Tuesday 27 January 2015

Ittaqullah | Fear Allah

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Hadhrat Moulana Abdul Hamid Is`haq Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhum)

Allah Ta’ala describes the love of the Believers for Him as intense.

وَالَّذِيْنَ اٰمَنُوْاۤ أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلّٰهِ ط

 “…And those who have Imaan are more intense in their love for Allah…”
[Surah Al-Baqarah 2: 165]

Allah Ta’ala describes His friendship with the Believers:

اَللّٰهُ وَلِيُّ الَّذِيْنَ اٰمَنُوْا لا يُخْرِجُهُم مِّنَ الظُّلُمٰتِ إِلَى النُّوْرِ ط

 “Allah is the Wali (Friend / Protector/ Guardian) of those who believe. He brings them out from darknesses into the light.”
[Surah Al-Baqarah 2: 257]

Our Sheikh, Hadhrat Moulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) had beautifully explained that many Aayaat are specifically addressing the Believers, and generally commence with: “O you who Believe…”

Based on this love relationship, these words translate as: “O you who love me intensely…”  - and then Allah Ta’ala, from His Side, lovingly presents His Commands to us - as a Friend, as a Protector, as a Guardian (Wali).

SubhanAllah! It is only for us to respond with obedience and gratitude.

From amongst the Rights of Allah Ta’ala is that we should love Him and also fear Him. Allah Ta’ala says:

◌ يٰٓأَيُّهَا الَّذِيْنَ اٰمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللهَ حَقَّ تُقٰتِهٖ وَلَا تَمُوْتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ مُّسْلِمُوْنَ

 “O ye who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam.”
[Surah Al-Imran 3: 102]

This fear is borne out of love. When a person loves another, then he fears displeasing his beloved. This is the nature of love: Seeking to please the beloved and afraid to displease the beloved.

As is commonly said: ‘Imaan is between fear and hope.’ ...So this fear of Allah Ta’ala is balanced with hope in Allah Ta’ala, and this fear and hope will be established when we know Allah Ta’ala’s Attributes and recognise Allah Ta’ala. 

Allah Ta’ala mentions the quality of the Believers:

يَدْعُوْنَ رَبَّهُمْ خَوْفًا وَّطَمَعًا ز
 “…While they call on their Lord, in Fear and Hope…”
[Surah As-Sajdah 32: 16]

Taqwa is to restrain and abstain from everything displeasing to Allah Ta’ala. This is what earns a person the crown of Allah Ta’ala’s Friendship:

إِنْ أَوْلِيَاۤؤُهٗ إِلَّا الْمُتَّقُوْنَ

 “…Verily none are the Auliya except those who refrain from His disobedience…”
[Surah Al-Anfal 8: 34]

Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas`ood (Radhiallahu ‘anhu) explained the meaning of Taqwa as :

  •             Allah Ta’ala is to be obeyed and not disobeyed;
  •             Allah Ta’ala is to be remembered and not forgotten, and
  •             Allah Ta’ala is to be shown gratitude and not ingratitude.


Allah Ta’ala presents His friendship, the friendship of His Messenger (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and those who believe:

إِنَّمَا وَلِيُّكُمُ اللّٰهُ وَرَسُوْلُهٗ وَالَّذِيْنَ اٰمَنُوا الَّذِيْنَ يُقِيمُوْنَ الصَّلٰوةَ وَيُؤْتُوْنَ الزَّكٰوةَ
 وَهُمْ رٰكِعُوْنَ
 “Your (real) friends are (no less than) Allah, His Messenger, and those who have believed - those who establish regular prayers and regular charity, and they bow down humbly (in worship).”
[Surah Al-Maa’idah 5: 55]

Based on this relationship and friendship, we should be most appreciative of the well-wishing, guidance and direction from Allah Ta’ala, Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and the sincere Believers.


There are numerous Aayaat, wherein Allah Ta’ala commands the Believers to fear Him - Ittaqullah (Fear Allah).

وَاتَّقُوا اللّٰهَ وَاعْلَمُوْاۤ أَنَّ اللّٰهَ مَعَ الْمُتَّقِيْنَ

 “…And fear Allah, and know that Allah is with those who restrain themselves.”
[Surah Al-Baqarah 2: 194]

وَاتَّقُوا اللّٰهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُوْنَ

 “…and fear Allah that you may successful.”
[Surah Al-Imran 3: 200]

يٰۤأَيُّهَا الَّذِيْنَ اٰمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللّٰهَ وَلْتَنْظُرْ نَفْسٌ مَّا قَدَّمَتْ لِغَدٍ ج وَاتَّقُوا اللّٰهَ ط إِنَّ اللّٰهَ خَبِيْرٌم بِمَا تَعْمَلُوْنَ

“O you who believe! Fear Allah, and let every soul look to what (provision) it has sent forth for the morrow. Fear Allah, for Allah is well-acquainted with (all) that you do.”
[Surah Al-Hashr: 18]

We read these Aayaat and many more, where there is a clear Command to fear Allah Ta’ala, but the reality of these words does not seem to sink into the recesses of our hearts and move us in the direction of Taqwa.

We remain heedless.
We do not appreciate.
This is our sad reality.

Yet from Allah Ta’ala’s side there is the reminder again and again of “Ittaqullah”, that we may be beneficiaries of His Great Bounties.

Implementing the Command of “Ittaqullah”, in our lives, bears the fruit of every good and is a prescription and a medication for all spiritual ailments. 

This fear of Allah Ta’ala yields, produces and generates the noble qualities of righteousness, morality, sincerity, justice, honesty, trustworthiness, decency and all good.

Allah Ta'ala informs us that righteousness is the attribute of the one who fears Allah Ta'ala:

وَلٰكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنِ اتَّقٰى ج

 “But righteousness is (the quality of the one) who fears (Allah Ta'ala)” 
[Surah Al-Baqarah 2:189]


In the Ahadith, we read of the loving caution and guidance of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) – who similarly, commanded us to fear Allah Ta’ala.

Hadhrat Abu Dharr al-Ghifari and Mu`adh ibn Jabal (Radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) related that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: Fear Allah wherever you are. Follow up a bad deed with a good deed and it will blot it out. And deal with people in a good manner.”[1]

This was the Command from our Beloved (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam), whose concern for us was so overwhelming that Allah Ta’ala says:

لَقَدْ جَاۤءَكُمْ رَسُوْلٌ مِّنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ عَزِيْزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيْصٌ عَلَيْكُم بِالْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ رَءُوْفٌ رَّحِيْمٌ

 “There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; [he is] full of concern over you and to the believers is kind and merciful.”
[Surah At-Taubah 9: 128]


Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) set the most excellent precedent for the entire Ummah and was the epitome of the Command “Ittaqullah”. His entire life was an expression of love and fear for Allah Ta’ala – as is seen in his worship, speech, actions and in all of his Duas. He (Sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam) said: "I am the most knowledgeable of Allah among you and the most fearful of Him among you."[2]

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) also taught us Duas that enhance and expedite Taqwa: 

اَللّٰهُمَّ اٰتِ نَفْسِيْ تَقْوَاهَا وَ زَكِّهَا اَنْتَ خَيْرُ مَنْ زَكَّاهَا اَنْتَ وَلِيُّهَا وَ مَوْلَاهَا

O Allah! Grant piety to my soul (nafs) and purify it, You are the Best of the ones to purify it; You are its Guardian and Patron.[3]

اَللّٰهُمَّ اِنِّيْ اَسْأَلُكَ الْهُدٰى وَ التُّقٰى وَ الْعَفَافَ وَ الْغِنٰى

“O Allah! I ask of You, guidance and piety and chastity and to be free of depending on anyone (except You).”[4]


Despite their great piety and closeness to Allah Ta’ala, the Sahaba-e-Kiraam (Radhiallahu ‘anhum) still concerned themselves with the matter of Taqwa. There is a well-known incident where Hadhrat ‘Umar (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu), who was distinguished for his fear of Allah Ta’ala, asked Hadhrat Ubayy bin Ka’b (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu): “What is Taqwa?’

Hadhrat Ubayy bin Ka’b (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu) asked in reply: ‘Have you had the experience walking down a path of thorns?’

Hadhrat ‘Umar (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu) replied: ‘Yes.’

Hadhrat Ubayy bin Ka’b (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu) asked: ‘What did you do?’

Hadhrat ‘Umar (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu) replied: I tucked up my clothes, and paid attention, walking very cautiously, so as not to be harmed by the thorns.’

Hadhrat Ubayy bin Ka’b (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu) responded: ‘That is Taqwa.’

One of our Akaabir had explained that the Haqeeqat (reality) of Taqwa is to be alert and vigilant in all aspects of life. A person should reflect and deliberate over whatever he intends to do and say. Accordingly, he will gauge for himself whether he will earn the pleasure or displeasure of Allah Ta’ala in what is to be undertaken. 


Very sadly, we do not appreciate the Command of Allah Ta’ala and His Rasul (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) when it is said to us: “Ittaqullah”. So it is no surprise that today, if any person tells us to fear Allah Ta’ala, we take offence. We are annoyed.

Hadhrat Sufyaan Thauri (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) said: We met a people who loved being told, “Fear Allah.” Today we find that people only become annoyed when they are advised to fear Allah Ta’ala.”

How true these words are.

This is the evident and sad difference between us and the Sahaba-e-Kiraam (Radhiallahu ‘Anhum). Where they appreciated being told to fear Allah Ta’ala, where they sought to understand the concept of Taqwa and practice upon Allah Ta’ala’s Commands, many of us become offended and think that our dignity is attacked. This is our pride and arrogance – for which we do not even care to acknowledge and make Islaah of.

We should take lesson from their humility and appreciation. Their conduct and demeanour reflects their pure hearts and their beautiful Ikhlaas. 

When a person advises us to fear Allah Ta’ala or conveys some Nasihah to us, then we should not look at our position, our learning, our qualifications, and reject based on that.  We should also not reject advice because the person is a subordinate, a layperson, a poor person or anyone else. We should take heed of the advice. Pay attention to the advice. Appreciate it. Consider it Allah Ta’ala’s Favour and Blessing.

That person who encourages us to fear Allah Ta’ala is not an enemy. The person is a friend. He is, in fact, following the Sunnah of Allah Ta’ala and His Rasul (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam). He is showing his concern and kindness. …Of course, if our nafs is puffed up, it will be difficult to digest with humility and gratitude.

May Allah Ta’ala give us the concern, the understanding and the reality of piety in our Zaahir (external) and Baatin. (internal)

Previously, it was a rare occurrence that a Muslim was involved in major sins. Now, the Muslim is sometimes the forerunner in drugs, gambling, fraud and other vices. Zina (adultery / fornication) has become a plague in the Muslim Ummah – but alas, heedlessness intoxicates and lust overpowers all senses.

Today, we find even those who have knowledge of Dien, compromising on the great and noble quality of Taqwa.

Previously, it was unheard of, that an Aalim would be willing and happy to take his photograph. Today, not only are photographs and selfies taken by Scholars of Dien, but even videos, etc. circulate freely.

When it is said: “Fear Allah”, we justify.

And to Allah Ta'ala is our complaint.

Imam Ghazali (رَحْمَةُ اللهِ عَلَيْهِ) related in his Ihya different distinguishing signs of the Ulama-e-Rabbaniyyeen. Amongst these, he said: “Allah Ta'ala's greatness, magnificence and fear are manifest from their every gesture — from the style of their dress, from their actions and personal habits, from their speech and even from their silence.”


Hadhrat Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu) reported: Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “Let not one of you belittle himself.”

They said: “O Messenger of Allah, how can any one of us belittle himself?”

He said:  “He finds a matter regarding Allah about which he should speak up but he does not. Allah the Exalted will say to him on the Day of Resurrection: What prevented you from speaking up about such-and-such? He will say: It was out of fear of the people. Allah will say: Rather, it is I who deserved to be feared.”[5]

Hadhrat Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu) also narrated that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said in a sermon:

“Verily, fear of people should not stop a man from speaking out the truth that he knows.”[6]


Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’aan Sharief:

إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِنْدَ اللّٰهِ أَتْقٰكُمْ ط إِنَّ اللّٰهَ عَلِيْمٌ خَبِيْرٌ

 “Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has Taqwa
[i.e. one of the Muttaqun (pious)]. Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.”

[Surah Al-Hujurat 49: 13]

Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu) narrated that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was asked: “Who are the most honourable of the people?”

Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “The most honourable of them in Allah’s sight are those who keep their duty to Allah and fear Him…”[7]  

Hadhrat Samurah (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu) reported that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: Nobility is in the fear of Allah.”[8]

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the understanding and the Taufeeq of humbling ourselves for our own Islaah and Tazkiyah, seeking His Pleasure and appreciating when it is said to us, “Fear Allah”.

[1] Sunan al-Tirmidhî 
[2] Sahih Bukhari
[3] Sahih Muslim
[4] Sahih Muslim
[5] Sunan Ibn Majah 4008
[6] Al-Mu’jam al-awsat of al-Tabrani.
[7] Sahih Bukhari 6/211
[8] Sunan At-Tirmidhi 3271