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#THREAD | Taqwa: The Standard of Perfection

What is taqwa and what are some of its main effects in this world and in the Hereafter?
Islam teaches that we were created to attain perfection through worship, which is the organized buildout of taqwa (God-consciousness/piety). By worshipping God, we increase in taqwa and thus more consummately connect with Him, and as He is unlimited, we reach our potential.
What exactly is taqwa? In language, 'taqwa' means caution; thus, it refers to fear/consciousness of Him (obeying Him and not disobeying Him). Imam Ja'far al-Sādiq (a) defines having taqwa as: "God not losing you where He commanded you and not finding you where He restricted you."
The Qur'an shows the value of taqwa in Islam. It discusses its effects and its central role in the making of a human being. And as the Imam (a) defined it: by serving as the energy that encourages us to do good and stops us from sinning, taqwa is the standard of perfection.
For this reason, you find that taqwa was the slogan of the Prophets' (a) call to guidance (4:131). For example:

Nū'h - 26:106
Lūt - 26:161
Shu'ayb - 26:177
Hūd - 26:124
Sāle'h - 26:142
Ibrāhīm - 29:16
Eliās - 37:124
Muhammad (s) - 10:31
The holy Qur'an highlights many worldly benefits of taqwa, such as the fact that it earns God's love (90:7), God's nearness (45:19) and God's company (2:194). These alone - the love, nearness and company of God - are enough to accomplish happiness in life.
The Qur'an also says that taqwa makes the affairs of life easier (65:4). Although believers tend to suffer most from the tests of the unfair world around them, holding onto faith in God and the fact that He is ultimately in control helps doors open and problems settle down.
Taqwa leads to insight and the accuracy of the heart's evaluation when it comes to recognizing good and evil, truth and falsity (8:29, 57:28). Distance from God causes blindness, while the believer who maintains taqwa sees through the lens of divine light and wisdom.
Another benefit of taqwa is that it creates a barrier and defense system against the endeavors of Iblees and his efforts to misguide us (7:201). Offense is not all we get from taqwa; rather, we gain protection/immunity (which is interestingly a synonym for taqwa in language).
Taqwa brings blessings we do not even see coming and relief we do not always expect (65:2). God works in ways we obviously do not always understand. By remaining conscious of Him, we attract His unlimited grace and the surprising blessings that come with it.
Taqwa has much broader benefits, as well. The Qur'an says that when taqwa is enforced and reaches prevalence in society, it benefits economically (7:96) and is the way to victory even for those who are under-resourced (3:125).

Taqwa is therefore the key to success.
And when people accept taqwa as the key to success, this is a testament to God's Lordship and Guardianship. For this reason, the Qur'an says that taqwa befalls the plots of the enemies and - when accompanied with patience - leads to security (3:120).
In the Afterlife, taqwa has other great effects. The Qur'an says that maintaining taqwa leads to our sins being forgiven and the reward for our good deeds being magnified (65:5). Our bad is gone and our good is multiplied - can we ask for anything better than this?
The Qur'an also teaches that our actions are corrected (33:71) and accepted (5:27) through taqwa. Sometimes we may not know the mistakes and inaccuracies in our worship, but when we maintain God-consciousness, our deeds are corrected and admitted.
At this point, it should seem like taqwa is the way to God's Forgiveness. This is because it sure is - the Qur'an says that the all-encompassing mercy of God is reached through taqwa (7:156). In fact, taqwa leads to final salvation (39:61, 19:72).
The gates of Jannah and the rewards within it are earned through taqwa (3:15). Is this not the feat every Muslim and believer yearn and strive for?

May God help us observe this state. May He affirm our place where He intends for us to be and keep us away from His restrictions.
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