Allah Commands in the Qur’an That He Be Feared
Fearing Allah is not, as assumed by some people, an exclusive trait of prophets and those who are especially near to Him but rather it is a feeling carried within the hearts of all believers, and a feeling that should be held by all humanity. Allah’s command in the Qur’an is clear:
You who believe! Fear Allah and let each self look to what it has sent forward for tomorrow. Fear Allah. Allah is aware of what you do. (Surat al-Hashr: 18)
Our Prophet (saws) also called attention to this issue in many of his sayings, reminding the believers always to fear Allah:
“Fear Allah wherever you are; if you follow an evil deed with a good one you will obliterate it; and deal with people with a good disposition.” (Tirmidhi)
Allah has created all humanity and is extremely well acquainted with them and knows them better than they know themselves. He knows what everybody keeps secret even within the most secret of secret recesses of their beings. He is very well aware of the types of misgivings the soul experiences and types of games that will be played out by the self because He is the creator of every soul and has given it boundless ability to do evil, and inspiration to avoid such evil so that it may be justly tried. Allah has also created Satan as part of this test and has granted him a set of specific qualities to be used in the pursuit of his objective.
It is for this reason that a believer’s greatest support in life’s trial is fear of Allah because this will enable a person to behave as Allah requires, to work towards pleasing Allah, to protect oneself from the temptations of Satan and the lower self with awareness of and resistance to their stratagems and games. Such a disposition does not suit Satan’s attempts to manipulate the limitless desires of a person’s lower self.
It is for this reason that a person’s lower self, with Satan’s encouragement, will before all else try to distance him from fearing Allah. They will want to introduce distractions which turn people away from fearing Allah and caution with respect to Him by suggesting that this is unnecessary or even incorrect and that love of Allah and possessing a pure heart is what really matters. However, a conscientious reciter of the Qur’an will see with ease that suggestions such as these have no realistic basis, and that they contain a totally deviant and deceptive objective, because Allah has commanded believers to fear him in the Qur’an in the clearest form possible. This command is found in numerous Qur’anic verses:
... Fear Allah and know that Allah is fierce in retribution. (Surat al-Baqara: 196)
... So fear Allah. And know that you will be gathered back to Him.(Surat al-Baqara: 203)
... Fear Allah and know that Allah has knowledge of all things. (Surat al-Baqara: 231)
... Fear Allah and know that Allah sees what you do.(Surat al-Baqara: 233)
You who believe! Fear Allah and seek the means of drawing near to Him, and strive in His Way, so that hopefully you will be successful. (Surat al-Ma’ida: 35)
As in the case regarding every other subject a believer will unreservedly and unconditionally strive to fulfil this command of Allah. Unlike those who are unaware of the Qur’an and who question the necessity or relevance of fearing Allah, they are not misled by the suggestions and promptings of Satan which give rise to confusing anxieties as to why a person who loves Allah should fear him. While the daily prayers and fasting are obligatory practices to be fulfilled in the best possible manner, fear of Allah is an essential spiritual state which the believer must strive with sincerity to engender within himself. Together with this, Allah has revealed in detail in the Qur’an the divine wisdom as to why man should fear Him. We will examine this subject in detail in the following chapters.
Our Prophet (saas) says this about his fear of Allah in one hadith:
Our Lord has commanded me nine things: To fear Allah both openly and secretly, to speak justly in anger and in consent, to be economical in wealth and in poverty, to be friends with those who abandon me, to give to those who deprive me, to forgive those who oppress me, to reflect when silent and repeat the names of Allah when I speak, for my glance to be an examplary and for me to command what is good and true. (Qutbi Sitte, Concise Translation and Explanation, Prof. Dr. İbrahim Canan, Vol. 16, Akçağ Press, Ankara, p. 317)
What should the fear of Allah be like?
Mr. Adnan Oktar's Live Interview On Ekin TV (March 2nd, 2009)
The fear of Allah is like the fear of a crazed lover who refrains from displeasing Allah, who fears to be deprived of Allah's consent. A lover refrains from displeasing the beloved because he fears that this will destroy their love: this is what the fear of Allah is like. There is no other meaning in this. He may go to Hell and burn in its fire but what in fact makes him uncomfortable is his inability to express his love for Allah. So, this is how Allah tells the lover what the lover needs. If a person has a deep fear of Allah, he will be very meticulous to obey His commands; he will love Him and behave very respectfully. For example, he will not be self-centered and selfish, but compassionate and caring. He will not give in to his lowerself or seek his own ends, but he will be forgiving; he will fear Allah and be forgiving to others. For instance forgiveness is a force that fosters love, compassion is a force that fosters love. For the sake of Allah's approval you take care of your beloved, take pains about what he eats and drinks and about the exercises that person should do. This is all a manifestation of one's love for Allah. But the person who does not fear Allah becomes self-centered and selfish, thinking only of himself; he becomes unforgiving and reacts harshly when his own interests are at stake. For instance such person would be skeptical, self-centered; he would be not generous and would not be able to put his life for Allah when he should. That is to say, lots of negative attitudes piles up on him. But in the case of fear of Allah, every sort of goodness comes upon him; that is to say every sort of goodness that ensures love and beauty fits perfectly on fear of Allah.
Mr. Adnan Oktar's Live Interview On Cay TV (March 18th, 2009)
ADNAN OKTAR: A devout Muslim fears Allah and never behaves improperly in respect of courtesy towards Him. He speaks in perfect respect. We are beings who may die any second. We are the manifestations of Allah and Allah makes us speak in a tiny space and shows us images.
… If a person has lots of faith and fears Allah much, he doesn't even feel sleepy because of the joy he experiences. I mean he bursts with joy: the joy of Paradise, the joy of knowing that moral values of Islam will prevail the world, the joy of seeing that the words of blessed people come true, the joy of good morals, there are so many joys to experience, the joy of the blessings given by Allah. But above all else, there is the joy of Allah's existence, I mean we all are under the control of an endless power. That is such a great blessing, praise be to Allah! Let people experience these joys. Of course, as a result of this, such a person becomes lively, vivacious but this is not the purpose. That is a blessing of Allah upon us for having done such beautiful deeds.