Read ‘Fear and It’s Types – Part 1’ here
- Fat-h al-Majeed Sharh Kitab at-Tawheed
- The Destination of the Seeker of Truth (Interpretation of Kitab at-Tawheed) by Shaikh Saalih Aal-Shaikh
- Tafseer Ibn Katheer
- Explanation and commentary of Shaikha Anaheed for chapter 31 of Kitab at-Tawheed
- Tasheel al-Aqeedah by Shaikh
Fear of people
Ibn al-Qayyim (Rahimahullaah) said: “Of the plots of the enemy of Allaah (the Shaytaan) that he makes the believers to be afraid from his soldiers and Awliyaa’ (friends, followers, etc.); in order not to fight them, nor enjoin upon them the Ma’roof nor forbid them from Munkar. Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) has informed us that this is from the plot of the Shytaan and his frightening [in Surat Aal-Imran (3: 173-175)]. Therefore, He (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) forbade us from fearing them. However, as the faith of the slave becomes strong as the fear of the Awliyaa’ (friends) of the Shaytaan is removed from his heart, and as the faith of the person becomes weak as his fear from them is increased. This verse indicates that purifying the fear to Allaah Alone is of perfecting the conditions of faith.”
There are people who fear other’s harm and therefore they abandon what Allaah has made obligatory upon them, or they do what Allaah has made forbidden due to fear of the people’s talk (i.e. what they might say). As Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) says in Surat al-Ankabut (29:100):
“Of mankind are some who say: “We believe in Allaah.” But if they are made to suffer for the sake of Allaah, they consider the trial of mankind as Allaah’s punishment.”
Ibn Katheer (Rahimahuallaah) said: “Allaah mentions the descriptions of the liars who falsely claim faith with their tongues, while faith is not firm in their hearts. When a test or trial comes in this world, they think that it is a punishment from Allaah, so they apostate (leave Islam). Ibn‘Abbaas (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) said: ‘Meaning that their trial is leaving Islam (apostasy) if they are made to suffer for the Sake of Allaah.’”[Tafseer Ibn Katheer]
Ibn al-Qayyim (Rahimahuallaah) said: “The people are divided into two groups when the Messengers are sent to them: either one says, ‘I believe’ or he does not say that. The one who does not say ‘I believe’ continues on committing sins and persists in Kufr (disbelief). As for the one who says, ‘I believe’, his Lord will test him and afflict him, in order to be known clearly who is truthful and who is a liar. The one who does not say, ‘I believe,’ should not think that he can escape from Allaah or from the punishment. Verily, they will never be able to save themselves (from Allaah’s punishment). The enemies of the Messengers will show enmity to whoever believes in and obeys the Messengers. They (the enemies) will harm him, i.e. he will be afflicted with that which causes pain to him; however, those who do not believe in them (the Messengers) or obey them, he will be punished in this world and the Hereafter, and that which causes him pain will occur to him. And this pain will be greater and more continuous than the pain of their followers.
Pain will occur for everyone, for every soul, whether believed or not. However, the pain that occurs for the believer happens to him in this world in the beginning, but he will have a good end in this world (after some time) and the Hereafter; and the one who turns away from faith will have enjoyment first, then he will be in continuous pain after that.
Man lives with people of different wills and perspectives and one of them might ask a person to agree with them. If a man does not comply with them, they might harm him and torture him. If he does comply with them, he will attain the torment once from them and once for other than them.
Take for instance, a person who is religious and pious who settles among wicked people, oppressors. These wicked people, oppressors are unable to practice their evil and oppression unless the person complies and agrees with them or he does not protest what they do(i.e., he stays silent). If he agrees with them or stays silent, he will be safe from their evil in the beginning. Then they will overpower him with insult, and harm him even more than what he feared in the beginning if he had denied and opposed what they do. And if he stays safe from them, he will inevitably be humiliated and punished by other than them.
Be firm and determined in acting upon the statement of the Mother of the Believers, ‘Aishah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anha) to Mu’awiyah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu): “Whoever seeks to displease people at the expense of Allaah’s Pleasure, Allaah will suffice him his need (from the people)and whoever seeks to acquire the pleasure of the people at the expense of Allaah’s anger, Allaah will entrust him to the people”, and in another narration, “and they would not avail him against Allaah (if He wants to punish him).” [Saheeh al-Jamie’ no. 6010 and Saheeh at-Tirmidhi no. 2414]
Whomever Allaah has guided and bestowed guidance upon and protected from the evil of his own self, he will not agree or comply with them in doing the Haraam (i.e. violate the prohibitions of Allaah); and he will show patience for their enmity. For him will be the good end in this world and the Hereafter, as it happened to the Messengers and their followers.
Allah mentions in Surat al-Ankabut (29:10), regarding the person who accepts faith without insight (knowledge), and if he is harmed for the sake of Allaah, he considers the trial of the people as Allaah’s punishment, i.e., if he is touched with harm, such as the harm that touched the Messengers and their followers due to their faith, and duet o their opposition to their enemies, he thinks he will escape from that harm (by complying with the disbelievers or the enemies of Allaah). He considers it like the punishment of Allaah which the believers run from by their faith, (belief).
The believers, due to their perfect insight, flee from the painful torment of Allaah to Imaan (faith), and they suffer all what it comprises of temporary harm. While the one whose faith is weak, due to his weak insight, flees from the pain or harm of the enemies (of the Messengers) to agreeing with them and following them; so he flees from their painful torment to the painful torment of Allaah; and he makes the trial and affliction of people for him the same as the torment of Allaah. Truly, he is lost, who runs away from the heat of an hour of torment in this world to the eternal torment, and truly he is a loser who has sought the protection from the heat (in this world) with a fire (in the Hereafter). And if Allaah has given victory to His ‘Awliyaa’ (believing slaves,supporters, etc.), this person will say: “I am with you,” and Allaah knows what his breast conceals of hypocrisy.” [End quote of his statement]
3. Natural Fear
To be afraid of an enemy (whose harm is apparent), such as harmful animals, drowning, being burnt, etc. This is an allowable kind of fear as long as the reasons behind it are real. The person will be praised if he takes the means of protection and preparation.
Allaah says concerning the Prophet Musa (alayhis-salaam) in Surat al-Qasas (28:21):
“So he escaped from there, looking about in a state of fear.”
For example, fear of the Jinn could be natural, because they are not visible. However, we should have the correct belief in them. One should study Surat al-Jinn (chapter 72) to realize what our relationship should be with the monotheists from among the Jinn. The believing Jinn were the foremost to accept the faith when they heard the Qur’an, and their hearts magnified Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala). This fear could turn into a forbidden fear if it prevents one from performing an obligatory act; for example, getting up while it is dark to perform ablution and offer Salaatul-Fajr, especially if one is alone.This kind of fear could reach (escalate) to Shirk if it makes one believe that they (the Jinn) can harm him whenever they want, with whatever they want (i.e. to give them the will and absolute ability), without the Will of Allaah. It also reaches to the degree of Shirk if one slaughters in their name or for their sake, to please them; for example, as is done when one moves into a new house.
4. Delusive Fear
This kind of fear has no real reason, or the reason behind it is very weak.
- If one sees the branches of a tree or bush move and thinks an enemy is behind it
- If one passes by two people who are laughing, and thinks they are laughing at him
- If one attributes every evil that afflicts him to the evil eye or magic
- Fear of sickness
- Fear of the future
This kind of fear is dispraised and blameworthy fear and it could reach to forbidden or Shirki fear.
One should strengthen his trust in Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) and believe in His Name al-Wakeel, and in the perfect Attributes of Allaah. He is sufficient for us, He is the Samad, Whose Attributes are perfect,and He is the One to Whom all people should turn for their needs. Shaytaan cannot overpower a heart which relies on Allaah, but he can overpower a heart whose attachment to Allaah is weak. All these types of fear are prompted by Shaytaan in the hearts of people. If one really believes that Allaah is Able to do everything, and that in His Hands are the keys of the heavens and the earth, and that He gives to whoever He wills and prevents from whoever He wills etc.,then one’s heart will be strengthened and will not fear anyone or anything except Him, and then one will rid himself of all these delusions and fear.
If a person has a fear (natural or delusive) but it increases to be more than his fear of Allaah, then he is advised to learn about Allaah’s Names and Attributes.
The Reward of whoever singles out Allaah with Fear
‘Aishah (Radia Allaahu ‘anhaa) narrated that the Prophet (Salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “Whoever seeks to acquire the pleasure of Allaah at the expense of the people’s anger, Allaah will be pleased with him and make the people pleased with him. Whoever seeks to acquire the pleasure of the people at the expense of Allaah’s anger, Allaah will be angry with him and make the people angry with him.” [Saheeh at-Targheeb no.2250]
This Hadeeth shows that whoever seeks Allaah’s Pleasure by obeying His Commands and abstaining from all which He has prohibited –without caring whether or not one pleases others and without paying heed to their insults and opposition – will achieve Allaah’s Pleasure.Also Allaah will place love for that person in the hearts of mankind.But as for the one who tries to please the people at the expense of his religion, he will earn the Wrath of Allaah, and Allaah will place hate of that person in the hearts of the people, as a punishment for him.
Ibn Taymiyyah (Rahimahuallah) said: “Whoever pleases Allaah and displeases people becomes a Muttaqi (pious) and His righteous slave,and Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) protects (supports and helps) the righteous, and Allaah is sufficient for His slave.
Allaah says in Surat at-Talaaq (65: 2-3):
“And whoever fears Allaah and keeps his duty to him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine.”
And indeed, Allaah suffices him the need of the people. Never can it happen that all people will be pleased with him, and whoever pleases people at the expense of Allaah’s Anger, they never can avail him against Allaah (if He wants to punish him); like the oppressor who will bite on his hands, i.e. out of regret. As for the praising one turn into a dispraising one, this could happen often and also happens in the end. The end is for the piety and doesn’t happen in the beginning according to their desire.”
Shaikh Saalih Aal-Shaikh said: “This is the reward for whoever singles out Allaah with the worship of fear. It is also the recompense of whoever does not complete Tawheed in the worship of fear, because he commits a sin due to fear of the people and he makes his fear of the people a reason to do the forbidden or abandon an obligation.”
Shaikh Abdur-Rahman Aal-Shaikh said: “This Hadeeth shows the punishment of the one who fears people and prefers their pleasure over Allaah’s Pleasure. And the punishment could happen in the religion, as Allaah says in Surat Tawbah (9:77):
“So He punished them by putting hypocrisy into their heart still the Day whereon they shall meet Him. Because they broke that (covenant with Allaah) which they had promised to Him and because they used to tell lies.”
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