Hazrat Jabir رضي الله عنه informed: A man was discussing about Ibadat (worship) in front of Rasulullah ﷺ; another person then discussed about Taqwa. Rasulullah ﷺ told the first person (Meaning) : You shouldn’t think that to make efforts of Ibadat is equivalent to Taqwa. Because Taqwa itself is a great Ibadat.
Hazrat Mawlana Hakeem Akhtar Saheb (DB)’s Interpretation on the above Hadith:
Taqwa means: to refrain from the forbidden acts only in Fear of Allah Taala. Little Ibadat with Taqwa results in great Barakah (blessing). On the other hand, without Taqwa a lot of Ibadat doesn’t fetch Barakah. For this reason, Hakeemul Ummah Mujaddede Millat Mawlana Shah Ashraf Ali Thanvi (R) said, “To abandon the habit of committing sins is greater than saying Tahajjud prayers.” Allah Taala has also announced: “The Mutaqqi (one who attains Taqwa) are the ones who are Allah Taala’s friend”. A person always indulging in sins cannot be friend of Allah Tala (without Tawba). When a person becomes friend of Allah Taala, committing sin is not at all possible for him. Because, Bilayat and sin are two opposite things. A poets said: Many man faced devils are walking on this earth in the guise of Allah Taala’s friend. Beware! Don’t spoil your life in their hands! To become the friend of Allah Taala along with Iman and Amal attaining Taqwa is essential. And this is possible to attain by being in the company of the Pious. This is the road to get Allah Taala….keep in close contact with His friends. Thanvi (R)’s book Qasdus Sabeel has clearly defined the characteristic of a real friend of Allah Taala.