If the most emphasised subject is to be taken as the subject most often referred to, then the following are the six subjects most emphasised by Allah the Exalted for the guidance of His people, in the order of His emphasis:
1. Disbelievers (kafirin, kafirun, and kuffar) and disbelief (kufr). Literally,kufr means "to cover". In general, this subject has to do with covering up the ayat of Allah the Exalted, i.e. His wahy, His words, His Books, His Messengers and their message, partly or entirely, openly or silently. It means disobeying His Guidance, and disbelieving His Message. It means following our own beliefs and the belief of other mortal human beings, who are, themselves, created by Allah the Exalted. It means con fining various matters to only what we can envisage in our limited mind, and denying or disbelieving the Divine Order.
2. People of Hell (ashab unâ€‘nar). This subject is selfâ€‘explanatory but it is important to realise that these two mostâ€‘emphasised matters constitute the most important message Allah the Exalted wishes to implant into the minds and the hearts of His men and women. I beseech readers, respect fully and humbly, to pay particular attention to the emphasis Allah the Exalted has placed on these important issues, and not to pass them by indifferently. Would you please consider taking a few minutes to think of why Almighty Allah emphasises these matters so much, giving historical examples, naming the persons and communities who disbelieved, repeat edly warning the readers of the Glorious Qur'an about satan and his influences on the hearts, minds and actions of humankind. This is because He loves us, and He warns us about the heavy impact and the doomed ending of kufr. These matters are more emphasised than the glad tidings for the men and women who believe and their blissful fate. This emphasis is for our guidance by the Great and Only Creator Who knows best what is good for us, and what is to our detriment.
3. The Truth of the Glorious Qur'an, and its recognition of the previous Books. This emphasis, once more, proves the deserving attention that Allah the Exalted gives to the Legitimacy and the Truth of a Divine Book. Again, this should be of interest to followers of certain religious cults, who lack a Divine Book or mistake a human's writing for Divine.
4. Promises and agreements that Allah the Exalted has granted to the men and women who believe. Once Allah the High has emphatically warned people against kufr, and about the miserable outcome of such dis believing ideologies and actions, and after He emphatically asserts the Divine position of the Glorious Qur'an, He stresses the promises He is willing to grant, and agreements He is willing to make with His believing people of the right deeds so that they will be successful in this world and the next. These agreements constitute the duties of the men and women believers towards the Compassionate, the Merciful and the Knowing Creator. One cannot neglect these duties and still expect ultimate prosperity in both worlds.
5. Piety, Virtue and Righteousness (taqwa) is His next matter of emphasis. Taqwa can be construed as the essence of Islamic practice, as tawhid might be considered as the paramount hinge of Islamic belief. It certainly deserves the emphasis of the Glorious Qur'an, after the aboveâ€‘mentioned important matters have been repeatedly stressed and clarified in the minds of its readers.
Taqwa is difficult to define. It is easier to grasp its meaning by knowing that it is the opposite of being the slave of one's selfish desires. Taqwa is the most difficult aim in one's earthly life because satan is constantly sow ing flamboyant ideas in our hearts and is continually tempting us with exciting actions which have no purpose except satisfaction of the self. It takes great willpower to let the intellect be in control, not the heart, and to distinguish vice from virtue. As one acquires more strength in this area, and gradually discovers that one's decisions and actions can be governed by certain Divine principles instead of being guided purely by selfâ€‘satisfaction, then satan will shy away and will gradually have less and less influence on him/her.
One feels at peace only when his heart and mind act hand in hand. Before that, the heart longs for a satanic feature and the intellect tries to defy it; the person feels insecure and unsure as he has to sort things out between his conflicting heart and mind. Once he practises taqwa, ultimately the heart and mind shall come together, and there will be no internal conflict to upset the person, and he will be in peace and harmony with everything around him. But how does one get there?
Like everything else, to achieve a certain goal, one needs certain tools and training. The more we discharge our duties toward Allah the Exalted, the more we shall acquire His Mercy, Light, Guidance and Blessing:
"...Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is the one among you who oractises taqwa the most..." XLIX:13
We need the tools that train us to be willing to let go of things that we relish, such as certain foods, excessive sleep, illicit sex, immoderate money and luxury. A hungry person who has all sorts of food around him, but resists eating them because of fasting, can be better prepared to fight against his selfish desires than one who does not have this training. A person who rises for the regular prayers, five times a day, must sacrifice many hours of sleep, including getting up at the crack of dawn. He is well equipped with willpower to combat his selfish desires, let alone the fact that he will be closer to Allah's Blessing because of the obedience and dis charge of his duties toward Allah the Exalted.
Therefore, it appears that the necessary primary training for the realisation oftaqwa begins with the salat (regular prayers), the sawm (fasting), pay ment of the khums, the zakah and charities, and the recitation of the Glorious Qur'an, not only for guidance toward taqwa, but also for the blessing that Its recitation brings about. This is only the beginning. For further refinement, one should understand and practise the Islamic Principles (religious tenets) and the Pillars of Islam (the necessary duties to be discharged by a Muslim).
6. Matters relating to the legitimacy of Muhammad's (SA) message and thewahy from Allah the Exalted. This is complementary to item 3 above. These two items together consolidate the validity, legitimacy and Divinity of the Message and of the Messenger of Islam with great emphasis. Once more, this is another flag to alert people who follow certain religious groups or certain individuals depending on a slim evidence of legitimacy or a complete lack of it. Beware of the first two items of Allah's emphasis for your own sake.