In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy
Allaah [The Most High] said:
وَتَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْبِرِّ وَالتَّقْوَىٰ ۖ وَلَا تَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ
Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwa [virtue, righteousness and piety]; but do not help one another in sin and transgression. [5:2]
Few Reminders From Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [rahimahullaah]
This Ayah contains all the Masaalih [beneficial affairs] for the slaves in their worldly affairs and affairs related to the Hereafter- be it between themselves or between them and their Lord; for indeed every servant [of Allaah] finds himself within two circumstances and obligations – either [required] to fulfil the obligations owed to Allaah or the obligations owed to Allaah’s creation. As for the obligations owed to the creation, they include [righteous] association, companionship, aiding one another upon what Allaah loves and obedience to Allaah, and that is the goal behind one’s search for happiness and success in the afterlife. There can be no happiness in the afterlife except through Bir [virtue] and Taqwaa [piety], for it is basis of all affairs of the religion.
As for Taqwa, its reality is to act in obedience to Allaah based on Eemaan in Allaah and hoping for Allaah’s Reward; fulfil what Allaah has commanded based on having Eemaan in that which Allaah has commanded and affirming the reward Allaah has promised; abandoning what Allaah has forbidden based on one’s belief that what Allaah has forbidden is forbidden and fearing Allaah’s punishment, just as Talq Bin Habeeb [rahimahullaah] said: ”When Fitna occurs, extinguish it with Taqwa”. So the people said: ”What is Taqwa?” He said: You act in obedience to Allaah upon a light from Allaah [i.e. Eemaan, sincerity etc] and hoping for reward from Allah. And you abandon disobedience to Allaah upon a light from Allah and fearing the punishment of Allah.”
This is the best of that which has been stated regarding Taqwa, for indeed there has to be an aim and a goal behind every deed. A deed cannot be considered an act of obedience to Allaah and an act that gets one close to Allaah until it is based on Eemaan, so that which leads to the performance of that deed is solely due to Eemaan – neither [Un-Islamic] customs nor [evil] desires, neither seeking praise nor status and other than it; rather it should be solely based on Eemaan and the aim behind it should be to attain Allaah’s reward and seeking after Allaah’s Pleasure.
[An Excerpt from ‘Badaa’i At-Tafseer Al-Jaami Limaa Fassarahu Al-Imaam Ibnul Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah’ Vol 1 pages 307-311. Publisher: Daar Ibn Al-Jawziyyah 2nd Ed, 1431AH- Slightly paraphrased]