The surah continues with a recounting of the careers of the prophets Abraham, Noah, `Ad, Salih, Lot, Shu`ayb again.  There is no need to recount the details of these stories as they have become very familiar.  Bottomline, they preached the message but the people rejected. 

The most striking feature from today’s section is the fourteen uses of the phrase “mindful of God.”  Save Abraham, the other five prophets all ask their people the same question: “Will you not be mindful of God?” (26:106, 124, 142, 161, 177).  The other nine uses of the phrase are all admonitions to “be mindful of God” (26:108, 110, 126, 131, 132, 144, 150, 179, 184) and often “and obey” is added. 

What has become very clear to me as I read through the Qur’an is how central mindfulness of God (taqwa) is to the Islamic faith.  This phrase is translated other ways: “fear of God,” “reverence for God,” or “God consciousness.”  Faith begins when a person decides to make God a conscious part of their life.  Faith strengthens as God sinks deeper and deeper into the believer’s mind, so much so that God is there in every decision, every action, and every breath.  When God is so dear to a person that his reverence for God shapes what one does and does not do, that is a true “fear of God.”  This is not the “fear” that immobilizes, rather this is the “fear” that makes one’s relationship with God so sacred that nothing that would sully it is allowed to enter into the situation. 

See this earlier post and the comment by khany on this post for more on this same topic.       

“Mindful of God.”  Such a great phrase.  And an even better character trait.