The Signs of Fear
Know dear Muslim brothers and sisters, we can find out whether we fear Allah or are oblivious of him through some simple tests. Here are some of them:
- The tongue informs us: if we talk evil, backbite and engage in frivolous gossip, it shows that there is very little concern. We should engage our tongues in the remembrance of Allah, in the recitation of the Qur'an and in circles of knowledge.
- In the heart we should expel hatred, enmity and jealousy and replace them with well-wishing and care for Muslims.
- We should be careful of what we put in our stomachs.
- Our eyes should not wander off to look at haram objects.
- Our feet should not walk towards haram places.
- We should not extend our hands for haram purposes.
- We should be concerned in our good deeds that we don't perform them for anyone else except Allah.
The Reasons For Fearing Allah
O servants of Allah, there are many reasons why we should fear. The following is a list of a number of them:
- the fear of death before repenting;
- the fear of not living up to one's repentance and breaking one's promise;
- the fear of not being able to fulfil Allah’s obligations;
- the fear of losing one's softness in the heart and its hardening;
- the fear of losing consistency;
- the fear of allowing temptations to dominate;
- the fear of Allah making one's self responsible for doing goods deeds because of conceit;
- the fear of becoming arrogant and egotistical due to the abundance of bounties;
- the fear of being distracted from Allah by other creation;
- the fear of being led to an evil ending through excessive bounties;
- the fear of being punished early (i.e. in this world);
- the fear of being disgraced at the time of death;
- the fear of being beguiled by the glitter of this world;
- the fear of Allah revealing one's secret in one's state of oblivion;
- the fear of being stamped with a bad death at the time of death;
- the fear of the pangs of death;
- the fear of the questions of Munkar and Nakir in the grave;
- the fear of the punishment of the grave;
- the fear of the horrors of the horizon (at the time of resurrection);
- the fear of the awe during the presentation in front of Allah;
- the fear and the shame of being naked (at the time of resurrection);
- the fear of being questioned about every little thing in life;
- the fear of the bridge (over Hell) and its sharpness; the fear of the fire, its chains and its torment;
- the fear of being deprived of Paradise, the Eternal and everlasting kingdom and abode; and
- the fear of being deprived of seeing Allah's tremendous visage.
The jurist of Samarkand says that the person who does one good deed should be weary of four things (imagine what a person who commits a sin should be afraid of):
- The fear of not being accepted because Allah says, "Allah only accepts from those who fear." [Al-Qur'an 5:27]
- The fear of showing off, for Allah says, "They have been instructed to worship Allah sincerely; religion is for him Alone. " [Al-Qur'an 98:5]
- The fear of preserving the good deed because Allah says, "Whoever brings a good deed shall have ten times its reward. " [Al-Qur'an 6:161]
- The fear of being deserted in performing good deeds, for Allah says, "My reconciliation (with good) is only through Allah; it is upon Him that I trust and it is to Him that I resort." [Al-Qur'an 11:88]
The Fruits of Fear
Imam al-Ghazali (rahmatullahi 'alayhi) said: "Fear rips away desires and muddens 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. It also enables the heart to rid itself of pride, hatred, and envy; and it leaves it absorbed in it (fear). Hence, the heart becomes preoccupied with its own worries and looks towards its best interest in the long run. It is then engaged in only matters like meditation, self-analysis and struggle. It cherishes its time and moments." [Ihya, 4/160]
'Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak (rahimahullah) said about fear:
"When night befalls, they endure it
and see it through bowing in ruku.
Fear has released their sleep, so they stand
and acquire security in vigilance."
Hasan ibn Hani (rahimahullah) composed the following (it has been credited to Imam ash-Shafi'i (rahimahullah)):
"Fear Allah and hope for every good thing from Him;
Don't follow your adamant self, lest you regret it;
Remain in between hope and fear
and you will rejoice with the Pardon of Allah if you submit."
[Muajjam al-'Udaba: 17/303 credited to Imam Shafi'i and also in the Divan of Hasan]
(s) The Purification of the Soul from the works of Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah and Abu Hamid al-Ghazali
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