Reflection No. 78 on Q 7:26 – Clothing of Taqwa

وَلِبَاسُ التَّقْوَىٰ ذَٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ

And the clothing of Taqwa, that is the best.
Sura al- A’raf, verse 26

Clothing gives human beings an identity. It covers that which needs to be concealed, and is a source of beauty and adornment. Humans have always used attractive clothes to make themselves look good, to stand out at special occasions, and to show others their own individual taste and style.

In this verse Allah talks about the use of clothing as a covering and beauty, and says that the best clothing is that of Taqwa. Taqwa, or God consciousness, is both a protection and an adornment. It keeps you away from indecency and evil, and beautifies you with the Divine Light that shines through it. There can be no better decoration for the human being than that which decorates his inner self and manifests itself in his outer self through his words and actions.

Taqwa is the ability to remember Allah at all times. Taqwa prevents you from falling into sin, for the idea of God watching you as you disobey Him seems so repugnant. Taqwa has both sides – the acquiring of good deeds and qualities that please Allah, and more importantly, the shield and armor that deflects the pull towards disobedience to God. To be able to refrain from sins, even that which we may consider small, is really what Taqwa is all about. A person with Taqwa (Muttaqi) just cannot entertain the idea of sinning. It is not the act of disobedience that is big or small, it is the Being who is disobeyed that must be considered.

Recite this verse as you wear clothes each day. Remind yourself that just as you cover and protect your body, and beautify it through the garments you put on, you must also do the same for your soul with the clothing of Taqwa. Only then are you fully dressed as a human being, the son of Adam (a).