Fear is a word that terrifies man. Then, how should we comprehend the fear of Allah?

We attribute many of the crimes and the sins to lack of the fear of Allah in the people committing them. We say, If those people had feared Allah and had avoided His punishment, they would not have performed those actions. How should the fear of Allah be, then? How can we associate a discipline settled only upon dread and fright with Islams tolerance contenet and Almighty Allahs infinite mercy?


 


Believers are described as follows in the Noble Quran:


For, Believers are those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a tremor in their hearts, and when they hear His Signs rehearsed, find their faith strengthened, and put (all) their trust in their Lord (1)


As it is comprehended from that verse, there is a close relation between the increase of the light of faith and the settlement of fear of Allah in the heart.


Deceased Elmalili describes the increasing of faith as Allahs verses are recited as follows:


As evidences coming from the aspect of knowledge and deed; certain, verified faith develops. Certainty and faith increases. (2)  


 


Verified faith has also degrees. The degree of knowledge of certainty of it withstands doubts by relying on proofs. While imitative, that is, the faithtaken over from parents without being based on a profound investigation, sometimes it can be defeated against even a single doubt; the faith attained by depending on proofs is not shaken against countless doubts. 

The second degree of verified faith is vision of certainty and it also has degrees in itself. It has degrees as many as Allahs beautiful names manifested in the universe and the degrees of those names. A believer achieves a firm and unshakable faith in relation to his ability to see those manifestations and to read them. In the advanced degrees of that stage, he comes to such a degree that he can read the universe like a book. Namely, for example, he reads Almighty Allahs names such as the Creator, the Giver of Forms, the Adorner, the Giver of Colors, the Beautiful, and the Compassionate. He watches the manifestations of the names of his Creator who has created and given a form to him; has adorned, colored, made him beautiful and has showed him compassion and pity to him.  


 


The third degree is named as absolute certainty. A person who has achieved that degree has passed the veils covering the worlds of existence and has attained a faith which is not shakable even against the doubts attacking in armies. (3)


Faiths of prophets and spiritual guides have that profundity. Strong faiths of the Noble Prophet (pbuh) who has been an addressee of Almighty Allahs Divine Beauty and Word and Abd al-Qadir Gilani who has advanced spiritually so much that he could behold the Sublime Throne while still on the earth by following the example of him can be examples of that degree.


 


Is it possible to describe the awe and shudder that the ones who have faiths like oceans feel every moment as if they were in the presence of Almighty Allah?


 


That truth is expressed in the verse meaning Those of His servants, only who are possessed of knowledge, fear Allah. (4) That respect and awe are revealed in every believer in relation to the degree of his faith.    

As man gets knowledge of his Lord by means of science, his love and respect to Him increase. For, an infinite perfection above all perfection degrees is of course worthy of infinite esteem. An awe mixed with gladness covers us before a spiritually exalted person who possesses an unreachable degree with his superior dignity and peerless personality; then let us consider what a spiritual state we will get in the presence of Almighty Allah who has perfection countless times more than that.


 


As Allah has infinite dignity and honor, He has infinite mercy and compassion at the same time. Allah is both Compassionate and Mighty as it is repeated in many of the verses in the Quran . While He surrounds the whole world of existence with His infinite compassion and mercy, He also punishes the ones who rebel against His rules and who offend His dignity by their disobedience.   

Consequently, a servant in the presence of Almighty Allah is in such a situation that he has passed beyond himself by the attraction of the infinite mercy while his heart is quaking before the awe of His anger. Is it possible for such a person to rebel His orders and violate His prohibitions?


 


That fear leads man to Allah just as love. In the Nur Collection, that issue is stated as follows:


To fear the Glorious Creator means finding a way to His compassionate mercy, and taking refuge in it. Fear is a whip; it drives you into the embrace of His mercy. It is well-known that a mother gently scares her infant, for example, and draws it to her breast. The fear is most pleasurable for the child, because it drives him to her tender embrace. Whereas the tenderness of all mothers is but a flash of Divine mercy. That means there is a supreme pleasure in fear of Allah. (5)    

Then, the aim of giving fear is to lead man to Allah, too. In this respect, if we use that feeling in other fields and make it depart from its actual aim, we will suffer great losses. When we misuse our love, we suffer from many miseries such as not receiving the same response from the beloved ones but being despised by them; in the same way, misusing the feeling of fear also makes mans life full of misery. The things we fear from which are not worthy of fearing in fact cannot do anything except causing us to have very trying abasements. They can neither help us nor calm our fear.


 


The relationship of the feeling of fear with faith and contemplation is described as follows in Words:


For a worshipper with a truly illuminated heart, it is possible that even if the globe of the earth became a bomb and exploded, it would not frighten him. He would watch it with pleasurable wonder as a marvel of the Eternally Besought Ones power. But when a famous degenerate philosopher with a so-called enlightened mind but no heart saw a comet in the sky, he trembled on the ground, and exclaimed anxiously: Isnt that comet going to hit the earth? (On one occasion, America was quaking with fear at such a comet, and many people left their homes in the middle of the night.) (6)      



Sources


 


1. Quran, The Spoils Of War (Al-Anfal); 2 (8: 2)


2. Hak Dini Kuran Dili, 3: 2367


3. Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, Emirdag Lahikasi, 1:102-3


4. Quran, The Originator Of Creation (Fatir); 28 (35: 28)


5. Words (Sözler), p.331


6. Words (Sözler), p. 19

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