Meaning Of The Word Muttaqi


What is the meaning of the word "muttaqi"? Is it true that according to the Qur'ān, the most honorable to Allah is muttaqi?


The word muttaqi is a derivation of itqa (اِتْقَاءٌ), which is used in the Holy Qur'an in the following connotations:

i) To avoid something from which we fear some loss as in:

فَكَيْفَ تَتَّفُوْنَ إِنْ كَفَرْتُمْ يَوْمًا يَّجْعَلُ الْوِلْدَانَ شِيْباً (١٧:٧٣)

If you denied how will you avoid the day whose seriousness will turn the children old. (73:17)

ii) Fear a forthcoming disaster as in:

وَاتَّقُوْا فِتْنَةً لَّا تُصِيْبَنَّ الَّذِيْنَ ظَلَمُوْا مِنْكُمْ خَاصَّةً (٢٥:٨)

And fear the punishment which will not target only those who have done wrong. (8:25)

iii) To fear the Almighty, the omnipresent and omniscient, who bestows His mercies upon the grateful and the faithful among his people and dislikes ungratefulness and sacrilegious acts as in:

وَسِيْقَ اَّلذِيْنَ اتَّقَوْا رَبَّهُمْ إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ زُمَرًا (٧٣:٣٩)

And those who feared their Lord will be led to Paradise in groups. (39:73)

iv. The word sometimes takes all the above-mentioned meanings and connotes fear sin and its evil consequences, as well as, the Lord's rage if one indulges in these sins. This shade of usage is formed when the object is not mentioned as in:

وَ إِنْ تُؤْمِنُوْا وَ تَتَّقُوْا فَلَكُمْ اَجْرٌ عَظِيْمٌ (١٧٩:٣)

And if you believe and fear you will have a reward without measure. (3:179)

The Qur'an clearly tells that it in the sight of God Almighty the muttaqin hold the highest status. God says:

إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ

The Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. (Q. 49:13)

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