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Who Are The True Muttaqeen (Possessors Of Taqwa)?

20th August 2013

To have complete taqwa or protection from Allaah's anger and punishment, one must perform all of the obligatory

deeds that he is capable of and remain away from all of the forbidden acts and doubtful matters. Some scholars also state that the person must also perform the recommended acts and remain away from the disapproved acts. This, obviously, is the highest level of taqwa. These are the people who truly deserve the title muttaqeen, "the people possessing taqwa".

In the same way that a true believer is only the one who fulfills all of the obligations of Imaan, the only ones who deserve the title of muttaqeen are those who fulfill all of the requirements of taqwa. These requirements include both mental as well as behavioural acts. These are the true muttaqeen who are described in the verse of the Qur'an,

"It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness, and each and every act of obedience to Allaah, etc.) that you turn your faces towards east and (or) west (in prayers); but Al-Birr is (the quality of) the one who believes in Allaah, the Last Day, the Angels, the Book, the Prophets and gives his wealth, in spite of love for it, to the kinsfolk, to the orphans, and to Al-Masakin (the poor), and to the wayfarer, and to those who ask, and to set slaves free, performs As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and gives the Zakat, and who fulfill their covenant when they make it, and who are As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.) in extreme poverty and ailment (disease) and at the time of fighting (during the battles). Such are the people of the truth and they are Al-Muttaqeen." (Soorah al-Baqarah, 2:177)

This ultimate level of taqwa, which is the true and complete taqwa, has been described in a number of statements from the early scholars. For example, Talq Ibn Habeeb رحمه الله once profoundly stated, "Taqwa is to act in obedience to Allaah, upon light from Allaah, hoping for reward from Allaah; [it is also to] avoid acts of disobedience to Allaah, upon light from Allaah and fearing Allaah's punishment." [1]

From this quote, one can note that it is essential that the obedience to Allaah be according to the light or guidance from Allaah سبحانه و تعالى while hoping for His reward. At the same time, avoiding an act must also be because of what the Sharee'ah has stated about that act while realising that if one were to perform that act, he would be punished by Allaah سبحانه و تعالى.

Ath-Thauri رحمه الله said, "They are called muttaqeen because they even guard against things that are not to be guarded against." [2]

And in discussing the verse,

"O you who believe! Have taqwa of Allaah as is His right to have taqwa. And die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims) with complete submission to Allaah." (Soorah Aal 'Imraan, 3:102),

Sayyiduna 'Abdullaah Ibn Mas'ood رضي الله عنه said that it means, "That He should be obeyed and not disobeyed, He should be remembered and not forgotten and that He should be thanked and be not ungrateful to." [3]

Again, like imaan, taqwa has different levels to it. There is the minimum level that is required to save oneself from eternal punishment in Hell and there is the higher level of those who deserve the title of mutaqqeen. Al-Aloosi رحمه الله wrote,

"Linguistically wiqaayah means seeking protection or guarding oneself in general. In the Sharee'ah, it is for a person to guard himself from what is harmful in the Hereafter. It is of different levels that correspond to the different levels of possible harm. The first level is to protect and keep oneself from shirk [associating partners with Allaah سبحانه و تعالى]. The second level is to refrain from the great sins, and this includes performing a minor sin on a continual basis. And the third level is what is alluded to in what is recorded by at-Tirmidhi from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, 'A person will not reach the level of the muttaqeen until he leaves something in which there is no harm out of fear that it may contain some harm.' [4] This level is reflected in remaining away from even the minor sins." [5]

Ar-Raazi رحمه الله states that there is a difference of opinion of over whether or not a person who commits minor sins is deserving to be called a muttaqi (singular of muttaqeen). He stated,

"[The scholars] differ about whether or not avoiding the minor sins is considered an aspect of taqwa. Some of them say that it is in the same way that there is also a threatened punishment for the minor sins. Others say that it is not included. However, there is no difference of opinion that it is obligatory to repent from such sins. The difference of opinion is only concerning whether or not a person who does not avoid the minor sins is deserving to be called a person of taqwa." [6]

According to Ahmad Fareed, for one to have complete taqwa and be from the muttaqeen, one must also avoid the minor sins, the doubtful matters and the disapproved deeds. The complete taqwa is where one strives his best to avoid all sorts of sins, major or minor. He also strives to perform different acts of obedience, both obligatory and recommended. In this way, he will be having the complete and true taqwa that is referred to in the verse, explained by Sayyiduna 'Abdullaah Ibn Mas'ood رضي الله عنه above,

"O you who believe! Have taqwa of Allaah as is His right to have taqwa. And die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims) with complete submission to Allaah." (Soorah Aali 'Imraan, 3:102) [7]

This is the concept of taqwa that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم advised his followers concerning. The final result of having this taqwa can be clearly noted in the following verse of the Qur'an:

"And enjoin As-Salat (the prayer) on your family, and be patient in offering them [i.e. the Salat (prayers)]. We ask not of you a provision (i.e. to give Us something: money, etc.); We provide for you. And the good end (i.e. Paradise) is for the Muttaqeen." (Soorah Taa Haa, 20:132) [8]


[1] Quoted in Ibn Rajab, Jaami', vol. 1, p. 400

[2] Quoted in Ibn Rajab, Jaami', vol. 1, p. 401

[3] Quoted in Ibn Rajab, Jaami', vol. 1, p. 401

[4] As a hadeeth of the Prophet (peace be upon him), this is not considered an authentic hadeeth. (See al-Albaani, Da'eef al-Jaami', p. 912.) However, it is a statement of one of the Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him). It has been narrated as a statement of Abud-Dardaa' and something similar has also been narrated from Shahr Ibn Haushab (may Allaah be pleased with them both).

[5] Mahmood al-Aloosi, Rooh al-Ma'aani fee Tafseer al-Qur'aan al-'Adheem was-Saba al-Mathaani (Cairo: Maktabah Daar at-Turaath, n.d.), vol. 1, p. 108.

[6] Ar-Raazi, vol. 2, p. 20.

[7] Fareed, at-Taqwa, pp. 14-15.

[8] Shaykh Jamaaluddeen Zarabozo, Commentary on the Forty Hadeeth of Imam An-Nawawi رحمه الله, vol. 1, pp. 578-581
posted by Seifeddine-M on 20th August 2013 - 0 comments


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