earnest declaration of Sahada is the first step to become a Muttaqi.
This declaration made us Muslims, and brought us closer to Allah. Once
a Muslim, we also strive to be better at our deen. We work hard
to improve our spirituality. If we are doing that, then we are striving
to become a Muttaqi.
a muttaqi is a step above being a Muslim. While all muttaqis are definitely
Muslims, not all Muslims are muttaqi. This brings us to the discussion
that who is a muttaqi and how can we become one. Before we can attempt
to become a muttaqi, it is imperative that we know what does muttaqi mean.
It is equally important to know the criteria that would lead to being
word 'muttaqi' comes from a root word of 'waqa', which means saving or
guarding. Although there may not be a single English word that would truly
reflect the meaning of Al-Muttaqin, probably the closest is the
'reverent', as translated by Dr. Zohurul Hoque. Others have translated
it as "those who fear Allah", "those who keep their duty", "those who
guard against evil", "those who ward off (evil)", "those who preserve
themselves from evil and follow the straight path". We have to fear Allah,
but this fear should be combined with a sincere love. The closest example
could be the love of a child towards her parents, she loves her parents
yet she is careful not to irritate or annoy them. She can appraoch her
parents whenever she wants to, but she knows that she will be spanked
if she crosses her boundaries.
verses of Surah Al-Baqarah (2:3-4) characterizes a muttaqi:
believes in the al-ghaib or the Unseen, which our ordinary
senses can not perceive. This belief is not based on blind faith, but
after seeing the clear proof in Al-Burhan (A manifest Proof)
of the Unseen. Such a belief, based on knowledge, is much stronger and
unshakable than a mere belief without seeing or without knowing. Al-ghaib
does not suggest 'belief without seeing', rather belief in the Unseen.
Salat. It is important to note that Allah has specified a
particular type of prayer, i.e. Salat. Salat arguably is the best form
of prayer. It embodies both physical and spiritual aspects of praying
to One Allah. While there are many other forms of prayer, such as du'a,
fasting, charity, kindness, but none can match the impact of Salat.
When a person establishes Salat, he is striving to be punctual and disciplined.
He is also shedding any hint of racism or class formation. As an imam
of the Salat, he is developing leadership qualities. As a muqtadi, he
learns to follow the leader. These qualities, that can be enhanced by
Salat, lead a person to be a muttaqi. A person, who has proclaimed Sahada,
but is unmindful to Salat, cannot develop these qualities. By stating
the Shahada, he has become a Muslim, but is far from being a muttaqi.
in good causes from what Allah has provided. This is not limited
to charity, rather spending in all good causes including providing for
your own family. If we spend, instead of hoarding money, we allow economy
to florish, the impact of which will be felt by all. Of course, if we
spend in charity, we have directly helped the needy. Hoarding will not
help any, probably not even the hoarder as the currency might devalue
in the revealation to Muhammad (pbuh) and the earlier prophets, and
in the Herafter.
Finest teaching came to us through Prophet Muhammad, and also the earlier
prophets. We must follow their examples and teachings, and we should
remember that we will be judged for our actions.
In a different section of Surah Al-Baqarah (2:183),
has been prescribed for us to become muttaqi.
complete meaning of the word al-Muttaqin can hardly be accomplished
even with most elaborate explanations. The selection of the word "reverent"
possibly cannot do justice to the Arabic word Muttaqin. However, it is
fairly close to express the meaning with a single word.