The 'Taqwometer' is a tool developed by Ramadan Legacy to inspire you to evaluate your own Taqwa across various aspects of your life. Taqwa is your consciousness of Allah in your life and a Barometer is a measuring tool. We've combined both of these words to product the 'Taqwometer'!
How To Evaluate Your Faith
What is Taqwa? Taqwa has many deep meanings but essentially what it means is thinking about Allah wherever you go and wherever you are. When you are driving do you think about Allah? When you are at work do you think about Allah? When you are alone at night in your bedroom do you think about Allah?
‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: Take stock of yourselves before you are brought to account.
The words "Have Taqwa" are mentioned in the Qur'an over 200 times. Why does Allah constantly remind us and have to keep reminding us to have Taqwa so many times in the Qur'an? It's because it is the one thing we often forget about the most. If you contrast this with: how many times does Allah instruct us to fast in the month of Ramadan in the Qur'an? The answer is only once. Why is that? Because Allah knew that we would do it, however he knew that Taqwa would be something that we fall short on and that's why he repeats it so often in the Qur'an.
We live in a world of constant distractions and increasing desires that pull us away from Allah. For many of us this has lead to us not being conscious of Allah throughout the day and missing out on acts of worship that are recommended for us to do.
We've produced a useful print-out tool called 'The Taqwometer - How To Evaluate Your Faith' so that you can begin your journey of being conscious of Allah across all your environments.
Step 1: Evaluate Your Taqwa In Your Environments
In the fast-paced world we live in now, we have many different environments which are all starkly different. Our home life is different to our work life and social life; our masjid life is different to how we act when we travel. The first step is to evaluate your consciousness of Allah through the various environments in life that you have. For e.g. you may pray at home 5 times a day on the weekends but at work you might not pray all of your prayers like Dhuhr and Asr.
This exercise instructs you to mark yourself in being low, medium or high in terms of your consciousness of Allah in the various environments in your life.
The first step is to write down the various environments that exist in your life and then to mark yourself low, medium or high for each of those environments. This exercise will help you to identify in which environments in your life do you need to improve your consciousness of Allah i.e. your Taqwa.
Step 2: Find The Root Cause of The Problem
Now you have identified the environments in your life where you are strong and high in Taqwa and other environments in your life where you are weak and low in Taqwa. Let's focus on the areas that are low in Taqwa and find the root cause of the problem.
For e.g. let's say you have identified that your level of Taqwa is low when you are socialising, is it because of the social activities you do? Is it your friends? Is it the timing of those social activities? Think back and reflect on the nature and reason why your Taqwa is low in that particular environment.
Or for e.g. let's say you have identified that your level of Taqwa is low when you are at work, is it because there is no prayer room? Is it your confidence in telling your colleagues that you need to pray? Is it simply you don't put it in your calendar?
It's important to find the root cause or causes of the problem that is causing your level of Taqwa to be low in that environment. Writing the root cause down will allow you to address it head on! You can only find the root cause of your problem through reflection and experience so take some time to think through this carefully In sha 'Allah and write down what really is the root cause of the problem.
The prophet said: 'Everyone starts his day and is a vendor of his soul, either freeing it or bringing about its ruin.' (Muslim).
Step 3: Take Small Steps
By now you will have identified all of your environments and your level of Taqwa in each of those environments; then you will have focused on the environments where your level of Taqwa is low and you identified why it's low in that particular environment. Now it is time to make a small and achievable action plan to increase your Taqwa in that environment.
There are many different ways in which you can increase your Taqwa for e.g. fasting, remembering Allah, praying, doing dhikr, reading the Qur'an etc. However it's important to note that having Taqwa also means to turn away from things that take you away from Allah.
Taqwa has two parts: the first part is called Hanifiyyah which means to turn away from everything except for Allah; and the second part is Islam which is submitting and worshipping Allah.
So in essence you can increase your Taqwa in worshipping Allah more or turning away from the things that are taking you away from Allah. We love examples so let's give you some!
For e.g. let's say your Taqwa is low when you are socialising and you have identified that it is your friends that are causing this. Doing dhikr whilst you are with your friends might not solve your problem, but choosing to consciously not socialise with that group of friends and only socialising with another group of friends might be the answer to your problem.
Or for e.g. let's say your Taqwa is low whilst you are at work and you have identified that it is because you forget to pray whilst at work or you do not have the confidence to pray whilst at work. In order to increase your Taqwa here it is important that you start praying and worshipping Allah whilst at work. You may not find the confidence to all of a sudden pray all of your prayers at work but aim to pray at least 1 a day whilst at work and increase your confidence over time.
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Take up good deeds only as much as you are able, for the best deeds are those done regularly even if they are few.”
The 'Taqwometer' is a tool we developed to help you identify the areas of your life where you need to have a stronger connection to Allah. We may be connected to Allah when we are in the comfort of our home but if we are not when we leave home then that is something that we need to address.
Please use this tool to help you identify the areas in your life where you need to make changes so you can increase your Taqwa, be conscious of Allah, turn away from things that take you away from Him, and turn towards things that take you close to Him.
So remember Me, I will remember you…” (Al-Baqarah 2:152)