Sunday, January 13, 2013

Fear of Allah and His Punishment

By Saood Hashim


A few weeks back I had an interesting conversation with my elder daughter (of 8 years) with reference to some anger that I had shown to her that day due to some undesirable behavior of hers, and as a punishment not taking her to a decided outing. As a result she got a bit upset. But when her mood was back to normal I asked her whether she or her younger sister (of 3 years) feared me?

She immediately said, "No. We do not fear you."

I asked her the reason for it. She replied, "Because you are very nice and we love you and we know that you love us too".

But then I asked her the reason as to why they are not fearful of me even though I sometimes get angry on her and scold her much and even give her punishment. She couldn't give me a proper answer.

So I changed my question and asked her whether she thinks I will ever abandon her or her sister or let her be alone on the road or put her in some fire or give some other punishment just because I like to give punishments? She replied in the negative and then she started getting the feel of why she did not fear me even though I get angry on her. She realized that I get angry not because I like to get angry but because she does something bad which displeases me. And then I put it this way that "You do fear me, but that fear is NOT because I am some Jinn Bhoot etc. that will eat you up. You fear me because of our mutual LOVE for each other and therefore you do not want to make me unhappy. This Love asks you to be conscious of me. This consciousness tells you to do things that please me and to avoid things that displease me. Your fear of me is actually your consciousness of me. And your consciousness of me is because of this LOVE". She seemed to understand the difference between fear and consciousness (not completely though).

Then I asked her, "Are you fearful of Allah (swt)."

She said, "Yes."

I asked her why?

She said, "Because if I do not do something like Salah, Quran, etc., He will put me in fire."

I then asked her, "Do you think Allah likes to put you in fire?"

After some thought she said, "No."

"Then why do you fear Allah but not fear me even though both of us do not like to punish you?" I asked her. She remained silently thoughtful and did not come up with a ready answer.

I then explained to her that Allah is much much more loving than I am towards you and He will really dislike it very much to put any of His beautiful creation in Fire. Like you donot fear me but are conscious of me because I love you very much, donot fear Allah but be conscious of Allah, because He really loves you very much and we donot want to make him Unhappy by doing things which will displease Him.

Then I asked her what does she fear most - my displeasure or my punishment?

She said, "Your displeasure."

I asked her why? She said, "Because I don't want you to be displeased with me."

I said this goes same with Allah (swt). We should be fearful of Allah's displeasure more than his punishment. Because Allah many a times does not give any punishment even though it is already due because He LOVES us so much that he does not want us to be punished. But that does not mean that we should displease him by doing bad things again and again. It is only those who do bad things again and again that Allah will punish. For others, whoever repents and stops doing those bad things, Allah will become more loving.

I know my daughter has not yet understood this subject completely and she will have to take more lessons on this subject but I felt this conversation style was a good way to teach her about Allah and our relationship with Him.
In this context, it reminds me of the word "Taqwa". Generally the word "Taqwa" and "Muttaqi" are translated as "Fear of Allah" and "God-Fearing". I found a few translations of the Quran, for example Mohammad Asad and Sahih International which translate the word as "Consciousness of Allah" and "God-Conscious". I felt the later are better translations of these words. Fear of Allah at times tends to gives a negative meaning. Mohammad Asad has this to say when he translated the word "Muttaqi" as "God-Conscious"

"The conventional translation of muttaqi as "God-fearing" does not adequately render the positive content of this expression - namely, the awareness of His all-presence and the desire to mould one's existence in the light of this awareness; while the interpretation adopted by some translators, "one who guards himself against evil" or "one who is careful of his duty", does not give more than one particular aspect of the concept of God-consciousness."


  1. jazaALLAH..
    may ALLAH help us all to keep us engaged with the kids in these positive activites

  2. i like your article its interesting and wonderful as well as good collection.

  3. nice kids are so sensative we have to be engaged with them.