Allâh did not mention Taqwâ first. He first mentioned the fact that He created the ability to sin within man. Now it is your duty not to fulfil the urge to sin. This will create Taqwâ (piety) in you. If you want to obtain piety, then all you have to do is abstain from sin.
Achieve Reward without Doing any Work
The owners of factories first make their employees work and then reward them. But in this case, Allâh is granting reward for not doing any work. Do not steal, speak lies and do not look at strange women/men. By not doing these things, you will be rewarded with piety and Allah’s friendship. What is Taqwâ? Taqwâ is when you have the urge to sin but you abstain due to the fear of Allah. Then you must endure the pain and not regret adopting piety. Do not say, "I wish I should have looked at least once." Remember that it is Shaytân’s ploy to make you regret. One who regrets has an undeveloped heart and his Imân is weak. Imân will be complete when he abstains from sin, endures grief, thanks Allâh and becomes ecstatic with joy.
Who is a Muttaqi?
A muttaqi is one who protects himself from sin, protects his gazes, protects himself from speaking lies, from bribery, from disobeying his parents, from oppressing his wife and neighbours. He keeps away from all impermissible acts and does not regret. He does not regard Islam as oppressive. Islam has protected him from troubles otherwise if he had to eat from every farm like a cow, people would beat him so much that it would be impossible for him to stay alive. Go to the villages and have a look at the cow that grazes from everyone’s farm. It is beaten by everyone. Not an inch of its back is safe. When it falls ill, there is no one to cure it. When it dies, there is no one to bury it. Vultures and crows feed on its corpse.
An Example of the Inspiration of Sin and Piety
The example of virtue and piety is that of a match. A match only produces fire if it is rubbed. The match of virtue and evil which we have within ourselves has virtue on the one side and evil on the other. Allâh has kept both these capabilities within us. He has given us the ability to sin as well as commit good acts. But neither will the evil be ignited nor the virtue until they are rubbed. Both have their match-sticks. If you live in the company of the pious saints, then you have rubbed the match-stick of virtue. Now the lamp of piety will be illuminated. When the urge to sin is aroused in you, you stamp it out. You have thus rubbed the match-stick of virtue. Now the light of piety will be created. But if you cast evil glances, and began sitting by ghair mahrams and soothing yourself with attractive women, you have rubbed the match-stick of evil. The fire of evil will be lit. You will burn in the fire of love affairs. You will be uneasy and worried. This is not the oppression of Allah. Allâh is pure of oppression. We have oppressed ourselves. No harm is caused by the urge to sin. The one who acts on his urge to sin is caught out and he is the one who has lit the match of evil. Allâh has commanded us to refrain from fulfilling these urges. The match cannot do anything itself. These urges are not harmful as long as you do not fulfil them. Do not adopt the causes of intensifying these urges otherwise a fire will be lit. Then in spite of a beard and round hat, this person will run behind beauty. This is a dangerous disease because he has cast evil glances and removed the shadow of Allâh’s mercy. He has now entered the curse of Allah.
Therefore Allâh says, "Shaytân has misled them due to the sins they committed." Shaytân cannot mislead anyone unless the person commits a sin and goes far away from Allah’s mercy. It is impossible that the shadow of Allâh’s mercy be present and Shaytân destroys a person. Allâh has created the Nafs (carnel self). It urges man to sin excessively. It creates severe urges to sin. But remember, O people of the world, if Allah’s mercy exists, then the Nafs cannot cause any harm. But when you commit a sin, the shadow of Allah’s mercy moves away.
When a person commits one sin, then he commits the second and the third and so on. If a person casts an evil glance once, for example, at a bus stop, then he will continue casting evil glances the whole way until he reaches the final stop. And if he protected his gaze the first time, then Inshâ Allâh, his gaze will be safeguarded the whole way. Some people delay in repenting because they feel that the enjoyment experienced at the next stop of staring at attractive females will be terminated. In order to eat faeces, he does not repent from faeces in order to continue his enjoyment at the next stop.
~ Taken from the discourses of Moulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (DB) ~