Author Ms. Seen Noon
The heart and soul of a believer is engrossed with the fear of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’aala, a fear so strong that he restrains himself from all the things that are haram or evil. It is this fear of our Supreme King that makes him stay awake at night so he can seek forgiveness for all the voluntary and involuntary sins. Keeping our minds open and being vigilant of the things we might touch, eat, hear, see or walk to, so that no negative points are marked on our Book of Deeds.
Let me explain myself a bit more, I’m not saying that Allah just wants us to be fearful and scared from His wrath at all times, but the core of this fear is to make us stay on the ‘right’ path. The ones who fear Allah are blessed abundantly, are more content, and live productively. For He is the Most Merciful, He keeps showing us warning signs when we adapt ways of evil, in order to save us in this life and the next.
Allah says in the Holy Quran, in Surah Ya-Sin, verse 11 :
‘You can only warn those who follow the Reminder and are in awe of the Most Compassionate without seeing Him. So give them good news of forgiveness and an honourable reward.’ (36:11)
It means that the believers need to follow the reminders witnessed here and there, and be mindful of the Most Compassionate, for He alone is looking after us. And whoever has the fear of Allah in his conscience, whether he’s in a state of happiness or sorrow, he will be rewarded with Allah’s mercy and forgiveness. Also, for the success of our endeavors, our hearts and minds should be hopeful for the blessings and mercy of the Lord, for all the countless treasures bestowed upon us are by Him and Him alone. This notion of fearing the creator so He may be pleased with us, and of being hopeful for his mercy need to go hand in hand. Together the fear of Allah and the love for Him give rise to a beautiful bond with the Supreme King, a bond so sacred that you don’t let anything come in between. This becomes the key to your success in this life and the next, where you have it all figured out on how to spend the days and nights.
Allah says in Surah Al-Isra, verse 57:
‘˹Even˺ the closest ˹to Allah˺ of those invoked would be seeking a way to their Lord, hoping for His mercy, and fearing His punishment. Indeed, your Lord’s torment is fearsome.’ (17:57)
Note the mention of the co-relation between the hope for His mercy and the fear of His punishment, as this is the ideal way a believer should live by.
Similarly in another Surah, Surah Al-A’raf, Allah says:
‘Do not spread corruption in the land after it has been set in order. And call upon Him with hope and fear. Indeed, Allah’s mercy is always close to the good-doers.’ (7:56)
To call upon the Lord Almighty with hope and fear, as his mercy knows no boundaries for those who are among the do-gooders.
Although there are numerous words in the Quran for pointing to the fear of Allah, mentioned below are a few most commonly used:
Taqwa, a fear of the future so that you protect yourself from Allah’s displeasure and restrain from going against Allah’s will. It is the foundation of the iman in the heart of a believer.
Allah says in Surah An-Nazi’at, verse 40 and 41:
‘And as for those who were in awe of standing before their Lord and restrained themselves from ˹evil˺ desires, Paradise will certainly be ˹their˺ home.’ (79:40-41)
In these ayahs, Allah mentions about the dwellers of Paradise, of how the khawf of the Almighty will restrict them from fulfilling the negative desires that enter their hearts.
Khawf & Raja
That state which shows the maturity of belief is called bayna’l-khawf wa’r-raja, that is, the state of being between fear and hope. Khawf means “fear, to frighten” and raja means “wish, hope, to beg and to wish”. The state in which grief is entwined with kindness, a feeling of obedience and affirmation takes charge. The khawf of Allah’s punishment for one’s sins, but alongside, being hopeful (raja) for Allah’s infinite blessings and mercy, in sha Allah.
The Messenger ﷺ of Allah went near a young man who was about to die. He asked him: How do you feel, O young man? The young man said:O Messenger ﷺ of Allah! I am hopeful of Allah but I fear my sins.
The Messenger ﷺ of Allah said the following: When hope and fear come together in the heart of a slave, Allah will definitely give that person what he hopes and makes him safe from what he is afraid of. (Tirmidhi)
Ways to Increase Hope In and Fear of Allah
One needs to remember about the important connection between him and his Lord. Self-talking and counseling oneself for reminding the bounties we are gifted by Allah and also rectifying the weaknesses between him and his Lord.
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ also affirmed that Allah said:
“My mercy prevails over My wrath.”
When you finally accept in your mind that fearing Allah’s punishment and also being hopeful for the forgiveness of all of our sins is the balance we aim for, a believer’s life will be productively boosted. Ultimately increasing the fear of Allah in his heart.
The afterlife, the day of judgement, the hell, the stages in the grave, do contemplate these realities on a day-to-day basis in order to charge your spirits by the khawf of the creator.
The company you keep is also a way to strengthen your bond with Allah SWT. You need to keep your head straight, and guide your family and friends to the beacon of light. This chain reaction will ensure that we never lose track of our foundations of iman, strengthening our taqwa and enveloping fear of Allah and hope for His kindness in our hearts, ultimately fulfilling our purpose in this life.