Faith is the discovery of God. This discovery produces certain qualities in a human being. One such important quality may be called fear of God (khushu or taqwa), always going in fear of being accountable to God. That is, God will take us to task for all our misdeeds. By introspection, one must remind oneself of the accountability on the Day of Judgement. It is a sign of true faith. The true believer is only that person whose most significant concern is God. The true believer’s focus of thinking is only one, which is fear of God. He never forgets that he will be called to account by God. Such a person is always conscious of God.

The personality of a believer is made up of these two feelings. On the one hand, he loves God the most. Moreover, on the other hand, he fears God the most. The love of God is such as is filled with agony. Similarly, the fear of God is such as is filled with the love of God. It is a relationship that man hopes to have with the Being he fears lest He deprives him of His blessings. It combines love and fear, which can be felt but not expressed in words.



According to religious belief in Islam, Satan has a role to play. A person’s mind has ego and desires. Each desire is an entry point for Satan wherefrom it enters. When Satan enters one’s mind, the Quran says:

When any evil suggestion from Satan touches those who fear God, they are instantly alerted and become watchful. (Quran 7:201)

The final decision rests with man and man alone is accountable for his actions. Satan cannot make a person commit sins. He can only act as a catalyst.

We do love God. He is our supreme benefactor, the most gracious and the most merciful. Piety in human beings is a manifestation of the love they have for God. Having fear of God is not in the same sense as having fear of a ferocious animal. Rather, fear of God is positive fear and can be understood in the context of obedience to God. While God is compassionate and benevolent toward human beings, He is also very just. Thus, fear of God is a result of the realization that God has the ability of punishing wrongdoers for their evil deeds. God is all-knowing and nothing is, or can be, hidden from Him. A person who has fear of God constantly lives with the sense of being accountable to Him. Even if his fellow human beings do not have the power to implicate him for his wrongful actions, a person who has fear of God knows that in the Hereafter he will surely be answerable to the Almighty for his actions, big or small. It is this that causes a believer to naturally fear God, a concept which serves as a source of reform in his life.

It is recorded in a tradition that Umar Faruq once asked Ubayy ibn Kaab what taqwa was. He replied, “Have you ever passed by thorny bushes?” He said he had. Ubayy ibn Kaab then asked, “What did you do then?” Umar Faruq said that he had gathered up his clothes and cautiously kept away from the thorns, so as not to get entangled. Ubayy ibn Kaab replied that that was taqwa. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, vol. 1, p. 75)

We learn the reality of taqwa from this tradition. Taqwa actually means that in this world, one should keep away from all kinds of trials and tribulations. It can be summed up in one phrase, a ‘cautious approach’. At all times in the world there are different types of temptations, and great and small tribulations. In such conditions, the way of taqwa is for a person to keep sedulously away from all these and adopt a cautious approach on all occasions.

Source: Spirit of Islam May 2019

Those who possess taqwa firmly believe that God sees everything. This inspires in them a strong desire to perform good deeds and a hatred for all things evil. Such thinking induces righteous conduct and taqwa thus becomes the foundation of all good deeds.

One who has fear of God, or taqwa, will see his affairs in relation to God, the Almighty. Here too, the same principle applies with greater force. When one sees oneself in relation to creatures, one can rate oneself as being greater than others. But when one sees oneself in relation to God, everyone becomes small, in relation to God. No one is great. In this way the belief of a God-fearing man or woman makes him or her a balanced person.

Once an individual becomes a God-fearing person, his life changes completely. He becomes careful to avoid that which will lead him to Hell, and is desirous of anything which will make him deserving of Paradise. He loves and fears God above all.

Source: Discovering God


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