Fear of Allah - Harun Yahya


You who believe! Fear Allah the way He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims. (Surah Al 'Imran: 102)

The verse "fear Allah the way He should be feared" proclaims a subject which has been treated in the Qur'an in the most open and detailed manner. What form of fear, what level of spiritual state, and the severity of the injunction have all been individually expounded in Allah's verses. Without doubt, it is one of the most important objectives of Qur'anic revelation:

This is a communication to be transmitted to mankind so that they may be warned by it and so that they will know that He is One God and so that people of intelligence will pay heed. (Surah Ibrahim: 52)

Now we will see how Allah should be feared through the verses of the Qur'an.

To fear Allah to the best of one's ability

So fear Allah, as much as you are able to, and listen and obey… (Surat at-Taghabun: 16)

In the Qur'an, Allah has explained in detail to humankind His eternal might, exalted rank and superiority, as well as the severe punishment He has prepared for those who have rebelled against Him. With this in mind one is expected to reflect profoundly on these realities with sincerity, and both one's intentions and actions should reflect an informed attitude towards them. This must be attempted actively, as indicated in the Qur'anic verse, to the best of one's ability. That is to say, one must appreciate Allah's might to the best of one's ability, and be mindful of His warnings of eternal punishment in Hell. In this way; fear of Allah will become a natural reality in one's heart. Similarly, a believer should, to the best of his ability, be fearful and cautious about not fulfilling obligatory worship as described in the Qur'an, as well as committing unlawful acts, because the things to be fearful and cautious about have also been explained in detail in the Qur'an:

In this way We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur'an and explained therein in detail some of the warnings so that hopefully they will guard against evil or it will spur them into remembrance. (Surah Ta Ha: 113)

Here is another very important point to be clarified: fear of Allah is not a feeling which can only be achieved by going through numerous and difficult spiritual stations. On the contrary, it is a deepfelt sensation inevitably felt by anyone who reflects with an open mind. A person wishing to possess a true fear of Allah could achieve this through one sincere act of reflection. That is to say, a person who reflects even for a second about death and the consequences to be faced after death can develop this combined sense of fear, awe and respect. This is entirely dependant on the person's insight and their capacity for sincerity.

Fearing Allah in the Unseen

To avoid confusion with other earthly fears, Allah has also described in the Qur'an the emotions and state of spirituality of a believer who fears Allah. A believer's fear of Allah is a fear that does not resemble any other fear; this fear is extremely deep and full of awe. This type of fear is unlike other fears and is not intended to give rise to pain and discomfort. Quite the opposite, it reminds people of their humility and servitude to Allah and opens and broadens the awareness and the intellect. This fear enables a person to attain a very high level of upright conduct.

This fear will increase a believer's ardent desire for the Hereafter and incite hope and eagerness. Fear of Allah also increases many times over a believer's closeness to and love of Allah;it is an essential feeling which allows the experience of great spiritual pleasures. The Qur'an makes mention in many verses of the deep awe that believers possess:

Those who fear their Lord in the Unseen will have forgiveness and an immense reward. (Surat al-Mulk: 12)

[People of intelligence are] …afraid of their Lord and fear an evil Reckoning. (Surat ar-Ra'd: 21)

[The Garden is for] those who fear the All-Merciful in the Unseen and come with a contrite heart. (Surah Qaf: 33)

[Prophets are] those who convey Allah's Message and fear Him and do not anyone but Allah. Allah suffices as a Reckoner. (Surat al-Ahzab: 39)

Feeling hope with fear

Although a believer fears Allah, he should never forget Allah's compassion, mercy and forgiveness, or that He is the One Who due to His generosity accepts repentance. This will in turn be the reason for possessing a sincere sense of hope, whilst experiencing genuine fear. A deep fear of Allah will give rise to a profound level of reflection on these attributes of Allah, enabling Allah's superiority and greatness to be even more keenly appreciated, resulting in a greater closeness to Allah. One will acquire a greater perception of Allah's mercy, His grace and His immense forgivingness.

Therefore, a true believer will turn and supplicate to Allah in a spiritual state full of fear and hope:

Their sides eschew their beds as they call on their Lord in fear and ardent hope. And they give of what We have provided for them. (Surat as-Sajda: 16)

This is an indication that fear of Allah has never been a feeling to cause hopelessness and pessimism. In many verses of the Qur'an it is declared that a Muslim should be in a constant state of hopefulness:

Call on Him fearfully and eagerly. Allah's mercy is close to the good-doers. (Surat al-A'raf: 56)

Say: "My servants, you who have transgressed against yourselves, do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Truly Allah forgives all wrong actions. He is the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Merciful." (Surat az-Zumar: 53)

On the other hand, hopelessness is a characteristic of disbelievers, which is also indicated in various Qur'anic verses:

Those who reject Allah's Signs and the meeting with Him, such people can despair of My mercy, such people will have a painful punishment. (Surat al-'Ankabut: 23)

You who believe! Do not make friends of people with whom Allah is angry, who have despaired of the Hereafter as the disbelievers have despaired of the inhabitants of the graves. (Surat al-Mumtahana: 13)