Reverencing God (Taqwa Allah In Arabic) means the emotional respect, love, awe, admiration, devout towards Him along with the inspiration of fear or taking guard to not disappoint Him by strictly following His teachings. Based on this literal meaning, reverencing God/Taqwa Allah, with no doubt, implies the belief in God, the belief in returning to Him and the utmost dedication to live by His commands and ethics to earn His approval.
With these three implications, Taqwa Allah/reverencing God stands alone as a condition for our redemption and salvation. God's mercy is decreed and specified for the reverent (7:156). Paradise will be offered to the reverent as their blissful abode (50:31, 26:90, 3:133, 25:15, 16:30). Security belongs to the reverent on the Day of Judgment (44:51 ). The reverent are the ones who earn the winning position and the ultimate triumph (78:31, 20:132). Good deeds are accepted from the reverent ones (5:27). God's love is for the reverent (3:76, 9:4, 9:7). God's support is for the reverent (9:36). Quran guides the reverent (2:2). Quran reminds the reverent (69:48, 3:138, 24:34)- in other words, those who heed the guidance of Quran and benefit from the reminders of Quran are the reverent (2:66). To wrap it all up in one verse: reverencing God is the one differentiating criterion among all humans (49:13). Righteousness alone does not belong to this equation.
All the above should bring to the attention of believers the real value and true meaning of reverencing God/Taqwa Allah. As indicated in the above verses along with many others throughout Quran, reverencing God qualifies to the possession of the Key to His kingdom where there is ultimate security, peace and righteousness. It is no wonder that reverencing God/Taqwa Allah is referenced in Quran as both the BEST PROVISION (2:197) and the BEST GARMENT (7:26). These are two allegories used by the Most Gracious to enlighten us about how crucial it is to reverence Him at all times if we wish to constantly redeem our souls and stay protected from Satan the rejected. Please reflect on both allegories for further clarification and to sense the urge of staying as reverent as commanded.
In 2:197, God emphasizes how important to "pack" our reverence with all the materialistic provisions we would "pack" in preparing for Pilgrimage. He states: Reverencing Him is the BEST PROVISION then, He directly commands the believers who posses intelligence to reverence Him.
[2:197] Hajj shall be observed in the specified months. Whoever sets out to observe Hajj shall refrain from sexual intercourse, misconduct, and arguments throughout Hajj. Whatever good you do, God is fully aware thereof. As you prepare your provisions for the journey, the best provision is righteousness. You shall observe Me, O you who possess intelligence.
In 7:26, God describes "reverencing Him" as the BEST GARMENT ; best cover. It is noteworthy that such allegory is brought in a direct conjunction with one of the narrations about Adam, his wife and Iblis. It is enlightening to understand the crucial lesson behind this allegory and its connection with the story of Adam in Paradise. In the following group of verses we learn that Iblis wanted to expose what was supposed to be covered or invisible by enticing both Adam and his wife to eat from the forbidden tree. When they did not reverence God, and obeyed Iblis, their bodies that were supposed to be invisible got exposed. Right after that, God talks to us about His blessing of creating different sorts of garments to cover us and to enjoy and that the garment of reverence is the BEST GARMENT to cover us. Then He beautifully unveils the one concrete concept behind that allegory: Satan is here on earth only to bring evil in the forefront ; He is here to expose our weaknesses and flaws and to get the worst out of us- we should NOT give him that chance. Once he entices us, and we listen and obey, the worst that we try our best to suppress and overcome simply gets in the light and prevails! He did that to Adam and his wife in Paradise, and he is determined to do the same to us. The garment of reverence is our immunity, our salvation, our key to eternal Paradise and the BEST GARMENT that Satan cannot tear apart. Please read the following verses to fully comprehend God's enlightening allegory and witness His truth about reverencing Him:
[7:19] "As for you, Adam, dwell with your wife in Paradise, and eat therefrom as you please, but do not approach this one tree, lest you fall in sin." [7:20] The devil whispered to them, in order to reveal their bodies, which were invisible to them. He said, "Your Lord did not forbid you from this tree, except to prevent you from becoming angels, and from attaining eternal existence." [7:21] He swore to them, "I am giving you good advice." [7:22] He thus duped them with lies. As soon as they tasted the tree, their bodies became visible to them, and they tried to cover themselves with the leaves of Paradise. Their Lord called upon them: "Did I not enjoin you from that tree, and warn you that the devil is your most ardent enemy?" [7:23] They said, "Our Lord, we have wronged our souls, and unless You forgive us and have mercy on us, we will be losers. [7:24] He said, "Go down as enemies of one another. On earth shall be your habitation and provision for awhile." [7:25] He said, "On it you will live, on it you will die, and from it you will be brought out." [7:26] O children of Adam, we have provided you with garments to cover your bodies, as well as for luxury. But the best garment is the garment of reverence (righteousness). These are some of God's signs, that they may take heed. [7:27] O children of Adam, do not let the devil dupe you as he did when he caused the eviction of your parents from Paradise, and the removal of their garments to expose their bodies. He and his tribe see you, while you do not see them. We appoint the devils as companions of those who do not believe.
Praise God for His guidance and protection. May He keep us guarded from Satan and may He inspire us at all times to have the best provision and wear the best garment. May He augment our strength to fight evil. May He shower us with all the patience and perseverance so we always disappoint Satan and his allies and never allow them to get the worst out of us.
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.