Lesson 12: The Importance and Role of Fear and Sorrow (2)

The greatest blessing which Allah has granted to us is the gift of Islam and the guardianship of the Ahl al-bayt (‘a). Under the auspices of the guidelines and directives of that Pure Household, colossal treasures of their advices and knowledge have been transmitted to us with the help of the strenuous efforts of the great scholars over the past fourteen centuries. The least gratitude we can express concerning this great favor is study and research of these invaluable hoards of knowledge and making practicable use of them and increasing awareness of them. It is under the auspices of the guardianship of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) and their directives that we get led from the darkness of ignorance and unawareness to the light of knowledge and awareness; as we read in the Jami‘ah Supplication:

“Thanks to your leadership and custodianship, Allah made us know the knowledge and truths of the religion and set right our corrupt worldly affairs…”1

The luminous advices of the Noble Prophet (S) are a clear example of their instructions. There is room for us to derive benefit from these advices and recommendations in order to attain the prosperity of this world and the hereafter because Islam and its instructions are the best prescription that secures man’s worldly and eschatological prosperity and all his material and psychological needs.

Beneficial and Valuable Knowledge

“O Abu Dharr! Whoever imparts knowledge which does not cause weeping has passed on fruitless knowledge, because Allah has thus described the scholars in the Qur’an, ‘Surely, those who are given the knowledge before it fall down on their faces, making obeisance when it is recited them’.”

Islam is a comprehensive and complete school of thought which, by inviting man to perfection, aims at training and instructing him in social and ethical aspects and other prospects. Man attains perfection once he counterbalances all the academic, ethical and evaluative aspects and angles. Islam grants the same value to ethical and spiritual issues to the same extent that it grants to knowledge, expertise, independent reasoning and Islamic jurisprudence and law and a perfect man thrives for growth in the academic and jurisprudential aspects as much as he flourishes in the ethical aspects, too.

Unfortunately, sometimes attending to academic issues prevents us from paying heed to ethical issues, whose worth is not less than that of academic matters. In the same way that attending to social issues makes man heedless of spiritual and ethical issues. Man gets so immersed in social and official duties that he does not find an opportunity to engage in himself and probe into his ethical needs. In order for us not to get proud and heedless, sometimes it is necessary to pay heed to ethical and spiritual issues, too.

This section of the hadiths depends on this point that if Allah has granted us knowledge, He wants us to pay heed to ethical matters too because if we only attend to academic issues and get negligent of ourselves, we will get afflicted by ethical deviations such as laxity and egotism.

Some values have been mentioned in the Qur’an which unfortunately have been forgotten in our society [today], even though some people pay heed to them, but still it is not to the extent of these values finding their way to the social scene. This is in spite of the fact that the Qur’an believes those qualities and values to be attributes of devoted worshippers and the scholars. One of those attributes and qualities is fear of Allah and the state of supplication and lamentation.

Perhaps the reason for stressing the quality of sorrow and grief and humility is for the reason of setting the personality of a believer in equilibrium, especially an intellectual, because knowledge and awareness have a high station and are the most eminent values for man after piety. It is natural that the one who has attained knowledge becomes honored and respected in society and this itself gives birth to pride and vanity and naturally the academic is faced with the danger of corruption.

The divine law [shar‘] of Islam, in order to obstruct the scholar from egotism and self-importance and setting his personality balance, recommends him to humility, yielding before Allah and weeping and wailing, so that the higher he rises in social position, the smaller and humbler he perceives himself. This is the same thing that Imam al-Sajjad (‘a) requests from Allah on noble moral traits and acts pleasing to Allah:

“O Allah! Bless Muhammad and his Household, raise me not a single degree before the people without lowering me to the same extent in myself and bring about no outward exaltation for me without an inward abasement in myself to the same measure…”2

With regard to what has been cited, the Prophet (S) states to Abu Dharr that if your knowledge does not give rise to humility and modesty and does not bring forth crying in you, know that that knowledge is not beneficial to you. Knowledge is beneficial and rewarding which adds to man’s yielding before his Lord. As Allah describes the intellectuals in the Qur’an that when the divine verses are recited to them, they at once fall prostrating on the ground and make humble entreaties and supplications [to their Lord]. This is a sign of man’s submissiveness to Allah.

Even if it is considered an outward act but still it arises from the transformation of the heart and inside; until man’s heart has not become sorrowful and man has not become humble in his heart, the state of crying does not come about in man.

In continuation of the hadith, the Prophet (S) states:

“O Abu Dharr! Every person can make himself cry because of fear of Allah and not every person can make his hearts acquainted with sorrow and force himself to cry because a hard heart is far from Allah; but they do not perceive this denotation.”

As has previously been mentioned, the crying which has been recommended in the hadiths, one of which is this hadith, is weeping as a result of fear of being deprived of the prosperity of the hereafter and getting polluted by sin and/or lamenting because of spiritual deprivations and due to the absence of the Imam of the Age—may Allah hasten his reappearance—and higher than all these is lamentation because of deprivation from the beatific vision of Allah [liqa’ Allah].

Those who are lovers of Allah and cognition of the divine guardianship weep as a result of fear of being deprived of the beatific meeting with Allah, in the same way that Imam ‘Ali (‘a) states in Du‘a’ al-Kumayl:

“I am at crossroads O my Allah O my Master! I could bear your fire with patience, but how can I bear separation from Thee!”

If it is not possible for someone to cry, then at least one ought to inculcate his hearts with topics that cause sorrow and/or meditate upon his spiritual privations and reflect upon his sins in order to make his hearts grieved. If his heart still does not become sorrowful, then he ought to at least dissemble to be anguished. If sadness does not occur for someone and he was always overjoyed and pompous, he gets deprived of Allah’s mercy.

Of course, it is to be taken for granted that every person who has a state of weeping and wailing is close to Allah, because it is also possible for the hypocrites to attain this state as a result of causing and maintaining certain feelings in themselves in order to quickly become sad and start crying. Opposed to that, it cannot be asserted that whoever does not get sad and does not cry is stone-hearted and far from Allah.

Security and Peace in Paradise Are a Product of Fear and Dread of Allah in the World

“O Abu Dharr! Allah states, ‘I do not mix two fears and also two securities in [any] one of my slaves. If he were secure in this world, I will scare him in the next world. If he were afraid of me in this world, I will make him secure in the next world’.”

Being secure from divine machinations is a cause of becoming polluted by sin because once man perceives himself at liberty to do whatever he fancies and has no fear and apprehension whatsoever, he has no qualms about committing sin. It is natural that feeling safe in the world—which causes being polluted by deviations and sin—goes with insecurity and punishment; in this regard Allah states:

فَأَمَّا مَنْ طَغَی * واثَرَ الْحَيَوةَ الدُّنْيا * فَاِنَّ الْجَحِيمَ هِيَ الْمَأوَی

“Then as for him who is inordinate, and prefers the life of this world, then surely the hell, that is the abode.”3

The Prophet’s (S) remark in this section is expressive of the fact that man can do something to bring about fear of Allah in his heart. After man has comprehended that fear of Allah is desirable and results in the attainment of the hereafter, the question arises as to how it is possible to cause fear and dread in oneself? In response to this question, it can be said that this state arises in man by making some of the necessary preparations and paying heed to some of the issues:

Sometimes man knows certain things but because they do not pay heed to those known facts, his faith and knowledge are dormant and faint-colored and an individual becomes negligent and in the end that knowledge and belief does not produce its effects. But every time a person pays heed to the causes giving birth to fear and whenever he tries to pay attention to that fear, his fear and dread increase and affect his behavior.

The other point is that man can attain a position where he concurrently combines sorrows and raptures. Weak people cannot have sorrow and happiness at the same time. They have either happiness and delight or sorrow at a time. Once the soul gets stronger and more perfect, it is possible that at one time, he becomes happy from one point of view and from the other perspective gets sad and sorrowful, and bit by bit attains a level where as a result of the perfection of the heart and soul, he muster in himself kinds of sorrows and raptures in the same way that the saints [awliya’] of Allah used to gather in themselves different kinds of fears and sorrows and raptures and hopes. People who have achieved those stations have different spiritual states simultaneously and can manage to produce the different effects and conditions in themselves.

The Forgiveness of Sins Is a Result of Fear of Allah

In connection with the fruits of fear of Allah, the Prophet (S) states:

“O Abu Dharr! On the Day of Resurrection, the sins of a believing slave will be shown, he will say, ‘I was scared of the consequences of this action.’ As a result of this, his sins will get forgiven.”

We have so far understood the importance of fear of Allah and have known its role in giving aid to man in his journeying towards Allah. In regard to this matter the Prophet (S) hints at some of the benefits and profits of fearing Allah in order to produce or strengthen in us the motivation of bringing about fear. He states that one of the benefits of fear of Allah is forgiveness and remission of sins.

In general, every individual can have two conditions:

1. At the time of committing sin, he had no fear of the consequences of his action, and enjoyed deriving gratification from his sins in relaxation and peace of mind and without any worry and anxiety. Such a condition results in being encouraged to sin more and as a result adamant persistence at perpetrating that sin and the end result is the bad end for man.

2. At the moment of perpetrating sin, he is fearful of Allah and his end and destination. He fears to die before succeeding at repentance. This fear and dread causes a decrease of pleasure at the time of committing sin and consequently leads to repentance and the forgiveness of sins.

It is natural that on the Day of Resurrection, man will be held accountable for his sins, and if that sin has not been compensated for and amended, and has not even been repented for, because if he had repented he would have been forgiven, he will be led towards hell. But because Allah’s slave was fearful and dreadful in the world, they say: “O Lord! I was scared of the consequences of my sin at the time of committing sin.” As a result of this, their sin will be forgiven. Therefore, if man is afraid of Allah with regard to his sin, the hope is that he will be forgiven on the Day of Resurrection.

Fear of Allah causes a reduction of sin and man’s wakefulness and vigilance and is itself a cause of warning against negligence in man at the time of deviation and error. It is for this reason that the fearful and dreadful of Allah have been praised and a promise of reward has been promised for fear of Allah.

With one brief overview at the verses of the Qur’an, we arrive at this conclusion that the differences of the levels of fear are related to the levels of man’s knowledge and cognition; that is to say, wise people, amongst them the Infallible Imams (‘a), have a higher level of fear of Allah and the rest of the people are at a lower level. The Qur’an recites two adjuncts for fear and dread:

1. Fear of the presence of Allah.

2. Fear of divine punishment.

In Surat Ibrahim, Allah states:

لَنُسْکِنَنَّکُم الأَرْضَ مِنْ بَعْدِهِمْ ذَلِکَ لِمَنْ خَافَ مَقَامِي وَخَافَ وَعِيدِ

“And most surely, We will settle you in the land after them; this is for him who fears standing in My presence and who fears My threat.”4

In this verse, both fear of Allah and dread of divine punishment have been mentioned. The highest position of fear is fear of Allah’s presence.

The deceased ‘Allamah Tabataba’i states, “Fear of Allah denotes dread of Allah’s punishment that results from unbelief and sin and its requisite is that man’s acts of worship have been performed for release from divine retribution, not worship solely for Allah. This is the worship of slaves who devote themselves to their Master as a result of fear of punishment.

Likewise, some people devote themselves to Allah out of desire for divine reward and payment, and this kind of worship has acquired the name ‘worship of the traders’. But fear of the divine presence is other than fear of divine retribution. This fear arises from a feeling of smallness and abjectness in the face of Allah’s greatness and His divine realm, and is a fruit of humility and lowliness in the face of the honor and sovereignty of Allah.

“In reality, worship and servitude is [done] as a result of fear of the divine presence and with the denotation of humility and homage, not because of fear of divine retribution and/or as a result of coveting divine reward and payment, and this sincere worship only takes place for Allah. Therefore, people who fear the divine presence of Allah are the purified and fearful in the face of the majesty of Allah.”5

Criticizing Dependence on Good Works

The Noble Prophet (S) reproaches a person who performs sin because of being confident of his good works, and states:

“O Abu Dharr! A man performs good works and by putting his confidence in it, commits sins and perceives sin as light in comparison to his good works, such a person gets agitated when he goes to the divine presence of Allah. Opposite to him is a man who commits sin and is fearful and dreadful of divine retribution, such a person will have a free conscience on the Day of Resurrection.”

The criteria of acceptance or lack of acceptance of works cannot be measured by outward criteria but acceptance and lack of acceptance of works is connected to conditions which all too often man does not manage to compute.

Therefore, no one can be sure of the approval of his works. In addition to that, surety of the acceptance of acts of worship gives birth to self-conceit in man, to the extent that it is possible to contaminate himself with venial sins vis-à-vis the good works which he has committed on the pretext that minor sins are nothing in comparison to the good works which he has discharged heedless of the fact that firstly confidence in the approval of his acts of devotion was misplaced, because oftentimes his works might not be accepted, secondly not paying heed to venial sins is itself an unpardonable sin. That man feels safe and assured as a result of reliance on the good works he has performed and perceives sin to be small and considers it as unimportant as a result of depending on his acts of devotion is enough to make man an object of Allah’s wrath.

In contrast to this group, some people are fearful and anxious and always worried once they commit sin. This group, even if they do not have a lot of will power to discharge some of the acts of worship, will be freed from the divine retribution of Allah because of their fear and dread in regard to sin, and will be in peace and security there. (The Noble Prophet’s (S) expression in this section has another interpretation which has previous been mentioned.)

The Noble Prophet’s (S) intention is to direct Abu Dharr’s attention to the importance of the spiritual states of the heart and how effective fear of sin is, to the extent that once man commits sin, anxiety, worry and distress of the heart will result in his forgiveness and remission. Opposite to this, even if he performs a lot of acts of worship but feels secure and safe from the repercussions of venial sins, which is proof that he has regarded sin as light and pays no heed to Who he is disobeying, he will be afflicted by divine wrath. Therefore, no sin ought to be considered as minor [or pardonable] and always make effort to preserve in ourselves fear and dread of Allah so as not to become self-conceited and deceived by the accursed Devil.

The Role of Paying Heed to Sin in Shunning the Devil

Higher than what has been said, the Noble Prophet (S) states in the next sentence:

“O Abu Dharr! Allah’s slave commits sin and as a result of that [sin] goes to heaven.” I said, “O Prophet of Allah! May my father and mother be thy ransom! How possible is that?” He stated, “He always perceives his sin and repents it, seeks refuge in Allah until finally he enters paradise.”

Sometimes, man commits sin and as a result of that is anxious and worried and this very fear and dread gives rise to repentance and seeking refuge in Allah and release from the trap of the accursed Devil. Consequently, once he gets freed from negligence and cravings of the flesh, he no longer perpetrates sin and as a result of this enters the Garden of eternal bliss. Perhaps, if that sin were not committed by him, this feeling would not have been aroused in him. Of course, the proximate [or immediate] cause of paying heed to Allah and fleeing from the accursed Devil is that same repentance, fear and dread of Allah and sin is a remote [or distant] cause but at any rate that too has become a factor.

This statement of the Prophet (S) is intended to encourage man to [pay heed] to this point that they ought to arouse in their souls a feeling of fear and dread. Fear which results in compensating for past sins and makes the individual who enters the Garden of bliss not of meager value, therefore we ought to strive to attain it.

A Study of the Nature of Fear and Sorrow and the Meaning of Fear of Allah

Up to this section, the discussion has been connected to fear and dread which has been cited in the hadiths. Now is the time to present some questions and their responses even if these queries are not directly related to this ethical discussion:

One of the questions pertains to whether having the condition [or state] of fear is good or bad? If it is good, then why does Allah describe his saints [awliya’] as ‘and there is no fear for him nor shall he grieve’6? And if it is bad, then why does the Noble Prophet (S) encourage others to give rise to this feeling in their hearts? And also why has he stated that these two are a cause of forgiveness and remission of sins?

Two responses ought to be given, fear and sorrow are not in themselves, without taking into consideration their two adjuncts [or attachments], desirable or reproachable. It cannot be said with generality that they are either good or bad, but the cause of that fear and the cause of that sorrow have to be taken into consideration.

Fear of Allah and His retribution is desirable, because it results in man standing up to perform acts of worship and obedience of Allah and abstinence from sins and in the end it helps man to better discharge his duties and with the acquisition of the path to prosperity and bliss, become a dweller of the Garden of eternal bliss. Opposite to it is undesirable fear as a result of the world, for the reason that the origin [or roots] of inclination to the world is not good, worse with fear of it. The other query concerns what the interpretation of fear of Allah is.

In response it ought to be said that fear of Allah is a reflection of dread of ourselves and the actions which man has committed, otherwise Allah is the source of mercy and compassion. Fear of Allah is because of His being ‘the One who inflicts intense punishment’ [shadid al-‘iqab], He does not overlook man’s actions and He keeps count of every deed.

The other point whose mentioning is necessary is that in one general division, three kinds of fear of Allah can be cited:

1) Fear of Divine Retribution In Hell

This is the level of ordinary people. In most people dread of the eternal inferno and divine retribution causes them to discharge their religious duties and not stain themselves with sin. Of course, it ought to be mentioned that this stage is very valuable for those who are at the beginning of growth and perfection and this fear gives fruit to prosperity and freedom from divine punishment if it is effective in making man abstain from sin.

2) Fear of Losing The Gifts Of Paradise

Some people refrain from sin and discharge their religious obligations as a result of fearing to be deprived of the blessings of the eternal blissful Garden, in reality their longing for the Garden of eternal bliss impels them to obey Allah and shun the Devil. This level is higher than the previous one.

3) Fear Of Being Deprived Of The Beatific Presence And Vision Of Allah [Liqa’ Allah]

This is fear of losing the attention and affection of Allah. There is no doubt that this level is higher than the previous two levels and is especially reserved for the elect ones of the divine presence and people whose companionship is very high and pay no attention to the reward and retribution of the hereafter; but perceive and pursue things which are higher.

In order to clarify this level and make our minds perceive it, it is necessary to cite an example:

Imagine that we have been invited by the leader of the Islamic revolution and a reception has been arranged for us. It is likely for a number of the people who have been invited to be worried of missing the food once they delay. Some say to themselves that today is a festival and it has been resolved that the leader will offer presents. Their fear is that they will miss the gifts if they arrive late [at the reception]. The ambition of this group is higher than that of the previous one. It is not important whether they remain hungry or not, but what is important is receiving a present from the hands of the leader!

The third group consists of people who only value and cherish visiting the leader and nothing else. That the leader of the Islamic revolution will cast a glance at them and smile out of pleasure and happiness at them is very valuable for them and it is no longer necessary for them to be given a coin or not.

These levels of love and affection which exist among the people as a result of the differences in motivation and knowledge are coincidentally similar to fear of the divine presence.

In a hadith, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) cites these three levels in regard to worship and servitude to Allah, the Exalted, stating:

“A group of men worship Allah as a result of fear; the worship of this category of people is that of slaves. Another party prays to Allah as a result of ardor for divine reward and profit; the worship of this sect is that of wage-takers. And another group venerates Allah as a result of love and adoration for Allah; this is the worship of the free and is the highest worship.”7

The dread of a person who fears Allah is sometimes apprehension of hell in such a way that if the punishment of hell is gotten rid of, they are no longer worried. Of course, this stage is very worthy in comparison to infidelity and disbelief and is a product of belief in Allah, the Day of Resurrection and faith in the fact that Allah will punish sinful and disobedient servants. The ambition of a person who has achieved this level is low and is like slaves who work as a result of fear of their master’s punishment.

Some people’s fear of Allah is a result of their foreboding that they will be deprived of the divine blessings of the eternal Garden of bliss. Even if divine retribution is out of consideration, they apprehend being expropriated of the divine favors of Allah. Vis-à-vis, those two groups are a sect which, even if heaven and hell were not existent, they worry about being the object of indifference and disregard by Allah. The Qur’an mentions Allah’s disregard to the disbelievers as one of the greatest divine retributions:

... وَلاَ يُکَلِّمُهُم اللهُ وَلاَ يَنْظُرُ إِلَيْهِمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ...

“… and Allah will not speak to them, nor will He look upon them on the Day of Resurrection…”8

For a person who is conscious [and perceptive], Allah’s contempt is worse than His retribution. Worse than any punishment for a man is to go visiting his friend, father or teacher after a long period of time only to be confronted by their disregard and indifference.

A question is asked here that why were the Infallible Imams (‘a) also afraid of Allah? They were infallible and the control of heaven and hell was at their disposal, why were they afraid of Allah and how compatible is this fear with the station of infallibility?

A brief answer is that infallibility connotes quitting sins and abstaining from what is forbidden and that does not mean that the good pleasure of Allah too is allotted to the Infallible. An Infallible is a person who does not sin and does not go to hell, but where is it explicitly stated that he is the object of Allah’s attention and love? Dread of being expropriated of Allah’s grace and His good pleasure is higher than fear of divine retribution.

An elaborate and real response to this query is beyond the reach of our understanding, because we cannot conceive the station of the Prophet’s (S) Pure Household and [we cannot] perceive what spiritual states they had and what they were doing and how their conditions were.

Yes, with reliance on the evidence that exists and in comparison with our own states, in brief and to the extent of our comprehension, we perceive a very meager fraction of their states but the reality of the matter is not apparent to us and is not explicable.

The Simultaneous Appearance of Opposing and Conflicting States

With regard to the previous topics, it can be gathered that once man’s soul becomes complete, it can have different states simultaneously—such as [concurrent] pleasure and displeasure.

Our capacity is limited and we cannot manage to gather numerous transcendental states at the level of perfection. Therefore, the collection of sorrows and joys gives rise to a medium and intermediate inner state in us. But once man becomes more perfect, he can cause to appear in himself two or more conflicting spiritual states, what is more at the level of perfection.

Fear and hope, with regard to their special factors, appear in the soul and if the totality of causes are together taken into consideration, it is possible for them to give rise to a new transcendental state as a result of their actions and reactions. But if regard is paid to every factor, from the perspective that it is a source and fountainhead of a specific inner state, its only fruit is that very spiritual state. For instance, if we concentrate on the origin of fear, only dread appears in our souls and once we focus on the source of security, the feeling of security and peace appears in our souls.

People whose souls have become complete and are in firm control of their inner states and spiritual conditions become full of tears once they conceive the divine retribution and/or reflect upon the possibility of being deprived of the good pleasure of Allah and at that very moment perceive the grace, mercy and forgiveness of Allah and a state of happiness and joyousness appears in them. That is to say, with regard to the causes of fear and security, it is feasible for them to concurrently emanate two inner states in themselves.

With regard to these issues, it is possible to have a weak awareness and knowledge in relation to the holy existence of the Noble Prophet (S) and the Infallible Imams (‘a) in the form of a subtle station ‘union of perfections’ [jam‘ al-jam‘i] and that those strong souls can synchronically be the manifestation of all the beautiful Names and Attributes of Allah. They pay heed to the mercy of Allah and become happy and joyous and hope appears in them.

On the other hand, they pay heed to the harsh divine retribution and punishment, and an inner state of fear and dread appears in them. But in regard to the physical [or bodily] appearance and emergence of spiritual states, whichever gains predominance over the other becomes conspicuous and evident because the body of man lacks the capability of manifesting those two inner states in a complete way. If fear prevails, tears flow and once the feeling of hope and joy predominates, the lips fall into a smile; of course, manifesting these inner states is at their free disposal.

With regard to the question of why the Infallibles paid heed to divine retribution in order to give rise to the inner state of fear in themselves despite that they knew they had not committed any sin and would never at all commit any sin, in addition to that, Allah has placed heaven and hell at their free disposal. Therefore, what motivation do they have for paying heed to the cause of fear? We have previously provided a response to this query but now we will give another answer.

The sum of capabilities and inner states which exist in man ought to be the manifestation of devotional servitude to Allah and to be expended in His way. Man’s being is a mixture of material and transcendental elements and states; there is in his natural disposition fear and displeasure and security and pleasure, and joy and gratification, too.

Allah has granted these spiritual and transcendental states to all human beings in order for them to use them along His path. They ought to be happy and laugh for the good pleasure of Allah; that is to say, his joyousness has to be related to Allah in some way. He ought to be glad for the reason that he has been an object of Allah’s mercy not because he is deriving pleasure [for] himself.

It has been narrated in some hadiths that the Shi‘ahs will be guests of the Prophet (S) and his Ahl al-bayt (‘a) and sit at their table partaking of their food. But still is the gratification which the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) derive the same as that which we derive [from it]? It has been recorded in a verse in the Qur’an that:

وَلَحْمِ طَيْرٍ مِمَّا يَشْتَهُونَ

“And the flesh of fowl such as they desire.”9

Is the pleasure which the Noble Prophet derives from the fowls of paradise the same as that which we derive?

Of course, the two immeasurable pleasures are different. The Noble Prophet (S) derives pleasure from the perspective that it is acceptable to Allah. In any case, the level of derivation of pleasure is related to the standard of knowledge and affection and love of an individual to Allah.

This very contrast can be made in relation to the fear of the Noble Prophet (S) and the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) with the dread of the rest [of people]; even if they fear the fire of hell but still their dread emanates from their perception that it is a sign of Allah’s wrath. They perceive it as a sign that their Beloved has no love for them; Allah’s wrath and separation and parting from Him is unbearable for them, it is for this reason that they are deeply worried and anxious.

  • 1. Mafatih al-Jinan, p. 109, the Islamic Culture Propagation Publications.
  • 2. Mafatih al-Jinan, Du‘a’ Makarim al-Akhlaq.
  • 3. Surat al-Nazi‘at 79:37-39.
  • 4. Surat Ibrahim 14:14.
  • 5. Tafsir al-Mizan, vol. 19, p. 122.
  • 6. Surat al-Baqarah 2:112.
  • 7. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 70, p. 236.
  • 8. Surat Al ‘Imran 3:77.
  • 9. Surat al-Waqi‘ah 56:21.