Young people today are brought up away from love and fear of Allah. A family generally teaches a child the basics of Islam. Yet in addition to that there are moral values of the Qur’an that need to pervade all of life and that the believer needs to apply every moment of life. A deep love and fear of Allah and a strong will to follow conscience also need to be instilled in the child’s heart. Only when brought up in line with the Qur’an, only when he loves Allah and fears His disapproval and stands in proper awe of Him, can the believer achieve the immaculate moral values that Allah desires. Otherwise, behavior that is incompatible with the Qur’an, lovelessness and insensitivity, will harm the believer most of all.
In bringing up a child, the first thing is to ensure that he has a sincere heart. Once a foundation of sincerity has been established, that child will heed his conscience right throughout his life. Love and sincerity go hand in hand. Someone who has no love can have no sincerity, and someone with no sincerity can have no love. Love, sincerity, reason, fear of Allah and behaving in line with the Qur’an therefore go hand in hand. When these are tightly bound together, the moral values of paradise that are pleasing to Allah grow within the believer. That makes the believer emit radiance wherever he is, with his luminous face, light and morals. Great depth will be reflected in all the actions, speech, expressions of a believer who feels love and fear of Allah in his heart. Even if he does not speak and preach, his very state of being is a great example to all others around him. With his immaculate moral values, deep love of Allah and all His creations, with his love, cleanliness, sincerity, kindness and unshakable faith in Allah, our Prophet (peace be upon him) is a role model for all believers. Our Prophet’s (peace be upon him) moral virtue and fear of Allah are described as follows in the Hadith: “The most important things that will grant my Ummah entry to paradise are divine taqwa (fear of Allah) and moral virtue.” (Usul Al-Kafi, Vol. 2, p. 100)
Our Prophet (peace be upon him) says in another Hadith that: “When a person’s hair stands on end from love of Allah, as the leaves fall from the trees in autumn, then minor sins will also fall away one by one.” (Hayat Al-Quloob. Durrat Al-Vaizin. Vol. 2, p.980)
In another Hadith, our Prophet (peace be upon him) says this about fear of Allah: “Our Lord taught me nine things: To fear Allah openly and in secret, to speak justly in a state of anger or content, to be economical in wealth or poverty, to remain friends with those who abandon me, to give to those who deprive me, to forgive those who wrong me, to think about Allah when I’m quiet, to praise Allah when I’m speaking, for my facial expression to be a deterrent and to command what is good and true, and to enjoin the good.” (Qutb Al-Sitte, translation and commentary by Prof. Ibrahim Canan, Vol. 16, Akcag Press, Ankara, p. 317)
For a believer to be raised with fear of Allah means ensuring that he will fear being unable to please Him. The believer must come to strictly avoid doing or saying anything that will not please Allah. He must have the sensitivity not to take a single step that will be unpleasing to Allah, whom he loves with such a deep passion, in this world or the hereafter, and to do nothing to Him. When the believer fills his heart with love and fear of Allah, his conscience will always show him the right path. With the fear of Allah in his heart, the believer will do nothing of which Allah will disapprove, and will always choose the path shown by his conscience. The more a person fears Allah and holds His approval above all else, the better. With their deep faith, and the way their every step was taken with fear and love of Allah, prophets were the finest of role models to the communities they were sent to.
Who is better? Someone who founds his building on taqwa of Allah and His good pleasure, or someone who founds his building on the brink of a crumbling precipice so that it collapses with him into the Fire of Hell? “... And Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people.” (Qur’an, 9:109)
If a believer does not properly fear Allah, he may behave arrogantly, or be selfish or proud or watch out for his own interests. He may be overcome by his lower self and offend others. If he does not properly fear Allah, he may lack the strength within himself to be humble when he is in the right, to eliminate evil through good, to speak well at all times and to behave virtuously. But when he has a deep fear of Allah in his heart, then he will have a most sharp and perfect set of moral values.
Just saying, ‘I love Allah’ is not enough. Love of Allah and fear of Allah go hand in hand. When a person loses his love of Allah, he will also lose his reason, conscience and Qur’anic virtues. That believer cannot achieve a deep faith, cannot properly train his lower self and cannot attain paradise. Fear of Allah is like a key that opens the door to profound faith in the believer’s heart. A deep fear of Allah may help the believer achieve the beautiful set of moral values, sincerity and humility of the prophets.
In conclusion, fear of Allah is not the kind of fear most people imagine. Fear of Allah means that a believer who loves Allah, who is genuinely devoted to Him and takes Him as his friend, will never behave in a way of which He will disapprove and strictly avoid any behavior with which Allah would not be pleased. There is no doubt that in this brief test, fear of Allah will be a greatest support for the believer. He will always behave with fortitude in the face of the lower self, with its limitless desires, and of the snares of shaitan, and will always take the most proper steps. He will have a most powerful faith, fearing nothing and none other than Allah.
“O you who have believed, fear Allah. And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow — and fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.” (Qur’an, 59:18)
Adnan Oktar's piece on Arab News & The Peninsula Qatar: