By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam
28 January 2019
All Praise Be To Allah, the Lord of All the Worlds!
Allah Almighty says, “This is the Book [Quran] in which there is no doubt, in it there is guidance for the Muttaqin” (Surah Baqarah 2:2)
Though the guidance of holy Quran is meant for everyone, believer or non-believer, as mentioned in another verse of the Quran “guidance for the people”, only the people of Taqwa benefit from the Quran. It is therefore Allah Almighty said “guidance for the Muttaqin”. For example, it is said “rain is for vegetation, i.e. the rain benefits vegetation, while it also rains on the barren land”. Those that are Muttaqin get benefit from the Quran while its guidance is meant for all mankind.
Muttaqin comes from Taqwa, the root word of which is w-q-y. Taqwa has several meanings; guarding nafs against evil, fearing Allah and being conscious of Allah etc. The word Muttaqin is plural of Muttaqee which denotes one who fears or one who abstains. Hence Muttaqin are those that fear Allah and refrain from all erroneous beliefs and impious deeds.
In terminology of Islamic Shar’a, Taqwa means guarding against sins by refraining from forbidden acts. Hazrat Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said, Muttaqi denotes one who refrains from Shirk, major sins [Kabair] and impious deeds [Fawahish]. Some say, Muttaqi is one who does not consider himself superior to others. Some say, Taqwa means abstaining from forbidden acts and performing obligatory acts [Faraid]. According to some Islamic scholars, Taqwa signifies refraining from insistence upon evil deeds and pride over obedience. Some say, one should not do what Allah Almighty has forbidden. According to some scholars, one of the characteristics of Taqwa is to obey the beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions (may Allah be pleased with them). All these meanings have mutual appropriation and there is no contradiction in terms of their objectives.
Taqwa has several characteristics. Taqwa of the commons [Awam] is to believe and abstain from disbelieving. Taqwa of Khawas [exclusives] is to obey what is commanded and refrain from evil. And Taqwa of Khawas al-Khawas [exclusive of the exclusives] is to give up doing everything which keeps them away or make them forget Allah Almighty.
Some learned jurists and experts of the Quran say, Taqwa is of seven types; 1) refraining from Kufr [denial or rejection of Islamic Truth], 2) abstaining from corrupt beliefs and being on the path of Sunnah 3) being away from every major sin [Kabira] 4) keeping away from minor sins [Saghira] 5) refraining from doubts 6) desisting from lust and 7) refraining from turning towards anyone other than Allah Almighty. The holy Quran guides the Muttaqin to all these seven kinds of Taqwa. [Tafsir al-Khazin (Arabic)/ Khazain al-Irfan on Kanzul Iman (Urdu) /Hashiyat Muhiyuddin Sheikh Zada v. 1 (Arabic)]
The following are some verses of the Quran in which the word Taqwa and its derivatives can be seen.
“So is one who established his foundation upon the fear [Taqwa] of Allah and upon His pleasure better, or the one who laid his foundation upon the brink of a falling precipice, so it fell along with him into the fire of hell? And Allah does not guide the unjust.” [9:109]
“So it is; and whoever reveres the symbols of Allah – this is then part of the piety [Taqwa] of the hearts.” [22:32]
“O mankind! Worship your Lord, Who has created you and those before you, in the hope of attaining piety [Tattaqun].” [2:21]
“And if you are unable to bring forth (one chapter) – and We declare that you can never bring one – then fear [Fattaqu] the fire (of hell), the fuel of which is men and stones; kept ready for the disbelievers.” [2:24]
“And believe in what I have sent down confirming that which is [already] with you, and be not the first to disbelieve in it. And do not exchange My signs for a small price, and fear [only] Me [Fattaqun]” [2:41]
“And [Wattaqu] fear the Day (of Resurrection) when no soul will be exchanged for another, nor will any intercession be accepted for the disbelievers, nor will they be set free in lieu of compensation nor will they be helped.” [2:48]
“And when We made a covenant with you and raised the Mount above you; “Accept and hold fast to what We give you, and remember what is in it, so that you may attain piety [Tattaqun].” [2:63]
“So We made this incident (of that town) a warning to the surrounding towns (others of their time) and to succeeding generations, and a lesson for the pious [Muttaqin].” [2:66]
“And had they believed and been pious [Wattaqu], then the recompense from Allah is extremely good; if only they knew!” [2:103]
“Basic virtue is not just to turn faces to the East and the West, but true righteousness is that one must believe in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the Book and the Prophets; and out of love for Allah, to give treasured wealth to relatives and to the orphans and the needy and the traveller, and to those who ask, and to set slaves free; and to keep the prayer established and to pay the charity; and those who fulfil their obligations when they make an agreement; and the patient during times of calamity, in hardships and during holy war; it is they who have proved true to their word; it is they who are the pious [Muttaqun].” [2:177]
“And there is for you in legal retribution [saving of] life, O you [people] of understanding, that you may become righteous [Tattaqun].” [2:179]
“It is ordained for you that when death approaches one of you, and he leaves behind wealth, he must bequeath it to parents and near relatives in accordance with tradition; this is a duty upon the pious [Muttaqin].” [2:180]
“O People who Believe! Fasting is made compulsory for you, like it was ordained for those before you, so that you may attain piety [Tattaqun].” [2:183]
“Going to your wives during the nights of the fast is made lawful for you; they are coverings for you and you are coverings for them; Allah knows that you were deceiving yourselves (in this respect), so He accepted your penance and forgave you; so cohabit with them and seek what Allah has destined for you – and eat and drink until the white thread becomes distinct to you from the black thread at dawn – then complete the fast till nightfall; and do not touch women while staying in seclusion for worship in the mosques; these are the limits imposed by Allah, so do not go near them; this is how Allah explains His verses to mankind so that they may attain piety [Yattaqun].” [2:187]
“They ask you, (O dear Prophet Mohammed – peace and blessings be upon him), regarding the crescents; say, “They are indicators of time for mankind and for Hajj (the pilgrimage)”; and it is not a virtue at all that you enter the houses by demolishing their back portions, but in reality virtue is piety; and enter the houses using their gates – and keep fearing [Wattaqu] Allah, hoping that you achieve success.” [2:189]
“The sacred month for the sacred month, and respect in lieu of respect; harm the one who harms you, to the extent as he did – and keep fearing Allah, and know well that Allah is with the pious [Muttaqin].” [2:194]
“And perform Hajj (greater pilgrimage) and Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) for Allah; and if you are prevented, send sacrifice whatever is available; and do not shave your heads until the sacrifice reaches its destination; so whoever among you is sick or has an ailment in the head, must pay a compensation by fasting or charity or sacrifice; then when you are in peace – and whoever takes the advantage of combining the Hajj and Umrah, it is compulsory for him to sacrifice whatever is available; and whoever cannot afford it, must fast for three days while on the pilgrimage, and seven when you have returned to your homes; these are ten in all; this decree is for him who is not a resident of Mecca; and keep fearing [Wattaqu] Allah and know well that Allah’s punishment is severe.” [2:196]
“The Hajj is during the well-known months; and for one who intends to perform the Hajj in it – neither is there to be mention of cohabitation in the presence of women, nor any sin, nor a fight with anyone till the completion of Hajj; and whatever good you do, Allah knows it; and take provision along with you for the best provision is piety; and keep fearing Me [Wattaquni], O men of understanding!” [2:197]
“And among them are some that say, “Our Lord! Give us good in the world and good in the Hereafter, and save us [Waqina] from the punishment of fire!” [2:201]
“And remember Allah in the counted days; so whoever hastens by departing in two days, there is no sin on him; and whoever stays on, there is no sin for him – for the pious [li-man-Ittaqa]; and keep fearing [Wattaqu] Allah, and know well that it is to Him you will be raised.” [2:203]
In addition to the afore-mentioned verses, the following verses also mention the word Taqwa and its derivatives.
Surah Baqarah 206, 212, 223, 224, 231, 233, 237, 241, 278, 281, 282, 283
Surah Ale Imran: 15, 16, 28, 50, 76, 102, 115, 120, 123, 125, 130, 131, 133, 138, 172, 179, 186, 191, 198, 200
Surah an-Nisa: 1, 9, 77, 128, 129, 131
Surah Al-Maidah: 2, 4, 7, 8, 11, 27, 35, 46, 57, 65, 88, 93, 96, 100, 108, 112
Surah al-Anaam: 32, 51, 69, 72, 153, 155
Surah al-A’raaf: 26, 35, 63, 65, 96, 128, 156, 164, 169, 171, 201,
Surah Anfaal: 1, 25, 29, 34, 56, 69,
Surah al-Tawbah: 4, 7, 36, 44, 108, 115, 119, 123,
Surah Yunus: 6, 31, 63/ Surah Hud: 49, 78/ Surah Yusuf: 57, 90, 109
Surah al-Ra’ad: 34, 35, 37 / Surah al-Hajar: 45, 69,
Surah Al-Nahl: 2, 30, 31, 52, 81, 128, / Surah Maryam: 13, 18, 63, 72, 85, 97
Surah Taha: 113, 132/ Surah Al-Anbiya: 48 / Surah Al-Haj: 1, 37,
Surah al-Mu’minun: 23, 32, 52, 87/ Surah al-Nur: 34, 52/ Surah al-Furqan: 15, 74,
Surah al-Shu’ara: 11, 90, 106, 108, 110, 124, 126, 131, 132, 142, 144, 150, 161, 163, 177, 179, 184,
Surah al-Naml: 53/ Surah Al-Qisas: 83/ Surah al-‘Ankabut:16/ Surah al-Rum: 31 / Surah Luqman: 33/ Surah al-Ahzab: 1, 32, 37, 55, 70 Surah Yasin: 45 / Surah al-Saffat: 124/ Surah Saad: 28, 49/ Surah al-Zumar: 10, 16, 20, 24, 28, 33, 57, 61, 73/ Surah Ghafir: 7, 9, 21, 45/ Surah Fussilat: 18/ Surah al-Zukhruf: 35, 63, 67/
Surah al-dukhan: 51, 56/ Surah al-Jithiya: 19/ Surah Muhammad: 15, 17, 36/
Surah al-Fath: 26/ Surah al-Hajarat: 1, 3, 10, 12, 13/ Surah Qaaf: 31/
Surah Al-dhariyat: 15/ Surah al-Tur: 17, 18, 27/ Surah al-Najm: 32/
Surah al-Qamar: 54, Surah al-Hadid: 28/ Surah al-Mujadalah: 9/
Surah al-Hashr: 7, 9, 18/ Surah al-Mumtahinah: 11/ Surah al-Taghabun: 16/
Surah al-Talaq: 1, 2, 4, 5, 10/ Surah al-Tahreem: 6/ Surah al-Qalam: 34/
Surah al-Haqqah: 48/ Surah Nuh: 3/ Surah al-Muzzamil: 17/ Surah al-Muddaththir: 56/ Surah al-Insan: 11,
Surah al-Mursalat: 41/ Surah al-Naba’: 31/ Surah al-Shams: 8/ Surah al-Layl: 5, 17/ Surah al-‘Alaq: 12
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