Fear

Fear is a feeling induced by perceived danger or threat that occurs in certain types of organisms, which causes a change in metabolic and organ functions and ultimately a change in behavior, such as fleeing, hiding, or freezing from perceived traumatic events.

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Zaid Alsalami, Shaykh Dr Zaid Alsalami is an Iraqi born scholar, raised in Australia. He obtained a BA from Al-Mustafa University, Qom, and an MA from the Islamic College in London. He also obtained a PhD from... Answered 1 month ago

Bismihi ta'ala

This is a very important question, and relevant to all of us, as we all somehow socially interact with others. In today's society, the boundaries of non-mahram interaction are also weaker than before, which makes it even more challenging for us Muslims. 

Please watch this presentation I gave in the holy month on this very topic, with detail explanation. It starts from the 1:38 hour mark:

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 2 months ago

Repeating Estighfaar, Salawaat, Ya Arham Arrahimeen, Ayatul Kursi, Sura Al-Hamd and Sura Tawheed.

Wassalam.

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Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answered 2 months ago

Inshallah you will find someone. As they say, there is somebody for everybody.

Attraction is somewhat different from conventional standards of beauty or handsomeness; sometimes two people like each other even if they don't fit society's definition of what is attractive. And, of course, different people have different ideas of what they find attractive in a mate. So, I am sure you have some features or qualities which are appealing!

And, of course, not everyone is looking primarily at physical appearance; some people value inner qualities such as compassion, helpfulness, reliability, and other things; or they admire other skills such as artistic skill, intellect, sports skill, charitable work, good conversation, or whatever. This is, of course, apart from religiosity.

If you really feel you are not physically appealing, then maybe it is good to focus on demonstrating the other personal qualities you have to offer, and this could make you look good in the other person's eyes. Most people would much prefer to be with someone who genuinely demonstrates they will look after them and be there for them or other demonstrations of good character (such as helping others) rather than someone who just looks good. 

If you are male, you could consider that a lot of women don't look primarily at physical appearance especially if they are looking to settle down and have a stable life. If you need to convince the family, certainly most women's families couldn't care less what the man looks like. At the end of the day, physical appearance waxes and wanes, but a person's character remains. 

As for career, do your best (and these are difficult times). But also remember that, these days, depending on where you live, there isn't always a social expectation that the man will be the sole provider (even if he is obliged to be by shariah). Also, as women get older, if they are single, they are more likely to have a career and income. So, this might become less important if you look to marry someone in a slightly older age bracket. Inshallah Allah will enrich you upon marriage, as the Qur'an says. 

In my observation, the main factors for people getting married and staying married are not handsomeness/beauty and wealth, but, rather, having a good set of family values and a strong sense of commitment, as well as maintaining strong social ties with others. (This is somewhat counter to what people think.)

Put differently, most people who genuinely want to get married, do get married.

Often, when people don't get married, there is sometimes some underlying reason; for instance, they aren't really wanting commitment, they are unable to make up their mind, or there is something else pushing a potential spouse away (apart from financial reasons). So if you know someone who has good insight into human beings, you could ask the if there is anything that you might change in how you are looking for a spouse or how you are interacting with potential spouses or their families.  

Of course, there could be nothing for them to say and it could simply be a matter of circumstances or simply not being the right time for you.

Anyway, inshallah, will do duas for your finding a good spouse. Continue to ask Allah especially on laylat al qadr and Allah is shy to reject duas! 

Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 2 months ago

You should try your best to get married with a suitable believer as soon as possible. Outer looking is not important nor financial situation as far as faith and morals are nice.

Marriage itself opens gates of income as we read in the Hadeeth: Get married for more income, surely marriage brings blessings in income. تزوّجوا للرزق فإن فيهن بركة.

Keep on repeating Salawaat and Istighfaar and reciting the verse: إنّ هذا لَرِزقُنا ما له مِن نَفاد Sura 38, verse 54.

Wassalam .

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answer updated 2 months ago

Most of people misunderstand the fact of death and think it as terrible and fearful. The terrible death is only for the sinners who did insist on wrong till their death and never repented. Death for the believer is bounty and great relief from the sufferings of this worldly life. When we read Quran, we find that the moment of death of a believer is the start of new life of mercy, bounties and peace. (Refer to Sura Al-Waqi'ah). We also read in Quran that pious believer is been received by the angles on his death with peace and good news of entering Paradise: Those (Believers) whose souls are taken back by the angles, angles tell them: Peace be upon you, enter the Paradise for the good which you used to do. Sura 16, Verse 32.

Authentic Hadeeths stated that every believer will have the pleasure of seeing the Prophet (SAWA) and Ameerul Mo'mineen (AS) and other Infallible Imams (AS) on his death and they will give him best news of Paradise.

It is narrated in a Hadeeth that death is the happiest day for the believer.

Understanding these facts should make the believer not only free from fearing death but also longing for that happiness. We read in Ziyarat Ameen Allah ; O Allah make me longing for the happiness of meeting Your Mercy ( Death). مشتاقة إلى فرحة لقائك.

Death is ordained by Allah, The Most Merciful, on all the creatures and it is part of His Mercy. Enemies of Allah will face the results of their bad deeds, but believers and pious servants of Allah will meet The Great Mercy of Allah.

Wassalam.

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Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answered 1 year ago

There is no religious or ethical responsibility for things we cannot control. So, if you cannot control your actions, there is no sin.

However, if you refuse to eat and it harms you or leads to death, and if you can control this and have a free choice, then it is a sin, because it is a sin to harm yourself.

Whether or not you can control this is something you can decide; there is no benefit in being guilty over something which you cannot control, because it will probably just make things worse and add anxiety.

Inshallah I hope you will find a solution that will help you to be free from this problem. 

Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 1 year ago

It is a sin to waste food but it is not s sin to give it to others to utilize it when you don't want to eat it for any reason.
Your mental condition needs proper treatment to be a normal person with out anorexia or any other abnormality.

Wassalam.

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 1 year ago

Repentance needs real feeling of sorrow on committing the sinful act and firm decision not to do it again. If you just fear the punishment but do not sincerely feel sorry for committing the sin or you did not decide to refrain from doing it again, then there is no question of forgiveness.

Wassalam.

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Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answer updated 2 years ago

It is a good opportunity to spend time exploring the vastness and diversity of the Qur'an and Islamic heritage, and the various ways that Islam is lived and understood. It may be that you will find others, past or present, who shared your views or concerns. There are as many ways to live Islam as there are Muslims, and while there is a tendency to treat what is around one's self as "the only Islam", the reality is that it is only one of many views. Even among a specific group, such as Twelver Shi'is, there are many different ways the religion is lived in practice. 

Also, it is a good time for self-reflection about what you believe regarding the basics. For instance, do you believe in God, what do you believe is the nature of God (assuming you believe God exists), what do you believe regarding the afterlife, what do you believe with respect to social ideals, do you believe the Qur'an is divine revelation, etc. 

It is considered to be part of the normal developmental process of human beings to transition from simply accepting what one is told as a child regarding religion, to questioning it and processing it into something one can successfully stand on independently as an adult. Sometimes, this requires some shifts. In fact, throughout life, it is not unusual for those who are strongly committed to a religion to periodically readjust their ideas of what their religion means to them, what they believe to be true, etc, as our understanding (ideally) continues to mature as we gain life experience.  

Lastly it doesn't hurt to be honest inside one's self about people's failings. (Sometimes it isn't tactful or wise to share those views, but one can at least be self-honest.) For instance, some Islamic centres are healthy environments. Some are not. Some Islamic schools are healthy environments. Some are not. Some Muslims live the ideals of Islam including trust in God, courage, justice, compassion, honesty, thinking the best of people, and so on; and others do not. Just putting the label "Islamic" on something does not mean that it is representing the values of the Qur'an; one has to dig deeper and see what is actually going on. 

Part of the process of adulthood can involve coming to accept the reality that our parents (or other significant adults who were around us when we grew up) are flawed human beings and, like everyone else, sometimes act certain ways due to fears, inner insecurities, low self-esteem, frustration, psychological challenges, difficulty in handling various aspects of their self, and so forth. It can be difficult for young children to handle this because young children tend to see their parents as gods and providers. It is also something we don't tend to be very honest about in our public discussions in the Muslim community. However when we look at every other single person in the world we can see they have flaws and sometimes be compassionate towards them or at least understand why they do what they do; in difficult family situations, it can take time to be able to do that with one's parents. It can perhaps be more difficult when things are done in the name of God or religion. Still, it can be part of a healthy growth process and of transitioning from simply doing/being what one was told as a child to full maturity. It can also help guide us to how we want to live our lives, and if some examples in our upbringing were not ideal, we can at least consciously decide not to copy them in our own family lives and try to live in a way we think is healthier. 

Seyed Ali Shobayri, Seyed Ali Shobayri is of mixed Iranian and Scottish descent who found the path of the Ahlul Bayt (a) by his own research. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University through the... Answered 2 years ago

Bismillah

Asalamu Alaykom, 

Unfortunately what you mentioned can be a common occurrence in Muslim communities. Some parents bring their children up in a way where they fail to explain the reasons behind certain Islamic practices and rather just force them. For example, instead of parents explaining the philosophy behind hijab and how it was a practice of the pious women, they may just force their daughter to wear it with the threat of being beaten if they don’t!

Knowledge and wisdom should be used when teaching anyone about Islam. 

The best way to overcome this would be to research into Islam and it’s laws. 

When you understand the religion more and gain knowledge, it should solidify your own faith more and make you able to distinguish between the right and wrong ways in which Islam was introduced to you. 

May Allah grant you success

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Shyrose Jaffer Dhalla, Zakira Shyrose Jaffer Dhalla is a graduate of York University in Canada from where she obtained a BA in Psychology and Sociology and a Masters in the field of Education. She lectures on Islam at... Answered 2 years ago

The constant remembrance of death and the fear of facing Allah swt is, in fact, not only encouraged by the Holy Quran, but is an essential quality that must exist in a true momin.   To find oneself in such a state of reflection is, in actuality, a blessing rather than a burden.

Imam Ali (a.s) in Nahjul Balagha (saying #44) explains,  

"Blessed is the man who always kept the life after death in his view, who remembered the Day of Judgment through all his deeds, who led a contented life and who was happy with the lot that Allah swt had destined for him."

However, it is important to understand that the fear of death and God is not encouraged in Islam simply in order to create a debilitating and paralyzing anxiety in the human being; rather, it is to allow for us to detach from the transient world and to galvanize us into preparation for the everlasting life.

To be consumed with thought of one's mortality should be the goal of every believer and it is this very state of being that elicits true asceticism in the human soul. It not only paves the path towards God Consciousness, or Taqwa, but it also allows for the essential task of detaching oneself from the world ie. Dunya.

Imam al-Baqir (a.s) has said,

'Remember death frequently, for no sooner does man increase his remembrance of death than he begins to renounce this world's life.’

الإمامُ الباقرُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): أكثِرْ ذِكرَ المَوتِ ، فإنّهُ لَم ‏يُكثِرْ إنسانٌ ذِكرَ المَوتِ إلّا زَهِدَ في الدنيا

Bihar Al-Anwar, V. 73, P. 64, No. 31

As to the concern whether one’s imaan has come from fear of Allah swt rather than the love of Allah swt, it is important to understand that faith or imaan, in true essence, has to actually include a combination of the two.  True love means one is always working for the Pleasure of one’s Beloved and is always worried about causing, even inadvertently, the Displeasure of the Beloved.  True love, in its most elevated form, means that the concern and anxiety over disobedience comes from a prevailing need to please the Beloved rather than the fear of possible punishment from the Beloved.

Is there hope for us?  Is it possible for us to get salvation? Should we dare to even dream of being forgiven? These are valid questions, indeed. As a matter of fact, a true believer must always be asking themselves this question.  And their state of being should always be in a perfect balance between fear and hope.

According to Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.), “A believer cannot have belief till both fear and hope are present in him. Nor can he be called as fearful and hopeful till he makes it evident in his actions.”

Staying in this state between anxiety and optimism prevents a believer from sins, protects them from developing a sense of invincibility and keeps them safe from becoming completely discouraged, demoralized and disheartened.

Remembering death often, fearing Allah swt, staying between the states of hope and fear is the quality of the ambiya and truly worth emulating for the Holy Qur’an praises the Prophets (peace be upon them) in the following words:

“Surely they used to hasten, one with another, in deeds of goodness and to call upon Us, hoping and fearing; and they were humble before Us.”

(al-’Anbiya’ 21:90)

May Allah swt infuse us with these towfiqaat (ilaahi ameen).

Remember that fear is often a result of a lack of knowledge. Thus, it is important to work on increasing our knowledge so that we can learn more about Allah swt and His ways.   The more we can understand how Merciful and Loving our Lord truly is, the better we can learn to view the remembrance of death and the fear of God as a blessing rather than a source of anxiety, ilaahi ameen.

Death for the believer is a blessing and happiness, as it is the start of reward and happy everlasting life, and for the disbeliever is a start of punishment. The believers are transferred when they die from the this life which has difficulties and pain and sufferings, to the life of peace, pleasure and happiness.

Imam Hasan al-Mujtaba was asked about death, he replied: Death is the happiest day for the believer, and the hardest day for the hypocrite.

In Ziyarat Ameen Allah which is recommended to be recited in visiting every Imam, we read a great Du'a which includes: O Allah, make me always longing for the happiness of meeting your mercy (death) مشتاقة إلى فرحة لقائك

Real believer seeks from Allah (SWT) to grant him martyrdom because it is the best way to die then live everlasting happy life, and even those who do not die in war, their readiness to be martyr and longing for martyrdom , makes them get the degree of the martyrs.

The Prophetic Hadeeth says: Surely, any believer dies loving The Progeny of the Prophet, will die as Shaheed.

Loving Allah ( SWT) and serving his servants ( especially the children ) will make death a really happy day for the family.

Wassalam.