How should we understand the verse stating that only those who have knowledge fear Allah truly?

The Details of the Question
How should we understand the verse stating that only those who have knowledge fear Allah truly?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

“And so amongst men and crawling creatures and cattle, are they of various colors. Those truly fear Allah, among His Servants who have knowledge: for Allah is Exalted in Might, Oft-Forgiving." (Fatir, 35/28) 

The word that is derived from the root “khashyah” in Arabic in the verse means excitement and fear felt in the presence of the magnitude and anxiety originating from the fear of not being able to carry out something as it is necessary, not from the fear of being harmed. It is very interesting that the Quran, which directs and encourages the people it addresses to discover the fine points that will blow minds acting upon the magnificent images in the nature, emphasizes the value of knowledge. However, if it is taken into consideration that the word ‘ulama’, which is used in the verse and translated as those who have knowledge, lexically means knowing something thoroughly and understanding its essence, obtaining definite knowledge regarding an issue and penetrating into the truth of something, it will be seen that those who are referred to and who are featured in the verse are not those who carry out scientific activities as a profession or those who learn and memorize some information but those who have elevated their mental efforts to the level of deducing from the evidence of power of Allah in the universe. Besides, in the narrations that are reported from the most of the Companions and Tabi’in, it is stated that those who have not covered ground in the way of respect to Allah cannot be defined as ‘ulama’ (scholars) no matter how learned they are.(see Zamakhshari, III, 274; Shawkani, IV, 398)

That most of the scientists of various branches of science studying both man and the society and the other beings in the universe – even though they are atheists or have some doubts about belief in Allah in the beginning – use expressions that either refer to the divine power and magnitude directly or mean the confession of weakness in the presence of that power by observing the unerring balance in the universe, the fine calculations that astound the minds and the fascinating harmony makes it easier to understand the reference to science in the verses. That many people who are not interested in religion and who have not been able to deal with metaphysical issues due to the influence of the social environment undergo great changes in their thoughts and are affected greatly when they see the results of the researches mentioned above and start to think that the system in the realm of beings cannot be an outcome of blind coincidence and hence start to question themselves and try to make life meaningful reminds people who act in accordance with the Quran that an important duty, that is, the duty of being pioneers in the way of science, is one of the requirements of being Muslims. (Diyanet Tefsiri, Kur'an Yolu, the interpretation of the relevant verse)

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