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Observing the Fear of Allah in Secrecy


All perfect praise be to Allah; and may Allah send blessing and peace upon the noblest of Messengers, our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions. To go further:

Possessing fear of Allah is one of the most sublime qualities of those with Iman. Fear of Allah Almighty is the highest rank of piety, since man could not attain the high ranks of the pious unless he feels afraid of Allah Almighty. Allah says:


إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ اللَّهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَإِذَا تُلِيَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُهُ زَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَانًا وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ


" The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, their hearts become fearful, and when His verses are recited to them, it increases them in faith; and upon their Lord they rely" Q8:2.

"...وَبَشِّرِ الْمُخْبِتِينَ* الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ اللَّهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَالصَّابِرِينَ عَلَى مَا أَصَابَهُمْ وَالْمُقِيمِي الصَّلَاةِ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ"


“ And give good tidings to the humble [before their Lord]. Who, when Allah is mentioned, their hearts are fearful"


Fearing Allah in secret is one of the greatest signs demonstrating need and total deprivation before Him; whoever realizes His greatness and omnipotence; His unconquerable authority; His eye that does not sleep; and reveres Him a befitting manner will truly fear Him.


One whose condition is such will have possessed a vigilant heart that shakes out of trepidation and is always intimately conversant with its Lord. The heart will seek refuge in Him and plead for recourse, being a heart that is poverty-stricken and servile. Allah says:


" أَمَّنْ هُوَ قَانِتٌ آنَاءَ اللَّيْلِ سَاجِدًا وَقَائِمًا يَحْذَرُ الْآخِرَةَ وَيَرْجُو رَحْمَةَ رَبِّهِ قُلْ هَلْ يَسْتَوِي الَّذِينَ يَعْلَمُونَ وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ إِنَّمَا يَتَذَكَّرُ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ"


“Is one who is devoutly obedient during periods of the night, prostrating and standing [in prayer], fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord, [like one who does not]? Say, ‘Are those who know equal to those who do not know?’" Q39:9.


The condition for genuine fear is that which occurs in private as the heart is attached only to Allah neither turning to anyone nor anything else. Allah says:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَخْشَوْنَ رَبَّهُم بِالْغَيْبِ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَأَجْرٌ كَبِيرٌ

 “Indeed, those who fear their Lord in private will have forgiveness and great reward.” Q67:12. Allah also says:

" الَّذِينَ يَخْشَوْنَ رَبَّهُم بِالْغَيْبِ وَهُم مِّنَ السَّاعَةِ مُشْفِقُونَ"

“Who fear their Lord in private, while they are of the Hour apprehensive.” 21:49.


The Prophet said in an authentic hadith, “Allah will give shade, to seven, on the Day when there will be no shade but His…” One of the seven mentioned is “…a person who remembers Allah in seclusion and his eyes are then flooded with tears.”


Al-Ḥafiẓ Ibn Ḥajar commented concerning on this seclusion, ‘…because this will as far as possible be away from ostentation; and the intent here is to be secluded from turning to other than Allah even if one is (physically) in the company of others.


Fear of Allah is a form of worship connected to the heart that drives one to strive, to be earnest, and to have a disposition to perform acts of devotion. The Messenger of Allah said, “Whoever fears, will travel during the night, and whoever travels during the night, will reach the destination.


For this reason Al-Ḥafidh ʿUbaydullah b. Jaʿfar said, ‘A slave cannot seek aid for his religion with anything better than the fear of Allah.

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