According to Tafsir ibn Kathir, the root meaning of taqwa is to avoid what one dislikes. It was reported that Umar bin Khattab asked Ubay ibn Kaab about Taqwa. Ubay said, "Have you ever walked on a path that has thorns on it?" Umar said, "Yes." Ubay said, "What did you do then?" He said, "I rolled up my sleeves and struggled." Ubay said, "That is taqwa."
Ibn Abbas said about verse 2:5 in the Quran, "guidance for the Muttaqin", that it means, "They are the believers who avoid Schirk with Allah and who work in His obedience." He also said that Al-Muttaqin means, "Those who fear Allah's (swt) Punishment, which would result if thye abandoned the true guidance that they recognize and know. They also hope in Allah's Mercy by believing in what He revealed."