Moral values and fear of Allah must for Muslims

Updated 09 October 2014
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Moral values and fear of Allah must for Muslims

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)

The writer has authored more than 300 books translated in 73 languages on politics, religion and science.


The beauty of prayer in Islam

Updated 23 September 2016
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The beauty of prayer in Islam

GOING deeper into our spiritual state during prayers (salah) requires that we have a presence of heart and are mindful of the words being said during the prayers.
Our prayer will feel shorter, yet when we look at how much time we actually spent, we will think, “Did I just spend 10 minutes?” or even 15 and 20 minutes.
A person who began applying this said he wished the prayer would never end.
A feeling that Ibn Al-Qayyim describes as “what the competitors compete for… it is nourishment for the soul and the delight of the eyes,” and he also said, “If this feeling leaves the heart, it is as though it is a body with no soul.”

The love of Allah
Some people’s relationship with Allah is limited to following orders and leaving prohibitions, so that one does not enter hell. Of course, we must follow orders and leave prohibitions, but it needs to be done out of more than fear and hope; it should also be done out of love for Allah. Allah says in the Qur’an: “… Allah will bring forth [in place of them] a people He will love and who will love Him.” (Qur’an, 5:54)
We often find that when a lover meets the beloved, hearts are stirred and there is warmth in that meeting. Yet when we meet Allah, there is not even an ounce of this same feeling. Allah says in the Qur’an: “And (yet) among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals (to Him). They love them as they (should) love Allah. But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah.” (Qur’an, 2:165)
And those who believe are stronger in love for Allah. There should be a feeling of longing, and when we raise our hands to start the prayer, warmth and love should fill our hearts because we are now meeting with Allah. A dua of the Prophet (peace be upon him): “O Allah, I ask You for the longing to meet You” (An-Nisa’i, Al-Hakim)
Ibn Al-Qayyim says in his book Tareeq Al-Hijratain that Allah loves His Messengers and His believing servants, and they love Him and nothing is more beloved to them than Him. The love of one’s parents has a certain type of sweetness, as does the love of one’s children, but the love of Allah far supersedes any of that. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Any person who combines these three qualities will experience the sweetness of faith: 1) that God and His messenger are dearer to him than anything else; 2) that his love of others is purely for God’s sake; and 3) that he hates to relapse into disbelief as much as he hates to be thrown in the fire.” (Bukhari)
Thus, the first thing he mentioned was: “… that God and His messenger are more beloved to him than anything else…”
Ibn Al-Qayyim says: “Since ‘there is nothing like unto Him’ (Qur’an, 42:11), there is nothing like experiencing love for Him.”
If you feel this love for Him, it will be a feeling so intense, so sweet, that you would wish the prayer would never ever end.
Do you truly want to feel this love? Then ask yourself: ‘why do you or should you love Allah?’
Know that you love people for one (or all, in varying degrees) of three reasons: For their beauty, because of their exalted character or/and because they have done good to you. And know that Allah combines all of these three to the utmost degree.

All-embracing beauty
We’ve all been touched by beauty. It is almost fitrah (natural disposition) to love what is beautiful. Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, said about the Prophet, peace be upon him, that it was “as if the sun is shining from his face.” Jabir (may God be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah was more handsome, beautiful, and radiant than the full moon” (Tirmidhi)
Allah made all His Prophets have a certain beauty so that people would have a natural inclination toward them.
And beauty is more than what is in the face, because beauty is in all of creation and somehow has the ability to take our breath away and give us peace simultaneously. The glimmer of the crescent moon on a calm night, the intensity of a waterfall as the water drops for thousands of feet, the sunset by the sea … certain scenes of natural unspoiled beauty stirs something in us. As Allah is the One Who made it beautiful, so what of Allah’s beauty?
Ibn Al-Qayyim said: “And it is enough to realize Allah’s Beauty when we know that every internal and external beauty in this life and the next are created by Him, so what of the beauty of their Creator?”
This fitrah for loving what is beautiful is because Allah is beautiful. One of His Names is Al-Jameel (the Most Beautiful). Ibn Al-Qayyim states that the beauty of Allah is something that a person cannot imagine and only He knows it. There is nothing of it in creation save for glimpses.
Ibn Al-Qayyim says if all of creation were the most beautiful they could be (so let’s imagine, ever single human being looked as beautiful as Yusuf, peace be upon him, and the whole world was like Paradise), and all of them combined from the beginning of time until the Day of Judgment, they would not even be like a ray in comparison to the sun when compared to Allah. Allah’s beauty is so intense that we will not even be able to take it in this life. In the Qur’an, Allah describes Musa’s (peace be upon him) request: “And when Moses arrived at Our appointed time and his Lord spoke to him, he said, ‘My Lord, show me (Yourself) that I may look at You.’ (Allah) said: ‘You will not see Me but look at the mountain; if it should remain in place, then you will see Me.’ But when his Lord appeared to the mountain He rendered it level, and Moses fell unconscious.” (Qur’an, 7:143)
Even the mountain could not bear the beauty of Allah and crumbled, and when Musa, peace be upon him, saw this (he did not even see Allah), he fell unconscious. This is why on the Day of Judgment it is Allah’s light that will shine on everything. We talk about breathtaking beauty, but we have yet to experience Allah’s beauty. While things in this world can be beautiful or majestic or if they combine both they are finite, true majesty and beauty are for Allah: “And there will remain the Face of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor.” (Qur’an, 55:27)
Keeping all of this in mind, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Allah directs His Face toward the face of His servant who is praying, as long as he does not turn away” (Tirmidhi).
Remember this in your prayer, and ask Allah to allow you the joy of seeing Him in Paradise.