Precaution (taqwa) has three facets:
1. Precaution by dependence on Allah
(SWT), which means leaving behind contradiction and going beyond any
shade of doubt, and this is the precaution exercised by the highest.
2. The precaution of Allah (SWT), which
means to abandon all doubtful matters and to leave the forbidden (haraam)
alone; this is the precaution of the elite.
3. The precaution of the Fire and
Punishment, which results in leaving alone what is forbidden; this is
the precaution of the general public.
Precaution is like water flowing in a
river. The three levels of precaution are like trees of every colour and
variety planted on the bank of that river, each tree absorbing water
from that river according to its essence, capacity, delicateness and
thickness. Then the benefits which creatures take from these trees and
fruits are according to their value and worth. Allah (SWT) said,
“Palm trees having one root and [others] having distinct roots - they
are watered with one water, and We make some of them excel others in
Precaution in acts of obedience to
Allah (SWT) is like water for the trees, and the natures of the trees
and their fruits in their colours and tastes are like the measures of
belief. Whoever has the highest degree in belief and the purest nature
with respect to the soul has the greatest precaution. He who is
precautious has the purer and more sincere worship: whoever is like that
is nearer to Allah (SWT). But every act of devotion that is founded on
something other than precaution comes to nothing.
Allah (SWT) said,
“Is he, therefore, better who laid his foundation on fear of Allah
and [His] good pleasure, or he who laid his foundation on the edge of a
cracking, hollowed bank, so it broke down with him into the fire of
The explanation of precaution is to
avoid entering an affair which contains no harm simply out of fear of
one which does. It is, in reality, obedience without rebellion,
remembrance without forgetfulness, knowledge without ignorance, and it
is accepted by Allah (SWT) and not rejected.