REVIVAL OF RELIGIOUS LEARNINGS IMAM GHAZZALI'S
Chapter 3. Fear and hope 113
Merits of hope 114 What is fear? 121
Causes of evil end 132
Fear of angels, Prophets companions and sages 136
FEAR AND HOPE
Fear and hope are like two wings by which the friends of God can fly to every praised place and can
cross the ways of the next world and reach the Almighty.
What is Hope? Hope isa station out of the stations of religion and a condition of those who search.
This hope is perfected by state knowledge and action. Knowledge is cause and state is its fruit. State
again leads to action. Out of these three, state is called hope. Take an example. When you meet a
hateable thing, you meet with three states what is at present what was before and what is hoped to
remain in future. It is only a thing that is hoped for. If the future hoped for object is disliking, it
produces pain in your heart which is called fear. To wait for a dear thing is called hope.
This world is a seed ground for the next world. Mind is like earth and faith is like seed and divine
service is like cultivation of the earth of mind. To purify mind is like canaldigging and the water
flows towards the canal. The mind that is addicted to the world is like hard soil in which no seed can
grow. The Resurrection Day is the day of reaping crops. He who sows seeds now can expect to reap fruits
in the hereafter. If anybody sows seeds in a barren uncultivated land and does not water it, he
entertains unnatural hope to get crops. So to wait for a dear thing is called hope. So whoever sows the
seeds of faith in his heart waters it with the water of divine service, purifies the region of heart
from the thorns of bad conduct and awaits the mercy of God to establish it upto his death, his waiting
is called hope. That is good and real hope. The Prophet said: He who leads his life according to his
low desires and yet hopes for paradise is a fool. God says: After them, such a nation became their
successors who destroyed the prayer and followed their low desires. Soon they will will meet
misguidance. God says: Those who have got faith those who migrated and fought in the way of God can
hope for God's mercy-1:218 Q. In other words they are fit persons to hope for God's mercy. This means
that those who act to the contrary can not expect to have God's mercy as they do not walk in the ways
of God. Ihay-b-Ma'az said: To me that person is more a fool who hopes for forgiveness but remains
engrossed in sins
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without doing virtuoes acts, who hopes for the fruit of paradise after sowing the seeds of Hell, who
hopes for the rank of the pious by doing sinful acts.
Once a companion asked the Prophet: I ask you a question: what is the sign that God wants good of one
man and does not want good of another man? He said: What is the condition of your mind when you get up
from bed? He said: I get up from bed with love for the pious and good works. I soon do a good work at
that time if I can and have firm faith that it will bring rewards. If I cannot do it, it pains me very
rpuch and I hope for doing it. The Prophet said: This is the sign of one for whom God intends good. If
He intends not to do good to you. He refrains you from that and He does not think into which well of
Hell you fall and perish.
MERITS OF HOPE: Love is made strong by hope. Take its instance from two kings. One king is feared for
his punishment and another king is obeyed for getting rewards from him. For this reason hope is subject
matter of good thought. God says: Don't be despaired of God's mercy -39:53 Q. So He made hopelessness
unlawful. The story runs thus of Prophet Eakub that God revealed to him: Do you know why I made
separation between you and Eusuf: The reason is that you uttered: I fear lest a tiger may eat him when
you remain unmindful from him. Why did you entertain fear of tiger and not hoped in Me? Why did you
look to the neglect of his brother and did not look to Me? The Prophet said: Let nobody die without
having a good idea of God. He said: God says: I work according as My servant thinks of Me. Let him
entertain any idea about Me. The Prophet once went to a man at the time of his death and asked him:
What is your condition? He said: I fear for my sins and hope for my Lord's mercy. The Prophet said: God
gives him mercy in whose mind fear and hope unite. Hazrat Ali saw a man very much despaired on account
of his many sins. He said: 0 brother, your despair of God's mercy is a greater sin than your sins. The
saint Sulaiman said: He who commits a sin and then feels that God has given him power over it and hopes
for forgiveness. God forgives him. The reason is that God rebuked a people and said: This is because of
your thought about your Lord which has destroyed you. God says: You entertained evil thoughts and for
that you have met destruction. The Prophet said: God will say on the Resurrection Day to a servant: Why
did you not prohibit when you saw an evil
act being perpretated? He will say if he is taught the reply by God: 0 Lord, I hoped Thy mercy and
feared men. God will say: I forgive you. There is in Hadis that a man lent loan to the people. He gave
time to, the rich and rescued the distressed from the liabilities of debts. He did no other good works
and met God who said to him: Who is more entitled to My forgiveness than him? He then forgive him as he
had good idea about God and hoped for God's forgiveness inspite of having no merit of divine service.
God says: Those who recite God's book, establish prayer and spend from what I give him of wealth openly
and secretly hope for such a business which will never perish. The Prophet said: If you have known what
I know, you would have surely laughed little and wept much and went out to wilderness and wept after
clapping your breasts. Gabriel came down and said: Your Lord says to you. Why should He grow despair in
our servants? Then he cam out and began to say words of hope and encouragement. There is in Hadis
Qudsi-God sent revelation to David: If you love Me, love those who love Me and grow love in My
servants. He said: 0 Lord, how can I grow love for Thee in Thy servants? He said: Remind them that
every action of Mine is for their good and remind them of My mercy and kindness for them as they do not
know from Me except good.
The sage Ibn Abu Ayash used to give words of hope to the people. Someone dreamt after his death that he
said: God took me to His presence and asked me: Why did you say words of hope to the people? He said: 0
Lord, I hoped to enkindle love for Thee in the hearts of the people. God said: Then I have forgiven
There is in another Hadis that a man of Banu Israil used to say words of despair to the people and mete
out to them harsh treatment. God will say to him on the Resurrection Day: To-day I shall deprive you of
My mercy as you deprived My servants of My mercy. The Prophet said: A certain man after living in Hell
for one thousand years will cry aloud and say: 0 Merciful, God will then say to Gabriel: God and take
My servant out of Hell. Then he will be taken out of Hell and will be asked to wait before his Lord.
His Lord will ask him: How have you seen the place of Hell? He will reply: A very obnoxious place. God
will say: Take him to his former place. Then he will walk and look behind. God will say: At what thing
are you looking back? He will say: I hoped that after my deliverance from Hell. You will not take me
back to Hell.
id says: Take him to Paradise. This shows that hope for God's !rcy will lead to his salvation.
MEDICINE FOR DESPAIR AND MODE OF ACQUIRING )PE. Know, 0 dear readers that the medicine is required for
two ;ses of patients. Despair is so strong on the first class patients that y give up divine service.
Fear is so strong on the second class ients that they strive hard in divine service and thereby they
troy themselves and their family members. These two classes of iple take a wrong path out of the middle
path and go to the reme. so medicine is necessary for them in order that may walk he middle path. The
who entertains false hope and commits sins ieving in the mercy of God and turns away from divine
service, divine of hope for him is destruction like poison which is sweet dm like honey. He who has got
cold and cough, honey is good for i but he who has got hot temper, honey is poison for him. The Idle
path of everything is good. Hazrat Ali said: A learned man is mho does not prevent the people from the
mercy of God and does give them guarantee from the wrath of God.
TWO MODES OF INCREASING HOPE: The first mode is ing admonition and the second mode is the reading of
the ran, Hadis and wisee sayings. Regarding admonition it is to nk of the gifts which we have described
in the chapter of tefulness and to realise the gratefulness of God. He prescribed !rything what
is.necessary for a man from the cradle to the ve. The second mode of increasing hope is to read the
Quran I Hadis. The Quran says regarding hope: Tell those who pressed much on their soul: Don't be
despaired of God's rcy. Surely God can forgive all sins. God is Forgiving , rciful-29:59 Q. God says:
The angels glorify their Lord and k forgiveness for those who are in the earth-42:5Q. God says: it the
fire of Hell which has been prepared for the infidles. God +s:. I warn you of the fire of Hell. Nobody
except the fortunate enters therein -those who disbelieved and turned :k. God says: God is forgiving to
the people inspite of their s. It is reported that the Holy Prophet used to pray constantly his people.
He was even told: Are you not satisfied with the lowing verse: Your Lord is forgiving to the people
inspits of !ir sins-13:6 Q. God says: Soon your Lord will give you such ng as will satisfy you-93: 5Q.
In its Tafsir, it has been said that will not be satisfied even if a single man stays in Hell.
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Hadis:- The Prophet said: My people are the recipients of mercy. There is no punishment for them in the
Hereafter. God sends down earth quakes and battles in the world as punishment. He said: Fever is a
touch of Hell fire. It isa punishment from the fire of Hell for a believer. God says: God will not put
the Prophet and his companions to shame on that day. In explaining this, it has been said that God
revealed to His Prophet: I will entrust you to take account of your followers. He will say: 0 Lord, You
are more kind to them than myself. God said: I will not put you to shame amongst them. Hazrat Anas
reported that the Prophet prayed to God regarding the sins of his followers. He said: 0 Lord, entrust
me with the judgement of my followers, so that their sins my not be expressed before others. Then God
revealed to him: They are your peoples but My servants. I am more merciful to them than you. I will not
entrust their account on others. You or any other man can not have proper look on them. The Prophet
said: My life is good for you my death is also good for you. As long as I live, I will teach you the
lessons of religion and establish for you laws and regulations. When I die your actions will be
presented before me. I will thank God for the virtuous acts I will see and 1 will seek forgiveness to
God for the sins I will see.
The Prophet once heard a person praying: 0 God, I seek from Thee full perfect gift. He asked him: Do
you know what is perfect gift? He replied: I don't know. The Prophet said: It is to enter paradise.
There is in Hadis: When a servant commits a sin and seeks forgiveness to God, God says to His angels:
Look to My servant. He has committed a sin and he knows that he has got his Lord who forgives all sins
and gives punishment for sins. I testify to you that I have forgiven him. There is in another Hadis
that if the sins of man reach so high as the clouds of the sky, I forgive him so long as he seeks My
forgiveness and hopes for My forgiveness. There is in another Hadis: If My servant meets Me with
earthful of sins, I meet him with earthful of forgiveness. There is in another Hadis: If a man commits
a sin, the angel keeps his pen lifted up for six hours. If he repents and seeks forgiveness, he does
not record it. If he does not do it, he records a sin. In another narration, when he commits a sin as
well as a virtue, the right hand angel says to the left hand angel: Throw away this sin, rather I give
up one tenth of this virtue for the sin and record nine-tenths of virtue. Then he throws away the sin.
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The Prophet said: When a man commits a sin, it is recorded in his name. One desert Arab said: If he
repents for that? The Prophet said: It is then wiped out from him. He again asked: If he commits sin
again: The Prophet said: it is then recorded in his name. The desert Arab asked: If he repents? The
Prophet said: It is then wiped out from his record of deeds. He asked: How far is it done? The Prophet
said: So long he asks forgiveness and repents to God. God does not become tired of forgiveness till a
man does not become tired of seeking forgiveness. When a man wishes to do a virtuous act, the right
hand angel records a virtue in his name before he does a good work. If he translates his wish into
action, he records ten merits for him. Then the Mereiful increases it up 700 merits. When he wishes to
commit a sin, one sin is recorded for him and behind it God's for giveness is recorded for him.
One day a man came to the Prophet and said to him: 0 Apostle of God, I fast during Ramzan, I will not
keep fast beyond it. I pray five a times a day, I will not pray more. No Zakat is due on me. Pilgrimage
is not compulsory on me. I will not do it even willingly. If I die in this state, where shall I remain?
The Prophet smiled and said: Yes, if you can save your mind from treachery and hatred, control your
tongue from back-biting and false speaking, protect your eye from seeing God's unlawful things and
seeing with hatred any Muslim, you will be able to remain in paradise with me and I will place you upon
my two palms.
A desert Arab once came to the Prophet and asked him: 0 Prophet of God, who will judge among men on the
Resurrection Day? He replied: The Almightly Merciful God. He asked: Will He judge himself? The Prophet
replied: He will himself judge. At this, the desert Arab smiled. The Prophet asked him: 0 desert Arab,
why have you smiled? He said: If an honorable man gets power, he pardons; and if he judges, he shows
compassion. The Prophet said: This dessert Arab has spoken the truth. Beware, there is nobody more
compassionate than God. He is the greatest of the compassionate. Then he said: This desert Arab is a
There is in Hadis that God made the Ka'ba an object of veneration. If a man takes out a stone therefrom
and destroys it and then burns it, he commits more sin than hating a friend of God. A desert Arab
asked: Who is the friend of God? The Prophet
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said: All believers are the friends of God. Have you not heard the verse of God: God is the friend of
those who believed. He takes them out from darkness into light-2:257 Q. There is in Hadis that a
believer is better and more honorable than an angel, There is in another well known Hadis: God'recorded
mercy on Himself before His creation. The Prophet said: He who recites 'There is no deity but God" will
enter Paradise. He who utters at the time of his death 'There is no deity but God'. Hell fire will not
touch him. Hell has been made unlawful for one who meets with God without setting up partner with God.
There is in Hadis: He in whose heart there is faith to the weight of a mustard seed will not enter
Hell. The Prophet said: If a believer knows the extent of mercy of God, he would not have become
despaired of Paradise.
The Prophet read this verse of the Quran: The earthquake of the Hour will be most severe. He said: Do
you know which is this day? On this day Adam will be asked: Rise up and send to Hell out of your
progenitors. He will ask: How many? He will be told: 999 out of every thousand will go Hell and only
one to Paradise. Every one present began to weep and refrained from works. The Prophet came to them and
asked: What is the matter with you that you refrained from your works? They said: After hearing what
you said, who will do works? He asked: Where is the explanation what will be you number out of so many
peoples? Series, Mensaq, Eajuz and Meajuz are some peoples. Nobody knows their numbers except God. You
are like white hairs on the back of a black ox in comparison with other peoples and like a different
color in the foot of a quadruped animal.
The People said: If you had not committed sin, I would have feared the worst sin from you. He was
asked: What is it? He said: Self-praise. The Prophet said: By him in whose hand there is my life, God's
mercy upon His servants is much more than the affection of a mother for her children. There is in
another Hadis: God has got mercy of one hundred divisions. He has kept for himself 99 divisions of
mercy and distributed one division only in the earth on account of which the created beings show
kindness to one another, mothers show affection to their children and the lower animals to their young
ones. On the Resurrection day. He will unite these one hundred divisions and show mercy
on His creations.
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The Prophet said: Act, give good news and know that only divine service of anybody will not give him
salvation. The Prophet said: I have reserved intercession for those who commit great sins out of my
followers. Do you hope that those who do divine service and who are God-fearing will get that? Rather
my intercession will go for the sinners and the guilty.
Wise sayings:- Hazrat Ali said: God is more honorable than exposing the sins in the next world which He
kept secret in the world. God is more just on a servant who suffers for a sin in the world than
inflicting on him another punishment. A certain sage said: When a believer commits a sin, God keeps it
secret from the angels, so that they may not see it and bear witness therefor. Hazrat Hasan Basari
said: If a believer did not commit any sin, he could fly in the sky but God humbled him on account of
There is in Hadis that two men of Banu Israil made friendship for the sake of God. One of them
oppressed much on his soul and another was religious. The latter advised his friend and warned him. His
friend used to reply: Leave me to God. He has not appointed you as guard over me. One day the religious
man saw his friend committing a great sin and being greatly dissatisfied said to him. God will not
forgive you. He said: God will say to the sinner: Is there anybody to snatch My mercy on My servant?
Go, I have forgiven him. He will say to the religious man: Hell is fixed for you. He will say: By One
in whose hand, there is my life; you have uttered such a word by which you have destroyed your world
and the next world.
The sage Mosruq reported that a certain prophet fell in prostration when a sinner gave such a forceful
strike on his neck by his foot that the stone on which he was prostrating shifted away. The Prophet
flew into rage and said: Go God will not forgive you. God then revealed to the Prophet: you have taken
oath over Me regarding My servant. I have forgiven him. Once the Prophet grew into rage on the
polytheists and cursed them. At once revelation came down: You have got no hand in the matter.
Thereafter he gave up cursing.
A certain sage said: Two religious men were equal in divine services and they entered paradise. One of
them got much higher rank therein. Another man said: 0 Lord, this man did not do divine service more
than myself, but you have raised him to the
highest of paradise. God said: He has prayed to Me higher rank but you have prayed only salvation from
Hell fire. So I rewarded him according to the prayer of each man. This shows that it is better to do
divine service being hopeful of higher and higher rank, as he who loves with hope is better than one
who loves with fear. For this reason, the Prophet said: Pray for high rank to God, as you pray to God,
the Most Compassionate. The Prophet also said: When you pray to God, pray for Ferdous paradise with
great hope, as there is nothing greater to the Almighty than it.
It has been reported that one day a Magian guest came to the Prophet Ibrahim. He said to the guest: If
you accept Islam, I will entertain you, At this that Magian went away. At once revelation came to
Abraham: 0 Abraham, you have not given food to the Magian as he has not changed his religion. I am
giving him provision for the last 70 years inspite of his infidelity. There was no harm if you had
entertained the Magian for a night. Then the Prophet searched for the Magian, took him to his house and
entertained him. Thereafter he accepted Islam.
The sage Ibrahim Atrash said: We sat one day with the great saint Ma'ruf Karkhi on the bank of the
Tigris. At that time some young men were drinking wine and beating drums and sporting He said to Ma'ruf
Karkhi: Are you not seeing the youths committing sins openly? Shower curse on them. At once he raised
up his two hands and prayed; 0 Lord, as you have given them enjoyment in the world. So give them such
enjoyment in the thereafter. The Prophet said: We have asked you to shower curse on them. He said: When
He will give them enjoyment in the next world. He will give them the grace of Tauba or repentance in
WHAT IS FEAR?
Know, 0 dear readers, that fear is a painful state of mind like burning fire in fear of a future
calamity. He who has cemented love with God and whose heart is strong with truth and illumined with the
brightness of truth has got no fear or hope and his condition as above fear or hope. In short when the
mind of a lover is engrossed in the sight of the beloved, fear of separation and hope of sight are
injurious for him.
THREE CAUSES OF FEARFUL STATE: The state of fear arises in mind for three causes knowledge, state and
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cause of knowledge of fear arises in mind owing to an undesirable act. For instance, a man fears to be
killed if he is arrested on account of a crime against the king or State. The more powerful is the
thing the more is the fear. If a man falls under the clutches of a ferocious beast, he entertains a
great fear. Similar is the fear of God, as it arises from a knowledge of the attributes of God. If He
destroys the whole world, He does not care and nobody can prevent Him. Such fear sometimes arises owing
to commission of sins. The more is the knowledge of God, the more is He feared, The Prophet said: I
fear God greater than you all. God said: The learned among My servants fear Me most.
THREE EXPRESSIONS OF FEAR:; (1) The signs of the burning of heart is expressed in bodily organs and
nature. Slothness body being yellow, falling into swoon crying and weepingg are the signs of fear on
body. Then he meets with bitterness and faces death which reduces intellect and despair and failure
grow. If fear is expressed in bodily organs, the body can not move to commit sins as it remains
confined to virtuous acts sand prepares for the future after repenting for the past misdeeds. For this
reason, it has been said: He who weeps and wipes out tears is not a fearful man but the fearful man is
he who gives up the objects of fears for fear of punishment. He who fears a thing, flees away from it.
He who fears God flees to Him. The saint Jun-Num was asked: When does a servant fear?, He said: When he
takes himself to the position of a patient -and saves himself for fear of continued disease. If fear is
expressed in nature, he controls his passions, gives up pleasures and enjoyments and his dear actions
become disliking to him just as honey is hated by one who comes to know that there is poison therein.
His desires then are burnt and his limbs come under control. There come then in mind modesty and
humility and there go away pride, conceit and hatred. He then engages himself in Morakaba (meditation),
taking account of actions and making efforts for divine service. He then becomes like a person who
falls in the clutches of a ferocious beast. Such is the condition of one in whose heart fear is strong.
Such was the condition of the companions and their successors.
STAGES OF FEAR: The lowest sign of fear that is expressed in action is to abstain from unlawful and
prohibited things. The
fear which keeps away from unlawful things is fear of sin. If the proportion of fear is excessive and
it keeps one away from doubtful things, it is called Taqwa or self-abnegation. The meaning of Taqwa is
to give up doubtful things and to act on things of sure faith. The fear which gives advice to give up
everything in excess except what is absolutely necessary for a man is called Taqwa or God fear. If this
Taqwa reaches to such a high pitch that it leads a man to erect no other house except one to reside,
not to hoard anything which is eatable, not to look to the world with this knowledge that it shall have
to be left behind and not to pass a minute without remembrance of God, it is called Sidq or
truthfulness ad such a man in called Siddiq or a great truthful man. Taqwa is a higher stage of fear of
unlawful things, because it keeps away not only from unlawful things but also from things of doubtful
nature. Sidq is a higher stage than Taqwa. So a Siddiq possesses three qualities fear of unlawful
things, fear of doubtful things fear of losing a moment without remembrance of God and possessing other
qualities as mentioned above.
CLASS OF FEAR. Fear is good, specially God-fear with which He guides His servants to knowledge and
action, so that they may attain nearness of God. As a lower animal requires a stick, so also a boy. So
fear has got increase, decrease and middle state and the middle state of fear is the best. The fear
which is weak can be called modesty. Too much fear leads to despair and prevent actions. It grows
disease, weakness, senselessness, loss of intellect and memory. The object of fear is to give
encouragement to actions. The Prophet narrated the causes of hope, as excessive fear leads to despair.
The benefits of fear is to take care, to give up unlawful things and doubtful things, to make efforts
for divine service and to engage in Zikr, Fikr and such other things which take one near God.
Fear generates avoidance of undesirable things which are of different classes. One kind of undesirable
thing is naturally an object of dislike such as fire. Another kind of undesirable thing leads to
dangers and sorrows. A patient does not like fruits as they may lead him to death.
Of all the fears, the greatest is the fear of ultimate end as it is the greatest object of thought and
above all fears. What is in fate is known only to God and it is the result of Taqdir. For instance a
king has written an order. Nobody knows whether the order is
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for killing him or for giving him rewards. So until he receives the order, he keeps himself busy with
thought. The Prophet once stood on a pulpit and said after catching his right hand: This is God's book
wherein all the names of the dewellers of paradise and the names of their fathers have been written.
Then he caught his left hand and said: This is God's book. Therein the names of the dewellers of Hell
and the names of their fathers have been written. The fortunate sometimes will do the works of the
unfortunate till the people will say: They are included within the unfortunate people. Before their
death, they will be rescued by God even though for a short while. The unfortunate will do the works of
the fortunate till the people will say: They appertain to the fortunate ones but God will take them out
of fortune even though for a short while. The fortunate are those whose names were recorded as
fortunate in the original record of deeds and the unfortunate are those whose names were recorded as
unfortunate in the original records deeds. Action will be judged by the condition of the ultimate end.
There are differenccces between two men-one fearss sin and another fears God's glory and attributes.
The first man may have got faulty ideas but the latter lives in security. He who recognises God and His
attributes fears God without committing sin. He who is fortunate feels easy to tread the paths of
virtue and he who is unfortunate feels difficulty to tread them. He who raised the Prophet to the
highest paradise recorded him as such before he was born. He who was recorded as virtuous entertains a
strong will to do virtuous acts and he who was recorded as a great sinner entertains a will to do evils
and sinful acts. So everybody should fear what was recorded in his original fate.
It is in Hadis that God revealed to the Prophet David: 0 David, fear Me as you fear a destructive
ferocious beast. This will make you understand the original object of fear. This is not stayed for any
cause of fear, as to know cause and to know the secret of Taqdir are the same. A ferocious beast is not
feared for its fault, but for its ferocious nature, attack, strength, fearful look etc. and it does not
hesitate to kill. It does not care whether you live or die. For God there is the highest example. The
inner sight of one who has recognised Him is stronger than his sight of open eyes.
MERITS OF FEAR
Merits of fear are known in two ways - by guess and meditation and by the Quran and Hadis. The mode of
guess and meditation is this that there is good of a thing in proportion to the good fortune of meeting
with Lord in the next world as there is no good fortune without meeting and companionship with God.
;There is good in that thing which helps towards that goal and that depends on proportion of the
object. It appears from this that there is no alternative for meeting with Him in the next world
without earning love for Him in this world. His love can not be attained without His knowledge and His
knowledge is not possible without constant thought about Him and remembering Him. That is not possible
without severance of relegious and attachment from the world. Attachment for this world is not again
possible without giving up worldly comforts and passions and low desires. They are not possible if they
are not kept under control and passions cannot be brought under control without fear. So the fire of
fear burns the evil desires and passions. The more they are burnt, the more the merits of fear will be
achieved. So there is difference of merits according to the difference and degree of fear.
MODE OF THE QURAN AND HADIS: There are innumerable verses of the Quran and Hadis about the merits of
fear. Fear has been united in four things for a God-fearing man-guidance, grace, knowledge and
pleasure. These are the attributes of the dwellers of heaven and God grants them at the same time. Here
are the verses. God says : For those who fear their Lord is guidance and favour-7 : 154Q, God says :
The learned out of His servants fear God most-35 : 28Q. This is because of their knowledge. God says :
God is pleased with them and they are also pleased with God - 98 : 8 Q. These speak of knowledge which
leads to fear. Moses said : Those who fear God have got the Highest as their companion and they do not
set up any partner with Him. This is because they are learned men who will get the rank of the
companions of the Prophets, as they are their heirs.
ROOT OF FEAR: The root of fear is knowledge and its fruit is fear of unlawful things and fear of
doubtful things. God gave speciality to fear by keeping His relation with it. He says : God will not
accept its flesh and blood, but He will accept from you
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Taqwa or God-fear-37: 22 Q. Taqwa means to give up unlawful things owing to fear. For this reason, God
says : The most honorable of you is one who is most God fearing-49 : 13. He therefore gave order to
fear Him to the predecessors and successors. God says : I ordered those before you who were given the
book and you to fear God. God says : Fear Me if you are believers. He made fear compulsory on the
believers. For this reason, a believer is not free from fear. If he is weak in faith, his fear also
The Prophet said with regard to God-fear : God said : 0 men. I gave you dynastic honour and you also
gave superiority to dynastic honour. Now take your dynastic honour and establish Mine, I said : He who
is most God fearing amongst you is the most honorable of you. You did not admit it, you gave
superiority to one who is rich. He will then address the God fearing men: 0 God fearing men, where are
you? A standard will be raised for this and they will follow it and reach their destination and enter
paradise without account.
The Prophet said: God fear in the root of all wisdom. The Prophet told Ibn Mas'ud : If you wish to meet
me, fear God after my death. The saint Fazil said : He who fears God will be led to every good. The
saint Shibli said : On the day I feared God, the door of my wisdom and admonition was opened in such a
way which I did not see before. The sage Ihya-b-Ma'az said : Two virtues of a believer-fear of
punishment and hope of forgiveness assume such state as that of a hare between two tigers. Moses said :
God will say on the Resurrection Day : There is no such person whose account I will not take or into
whose accounts I will not enquire. I will not however take the accounts of those who feared unlawful
things as I shall feel ashamed to take their accounts. They are more honorable than two await them for
accounts. God says : For him who fears the Glory of his Lord, there are two gardens-54 : 45Q. The
Prophet said : God says : By my honour, I will not place two fears and to securities upon My servants.
If he lives without fearing Me in the world, I will throw him in fear in the next world. If he fears Me
in the world. I will make him free from fear in the next world. The Prophet said : Everything fears one
who fears God and God shows fear from everything to one who fears other than God.
The Prophet said: He who fears God most amongst you and daily observes most the injunctions and
prohibitions of God is an experienced wise man. The saint Ihya-b-Ma'az said : The son of Adam is
unfortunate. If he feared Hell as he fears poverty, he would have entered Paradise. The saint Jun-Nun
said : Whose fears God much, his love for God deepens and his wisdom is purified. He also said that
fear should be much more than hope. If fear is strong, mind becomes disturbed. The sage Abul Hussain
Jarir used to say : Fear of misfortune is the sign of fortune, as fear is like a string between God and
His servants. When it is severed, he is destroyed with the destroyed thing. The saint Sahal Tastari
said : God fear will not come in you till you do not eat lawful things. The saint Abu Solaiman Darani
said : If mind is ruined, fear goes away. Hazrat Ayesha asked : 0 Prophet of God, "God says : Those who
have been given wealth, spend and their hearts are fearful." Can such men commit theft and fornication
? The Prophet said : They can not commit theft and fornication, rather they fast, pray, pay zakat, but
they fear whether those will be accepted or not. So there are innumerable saying about the merits of
Hope and fear are mixed up together. He who hopes to get his desired thing fears for its loss. For this
reason God says : They pray to Me out of hope and fear. He says : They call their Lord out of fear and
hope. God says : What is the matter with you that you do not hope for the sake of God? It means : Why
don't you fear Him. God says : Laugh little and weep much. God says: They weep and their fear
increases. the Prophet said : If the two eyes of a believer shed tears so small as the head of a bee
and it flows down his cheek, God will make that place unlawful for the fire of Hell. He also said : If
the mind of believer trembles owing to fear of God, his sins fall down like the falling down of the
leaves of a tree.
The Prophet said: 0 God, give me provision of two eyes shedding profuse tears. The Prophet said : On
the day on which there will be no shade except the shade of God, God will give shade to seven persons.
He mentioned about that person also who shed tears through his two eyes remembering God in loneliness.
Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq said : Let him weep who can weep and let him assume weeping who can not weep.
The saint Abu Solaiman Darani said : The face of one whose eyes shed tears
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will have no uncleanliness on the Resurrection Day. If his eyes shed tears, the first drop of tears
will extinguish fire like ocean. If any man shed tears among a party of men, God will not punish that
party of men. The saint Sulaiman said: Weeping comes from fear, and hope and pleasure come from love
and attachment. Hazrat Abdullh-b-Amer said : One drop of tears is dearer to me than the charity of one
thousand gold coins.
Hazrat Hanzalah reported: We were once near the Prophet who was giving us sermon. Our minds became soft
for that and our eyes shed tears. Thereafter we returned to our houses and began to talk worldly
matters with our wives. We forgot the state in which we were near the Prophet. We thought that we have
turned hypocrites. I said: 0 Prophet of God our mind became soft when we were near you and our eyes
shed tears. When we returned to our houses and mixed with our wives that state of mind went away. The
Prophet said: 0 Hanzalah, had you been in that state of mind all along, the angels would have
handshaked with you in your paths and beds. 0 Hanzalah, mind changes every moment.
Hazrat Ali said to one of his sons: 0 darling fear God in such a way that if earth-load of virtues is
given to Him. He will, not consider it as fit to be accepted from you and hope for mercy of God in such
a way that if earth-load of sins is given to Him. He will forgive you. For this reason Hazrat Omar
said: If all men are called for entering Hell except one men. I hope that he shall be myself. If all
men are called to enter Paradise except one man, I fear I may be that man. This is the end of hope and
The Prophet said: Some one will do the deeds of a dweller of Paradise for fifty years, even there will
remain only half a cubit distance between him and Paradise. Then suddenly his fate comes and his death
ends with the deeds of a deweller of Hell. So everybody should be fearful of his ultimate end. Hazrat
Ihya-bMaaz said: He who worships God only for fear of God, is immerged in the sea of thoughts. He who
worships God hoping only His mercy, wanders in the field of mistake. He who worships God out of fear
and hope, is established on the high way of remembrance of God.
It is better that there should be increase of fear before death. When death becomes near, hope and good
idea are better. Whose
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desires to meet with God, God also likes to meet with him. When there remains no object of love except
remembrance of God and thoughts about Him and His creations then the world becomes prison to him, as
prison means such a place where one can not meet his beloved things Death releases him from that prison
and he is awarded such thing as "no eye hath seen, no ear hath heard and no heart hath conceived". So
it is better to accept the advice of the Prophet who said: '0 God, give me the provision of Thy love
and the love of those who love Thee and the love of those who lead towards Thy love. Make Thy love to
me dearer than cold drink'. So at the time of death, hope should be strong as it leads to love. Before
death, fear should be strong as it burns passions and roots, out from mind the love for this world. For
this reason, the Prophet said: Let nobody die among you without having a good idea about his Lord. God
says: I act according as My servant entertains idea about Me. So let him entertain any idea bout Me
what he likes.
MEDICINE FOR ACQUIRING FEAR OF GOD: There are v.o modes of generating fear. This is explained by an
illustration. When a child remains in a room, he does not fear when a ferocious beast or a snake comes
to him. Even he extends ' his .hand to catch them. If his father comes there, he fears them and flees
away. When the child sees his father doing so, he also flees away out of fear. The second mode is that
his father fears as he knows the destructive poison of the snake and ferocious attack of the beast. The
child has got fear only from hearing from his father about their nature as he has full faith in his
father. Similarly there are two modes for fear of God. The first mode is the fear of His punishment and
the second mode is to fear Him.
When death came to Solaiman Taimi, he said to his sons: Read out to me the Hadis which contains words
of ultimate end and remind me of the words of hope till I can meet Him with good idea. At the time of
the death of Sufian Saori, he called the,. learned men who sat round him and made him hear words of
hope. At the time of the death of Imam Ahmad-b-Hanbal, he said to his son: Let me hear those traditions
which contain words of hope and good idea. God revealed to Prophet David: Make Me dear to My servants.
He asked God: By what means? God said: Remind them of My mercy and gifts. So fortune means to court
death with love of God.
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The learned and the pious men fear those verses of God which excite fear. God says: 'Fear God as is due
to Him'-3: 102. Most of the people fear punishment. The second kind of fear is high and that is to fear
God, to fear to remain distant from Him, to fear falling of screen between Him and His servant. The
saint Jun-Nun said: The fear of Hell is like a drop of water when compared with the fear of separation
from God. The general believers fear like the fear of a child of a snake. That is on account of blind
faith. This fear is weak and it goes away on the first onslaught.
God said after creation: -'These are the dwellers of Paradise and I don't care. These are the dwellers
of Hell and I don't care'. If it occurs in your mind that He will not punish without sin and will not
give rewards without divine service, then think over the matter that He helps the worshipers in such a
way that they are compelled to worship whether they wish or not and He helps the sinners with sins in
such a way that they are compelled to commit sins whether they wish or not. Is it for their past sins?
Has the past any limit? Is it for his first sin which was recorded in his book of deeds? The Prophet
said to this effect that there was altercation between Adam and Moses before their Lord. Moses said to
Adam that for his fault. God sent down his descendants from heaven to the earth. Adam said: How many
years before my creation, did you come to know that He had written the Torah? Moses said: 40 years
before. Adam said: Did you not see therein that Adam was misguided being disobedient to his Lord? Moses
said: I saw it. Adam then said to Moses: You now impute fault to me for such an action which God
recorded 40 years before it was done by me, or before my creation. Thus Moses quarrelled with Adam.
So those who come to know the original cause which arises from the light of guidance enquire about the
secret causes of Taqdir. Those who believe it only by hearing are included within the general
believers. These two classes acquire the quality of fear as every person falls within the clutches of a
mighty power just as a boy falls within the clutches of a ferocious beast. God created the ferocious
beasts of this world as well as of the next and instruments of punishments. According to the dictates
of the orignal fate one is guided towards that for which he was created. He created paradise and its
dwellers and made subservient to
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them some instruments or causes inspite of their willingness or unwillingness. He created Hell and its
dwellers and their punishments or causes inspite of their willingness or unwillingness. So whoever sees
himself immerged in the current of Taqdir, it is inevitable that he should fear. This is the fear of
those who recognise God. He who has not been raised to the stage of deep insight has got the only means
of hearing the Quran and Hadis and reading the actions and behaviours of the God-fearing. Those who are
free from this fear belong to the party of Pharaoh and the fools. Our Prophet is the leader of men
past, present and future, yet he was the most God fearing man.
It is reported that he led funeral prayer of a boy and said: 0 God, save him from the punishment of the
grave and Hell. In another narration, he heard a person say: What a joy for you, a sparrow out of the
sparrows of Paradise. He was dissatisfied with that and said: Who will inform you that it may be
otherwise. By God, I am the Apostle of God, I don't know what will be my case. God created Paradise and
its dwellers. They will not increase or decrease. When one of the dwellers of Ahle-Suffa died, his
mother cried: Happy are you, you are a bird of Paradise. You have migrated to the Prophet and is a
martyr in the way of God. The Prophet said: Who will inform you that perhaps he uttered such a word
which did not do any benefit, to him and perhaps he was miser in such a work which did not do him any
injury. The Prophet said: The chapters Hud and such like chapters, chapter Waqeah (56Q). chapter
Eja-Shamsu Kobberat (81 Q), chapter Naba (78) made my hairs grey. There are verses of fear in the Quran
from the beginning to the end for those who read it with care and meditation. The Prophets remained in
fear inspite of the shower of mercy on them as they were not safe from the contrivance of God. When the
Prophet Abraham was thrown into fire, he said: God is sufficient for me. This was his greatest
invocation in his great trail. Gabriel met him in the fire and asked him: Have you got any necessity.
Abraham said: I have got no necessity from you. God is sufficient for me. He fulfilled his word for
which God gave him this news: And` Abraham is he who fulfilled-53:37.
In the battle of Badr when the strenght of the Muslims was weak, Prophet prayed : 0 God, if You destroy
this small party, there will remain in the world not a single man to worship Thee.
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Hazrat Abu Bakr then said : What your Lord has promised with yoiu will certainly come true.
The Prophet Jesus will be asked on the Resurrection Day Did you say to the people : take myself and my
mother as Lords besides God? He will reply : You are pure, what right have I got that I will tell them
over which I have got no control. If I had said that, you know it best. You know what is in my mind,
but I do not know what is in your mind. If you punish them, they are your mere servants and if you
forgive them, you are and Almighty, Most Wise-15:116.
Nobody can be safe about his condition as the heart of a believer is confined within two fingers of the
Merciful and human mind changes more than the bubbles of hot water. He who remains safe from the
contrivance of Lord is ignorant. A sage Bald : If anybody gets llalyldllll ll on his death 11ea1 file
dV V1 of the Ka'ba and upon Islam on his death near the Black stone, I would prefer to die upon Islam,
as I do not know what will be the state of my mind between the door of the Ka'ba and the Black stone.
The saint Abu Darda'a said : By God, the faith of one who remains sure that his faith will not be
snatched at the time of his death will surely be snatched away. The sage Sakil said : The fear of
ultimate end of the truthful occurs at every step and every condition. When Sufiyan was about to die,
he began to weep and tremble. He was asked : 0 Abu Abdullah, you should have hope as God's forgiveness
is greater than your sins. He said : Do I weep for my sins ? If I had known that I would die upon
Tauhid, I would not have cared to meet my Lord with mountainful of sins. The Prophet said : 0 my
disciples, you fear for your sins and we Prophets fear infidelity. There is a tradition that a certain
prophet was complaining to God for several years of hunger, lices and want of cloth. God sent to him
revelation : 0 My servant, are you not satisfied that I have saved you from infidelity ? Even you would
have prayed then for wordly comforts. Then he placed earth on his head and said : 0 Lord, I am
satisfied. Save me from infidelity.
CAUSES OF EVIL END
There are several causes of evil end at death, such as establishment of innovation, hypocrisy, pride
etc. For this reason, the companions feared hypocrisy most. Hazrat Hasan
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Basari said: Had I known that I am free from hypocrisy, it would have been dearer to me than all the
things over which the sun shines. The signs of hypocrisy are nfany. The Prophet said : He Who has got
four things in him is called a hypocrite evern though he prays, fasts and thinks that he is a
Muslim-(1) to speak falsehood when he speaks, (2) to break promise, (3) to break trust when he is
entrusted and (4) to do wrong at the time of dispute (or to break trust after contract). The companions
and their followers gave such an interpretation of hypocrisy that nobody is safe from it. The saint
Hasan Basri said : The meaning of hypocrisy is to make difference between open and secret matters, that
the tongue and heart are not the same and' the inner and outer things are not the same. The companions
of the Prophet used to say : You commit such sins which are more insignificant to you than a hair, but
we considered them as great sins at the time of the Prophet. A certain companion said : The signs of
hypocrisy are to bate which a man does and which he does, to love one who does an oppresive act and to
get dissatisfied with truth. Huzaifa once heard a man rebuking the tyrant Hajjaj and said to him : Do
you think that if Hajjaj would have been present here, you could have rebuked him ? He said : I could
not have 'rebuked him. Huzaifa said : We considered it a hypocrisy at the time of the Prophet. Hazaifa
was an expert in the matter of hypocrisy.
MEANING OF ULTIMATE EVIL END: The are two conditions of ultimate end. One of them is greater then the
other: If the greater thing becomes strong at the time of death, there is danger. The second thing is
below the first. In this condition, love of the world becomes strong and punishment becomes due. If the
hearts of believer is sound and turns away from the attachment of the world, the fire of Hell tells him
: 0 believer, take rewards as your light extinguished my flame. The second cause is weakness of the
original faith and attachment of the world over mind. God says : Say : If your parents, your children,
your brothers, your wives, your relatives, your wealth which you hoard, your merchandise, slothness of
which you fear and your abode which gives pleasure to you are more loved by you than God and His
Messenger and fighting in His way, then wait till God comes with His order-9:24.
Second condition of ultimate end: In this condition, there are two stages one stage is many sins with
strong faith and
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another stage is few sins with weak faith. What man loves comes before his mind at the time of his
death. If his love is strong for divine service, God's obedience will become more dear to him at that
time if his love is strong for sins, those will come to him at that time. He who commits sins off and
on, remains, aloof from this danger. He who does not commit any sin, remains far distant from this
danger. This can be understood from dreams. Man dreams such thing which he is accustomed to do. He who
comes of age will not see in dream the actual act of coition if he did not do that previously. This is
contrary in the case of one who did the act of coition. Death is like sleep. Everything becomes vivid
at the time of death. The dreams of virtuous men are opposite to those of the sinners as things which
are uppermost in the minds of the former are contrary in the minds of the latter. If one does good
works continually and keeps his mind for long from evil thoughts, they become of his habits and they
become principal things at the time of his death. He courts death upon a thing which he used to do and
he will be resurrected upon that condition.
A curry seller was taught to recite at the time of his death the Kalema.Shahadat but he was saying
five, six. Thus he was engaged in counting before his death. A certain A'ref said : Arsh is a valuable
jewel. Its light sparkles. The condition in which a man remains is reflected in Arsh. When the swoon of
death comes that reflection is disclosed to him. Similarly his picture will come out on the
Resurrection Day. A sleeping man can know what will happen in future from the Guarded Tablet (Lauhe
Mahfuz). This is reflected in true dreams. So fear of ultimate end is great. The saint Sahal Tastari
said : I saw in dream that I entered Paradise. I saw there about 300 Prophets and asked them : What was
the most fearful of all the fearful things which you saw in the earth ? They said : Evil end. Sudden
death is not good. There is such a condition in sudden death when evil becomes strong and rules over
the heart. About martyrdom, it has been said that at that time soul comes out in such a condition that
the heart does not contain except love. Such a man stands in the row of fight after giving up all
connections in the world. He then purchases the next world in exchange of the world as God said : God
purchased from believers their lives and properties in exchange of Paradise for them-9 : 111. If he
entertains any thought about victory, booty, heroism or power, he does not gain that state of
Vol-IV THE BOOK OF CONSTRUCTIVE VIRTUES 135
Now it is clear to you about the evil end and its causes. So be prepared for good state at the time of
your death, engage yourself in the divine service of Lord, remove your attachment for the world save
your limbs from sins and save your mind from evil thoughts. Try for these things, so that your mind may
be pure. The present breath may be your last breath. So don't put off anything when you sleep. Sleep in
pure state and remember God. What is uppermost in your mind at the time of sleep remains uppermost at
the time of getting up from bed. Death and resurrection are like going to sleep and getting up from
bed. Similarly the state of mind in which you go to sleep will remain when you get up. Believe it as
sure. If you have not attained the fortune of seeing it with your deep inner sight, you will remain in
great anxiety. Men are in loss except the learned. The learned also are in loss except those who are
engaged in good works. They are also in loss except those who work sincerely and they shall be also in
difficulty except those who remain satisfied in the world with only what is necessary for them.
What is necessary for you in the world is food, cloth and abode. Everything else is unnecessary. Food
is necessary in such quantity as can keep your backbone erect and save your life. So you should take
such quantity of food. You should not desire food more than what you wish to give out as urine and
stool, as there is no difference in taking food in and letting it out. Both are necessary. Your Taqwa
or God fear is expressed in three things, time, quantity and kinds of food. Regarding time of food it
is sufficient to take food once in 24 hours and its quantity shall not be more than one third of your
stomach. Don't search for tasteful and rich dishes. If you can adopt these three things, you will be
able to give up doubtful foods and you will then get peace by eating lawful foods.
REGARDING CLOTH AND ABODE. Its object is to save you from heat and cold and to cover private parts. The
cloth which removes heat and cold from your body is sufficient for you and the other clothes are
additional. If you attain the object of cloth, there is no further necessity of cloth. If you do beyond
this you will be like that person who fills up his belly with earth. Similarly. If you get an abode
with roof like sky and bed like earth, it is sufficient for you. If you build special abode for living,
it will be difficult for you and spending your valuable time. If you exceed your limit of necessity and
roam in the valley of hope,
136 FEAR AND HOPE Vol-IV
your thoughts will be diverse and God will not care in which valley you will perish. If you cannot do
these things, you can soften your mind by hearing the stories of God fearing men regarding these
things. The wisdom of the Prophets and their companions and the saints and pious men was not less than
that of yours. Think then why they took such rigours of life, why they wept for fear of God, why they
sacrificed their lives in the way of God. They were not hypocrites or cheats. If that does not make
your heart soft, then know that the hearts of the heedless are hard like stone and harder still, as
sometimes stones also gush forth torrents of waters.
STORIES OF FEAR OF ANGELS AND PROPHETS
(1) Hazrat Ayesha reported that whenever there was vehement blowing of winds and storms, the face of
the Prophet became changed. He then walked to and for within the room being fearful of the punishment
of God. Once while reciting the chapter Waqeah he fell into swoon.
(2) Once the Prophet saw the real figure of Gabriel and fell down senseless.
(3) It has been reported that when the Prophet stood in prayer, sound of his breast was heard like the
sound of the boiling waters in a cauldron.
(4) The Prophet said: Whenever Gabriel came to me he used to instill fear of God in me. He was asked:
Why has the condition of the devil become worse? Then Gabriel and Mechael began to weep. God then
revealed to them: Why do you weep? They said: 0 Lord, we are not secure from your plan. God said: So
don't be secure from My plan.
(5) Muhammad-b-Munkader reported: When Hell was created, the hearts of the angels flew away from their
proper places. When the children of Adam were created, those hearts came back. Once the Prophet asked
Gabriel: Why do I not see Michael laugh? Gabriel said: It is said that since the creation of Hell, the
angels did not laugh being fearful of God's punishment.
(6) It has been reported from Ibn-Omar: I came out once with the Prophet. He entered the garden of an
Ansar took some dates and began to eat them. He said: 0 lbn-Omar why don't you eat dates? I said: 0
Prophet of God, I have got no relish. He said: I
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have got relish. Ihave not eaten anything for the last four days having had nothing to eat. If I had
prayed to my Lord. He would have certainly given me the kingdoms of Persia and Byzantium. 0 Ibn Omar,
what will be your condition when you will live among such people who will hoard up their annual food
and whose faith will be weak? He said: By God, soon this verse was revealed: How many an animal there
are who do not bear their provisions. God gives them provision and He is Hearing, Wise-29:60. The
Prophet then said: God has not ordered you to hoard up wealth and to enjoy therewith the comforts of
this transient life, as life is in the hand of God. Beware, I shall not hoard up dirhams and dinars and
shall not hoard up food for tomorrow.
(7) Abu Darda reported: Whenever the Prophet Abraham stood in prayer, the sound of his breast out of
fear of God was heard from a distance of one mile.
(8) Mojahed reported that the Prophet David once wept in prostration for 40 days. He did not raise up
his head till grass grew out of his tears and covered his head. Then proclamation came: 0 David are you
hungry that I would give you food? Are you thirsty that I would give you drink? Are you without cloth
that I would give you cloth? Then he gave out such a long and hot breath that a dry wood caught fire
from it. Then God accepted his repentance and forgave him. Prophet David said: 0 Lord, imprint my sin
on my hands. Thereupon his sins were imprinted on his hands. From that time he began to weep at the
time of taking food, drink and other works. He wept so much that if a cup was placed below his eyes, it
would have been filled up with tears. It is reported that he did not raise up his head towards the sky
till he gave up his life owing to shame of sins.
(9) Prophet David used to say in his Monazat: 0 God, when I remember sins the world becomes narrow for
me inspite of its vastness. When I remember Thy mercy, my life comes within me. I went to one who is a
physician among Thy servants. I informed him of my sins. He told me to return to Thee. Woe to one who
is despaired of Thy mercy. Hazrat Fazil reported that once when Prophet David repented for his sins, he
placed his hand over his head and gave such a loud shriek that its echo came back from the mountains.
The beasts then gathered round him and he said: Return, I have got nothing to say to you. I want that
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should weep for his sins. Don't come to me without weeping. When he was rebuked for excessive weeping,
he said: let me weep before going out for the day of weeping, before my limbs are crushed into dust and
before the angels are ordered to take harsh and stringent measures against me. They don't disobey what
they are ordered with.
It has been reported that when the weeping of David continued for long and it produced no benefit, his
hands became lean and thin, his thought were heavy and he said: 0 God, don't you feel mercy on me
seeing my condition? God then sent revelation to him: 0 David, forget your sin and I am now remembering
your weeping. He said: 0 Lord, how can I forget my sins? Before I committed sin, the current of
torrents stopped when I recited the Zabur, the blowing of wind stopped, the birds in flocks spread
shades over my head and surrounded me. 0 Lord, that was between You and me. Now there is nothing of it.
God then revealed to him: 0 David, you were in that condition before for extensive love for divine
service and strong attachment. Now there is this condition owing to sin. 0 David, I created Adam up to
My image, I created him with My own hand. I instilled life into him from My Spirit, I made My angels
prostrate before him. I adorned him with My dress of honour. I put upon his head the crown of My
honour. I created for him his mate seeing him alone. I put him in My paradise. But when he disobeyed My
word, I drove him out dishonored and clothless. 0 David, listen to Me. I am telling the truth. You have
obeyed My word for which I accepted your prayer. But when you disobeyed My word, I rejected you. I will
accept you if you return to Me inspite of what has happened to you.
(10) The sage Ibn Qasir reported: I heard that whenever David wished to repent, he used not to eat and
drink before it and to cohabit with his wife for seven days. When only one day remained, his pulpit was
once taken out He ordered his son Solaiman to call all to hear his bewailings. Then the beasts and
birds came out and men and women assembled in thee field. Then David ascended on the pulpit and all sat
around him including Solaiman. Then Prophet David after reciting praise of God wept and shrieked and
began his song of repentance. It was so forceful and impressive that a party of men and beasts and
birds expired. When Solaiman saw this, he said, 0 father, the
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audience have become exasperated and many men, birds and beasts expired'. At this, he fell into swoon.
Solaiman then carried him on a palanquin. When he recovered he entered his praying place and after
closing its doors said: 0 Lord, are you dissatisfied with David? Solaiman sought permission to enter
the room with a dish of food and said: 0 father, eat the food and gather strength.
(11) The sage Rakkashi reported: One day Prophet David came out to admonish the people the number of
whom was forty thousands. After learning his sermon, thirty thousand persons breathed their last. Only
ten thousands could return home. When his body was about to fall out of fear of God, his men made him
stand on his feet.
(12) Hazrat Ibn Omar reporte: Hazrat Ihya, son of Prophet Zakaria, once entered Baitual Moqaddas when
he was 8 years old and saw that the worshippers wore dress of wool and some of them leaned themselves
against the pillars of the mosque; At this, he went to his parents out of fear. Some of the boys of the
street called him to play and he said to them: I have not been created to play. Then he asked his
parents to dress him with dress of wool. When this was done, he went to the mosque. During day time, he
used to serve the mosque and at night time he used to do divine service therein. When he was 15 years
old, he came out of the mosque and took refuge to a cave of a mountain. His parents searched for him
and found him near a fountain in the condition that he put his feet in water although he was about to
die parched with thirst and saying: By Thy honour and glory, I will not drink this cold water till I
know my condition His parents requested him to eat and drink with them to which he responded and paid
expiation of his oath. His parents took him to the sacred mosque. When he wept in prayer, the trees and
plants used to weep with him. His father also used to weep so much at seeing his son's weeping that he
sometimes fell in swoon. He wept so much that the flesh of his cheeks melted and his teeth were visible
and assumed an ugly look. His mother once said to him: 0 my dear son, if you give me permission, I may
cover your face. When he gave her permission, his mother covered his face with an old skin. When he
prayed, he wept and the skin became wet with his tears and his mother squeezed the skin.
(13) One day the prophet Zakaria said to him: 0 my dear son, I prayed to God to console my eyes through
140 FEAR AND HOPE Vol-IV
Ihya said: 0 father, Gabriel gave me the news that there is a vast field between Hell and Paradise.
Nobody will be able to cross it except one who weeps for fear of God. Zakaria said, 0 darling, then
keep on weeping.
(14) Jesus Christ said: 0 my disciples, patience arises out of sorrows and difficulties out of God-fear
and love of Ferdous and keeps one away from the world. I tell you with truth that it is a common word
to search for Ferdous by eating barley and lying in the foul places with dogs.
(15) It has been reported that when Abraham remembered his sins, he fell into swoon and the sound of
his breast was heard from a distance of one mile. Gabriel then came to him and said: Your Lord tenders
you salam and says: Have you seen a friend fearing his friend? He then said: 0 Gabriel when I remember
my sins, I forget friendship. So there are innumerable sayings about the fear of the Prophets.
FEAR OF COMPANIONS AND OTHER SAGES
(1) Once Hazrat Abu Bakr said to. a bird: 0 bird, how good it would have been if I would been a bird
like you and not a man! (2) Abu Zarr said: Would that I would have been a tree fit to be cut. (3)
Hazrat Osman said: Would that after my death, I would not have been resurrected. (4) Hazrat Ayesha
said: Had I been a thing to be forgotten. (5) It has been reported that when the Prophet once read the
Quran, he fell in swoon out of fear and for several days he did not recover. One day he took a handful
of dirt and said: Alas! Would that I would have been earth. Would that I would have been a thing not td
be mentioned. Would that my mother would not have given birth to me. (6) Two black spots fell in the
face of Hazrat Omar as a result of his shedding tears. He said: The anger of one who fears God is not
expressed. He who fear God does not do what he likes. One day he recited: When the sun would be lifted,
when the books of deeds would be spread". When he reached upto this verse, he fell into swoon. One day
Hazrat Omar was passing by a house in which the owner was reciting the chapter Tur (52). He was over
hearing it. When he reached this verse: Surely the punishment of your Lord must come to pass and there
is nobody to prevent it-(52):8Q). he alighted from his ass and stayed for long after leaning against a
wall. When he returned home, he suffered from illness for a month.
Vol-IV THE BOOK OF CONSTRUCTIVE VIRTUES 141
Hazrat Ali said: I saw the companions of the Prophet but I did not see them before in the condition in
which I see them today. Their hairs are dishevelled, their dress mixed with dust. They spend the whole
night in prayer and recite the verses of God. They stay on their foreheads and feet in divine service.
When the day dawns, they are engaged in Zikr in such a manner as the trees are moved by storm. Their
eyes shed tears, so much so that they wet their clothes. Thereafter he did not laugh till he was struck
Hazrat Ihya used to weep much. One day a man recited the following verse: When they will wait before
their Lord-have you considered it? At that time he gave such a loud shriek that he fell ill and
suffered for four months. The people from the town of Basra used to come to see him.
Hazrat Ibn Abbas was asked about two God fearing men and he said: Their hearts are stricken with fear
of God and their eyes shed tears. They say: When death is behind our back how can we make enjoyments?
When graves are in our front when the Hour has been promised near when our path is over Hell and when
we stand facing God, how can we engage ourselves in enjoyments? The saint Hatem Asem said: Don't be
deceived by your good abode as there is no better place than Paradise. Hazrat Adam got therein his
enjoyments. Don't be deceived that you have done a good deal of divine service, as you know the
condition of the devil although he did divine service for long. Don't take pride for your learning as
you should look to the condition of Balaram even though he knew the greatest name of God Don't be
overjoyed' because of the companionship of pious men, as nobody got such a fortune as the Prophet but
his relatives got no benefit though they lived with him.
It has been reported that an Ansar youth used to weep for fear of Hell and stayed at home. The Prophet
came to him and as soon as he embraced him, he fell down dead. The Prophet said: Bury your companion as
his liver has melted owing to fear of Hell. A man asked the saint Forqad: Inform us of any wonderful
news of Banu Israil. He said: I heard that 500 unmarried girls once entered the sacred mosque at
Jerusalem. They wore coarse cloths and blankets. When they were reminded of God's punishment, they all
breathed their last in the same day.
142 FEAR AND HOPE Vol-IV
The saint Ali Salami was a God-fearing man. He did never pray for paradise and only prayed for
forgiveness. When he was asked during his illness whether he had any desire, he said: Fear of Hell did
not leave any place in my mind for any desire. It has been said of him that he used not to raise his
head towards the sky out of fear and did not laugh for forty years. One day he raised up his head
towards the sky and at once he fell down senseless out of fear and his intestines were cut.
Hazrat Ata said: One day we came out with Otbatul Golam. There were old and young men with us. They
used to pray Fajr prayer with the ablution of Isha prayers. Their feet got swollen owing to long
standing in prayers. Their eyes went into sockets and their flesh was mixed with their bones and their
glands remained like wood. When they got up at dawn, it was seen that their skins became like outer
covers of water-melon as if they came out of their graves. They gave information how God honoured the
pious and destroyed the sinners. When they travelled they used to fall in swoon whenever they heard the
recitation of any verse. The companions of Otbah were weeping sitting round him in an intensely cold
day. His perspiration began to come out in the state of swoon. They brought water and washed his face
and he regained consciousness. When they asked him about his state, he said: I remembered that I
committed a sin here.
Saleh Mari said: One day I read out this verse of the Quran to a pious man: 'The day in which their
faces will be turned up side down in Hell. He said: Alas for us, we obeyed God and His Prophet. Then he
fell into swoon. When he recovered he said: 0 Saleh, recite more verses as I am overtaken by fear. Then
he recited this verse: Whenever they will wish to come out of Hell, they will be taken back therein'.
After hearing this verse, he breathed his last.
It has been narrated that Hazrat Jarrah-b-Abi Aufa was leading the Fajr prayer as Imam. When he recited
this verse. When the Trumpet will be blown, he at once fell down senseless and expired. The saint Yezid
Raqqashi once went to Caliph Omar-b- Abdul Aziz who said: 0 Yezid, give me advice. He said: 0 Commander
of the Faithful, know that you are not the first Caliph to die. At this he began to weep and said: Give
me more advice. He said: 0 Commander of the Faithful, there was no such
Vol-IV THE BOOK OF CONSTRUCTIVE VIRTUES 143
father between Adam and you who did not die. At this he began to weep. He said: 0 Yezid give me more
advice. He said: 0 Commandeer of the Faithful there is no good abode of yours except Hell and Paradise.
At this, he fell down senseless. Maimun-b-Mehran said: When this verse was revealed: Surely Hell was
promised for them all, Salman Faresi raised a loud shriek, placed his hands on his head and began to
run outside for three days. Nobody could catch him.
One day, the said Daud Tai saw a woman near the grave of her son weeping and saying: 0 darling, I don't
know which cheek of yours has been eaten by worms. At this Daud Tai fell down.' senseless. When Sufyan
Saori fell ill the details of his illness were presented to a non-believer physician who said: Fear has
severed the liver of the man. Then he touched his veins and said: I don't know that there is a man like
him in Hanifi religion. The saint Abdullah-b-A's said: Weep. If you cannot weep, do like that. By One
in whose hand there is my life, had you had knowledge, you would have raised such a loud shriek that
would have choked your voice. You would have prayed such a prayer that would have broken your back. The
saint Saleh Mari said: Ibn Samak once came to me and said: Show me some wonderful acts of your men. I
took him to a man who lived in a cottage. We sought permission. to go to him and saw him making a mat.
I recited to him this verse: When chains would fall on their neck they will swim in hot water and they
will be burnt in Hell fire. The man raised such a loud shriek that he fell down senseless. We came out
leaving him in that condition and came to another man to whom we recited the above verse. As a result,
he also fell down senseless., We along with our spiritual guide went to a third person. He said: If you
desire to make me unmindful of our Lord, then come. Then I read: This is for one who fears My glory and
fears My warning. Then he raised such a loud shriek that blood was oozing out from his nose and that
wetted his clothes and it became dried up. We came out leaving him in that condition. Then we went to
six saints and we recited verses and they also fell into swoon. Then we went to the seventh saint and
sought permission to see him. It was given and we entered and saw an old man sitting in praying cloth.
We saluted him, but he could not understand it. I said loudly: Beware, tomorrow the people will keep
standing. The old man said: Alas for you. Then he was bewildered and his mouth remained open His eyes
144 . FEAR AND HOPE . Vol-IV
and he said in a low voice: Alas.'Then That voice also stopped. His wife said: Go out as you cannot get
any benefit from him. Some days after this, I enquired from the people and came to know that three of
them recovered their senses and three reached God. The old man was in that condition for three days and
could not do his compulsory duties. After three days, he regained his sense.
People considered the saint Ezid-b-Aswad as one of Abbals. He promised that he would never laugh never
sleep on bed and never eat food having fat up to his death. He was not seen to laugh,or lie on bed and
eat food having fat. The governor Hajjaj once asked Sayeed-b-Zubair: I heard that you do not laugh. He
said: How can I laugh when the fire of Hell is burning and the chains are ready?
A man asked Hazrat Hasan Basri: 0 Abu Syeed,, how have you got up from bed at dawn? He said: In good
condition. He again asked: How are you? Hasan Basri smiled and said: Are you asking me about my
condition? What do you think about the man who got on board a boat. When it reached the middle of the
sea, it was broken and every passenger floated on a plank. What is their condition? One man said:
Grievous moment Hazrat Hasan said: My condition is more precarious than their condition.
One female slave went to Caliph Omar-b-Abdul Aziz and prayed two rakats in his house. Then she went to
sleep and dreamt. She got up from sleep and said: 0 Commander of the Faithful, I have seen a wonderful
dream. He said: What is that? She said: I saw Hell burning and the Bridge was placed on it. Then Caliph
Solaiman- b-Abdul Malek was bought there and placed on that bridge. When he proceeded some steps, the
bridge turned down and he fell into fire. Caliph Omar then asked her: What happened next? She said:
Then you have been brought there. The Caliph raised such a loud shriek that he fell down senseless. The
female slave said in his ears loudly: 0 Commander of the Faithful, by God, I saw you safe and secure.
Then the Caliph moved his feet.
It has been narrated that the saint Hasan Basri did not laugh for 40 years. The narrator said: Whenever
I saw him sitting it seemed that he was a prisoner condemned to death. When he made sermon, it seemed
that he was seeing as it were the next
Vol-IV THE BOOK OF CONSTRUCTIVE VIRTUES 145
world and giving information after he has seen it. When he remained silent it seemed the the fire of
Hell was burning before his eyes. When he was rebuked once for his excessive fear, he said: Who will
give me surety that God will not rebuke me for my faults and say: Go, I have forgiven you. Then I will
require no divine service.
These are the stories of the Prophets saints and religious men about God-fear. We should fear more as
we are engrossed in numerable sins. Passions are strong in us, misfortune is prevailing over us and we
do not see our condition owing to our negligence and hardness of heart. Even we do not wake up at the
advent of death. Our minds do not become soft by the thoughts of the ultimate end. We pray to God that
He may do us good out of His infinite mercy.
It is wonderful that when we wise to get wealth of the world, we gather instruments of acquiring it,
sow crops, plant trees, do business, embark on seas and oceans and face insurmountable dangers and
difficulties. When we wish to acquire learning, we take endless troubles. When God gave us assurance of
our provision we do not sit idle on that assurance but say: 0 God, give us provision. But when we look
to the everlasting abode of the next world, we remain satisfied by saying with our tongue: 0 God,
forgive us. We invoke Him on whom we cherish hope but He says: There is nothing for men but what he
strives for". "Let them not be deceived by false hope. 0 man, what has deceived you with regard to your
gracious Lord?" These verses even do not awakens and do not take us from the hell of deception. Let us
take caution from the above stories and examples and follow the religious paths in the transient world.
END OF Chapter 3 Volume 4
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