4 Stages of Taqwa

Shaykh Uthman Dan Fodio (rahimahullah) relates four levels of al-war’a (scrupulousness) with regards to Halaal and Haraam, accepted by the fuqaha and Auliya:

“As for what is permissible (halaal) and forbidden (haraam) – showing devout scrupulousness with regard to what is forbidden is apart of the deen. Devout scrupulousness (al-war`a) has four degrees:

[1] Devout scrupulousness which is a prerequisite for being a just person for testimony (`adaalati ‘s-shahaada). This is what takes a person from the afflictions connected to testimony (shahaada), the judiciary (qudaa) and the government (wilaaya) and it entails guarding oneself from all outward prohibited things.

[2] The devout scrupulousness of the righteous (war`a’s-saaliheen) which is showing piety regarding the dubious actions (as-shubuhaat) which are subject to diverse possibilities.

[3] The devout scrupulousness of those fearfully aware (wa`ra’l-mutaqeen) which is avoiding thegenuine permissible things (al-halaal’l-mahdi) which may lead him to commit what is forbidden. And

[4] the devout scrupulousness of the champions of truth (war`a ‘s-siddiqeen) which is avoiding everything which is other than Allah sub’haanahu, out of fear that even a moment will be expended from his life time which can cause him to lose any increase in nearness to Allah `azza wa jalla – this is even when he knows and is absolutely certain that it will not end up being forbidden. These have their different grades.”

How many of the present day claimants to sufism even make it past the 2nd stage?


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