ALLAH COMMANDS IN THE QUR'AN THAT HE BE
Fearing Allah is not, as assumed by some people, an exclusive trait of
prophets and those who are especially near to Him but rather it is a feeling
carried within the hearts of all believers, and a feeling that should
be held by all humanity. Allah's command in the Qur'an is clear:
You who believe! Fear Allah and let each self look to
what it has sent forward for tomorrow. Fear Allah. Allah is aware of what
you do. (Surat al-Hashr: 18)
Our Prophet (saws) also called attention to this issue in many of his
sayings, reminding the believers always to fear Allah:
"Fear Allah wherever you are; if you follow an evil deed with a good
one you will obliterate it; and deal with people with a good disposition."
Allah has created all humanity and is extremely well acquainted with
them and knows them better than they know themselves. He knows what everybody
keeps secret even within the most secret of secret recesses of their beings.
He is very well aware of the types of misgivings the soul experiences
and types of games that will be played out by the self because He is the
creator of every soul and has given it boundless ability to do evil, and
inspiration to avoid such evil so that it may be justly tried. Allah has
also created Satan as part of this test and has granted him a set of specific
qualities to be used in the pursuit of his objective.
It is for this reason that a believer's greatest support in life's trial
is fear of Allah because this will enable a person to behave as Allah
requires, to work towards pleasing Allah, to protect oneself from the
temptations of Satan and the lower self with awareness of and resistance
to their stratagems and games. Such a disposition does not suit Satan's
attempts to manipulate the limitless desires of a person's lower self.
It is for this reason that a person's lower self, with Satan's encouragement,
will before all else try to distance him from fearing Allah. They will
want to introduce distractions which turn people away from fearing Allah
and caution with respect to Him by suggesting that this is unnecessary
or even incorrect and that love of Allah and possessing a pure heart is
what really matters. However, a conscientious reciter of the Qur'an will
see with ease that suggestions such as these have no realistic basis,
and that they contain a totally deviant and deceptive objective, because
Allah has commanded believers to fear him in the Qur'an in the clearest
form possible. This command is found in numerous Qur'anic verses:
... Fear Allah and know that Allah is fierce in retribution.
(Surat al-Baqara: 196)
... So fear Allah. And know that you will be gathered
back to Him. (Surat al-Baqara: 203)
... Fear Allah and know that Allah has knowledge of all
things. (Surat al-Baqara: 231)
... Fear Allah and know that Allah sees what you do.
(Surat al-Baqara: 233)
You who believe! Fear Allah and seek the means of drawing
near to Him, and strive in His Way, so that hopefully you will be successful.
(Surat al-Ma'ida: 35)
As in the case regarding every other subject a believer will unreservedly
and unconditionally strive to fulfil this command of Allah. Unlike those
who are unaware of the Qur'an and who question the necessity or relevance
of fearing Allah, they are not misled by the suggestions and promptings
of Satan which give rise to confusing anxieties as to why a person who
loves Allah should fear him. While the daily prayers and fasting are obligatory
practices to be fulfilled in the best possible manner, fear of Allah is
an essential spiritual state which the believer must strive with sincerity
to engender within himself. Together with this, Allah has revealed in
detail in the Qur'an the divine wisdom as to why man should fear Him.
We will examine this subject in detail in the following chapters.