Allah Ta’ala commands in the Qur’aan Shareef:
“And Fear Me.”
Rasulullah (saws) said:
“He who fears, sets off (on the journey) at night; he who sets off at night, “reaches the destination; Hark! The merchandise of Allah is expensive. Hark! The merchandise of Allah is Jannat.”
Nature of Khauf
Khauf is the painful condition of the heart, which arises as a result of thinking of something reprehensible and the fear of it materializing.
The nature of khauf consists of the possibility of athab (punishment). This possibility extends to every person, for he may be overtaken by athab. This is the extent of khauf which has been commanded and imposed upon the servant. This extent, viz. fearing the possibility of athab, is a compulsory condition (shart) of Imaan. It is also known as khaufe-e-aqli (intellectual fear). At the behest of sin this faculty (khauf-e-aqli) has to be put into operation. The warnings and punishments of Allah Ta’ala should be recalled and ruminated over so as to be saved from sin. This degree of khauf is Fardh (compulsory). Its non-existence induces and involves one in sin. It is the medium of exhorting towards virtue and steering one away from sin.
Allah Ta’ala has combined the noble attributes of hidayat guidance from Allah), rahmat (mercy), ilm (knowledge) and ridha (contentment) for those who are imbued with the khauf of Allah Ta’aIa. All beings fear the one who fears Allah Ta’ala. Allah Ta’ala has stated that in the servant, two fears will not combine. This means that the servant of Allah, who on earth entertains the khauf of Allah Ta’ala, will be fearless in the Akhirat; and, he who had no khauf of Allah Ta’ala on earth, will be overtaken by fear and calamity. In this regard, Rasulullah (saws) said:
“On the Day of Qiyaamat every eye will he crying excepting the eye which refrained from gazing at that which Allah Ta’ala had forbidden, and the eye which stood guard in the Path of Allah, and the eye from which emerged a tear-drop equal in size to the head of a fly, in fear of Allah Ta’ala.”
In a Hadith of Mishkat Shareef it is said that Allah will make haraam (unlawful) the fire of Jahannam for such a person. In the hadith it is also stated that on the Day of Qivamat, Allah Ta’ala will proclaim to the malaikah to remove from the Fire anyone who had at any time or occasion feared Allah.
Fear is thus incumbent for every Mu’min. There are two reasons for this need.
One. The possibility of one committing voluntarily an act of disobedience in the future.
Two. The possibility of some act of disobedience having been voluntarily committed, but due to negligence one’s attention has been diverted therefrom. Such diversion is also a voluntary act of disobedience.
It is a fact that the robber because of the fear of being apprehended abstains from robbery; the child because of the fear of punishment abstains from mischief; because of the fear of being fined people refrain from violation of law. When fear is effaced, anarchy is the consequence in the land. Khauf severs the roots of all evil while at the same time it is the medium of all obedience.
The manner in which to acquire the khauf of Allah Ta’ala is to meditate on his Wrath and Athaab.