‘Whoever follows My guidance should have no fear nor shall they grieve.’ (Surat Taha, 20:123)
‘so fear them not, but fear Me’ (Surat Al-Baqara, 2:150)
We can see that the fear of other people is natural especially when we are in a position of weakness, yet this sort of fear we should fight. We have all been in situations where we weren’t able to stop something or say something because we fear others. Yet this type of fear is what destroys mankind because we aren’t fulfilling a basic tenant of faith that is speaking out against injustice even if it against your own self. Fearing others could be in terms of what they think of us or what they will do to us- how many of us have told others to stop gossiping or backbiting? If we cannot even at that level- do we think we can stand up to a tyrant? Remembering of course that this must be done following the example of the Prophet (pbuh) and not in accordance to our whims.
Another type of fear is the fear of the unknown. In the current economic crisis shadowed by recession, mass unemployment and dwindling job prospects we can’t help but become apprehensive and fear what our future holds. Yet as Muslims, our hope lies in knowing that everything happens by the Qadar of Allah- by the Will of Allah!
These are different levels of fear which hold us back from achieving great things. A third type, and this is not an exhaustive list, is our own fear- fear of failure, fear of being great, fear of taking on responsibility, fear of realising your dream and potential and fear to go after that dream. All these different types of fears holds us back as individuals, as families, as an ummah.
But our salvation is the Quran and Sunnah and it is these that can root us out fear.
In the Quran, Allah tells us:
‘Successful indeed are the believers’ (Surat Al-Muminun, 23:1)
Allah is promising us success!! So why do we fail? Why do we fail by not achieving the best we can?
If we read the following verses in Surat Al-Muminun, Allah goes on to describe the characteristics of the believer. Which of those are we lacking?
We should not be an ummah Paralysed by Fear.
If we study the Quran we see that the people before us succeeded because they overcame their fears- such as the magicians who competed with Moosa (as) but then realized he was on the truth; they told Pharoah:
“We do not prefer you to what has come to us of clear arguments and to He Who made us, therefore decide what you are going to decide; you can only decide about this world’s life” (Surat Taha, 20:72)
Even thought he had threatened to crucify them!
So what are the consequence of fear?
1) We lose out on golden opportunities in this life and the next
2) internal anxiety because we do not have trust in Allah- tawakul
The root of fear:
Our problem is lack of emaan (faith) but with the conviction of faith comes stronger reliance on Allah!
How do you get courage? How do you stand up? By doing what the Quran tells us:
“…then whoever follows My guidance, he shall not go astray nor be unhappy;” (Surat Taha, 20:123)
1) Increasing your knowledge of Allah
2) Remembering the trials and tribulations of the Prophet (pbuh) and how he overcame these trials
3) Holding on to our Salah
4) Fearing Allah
5) Increase your dua
6) Strive- Allah promises success to those who strive
Reflect on your own personal circumstances. Think, how much has your own fear has held you back?
Don’t let Fear hold you back!
Man has been created weak so we can benefit from reminding ourselves that our courage comes from knowing that Allah is with us!
Say to your fear “I can’t defeat you alone but with the Help of Allah who has power over all things then I can defeat you. I can overcome you”. You have to believe that Allah is your friend, you wali.
Having conviction that Allah is there to respond to you so do not Fear and Do not Despair.
Remember the story of David AS and Goliath. Goliath was a big man, mighty warrior who everyone was afraid of. Yet despite the multitude of things that could have made David think twice, he went forth with his trust in God David defeated Goliath.
So remember you are not alone, Allah is with you! So have faith. Don’t be afraid, stand up!
Everything is by the will of Allah. So do not fear man fear Allah and do not die except in the state of perfect submission.