Saturday, December 20, 2008

Fearing Allah

In Islam this fear is called Taqwa . It is more than just fear , however , it is also reverence and awe . It is a fear that motivates , not one that cripples , because true fear motivates the servant to obey the injunctions of his Lord . When we fear something in the creation we run away from it . On the other hand , when we fear Allah we run to Him and seek refuge in Him . For Abu Quasi said , '' Whoever fears something run's away from it , and whoever fears Allah run's to Him .'' ( Ihya Uloom Addeen ) . Also , Abu Hafs said , '' Khauf ( fear ) is the whip of Allah that disciplines those who desert Him . Khauf is lamp in the heart ; a person can see by it's light what is good and what is evil . Everybody who fears creation runs away from it . Those who fear Allah run to Him .'' ( Madarij Salikeen ) .

Allah , subhanahu wa ta'ala , orders us , '' O you who believe ! Fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die unless you are in the state of submission.'' [ 3:102 ] . Yet despite this , most of us have fallen into the trap of the Satan . He makes us promises that wipe out this fear that is so essential to our success . He robs it from our hearts with each act of disobedience , leaving us weak and propped up with false hopes . Hopes of a long life and of time to change our ways – later .

When we sin , we brush it away like a knat saying Allah is the Most Merciful and the Most Beneficent . We have forgotten that He is also the Most Severe in Punishment . We go through our days with very little , if any fear of Him and His punishment in our hearts . We do not fear death , what awaits us in the graves or standing before Him naked and uncircumcised . But we should , because by fearing Allah we attain for ourselves the best provision for this life and the hereafter . For Allah says , '' And make provisions , for the best provision is Taqwa . Fear Allah O people of intelligence .'' [ 2:197 ] .

So if we were truly smart people , we would fear Allah , and through fearing Allah , attain the good that comes from doing so . What good comes from fearing Allah , you ask ? Well for starters , Paradise . Allah promises , '' And as for he who fears the rank of his Lord and prevents his self from desires , Paradise is certainly his abode .'' [ 79:40 ] . Commenting on this verse , Ibn Kathir said that this is a person who fears standing in front of Allah . He fears His command and it forces him back into obeying Allah . ( Tafseer Ibn Kathir ) .

Another benefit of fearing Allah in this worldly life is freedom from fear in the next . Allah says that those who fear say , '' We only fear a day of frowning and distress from the side of our Lord .'' [ 76:10 ] . About this verse Ibn Kathir said that this is in the hope that Allah will protect them on that day and show them His Grace . ( Tafseer Ibn Kathir ) .

This fear was something that the companions of Prophet , sallallahu alyhe wa sallam , had in abundance . It distinguished and honored them in this life and purchased for them the Grace of their Lord . About them Ali said , '' By Allah I have seen the Companions of the Prophet , sallallahu alyhe wa sallam , such that I have not seen anybody like them today . They used to wake up as if they had ridden goats all night with their clothes and hair disheveled . They spent the night performing bowing and prostration for Allah , reciting the Book and altering between their feet and foreheads . And when they awoke in the morning , they remembered Allah an dremained like a tree ( whose branches ) swaying in the wind with their eyes pouring tears so much that they wet their clothes . Now , it seems as if people are going to sleep completely oblivious and unaware .'' ( Ihya Uloom Addeen ) .

But we are not like this . Our desires have overtaken us and false hopes have hardened our hearts . The only thing that can remedy this situation is for us to re-acquire the fear of Allah , subhanahu wa ta'ala . For Imam Ghazali stated , '' Fear rips away desires and muddies luxuries so that cherished sins become reprehensible , just as a honey lover is repelled by it when he learns that it has poison in it . This is how fear burns desires ; disciplines the organs ; subordinates the heart and gives it tranquility .'' ( Ihya Uloom Addeen ) .

The fear of the believers in Allah , should draw them closer to Him . We should not be without fear , because this leads to disobedience , which leads to Hellfire . We should also not be so fearful that it leads to despondency and hopelessness . We should walk in between these two , and know that by doing so Allah will reward us . As Imam Shafi'i said , '' Fear Allah and hope for every good thing from Him . Do not follow your adamant self , lest you regret it . Remain between hope and fear and you will rejoice with the pardon of Allah if you submit .'' ( Muajjamul Udaba ) .

Taken From: Al-Jumuah Magazine


  1. Beautiful, ma shaa Allah. Jazackallah khair for this wonderful reminder my sister, and may Allah reward you for your efforts. Ameen

  2. Jazak Allah Khairan ..... Ameen ....


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