A Few Miscellaneous Stories about the Fear of Allah
It is very difficult to cover all that is said in the Qur'an and the Hadith about the importance of fear of Allah. It may, however, be understood that fear of Allah is an essential step towards all spiritual advancement. The Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) said: "Fear of Allah is the root of all wisdom".
Hadhrat Ibn 'Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) used to weep so much with the fear of Allah that he lost his eyesight. He said to somebody watching him: "You wonder at my weeping. Even the sun weeps with the fear of Allah."
On another occasion, he is reported to have said: "Even the moon weeps with His fear."
The Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam] once passed by one of the Sahabah who was reciting the Qur'an. When he came to the verse:
"And when the heaven splitteth asunder and becometh rosy like red hide", ( LV:37)
the hair of his body stood on end, and he was nearly choked, with excessive weeping. He would cry and say:
"Alas; what will happen to me on the day when even the Heaven splitteth asunder. Woe is me!"
The Prophet (Sallallaho alai-he-wasallam) said to him:
"Your crying has made even the angels weep". Once an Ansari sat and wept after Tahajjud, saying:
"I cry to Allah for protection from the fire of Hell". The Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam] said to him: "You have made the angels weep today".
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Rawahah (Radhiyallaho anho] was once weeping. His wife also began to weep on seeing him in this condition. He enquired of her:
"Why are you weeping?"
She replied: "Whatever makes you weep makes me weep too".
He said: "The idea that I have to cross the bridge of Siraat across Hell makes me weep. I don't know whether I shall be able to cross over or fall into Hell'*.
Zurarah bin Aufa was leading the Salaat in a Musjid. When he recited the verse:
"For when the Trumpet shall sound; Surely that day will be a day of anguish"! (LXXIV: 8 & 9)
he fell down and expired. People carried his body to his house.
Khulaid was saying his Salaat. During his Qiraat, when he reached the verse:
"Every soul will taste of death" (III: 185)
he began to repeat it again and again. He heard a voice from a corner of the room saying:
"How often are you going to repeat this verse? Your recitation has already caused the death of four Jinns".
It is reported about another Sheikh that (while reciting the Qur'an) when he reached the verse:
"Then are they returned unto Allah, their Lord, the Just, is not His the Command?" (VI:62)
he gave out a cry, shivered and breathed his last.
There are many stories of this type. Fudhail, a famous Sheikh, says:
"Fear of Allah leads to everything that is good". Shibli, another Sheikh of high position, says:
"Whenever I have felt Allah's fear in me, I have found a fresh door of knowledge and wisdom opened for me".
In a Hadith, it is said:
"Allah says; ' I do not impose two fears on my slave. If he does not fear me in this world, I shall give him fear in the next, and if he fears me in this world I shall save him from all fears in the Hereafter".
The Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) says:
"All things fear a person who fears Allah, while everything is a source of fear to him who fears somebody other than Allah."
Yahya bin Ma'az (Rahmatullah alaih) says:
"If a man fears Hell as much as he is afraid of poverty then he may enter into Paradise."
Abu Sulaiman Daarani (Rahmatullah alaih] says:
"There is nothing but ruin for a heart that is devoid of fear of Allah."
The Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) says:
"The face that gets wet with the smallest drop of tear from the fear of Allah is safe from entrance into the fire of Hell."
He also said:
"When a Muslim shivers with the fear of Allah, his sins fall away from him like the falling leaves of a tree."
The dear Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) has said:
"A person weeping with fear of Allah cannot go to Hell until milk goes back into the teats (which is an impossibility)".
Hadhrat Uqbah bin Amir (Radhiyallaho anho) once inquired of the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam).
"What is the way to salvation?"
He replied: "Hold your tongue, stay indoors and cry over your sins."
Hadhrat A'ishah (Radhiyallaho anha) once inquired of the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam).
"Is there anybody among your followers who will go to Paradise without reckoning?"
"Yes," replied the Prophet, "the person who often cries over his sins."
There is another Hadith, in which my dear Master, Muhammad (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) has said:
"No drop is more dear to Allah than two drops; a drop of tear shed in the fear of Allah, and a drop of blood shed in the path of Allah."
It is said in a Hadith that seven persons would be under the shade of the Arsh on the day of judgement. One of them would be the person who remembered Allah when all alone by himself, and tears flowed from his eyes with awe of Allah and in repentance for his sins.
Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiyallaho anho) says:
"One who can weep should do so, and one who cannot should make the appearance of a weeping person."
It is reported of Muhammad bin Munkadir (Radhiyallaho anho) that, when he wept, he smeared his tears over his face and beard saying:
"I have heard that the fire of Hell does not touch the place touched by these tears."
Thabit Banani was suffering from a disease of the eyes. His doctor said to him:
"Your eyes would be all right, provided you do not weep in future."
He replied: "What is the good of an eye if it cannot shed tears."
Yazid bin Maisarah (Rahmatullah alaih) says:
'There can be seven reasons for weeping viz., extreme joy, insanity, extreme pain, horror, artifice, intoxication and fear of Allah. A single tear shed in the fear of Allah is sufficient to quench oceans of fire (of Hell)."
Hadhrat Ka'ab Ahbar (Radhiyallaho anho) says:
"By Him who holds my life in His (hands), I love to weep for fear of Allah, with tears flowing down my cheeks, rather than spend a mountain of gold in charity"
There are numerous other sayings of the Saints and other pious people, indicating that weeping because of the fear of Allah, and over one's sins, is very effective and beneficial in attaining spiritual elevation. We should not, however, lose hope in Allah. His Mercy is all-embracing. Hadhrat 'Umar (Radhiyallaho anho] says:
"If it be announced on the Day'of Judgement that all except one individual shall go to Hell, my expectation of the Mercy of Allah would make me hope that I may be that chosen one. Again, if it be announced on that day that all except one individual shall go to Paradise, then my sins would make me fear that I may be that condemned one."
It is therefore necessary that we should combine fear and hope together in our hearts. Especially when the time of death is approaching, we should have more hope than fear. The Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) says:
"None of you should die, except with a strong hope in the Mercy of Allah."
When Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal (Radhiyallaho anho) approached his end, he sent for his son and asked him to read to him the Ahaadith that induce hope in Allah and His Mercy.