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Taqwā (Arabic: التقوى, God-wariness) is a moral term meaning "to keep away from sins and to obey God's orders". The Qur'an considers taqwa requirement for surviving the hellfire and for acceptance of one's deeds which brings about blessings to the person and relieves him of afflictions in the world. The frequent repetition of this word in the Qur'an and hadiths shows its significant position.

In addition to the many hadiths discussing this issue, Imam 'Ali's (a) sermon 193 in Nahj al-balagha known as al-Muttaqin Sermon (the Pious sermon) is dedicated to qualities of the God-wary.

Taqwa has different levels and the criteria for how close people are to God are these levels: Keeping away from sins, keeping away from doubtful deeds, keeping away from unnecessary permissible actions and occupation of heart by God.

Literal Meaning

The word "taqwa" is derived from the root of "W-Q-Y" (و-ق-ی) meaning "to preserve and protect from harm and evil". It is said that this word has been originally "waqwa" (وقوی) the first "Wa" of which has changed to "ta'". The subjective nouns derived from it are "taqī" (تَقي) and "muttaqī" (مُتقّي) meaning "God-wary".

Position of Taqwa in the Qur'an

In the glorious Qur'an, the word "taqwa" has been mentioned 17 times and its derivations have been mentioned more than 200 times. The Qur'an only considers the actions of the God-wary accepted and actions whose base is not taqwa will be disregarded[1].

While the Qur'an mentions some rulings of hajj, it enjoins to good deeds and mentions taqwa as the best provision[2]. Also in another verse, people's level in taqwa has been introduced as the criterion for the value of human beings before God