Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem
All praises due to Allaah, the Most High, we praise Him and seek His assistance. We ask Him for His forgiveness and take refuge in Him from the evil within ourselves and from the evil of our deeds. I bear witness that there is no God but Allaah the Most Merciful, alone, He has no partner and I bear witness that Muhammad is his servant and last messenger, may blessings and peace be on him and on his family and on his companions.
“Surely those who live in awe out of fear of their Lord, and those who believe in the signs of their Lord, and those who do not associate partners with their Lord in their worship, and those who give what they give with fear in their hearts because they are returning to their Lord- it is these who hasten to do good and in this they are foremost.” [Al-Mu'minoon 23:57-61]
Imam ash Sha’bi was once addressed as, “ O knowledgable one.” He replied, “I am not – for the knowledgeable one is the one who fears Allaah, as He, the mighty and glorious is He, says :
“Surely those of His servants who know, fear Allaah” [Fatir 35:28]
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon Him) said “By Allaah , of all people I am the one with the most knowledge of Allaah and I fear Him the most” [Bukhari]
Those who fear Allaah the most are those who possesses the most knowledge of Him and His Attributes, this makes sense as those who become more aware of the capabilities of their Creator, those who realise that everything in existence has been created by Him and will return to Him for a final reckoning will surely fear Him and their meeting with Him. They will have this fear in their heart about whether they may have incurred the displeasure or wrath of their Creator and they will also fear whether what they have accumulated in good deeds is going to be accepted and thus benefit them. May Allaah protect us from ourselves and turn our hearts firm onto the straight path, ameen. They also worry about the punishments that may be inflicted on them and they constantly fret, worry and fear whether they have earned their place in Jannah. Jannah does not come cheaply or easily, it was of the greatest fears of those people who were better than us and who are we in comparison?
He is the One who has brought existence from inexistence and non being into being, fashioned us from nothing all for a purpose and we will surely be asked about this. Do not be of those people whose main aim in life is too achieve some high flying career, I have witnessed those people who spend the early part of their lives just studying, neglecting their Islamic duties and competing only for that which is not going to benefit them when they die. But they have their entire life ahead of them… This would make perfect sense if they had a guarantee of this but who amongst us is brave enough and sure enough. If anything, such people are lacking in their fear of Allaah, they do not anticipate their end nor does the threat of ever lasting punishment trouble them. Fear is what spurs the servants of Allaah towards the knowledge and actions that will enable them to draw nearer to Him, it is also the fear that prevents them from commiting wrong actions and it makes them repent from that which they have already done.
Allaah tells us in the Qur’aan:
“Fear me if you are believers” [Al-e-Imran 3:175]
The believers who are truly fearful are those whose hearts shiver upon the verses of their creator, they are those whose fear keeps them in check of their own actions and thoughts. And they are those who constantly ask for forgiveness and when they remember the punishments that is kept aside for those who do wrong, any arrogance and certainty departs from them.
Al Fudayl ibn ‘Iyyad said “Whoever fears Allaah will be guided by this fear to all good”
Yahya ibn Mu’adh said, “Any wrong action committed by a believer is followed by two consequences: fear of punishment and hope for forgiveness.”
When you read about the behaviour of our pious predecessors and the fear that they possessed then you wonder about your own. We all share the same fears yet we can not compare ourselves to what those companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) did, but still we somehow feel secure and satisfied with our lives. Nothing we could ever do is sufficient to achieve that coveted place in Eternal Paradise as there is a huge imbalance in this exchange, so we are left to rely solely on the mercy of Allaah and our good deeds and thus we keep ourselves within a mixture of hope and fear. The question arises whether the magnitude of our fears are sufficient or consistent with what it should be, as surely if our fears and worries were corrected we would never feel as if we had done enough. We would not stop at our five obligatory prayers but we would proceed to as-sunnan al rawatib (the sunnah prayers associated with fardh Prayers) due to its great virtue… Which sane person, if only they knew, would not sacrifice a further five/ten minutes for that palace in Jannah that is promised to those who safeguard their twelve sunnah prayers. SubhanAllaah our Lord is indeed the Most Generous and the Most Merciful. It seems logical right? But why does it appear so difficult…
No. Still this not feeling satiated, our fears deny us and we do not rush off our prayer mats and dash towards the kitchen or the computer, but we would continue and perform beautiful nawafil prayers, voluntary prayers which now seems so inexistent.
Imam Ahmad was reported to have prayed 300 nawafil rak’as daily until he fell sick from this and he even then he prayed 150 rak’as daily.
Crazy huh, laa abadan, no never , if anything this only tells us about the state of our own selves and our desires and level of fear.
Abu Bakr as siddiq may Allaah be pleased with him said, “I wish I were no more than a hair on the side of a believing servant.”
Whenever he got up to pray he would be trembling like a leaf out of fear of Allaah
Umar ibn al Khattab, may Allaah be pleased with him was once reading Surah At Tur and when he came to the ayah:
“ Surely the doom of your Lord will indeed come to pass” [At-Tur 52:7]
he wept so intensely that he fell ill, and people came to see how he was.
Shaykh Tawfeeq as Sayegh – may Allaah preserve him and have mercy on him.
Remind yourselves of the horrors of that Day that will surely come upon you, when the world as you know it is changed before your very eyes and when your final destination, by Allaah your very final destination is made clear to you. If you can not then contemplate about such a time then see how those who understood it the best reacted towards it and attempted to protect themselves from it… Surely this will helps a person understand.
When Umar ibn al Khattab, may Allaah be pleased with him, used to recite the Qur’aan at night he would read an ayah that filled him with fear and he would stay indoors for days on end so that people would come to visit him, thinking that he was ill. His frequent weeping etched two dark lines onto his face.
Do not despair, your Lord’s Mercy is far greater and exceeds His Wrath and Allaah informs us in the Qur’aan:
“Say: “O my servants who have wronged their souls, do not despair of the mercy of Allaah, for surely Allaah forgives all sins; surely He is forgiving, compassionate.” [Az-Zumar 39:53]
Yahya ibn Mu’adh said: In my opinion, the worst kind of self delusion is for someone to sin excessively and then to hope for forgiveness without feeling any remorse; or it is to expect to draw near to Allaah, the Exalted, without obeying or worshiping him; or it is to hope for the fruits of the garden after having only planted the seeds for the fire; or it is to seek the abode of the obedient through commiting wrong actions; or it is to expect a reward after having done nothing worthwhile or it is to place hope in Allaah, Glorious and Mighty is He, after having exceeded all the limits,”
Ibn Abbas once told him, “Allaah has brought many countries into the Muslim ummah through you, and through you many a victory has been won,” Umar replied, “All I hope for is to be saved. I desire neither reward nor punishment.”
Ali ibn abi Talib may Allaah honour him, was once overwhelmed with sadness after completing the dawn prayer; he said:
“Never before did I see anything like the companions of the messengers of Allaah (may Allaah be pleased with them). Their hair was dishevelled, their faces were pale, they were covered in dust, and the space between their eyes looked like the knees of goats. They had spent the night in prayer and recitation of the Qur’aan, either on their feet or in prostration. When the dawn came, they would spend it in remembrance of Allaah, swaying like trees on a stormy day, with tears streaming from their eyes until their clothes were soaked. By Allaah, it seems to me that the people who are around me now have passed the night fast asleep.”
And it goes on and on, the narrations of those whose eyes were filled with fear frequently and whose mind never wandered far from Allaah, exalted is He, and His promises of reward and retribution. So let us remind ourselves about our state, where has our fear gone that we no longer fulfil our obligations to Allaah and the rights of our brothers and sisters? We fall into error and sin forgetting that indeed Allaah is All Aware and All Knowing. We see our sins as flies that pass us by and not as mountains that may crush us on our final reckoning, so I ask again, I want to know, where has the fear gone? I swear by the One in Whose Hand is my soul and your soul and by the One Whom all should fear, that something has departed from us, we accept our own deficiencies but indeed we have been deluded and left content with satisfactory selves. We have been left assured by our sub standards and even if we do recognise it, we are not consistent and any fears that had been aroused quickly dissipate and fall back asleep to be left like sleeping lions.
Who helps us but Allaah and from Him proceeds all grace and majesty… Yet we remain heedless of Him and His remembrance.
Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-’As is reported to have said,
“Weep, and if you can not weep, then pretend to weep! I swear by Him in whose hand my life is that if any of you really knew, you would plead until your voice went, and pray until your back was broken.”
[Sahih, al Hakim, Kitab al-Ahwaal]
I pray that Allaah strengthens mine and your eeman, protects us from the trials of this lilfe.
Everything I say is a reminder to myself and then to anyone who can relate and I make du’aa that Allaah, glory be to Him, allows us all to taste the sweetness of devotion to Him. Allaahumma Aameen.
I swear by the time: Verily Man is in loss : except those who believe and do good, and enjoin on each other truth, and enjoin on each other patience. [Al-‘Asr 103:1-4 ]