Message of Thaqalayn

A Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies

Taqwa, Part I

In this paper, Ayatollah Murtada Mutahhari demonstrates the importance of taqwa, or self-restraint, as put forth in the Qur’an and Nahj al-Balāaghah through explaining its definition, meaning, value, and effect. As a result, Ayatollah Mutahhari clarifies four misunderstandings: 1) fearing God is in reality fearing His justice and making the heart wary of Him, 2) taqwa is about living a pious life rather than merely performing religious obligations, 3) taqwa is a freedom, not a restriction, and 4) rather than acting upon pragmatic obligations that force one not to sin, true perfection lies in the person’s freedom to do wrong and yet he or she refrains from doing so. While knowing that taqwa is a perfect state, it is still to be protected as the entities that weaken taqwa constantly surround people. And as taqwa guarantees a successful afterlife, it also serves as a shield in life’s adversities. This paper is based on a lecture delivered by Ayatollah Murtada Mutahhari in 1339 (1960) in Farsi, published in Dah Goftār. It has been translated into English for the Message of Thaqalayn by Zeynab Rahimi Sabet, Nasibeh Ramezani, and Hamideh Farajian.


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