Take a minute and think about this scenario….
Say you are a salesperson working at the cashier. Imagine working as the sales attendant and you know you have certain protocols in your manual of how you’re supported to sell the products, take home messages, customer service tips, and images of the brand you’re supposed to create for customers.
Now say you know that a secret shopper hired by the store is coming in-would you modify your behaviour?
Think about another scenario…
Say you’re going in for a job interview and you find out that part of their assessment criteria for potential candidates is by observing them when they’re not in the official interview. They test you by observing the way you drink the water in the waiting room. This contributes to your interview score.
Would you be conscious of how you drink that water? You would likely approach something as innocuous as drinking water in a different way.
We behave differently when we know we are being observed or tested in some capacity. We know that this life is a test and everything that we do is a test and that we are being observed by Allah (swt).
It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “A man may speak a word that angers Allah and not see anything wrong with it, but it will cause him to sink down in Hell the depth of seventy autumns.”
So what is the meaning of Taqwa?
Umar (ra) asked Kaab (ra), the meaning of Taqwa as he was renowned for his deep understanding of the Qur’an. Kaab (ra) then inquired from Umar (ra), whether he had walked through a thorny bush path with his cloak. Umar (ra) replied that he had done so on numerous occasions. Kaab (ra) asked Umar (ra) to describe his movements through this thorny path. Umar (ra) replied that he moved very cautiously, so as not to tear his clothing. Kaab (ra) said that was the description and the meaning of Taqwa.