Hypocrites resort to two-facedness

Fearful Awareness of Allah

Fear of Allah is the source of all knowledge as it motivates us to seek the truth and act in accordance with it. Indeed, the description of punishment in the Hereafter found in the Quran and Sunnah should increase our resolve to be righteous. The best provision is mindfulness of Allah, and the foundation of wisdom is the fear of Allah the Exalted. Allah says:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْلَمْتُ وَجْهِي إِلَيْكَ وَفَوَّضْتُ أَمْرِي إِلَيْكَ وَأَلْجَأْتُ ظَهْرِي إِلَيْكَ رَغْبَةً وَرَهْبَةً إِلَيْكَ

“O Allah, I submit my face to you and entrust my affair to you. I commit myself to you out of hope and fear of you.” (Sahih Muslim 2710)

Love of Allah and fear of Allah go hand in hand. When a person loses his love of Allah, he will also lose his reason, conscience and Qur’anic virtues. That believer cannot achieve a deep faith, cannot properly train his lower self and cannot attain paradise. Fear of Allah is like a key that opens the door to a profound faith in the believer’s heart. A deep fear of Allah may help the believer achieve the beautiful set of moral values, sincerity, and humility of the prophets. Allah says:

تَتَجَافَىٰ جُنُوبُهُمْ عَنِ الْمَضَاجِعِ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُمْ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ

“They arise from their beds and they supplicate their Lord in fear and hope, and they spend from what We have provided them.” (Surah As-Sajda 32:16)

The fear of God

The Arabic word for the “fear of God” is taqwa.  It comes from the root word meaning “to protect from something, to prevent”.  Indeed, a person exhibits the fear of God by seeking to prevent God’s punishment by carrying out what God has commanded of him and abstaining from what God has prohibited him.

A believer must combine the Fear of Allah due to the following reasons:

  1. Fear of being questioned about every little thing in life
  2. Fear of egotistical due to the abundance of bounties
  3. Fear of being distracted from Allah by other creation
  4. Fear of Allah doing good deeds because of conceit
  5. Fear of not being able to fulfil Allah’s obligations
  6. Fear of being disgraced at the time of death
  7. Fear of the fire, its chains, and its torment
  8. Fear of not living up to one’s repentance
  9. Fear of not breaking one’s promise
  10. Fear of allowing temptations to dominate
  11. Fear of Allah make one’s self-responsible 
  12. Fear of being beguiled by the glitter of this world
  13. Fear of being distracted from Allah by other creation
  14. Fear of the awe during the presentation in front of Allah
  15. Fear of being led to an evil ending through excessive bounties

God had called upon all people in every era to fear Him. It is God’s right over His servants that they fear Him as He ought to be feared. A Muslim must never leave a major sin to go without repentance, for God’s promise of forgiveness is for those who turn to Him in sincere repentance.  Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ

“O you who believe[d]! Consciously revere Allah (as is His) right (that) He (should) be revered and (do) not die except [while you] (as) those-who-submit/Muslims.” (Surah Ali ‘Imran 3:102)

A believer should follow up with his sincere repentance with the performance of good works. Ibn Mas`ud explained what it means to fear God as He ought to be feared by saying: “It means that He is to be obeyed not disobeyed, remembered not forgotten, and shown gratitude, not ingratitude.” Allah says

إِنَّمَا يَخْشَى اللَّهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْعُلَمَاءُ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ غَفُورٌ

“Only those who fear Allah among His servants are those with knowledge. Verily, Allah is Almighty and Forgiving.” (Surah Al-Fatir 35:28)

Fear of Allah causes a reduction of sin and man’s wakefulness and vigilance and is itself a cause of warning against negligence in man at the time of deviation and error. It is for this reason that the fearful and dreadful of Allah have been praised and a promise of reward has been promised for fear of Allah. Allah says:

وَلَا تَسْتَوِي الْحَسَنَةُ وَلَا السَّيِّئَةُ ادْفَعْ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ فَإِذَا الَّذِي بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَهُ عَدَاوَةٌ كَأَنَّهُ وَلِيٌّ حَمِيمٌ

“And not (are) equal the good (deed) and the evil (deed). Repel by (that) which [it] (is) better; then behold! One who, between you and between him, (was) enmity, (will become) as if he (was) a friend intimate.” (Surah Fussilat 41:34)

The fears of Allah making one’s self-responsible for doing good 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.

Allah Almighty says in The Holy Quran:

  • Call on Allah with fear and longing (in your hearts).” (Al-A’raf, 56)
  •  Believers hope for His Mercy and fear His Wrath…….” (Al-Isra, 57)
  • “… And Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people.” (Qur’an, 9:109)
  • “He is worthy of being feared and worthy of granting forgiveness.” (Quran 47:56)
  • “Indeed, God is with those who fear Him and those who do good.” (Quran 16:128)
  • “It is only those who have knowledge among God’s servants who fear Him.” (Quran 35:28)
  • “Keep to forgiveness (O Muhammad), and enjoin kindness, and turn away from those who are ignorant.” (Quran 7:199)
  • “And whoever fears God – He will pardon him his sins and grant him a great reward.” (Quran 65:5)

The fear of God is the path to forgiveness, salvation, and attainment:

God promises those who fear Him: Allah will provide for their needs and grant them a way out of their worldly difficulties. This is God’s promise. We should draw strength from it when we are tried in life with difficulties that tempt us to resort to what God has forbidden. Allah says:

“And whoever fears God, He will make for him a way out, and provide for him from whence he could never imagine.” (Quran 65:2-3)

Knowledge and the Fear of God are related: The first is that true fear of God comes about as the result of having proper knowledge of God and His perfect attributes. Allah says:

O you who have believed, fear Allah. And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow — and fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.” (Qur’an, 59:18)

Follow up a bad deed with a good deed: The Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, tells us that performing a good deed wipes away the sin incurred from perpetrating an evil one. Scholars have disagreed whether the “good deed” being referred to here refers specifically to the context of repentance or whether it is general for all good works. Allah says:

“Except for those who repent, believe, and work righteous deeds.  For those, God will change their evil deeds into good deeds, and God is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Quran 25:70)

This is especially true for major sins. The Prophet said: “A servant, if he acknowledges his sin and then repents, God will forgive him.”

And deal with people in a good manner: God tells us repeatedly in the Quran to observe good manners in our dealings with others.  Allah says:

“And establish prayer at the two ends of the day and at the approach of the night. Indeed, good works do away with evil deeds. That is a reminder for those who take heed.” (Quran 11:114)

To fear Allah is the beginning of all. The more one fears Allah, the more superior he becomes in the presence of Allah. And since this has no limits, one can increase this fear if he desperately requires it from Allah. Qur’an gives examples of prophets. The believers can compare themselves with the prophets and understand that they really can increase their fear of Allah. Allah says:

إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا يُسَارِعُونَ فِي الْخَيْرَاتِ وَيَدْعُونَنَا رَغَبًا وَرَهَبًا ۖ وَكَانُوا لَنَا خَاشِعِينَ

“Verily, they would hasten to good deeds and supplicate to Us in hope and fear, and they were humbly submissive to Us.” (Surah Al-Anbiya 21:90)

Among the good manners that we should cultivate is to be sensible in our dealings with others and not to react hastily when they do that which displeases us. Allah says

إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا يُسَارِعُونَ فِي الْخَيْرَاتِ وَيَدْعُونَنَا رَغَبًا وَرَهَبًا ۖ وَكَانُوا لَنَا خَاشِعِينَ

“Verily, they would hasten to good deeds and supplicate to Us in hope and fear, and they were humbly submissive to Us.” (Surah Al-Anbiya 21:90)

However, we need to balance our fear of Allah with our hope in His reward and His Paradise. Let us remember that our hearts are just like a bird on a journey to Allah in the Hereafter. Our love of Allah is the basis of our worship, and our fear and hope are like two wings that propel us along the straight path toward our final destination. May Allah make us among those who spend their lives working to please Him.