ALLAH SWT has decreed in Holy Quran: “Every Soul will taste Death” [Al Imran 3:185] and accordingly the Creator has specified a time when HIS creation will cease to exist. Death is as certain for all as life. Even an atheist will concur that death is a universal truth. Post death, on the day of resurrection (Qiyamah), all of us will assemble and our Book of Deeds will be revealed. None will be spared from presenting the Account of Deeds. Wise is the one who reflects on this and is better prepared in advance for the ultimate examination. What could be the best thing a person can possess to present to ALLAH?
Fear of ALLAH SWT is the best thing what a servant (of ALLAH) can take as a provision for the goodness of his Deen (way of life). ALLAH SWT states, “And take provisions, but indeed, the best provision is fear (of ALLAH)” [Baqarah 2: 197]. No good deed is acceptable except that which is a result of Taqwa. ALLAH says: “But righteousness is (in) one who fears (ALLAH)” [Baqarah 2:189].
Let us understand the meaning of Taqwa. Taqwa essentially is to protect self from punishment of ALLAH by obeying HIS orders and by abstaining from what HE has prohibited. It was reported that Umar bin Khattab asked Ubay Ibn Ka’b about Taqwa. In reply Ka’b queried Umar (RA), ” O Leader of the believers, what do you do when you have to pass through a thorny road? Umar (RA) replied, “I lift my cloth up to my calves and watch my footsteps and take each step slowly from the fear of thorns lest they don’t prick me”. Ka’b said, “This is Taqwa”.
ALLAH SWT says, “O you who have believed, fear ALLAH as HE should be feared and do not die except as Muslim (in submission to HIM) [Al Imran 3:102]. He who fears ALLAH SWT and acts according to HIS instructions will be secured from HIS punishment. ALLAH SWT says: “And fear ALLAH and know that ALLAH is severe in penalty” [Baqarah 2:196]. He who is safe from the torment of that day (Qiyamah) will notice that his days on earth were nothing compared to what he is rewarded. ALLAH says: “And the hereafter is better for one who fears (ALLAH)” [Nisa 4:77].
Some of the factors that lead to Taqwa are:
Obedience to ALLAH’s diktat and abstinent from what HE SWT prohibits;
Submission to the Will of ALLAH and to the decree HE SWT has set;
Love of ALLAH SWT and HIS Messenger PBUH;
Striving in the way of ALLAH and HIS Messenger.
We observe that the affection towards this worldly and materialistic life has corrupted our heart to renounce Islam and its beautiful teachings. We have become slaves of this perishing life to such an extent that we consider the rich and those who have gained this world and its splendours or luxuries to be the most successful. Woe on us!! Whereas ALLAH says, “Indeed the most noble of you in the sight of ALLAH is he who has the most consciousness and fear (of ALLAH)”. [Al-Hujraat 49:13].
Abu Zar RA narrates that the Prophet SAW said to him, “Fear ALLAH wherever or however you are, and make a good deed subsequent to a bad deed; so that the good wipes away the bad, and treat people with the best of characters” [Tirmizi]. Our beloved Prophet SAW always advised his companions to fear ALLAH in all their matters. He once said, “Fear (ALLAH) in your worldly matters and fear HIM regarding your wives” [Ibn Majah]. In another hadith, Abu Ummah RA narrates that he heard the Prophet SAW saying in a speech during his Hajj, “Fear ALLAH, and pray your five prayers, fast your month, and pay the zakat of your money, and obey those who are in authority among you so that you will enter your Lord’s Paradise.” [Tirmizi].
The ill morale and character of the present society has deprived us the fear of ALLAH. Satan has showcased evil deeds in such an attractive package that the evils are being glorified and not considered harm. The condition of Muslim society can be improved only by retaining and refreshing Taqwa in our lives, i.e. by fearing ALLAH SWT and acting on HIS orders. May ALLAH guide us to HIS fear and reward us better than what we deserve and may HE love us in return of our fear for HIM. Aameen. ALLAH mentions, “whoever fulfils his commitment and fears (ALLAH) – then indeed, ALLAH loves those who fear (HIM)” [Al-Imran 3:76].