WHAT KIND OF MORAL VALUES DOES A PERSON
WHO FEARS ALLAH POSSESS?
Children of Adam! We have sent down clothing to you to
conceal your private parts, and fine apparel, but the clothing of righteousness
-that is best! That is one of Allah's Signs, so that hopefully you will
pay heed. (Surat al-A'raf: 26)
In numerous verses of the Qur'an many examples have been provided of
the attitudes and behavior of true believers who fear Allah. In the light
of these examples the basic moral values possessed by those who fear Allah
will be examined below.
They only fear Allah
In accordance with the verse "… you should not
fear them but rather fear Me-and so that I can complete My blessing to
you so that hopefully you will be guided" (Surat al-Baqara: 150),
the true believer does not fear anyone or any community other than Allah.
He will know that benefit and loss, good and bad can only come from Allah,
that all the incidents he will encounter are only the will and creation
of Allah in accordance with the fate predetermined for him by Allah.
This particular quality could be seen in all of the prophets who while
communicating Allah's religion were on most occasions opposed by entire
nations but made not even the slightest concession. Allah mentions this
quality in the verse cited below:
[Prophets are] those who convey Allah's Message and fear
Him and do not anyone but Allah. Allah suffices as a Reckoner. (Surat
A person who has faith in Allah will take on and implement for himself
the superior example of the prophets.
They strive to please Allah alone
A true believer lives his life in the knowledge that Allah is the judge
of everything; that He is the sole owner of power and strength, and everything
comes into existence by His will. For this reason true believers will
know that to seek the approval of created beings who, in reality, do not
possess power or strength, is of no use whatsoever. To fear Allah and
seek His approval in this world will provide protection from the terrifying
punishment of the Hereafter:
Is someone who pursues the pleasure of Allah the same
as someone who incurs displeasure from Allah and whose refuge is Hell?
What an evil destination! (Surah Al 'Imran: 162)
A time will arrive when every deed, big and small, will be revealed and
when a person's hands and skin will testify against him. A true believer
lives his life according to this reality and will absolutely never compromise
under any circumstances.
The attitude of the Prophet Yusuf (Joseph) (as) is a very good example.
The Prophet Yusuf (as) was able to preserve his chastity against a powerful
woman who desired him. Despite all her threats and intrigues, he preferred
to go to prison rather than overstep Allah's boundaries. Allah informs
us of Yusuf's (as) superior strength of character in the Qur'an:
She [the governor's wife] said, "You see! It's him you
blamed me for. I tried seducing him but he refused. If he does not do
what I order him, he will be put in prison and brought low." He [Yusuf]
said, "My Lord, the prison is preferable to me than what they call on
me to do. Unless You turn their guile away from me, it may well be that
I will fall for them and so become a man of ignorance." (Surah Yusuf:
They always act conscientiously
A person who is a servant of Allah will not put his own needs and desires
above the expectations of his Lord. He knows that if he does so despite
knowing the truth, he may incur Allah's punishment on Earth and in the
Hereafter. As long as he remains fearfully aware of this danger, he will
be safe from displaying the kind of attitude that would bring him within
the range of the verses cited below:
However, those who do wrong pursue their whims and desires
without any knowledge. Who can guide those whom Allah has led astray?
They will have no helpers. (Surat ar-Rum: 29)
Have you seen him who takes his whims and desires to
be his god-whom Allah has misguided knowingly, sealing up his hearing
and his heart and placing a blindfold over his eyes? Who then will guide
him after Allah? So will you not then be mindful? (Surat al-Jathiyya:
They emulate all the good qualities described in
A person who fears Allah will display those attitudes that relate to
good character such as loyalty, faithfulness, righteousness, honesty and
sincerity. The Qur'an makes frequent mention of true believers who exhibit
superior character traits. They are models of humanity that all believers
should all strive to emulate. However, as long as someone has no fear
of Allah, they can never truly appreciate these characteristics because
the moment they meet with a conflict of interest they will inevitably
sink to the level of their own immediate advantage, instead of rising
to the best of conduct as described in the Qur'an. They are simply unable
to experience the kind of anxiety over displeasing Allah, or being accountable
to Him, or entering Hell and facing the consequences of their bad behavior,
that would enable them to behave better.
They observe Allah's limits even if no one is looking
Someone who is profoundly aware of Allah will again be fearfully cautious
about doing anything that would displease Him, whether anyone else is
present or not, because they are aware that any wrongdoing they commit
Allah will know of it, whether it is done openly or in secret. Allah knows
both the open and the hidden, and even the most secret of secrets and
will be revealed and accounted for. Those who are fearfully aware of Allah
know that He will present them with situations intended to test the sincerity
of their caution. In one of His verses, Allah directs the true believers
Abandon wrong action, outward and inward. Those who commit
wrong action will be repaid for what they perpetrated. (Surat al-An'am:
In every situation they turn to Allah
True believers who are fearfully aware of Allah are extremely sensitive
when it comes to receiving a response from Him. When any negative incident
happens to them or when they feel their work is going badly, or when they
are experiencing distress, they will immediately examine themselves as
to whether or not they have done anything to displease Allah. Through
their supplications they will seek and beg forgiveness from Him. The combination
of their longing to gain Allah's approval with the fear they feel at the
prospect of incurring His displeasure, has developed into a superior perceptiveness.
In this regard the attitude of the Prophet Dawud (David) (as) constitutes
a great example. In the Qur'an the profound respect displayed towards
Allah by Prophet Dawud (as) is revealed by the following incident as related
in the Qur'an:
Has the story of the litigants reached you? How they
climbed up to the Upper Room and came in on Dawud who was alarmed by them.
They said, "Do not be afraid. We are two litigants, one of whom has acted
unjustly towards the other, so judge between us with truth and do not
be unjust and guide us to the Right Path. This brother of mine has ninety-nine
ewes and I have only one." He said, "Let me have charge of it," and got
the better of me with his words. He [Dawud] said, "He has wronged you
by asking for your ewe to add to his ewes. Truly many partners are unjust
to one another-except those who believe and do right actions, and how
few they are!" Dawud realized that We had put him to the test. He begged
forgiveness from his Lord and fell down prone, prostrating, and repented.
So We forgave him for that and he has nearness to Us and a good Homecoming.
(Surah Sad: 21-25)
Although Prophet Dawud's decision (as) was absolutely just and there
was no doubt about it, he turned to Allah with fear of displeasing Him
and nevertheless sought His pardon. It is not possible to imitate an inner
fear such as this, which is pure and sincere. Such fearful awareness is
only for those who measure Allah as He should be measured, who fear the
loss of His approval because of their love and awe of Him.
When we look at the conduct of the prophets and true believers, we see
that they are all servants who respectfully fear Allah and who strenuously
avoid His punishment. However, at the same time, there is present behind
this awe, a very intimate love and friendship. Their continuous and consistent
praise and exaltation of Allah is an indication of their total love and
attachment to Him.