How can we get rid of the delusion related to fear? I know that everything comes from Allah but I cannot get rid of the fear that something will happen to me. What should I do? Is there a special prayer/supplication for it?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The feeling of fear is given to man so that he will maintain his life. Excessive fear makes life unbearable.

One of the strongest and most basic emotions in man is the sense of fear. Scheming oppressors profit greatly from the vein of fear. They restrain the pusillanimous with it. The agents of the worldly and propagandists of the people of misguidance take advantage of this vein of the common people and of the religious scholars in particular. They frighten them and excite their groundless fears.

For example, in order to scare a coward who is on a roof and put him in danger, a scheming man shows him something which he supposes is harmful; he excites his fear and draws him gradually towards the edge of the roof; then he makes him fall and break his neck. In exactly the same way, they make people sacrifice most important things due to most unimportant fears. Trying to avoid a mosquito bite, they flee into the dragon’s mouth.

One time, an eminent person – May God have mercy on him – was frightened of climbing into a rowing-boat. One evening, we walked together to the Bridge in Istanbul. We had to board a boat; there was no carriage and we were going to Eyüp Sultan. I insisted.

He said: “I’m frightened. Perhaps it’ll sink!

I said to him: “How many boats do you reckon there are, here on the Golden Horn?”

He replied: “Perhaps a thousand.

So I asked him: “How many boats sink in a year?”

He said: “One or two. Perhaps none at all.

I asked him: “How many days are there in a year?”

Three hundred and sixty,” he replied.

So I said to him: “The possibility of sinking, which provokes these groundless fears and makes you anxious, is one in three hundred and sixty thousand. Someone who is frightened at such a possibility is not a human being, he couldn’t even be an animal!”

Then I asked him: “How long do you reckon you will live?”

He replied: “I am old; perhaps I’ll live another ten years.

So I said to him: “The appointed hour of death is secret, so we could die any day. In which case, you might die on any day of the three thousand six hundred. You see, there is a one in three thousand possibility that you might die today rather than one in three hundred thousand like the boat; so tremble and weep, and write your will!”

He came to his senses, and I got him, trembling, to board the boat. When on board, I told him:

“Almighty Allah gave the sense of fear to preserve life, not to destroy it! He did not give life so that it would be burdensome, difficult, painful, and torment. If fear is caused by a possibility of one in two, three, or four, or even one in five or six, it is a precautionary fear and may be licit. But to fear a possibility of one in twenty, thirty, or forty, is groundless, and makes life torture!”  (Said Nursi, Mektubat (Letters), Yirmi Dokuzuncu Mektup (Twenty-Ninth Letter))

Questions on Islam

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