Society Magazine

Fear of God

Posted on the 06 March 2013 by Azharnadeem

Fear of GodFear of God is an important aspect of Islam. The Arabic word for the “fear of Allah” is taqwâ . Linguistically taqwa means protection and shield from what is harmful. In Islam taqwa means for a person to have a protection and shield between him and the anger and punishment of Allah Almighty. So taqwa is a comprehensive word found in the Qur’an that carries the meaning of fear, respect, and reverence for God. In other words taqwa means to cleanse or purify the heart and the soul. The concept of “Fear of God” can be understood as the fear of losing the Blessings, Love and Mercy of an All Knowing, Just and Wise God. It is the realization of the Creator’s Benevolence and the potential loss, due to our own actions, of this Grace that renders us in a state of ‘fear’ and utmost caution. The practical implication of “Fear of God” is a person’s complete submission to God’s directives. Consciousness of Allah is the highest plan a true Muslim must always strive to achieve, stay away from forbidden things, and to do all the things ordered by Allah Almighty.

Taqwa is a Gift from God “But to those who receive Guidance, He increases the (light of) Guidance, and bestows on them their Piety and Restraint [Taqwa]. “ (Quran 47:17). Now the question arises what sort is fear God? And how is God to be feared? Indeed, a person exhibits the fear of Allah by seeking to prevent Allah’s punishment by carrying out what Allah has commanded of him and abstaining from what Allah has prohibited him. Taqwa is Love of God. In Islam fear of God, obedience to God and sacrificing for God’s cause are stages (that should be maintained) on the spiritual path to something better; love for God. Allah Almighty says “O ye who believe! Fear Allah, and let every soul look to what (provision) He has sent forth for the morrow. Yea, fear Allah: for Allah is well-acquainted with (all) that ye do. (Quran 59: 18-19). A person once asked the Prophet SAW, O Messenger of Allah Give me some advice He replied, I advise you to fear Allah because it is the head of everything. This is because Taqwa encourages goodness and forbids evil.

Faith is a necessary component of achieving Love for God. Love of God brings about the best in the individual whose actions benefit those around. It is misplaced when feelings for created things, or beings, causes a diversion from focusing on the Conscious Reality that created all. The Conscious Reality that sustains all. God rewards those who work to develop love for Him and who yearn for their meeting with Him. The Quran gives an example of one who strives and struggles through life while awaiting the final meeting with God. Faith is the decision of the believer to worship that which is unseen and unseeable in this life. Thus, it is one’s willingness to submit to the directives of God, in letter and spirit and in the best of manners – even when one could easily have avoided them. It is this choice to follow God’s rules, in our utmost obedience and our sincerest attempts, which develops a deep sense of reverence for the Allah Almighty.

God is Most Merciful and Forgiving, and He is happy whenever one of His servants repents from his deep heart so that He can wash away his sins. Keeping Allah’s Mercy foremost in mind helps man to be hopeful, and this in turn increases the desire to act righteously. However, what is equally important to keep within context is fear. Hope and fear are like the wings of birds, and a believer has to keep them balanced. Having the fear of God is most often considered to be a positive sign of spiritual well-being. A person should be fearful of Allah even in times of happiness and celebration. It is raising ourselves up in a sense of awe to our possibilities and divine glory.

Allah mentioned in the Qur’an that those who will be guided by Qur’an are those who have taqwa. Allah said in sura Al-Ha’qqah, (verse 48) “But verily this is a reminder for those who have taqwa”. In another verse in sura Al-Baqarah, (verse 2), “This is the book

Let us never forget that it is Allah’s right to be obeyed. Ibn Qayyim said: “A benefit of understanding Allah’s right over the servant is that it opens the door of humbleness in front of Allah and closes the doors of conceit. Taqwa leads us to have right deeds, repentance to Allah, and the forgiveness of Allah. Allah Almighty may take our conduct whole and sound and forgive us our sins”. The fact is that those who call themselves “Muslims” need to infuse their hearts with “Taqwa” if they want to be viewed by Allah as true believers. Allah had called upon all people in every era to fear Him. Allah says: “And We had enjoined upon those who were given the Scripture before – as well as yourselves – to fear Allah.” [ Sûrah al-Nisâ' : 131]

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