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Usage of some Qur’ānic Terms (1)
Amin Ahsan Islahi
(Tr. by:Tariq Haashmi)

1. Al-Dīn1 (اَلدِّيْن)

This word has been used in the Holy Qur’ān to connote the following:

i) Religion and the religious law as in:

أَفَغَيْرَ دِيْنِ اللهِ يَبْغُوْنَ (٨٣:٣)

Do they seek religions other than those sanctioned by God? (3:83)

ii) Law of the land as in:

مَا كَانَ لِيَأْخُذَ اَخَاهُ فِيْ دِيْنِ الْمَلِكِ (٧٤:١٢)

He could not hold his brother according to the law of the king. (12:74)

iii) Submission as in:

وَلَهُ مَافِي السَّماوَاتِ وَالْاَرْضِ وَلَهُ الدِّيْنُ وَاصِا ً(١٦: ٥٢)

Whatever is in the heavens and in the earth belongs to him and surrender before him forever is necessary. (16:52)

 iv) Reward as in:

  إِنَّ الدِّيْنَ لَوَاقِعٌ

Indeed the Day of Judgment is destined to come. (51:6)

2. Al-Kitāb2 (الْكِتَابُ)

This word has been used in the Holy Qur’ān to connote the following:

i) A pre-decided matter as in:

لَوْلَا كِتَابٌ مِنَ اللهِ سَبَقَ لَمَسَّكُمْ فِي مَا أَخَذْتُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيْمٌ (٦٨:٨)

Had it not been for a previous ordainment from Allah, a severe penalty would have reached you for what you did. (8:68)

ii) The register of God in which He keeps all records as in:

  عِْندَنَا كِتَابٌ حَفِيْظٌ (٤:٥٠)

With us is book keeping all accounts. (50:4)

iii) Letter or messages as in:

 إِنِّىْ أُلْقِيَ إِلَيَّ كِتَابٌ كَرِيْمٌ (٢٩:٢٧)

Indeed I have been sent a letter worthy of respect. (27:29)

iv) Divine Laws as in:

وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ  (٢:٦٢)

And he will teach them the law and the wisdom. (62:2)

v) Revealed word of God either fully or part of it. Example of the former is:

وَالَّذِيْنَ يُمَسِّكُوْنَ بِالْكِتَابَ وَاَقَامُوْالصَّلَوةَ (١٧٠:٧)

And to those who hold fast by the book of Allah and establish prayer. (7:170)

Example of the latter is:

اَلمَ ْتَرَ إِلَى الَّذِيْنَ أُوْتُوْا نَصِيْبًا مِّنَ اْلكِتَابِ يُدْعَوْنَ إِلَى كِتَابِ اللهِ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَهُمْ (٢٣:٣)

Did you not notice those who have been given a portion of the Book of Allah? They are being invited to the book of Allah, so that it may decide their disputes. (3:23)

3. Hudā3 (هُدًى)

The word Hudā is used in the Holy Book to connote the following meanings:

i.      The light and guidance of the heart as in:

وَالَّذِيْنَ اهْتَدَوْا ذَادَهُمْ هُدًى (١٧:٤٧)

And those who received guidance the Lord increased them in guidance. (47:17)

 ii.    Guidance or the mark of the way as in:

وَاَجِدُ إِلَى النَّارِ هُدًى (١٠:٢٠)

And I may find marks of the way from the fire. (20:10)

Another example is:

 بِغَيْرِ عِلْمً وَلَا هُدًى وَلَا كِتَابٍ مُنِيْرٍ (٨:٢٢)

Without knowledge and guidance from the Lord and an open and clear book. (22:8)

iii. Straight and clear path as in:

 إِنَّكَ لَعَلَى هُدًى مُّسْتَقِيْمٌ  (٦٨:٢٢)

Indeed you are in the straight and clear path. (22:68)

From this word developed the meaning of the Sharī‘ah and the law as in:

فَبِهُدَاهُمُ اقْتَدِهْ (٩٠:٦)

So you should follow their Sharī‘ah. (6:90)


 إِنَّ الْهُدَى هُدَاللهِ  (٧٢:٣)

Indeed the true Sharī‘ah is the one given by Almighty. (3:72)

iv. The act of guiding as in:

لَيْسَ عَلَيْكَ هُدَاهُمْ وَلَكِنَّ الله َيَهْدِيْ مَنْ يَّشَاءُ (٢٧٢:٢)

It is not your responsibility to set them on the right path, but the Almighty sets on the right path whom He pleases. (2:272)

4. Muttaqī4 (مُتَّقِي)

The word is derived from Itqā (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 when these sins are indulged in. 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)

 (Translated by Tariq Hashmi)





1. Islāhī, Amīn Ahsan, Tadabbur-i-Qur’ān, 1st ed., vol. 1, (Lahore: Faran Foundation, 1983), p. 57

2. Islāhī, Amīn Ahsan, Tadabbur-i-Qur’ān, 1st ed., vol. 1, (Lahore: Faran Foundation, 1983), p. 86

3. Islāhī, Amīn Ahsan, Tadabbur-i-Qur’ān, 1st ed., vol. 1, (Lahore: Faran Foundation, 1983), pp. 87-8

4. Islāhī, Amīn Ahsan, Tadabbur-i-Qur’ān, 1st ed., vol. 1, (Lahore: Faran Foundation, 1983), pp. 88-9

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