wâjib to give away all the harâm property and the tainted mixture as alms. If the owner appears later, the owner should be reimbursed as well.] It will not be permissible, if one knows that the property is harâm itself, to get it from the possessor who gives it away by selling, gifting, renting, loaning, paying debts, or any other way. If a poor person, whom you gave the harâm good as alms, gives it back to you as a present, you can use it as well. It is not permissible to acquire any mulk-i-khabîth when the owner is known, by way of buying or renting, nor is it permissible to receive them as alms or as donations. The mulk-i-khabîth will not become halâl by these methods. If a person has obtained property that is harâm and whose owner is known, money for example, he should give it back to him. If the owner is unknown the item should be given to a poor person as alms. It will be sinful to give it to anyone else. It is not permissible for anyone, with the exception of a poor person, to accept and take such property. There is a scholarly narration stating that only a heir (or heiress) is permitted to inherit property which he (or she) knows to be harâm property. Please see the the initial part of the first chapter of the fifth fascicle of Endless Bliss. For practical purposes in buying and selling, the fatwâ was given according to Imâm-i Kerhî’s ijtihâd. Accordingly, after a sale agreement has been made without the themen [money] having been shown (to the buyer), the mebî’ (commodity) bought by paying something in the name of themen and known to be harâm, will be halâl and tîb, (i.e. clean and untainted.)[1] However, if the agreement is made by showing something that is known to be harâm, or which the buyer has been entrusted (by a third person) for safekeeping (vedî’a), and if that item known to be harâm is given as the themen, the mebî’ thereby bought will be harâm. If the buyer shows (or says that he will pay) themen that is harâm and yet pays something else, or shows (or says that he will pay) something else and yet pays the themen that is harâm, the property bought will not be harâm or khabîth.” Ibni ’Âbidîn ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaih’ states as follows in his discourse on ghasb (extortion): “Ghasb (extortion, usurpation) means to take away someone’s property by force, or to deny the thing entrusted. Ghasb is a grave sin. If some change took place in the property, the owner can demand to be given the property and the change in its value, or to be paid its value only. The usurper should give it back at the place where he usurped it. After compensation, it is permissible for the usurper to use the item, but the profit which he obtained by selling it will not be halâl. The profit should be given as alms. If the goods usurped from various individuals were mixed with each other, or with usurper’s own property, and if they cannot be separated, all of them will be the usurper’s tainted property (mulk-i-khabîth). But, it is not halâl for him to use them unless he compensates for them. Compensation does not cause that sin to be forgiven.” In the annotation to the book Durer, Shernblâlî says: “If the usurper mixes the usurped goods with his own goods, they become his own property. If his halâl property to be left after having repaid the amount belonging to its owners is the amount of nisâb,[2] it is necessary to pay zakât for the mixture even before compensation. If the mixture is the amount of nisâb and yet he does not also have halâl property of his own that would both suffice for the compensation and remain in an amount of nisâb, it is not necessary to pay zakât for it.”]

Our beloved ones being there are fond of delicious food and lovely garments.

Real pleasure and benefit, however, is in what the people of wara’ eat and wear. Couplet:

He who gave that to rank occupiers

Gives this to the men of wara’.

 The difference between ‘that’ and ‘this’ is very great. For Allâhu ta’âlâ does not like ‘that,’ but He likes ‘this.’ Moreover, on the Day of Rising the accounting for ‘that’ will be difficult, while the accounting for ‘this’ will be easy. Yâ Rabbî (O our Rabb, Allah)! Have mercy upon us! Do not allow us to deviate from the right way! –

[1] Please see the twenty-eighth and later chapters, which deal with mu’amalât (transactions), of the fifth fascicle of Endless Bliss, for terms such as mebî’, themen, bey’ and shirâ.
[2] Please see the first chapter of the fifth fascicle of Endless Bliss for ‘zakât’ and ‘nisâb’.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here