* This is the Book in which there is no doubt, a guidance for the reverent,
2 This verse could also be read, “This is the Book, without doubt containing a guidance for the reverent.” One can pause after Book or doubt, but not both. Though usually understood as This, the initial pronoun could also be read as “That” (“That is the Book”), which would be correct in referring to the known portion of the Quran (R). Since al-Baqarah was revealed in Madinah, a good deal of the Quran would have been revealed already, even though in the order of the text only the Fātiḥah precedes it. Alternately, some have mentioned the possibility that “That” refers to the Quran inscribed on the Preserved Tablet (see 85:22). The Book is used as a proper name for the Quran, among others such as the Criterion (al-Furqān; see 25:1).
Reverent translates muttaqīn, which comes from the central Quranic concept of
taqwā, rendered in this translation as reverence. Taqwā comes from the root w-q-y, which evokes the sense of wariness, care, and protection. As it concerns the attitude of human beings toward God, taqwā conveys the sense of fear, mindfulness, and a constant awareness of God’s Presence and Power. As evidenced in this verse and many others (such as 49:13: Surely the most noble of you before God are the most reverent of you), reverence is a central spiritual virtue in the Quran along with such other qualities as trust (tawakkul), hope (rajāʾ), piety (birr), fear (khawf), and contentment (riḍā).