The root of the term TAQWA (تقوی) is W-Q-Y (و- ق- ی).
The first form (I) of the verb (وقی) has the following meanings:
- To guard (something/someone)
- To preserve (something/someone)
- To take good care (of something/someone)
- To take precautionary measure (to protect something)
- To safeguard, shield, preserve, shelter or protect (someone) from (something)
The term TAQWA (تقوی) is related to the 8th form (VIII) of the verb, which is ITTAQA (اِتّقی). This form of the verb implies the action of the verb for oneself or for one’s own advantage. This verb form also implies diligence in the action of the verb. Hence, the verb ITTAQA (اِتّقی) and its related noun TAQWA (تقوی ) literally mean:
To safeguard, preserve, shield or protect oneself diligently (from something harmful)
MUTTAQI, in general, refers to someone who is cautious and conscientious. It may also refer to someone who while walking along a thorny passage takes every possible care that his clothes are not caught or torn by the thorns. In the Quran MUTTAQI, at most places, refers to someone who takes every possible care to protect himself from the harmful consequences of disobeying Allah’s laws and Commands.
The Arabic phrase ITTAQA –al-MATR (اِتّقی المطر) means: He sought shelter for himself from the rain.
ITTAQOO –an-Naar (اِتّقو النار) means: protect yourself from fire.
ITTAQOO-(A)LLAH (اِتّقو اللہ) means: protect yourself diligently from (the harmful consequences of disobeying) Allah(‘s Laws and Commands)
TAQWA (تقوی) also means preservation (of one’s self) from disintegration OR maintaining integrity. WIQAAYA (وِقایہ) means a preservative.