Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Being God-fearing

I never understood this concept of "fearing God/Allah". Maybe it's because I never really believed in God, although I didn't deny His existance either... I've always felt it was important to be a good person, following his or her sense of what is good and refusing what is not. And I recently came to the conclusion that this sense IS God speaking to each one of us, telling us what to do and not do to and that the best way to submit to God was simply to follow this path. BUT, remains that even after having made this conclusion, which included belief in the existance of God, I still could not even IMAGINE the concept of fearing God. Theoretically... maybe a little... but I could not imagine it personally at all!

Now, the reason I write this post is that it has changed -- a little. And it came from the often-used question, "What would you tell Allah when he asked you why (you did or did not do such and such thing)...?" I had heard it before. But that time, I actually imagined something specific to me that had happened and that was not terrible in any way, but still left me feeling like... there is NO reason I could not have been better. None. Even if it's not the worst thing in the world, it was something that should not have been. I can't even remember the exact situation because it was actually a couple weeks ago, but it was something along the lines of me losing my temper.

The reasons I had never had this "God-fearing" feeling are numerous. One, no real belief in God - that's the biggest. But also being raised with some "Christian" influence that everyone will be forgiven and that there might not even be Hell and the fact that I see myself as a good person. But even without being a "bad" person, it's really not about that, is it? It's about the little things you do that ALL need to be related back to God.

2 Comentários:

khany said...

a believer is constantly in a state balanced between hope and fear. the hope of god's mercy and reward motivates him to do good, while the fear of god's punishment keeps him away from sins. in the absence of hope, fear would lead to debilitating depression. and hope in the absence of fear leads to heedlessness with respect to the consequences of ones actions.

umar ibn al khattab (may god be pleased with him) is reported to have said: "If I were told that all of mankind were to enter Heaven but one, I would fear that I was the one. And if all of mankind were to enter Hell but one, I would hope that I was the one."

still, neither fear nor hope is the highest station that a believer should aspire for. ihsan (excellence) is the highest form of worship. it comprises many more aspects than merely fear or hope: love, satisfaction, absolute submission to god, infinite certitude, and intent for closeness.

a muslim scholar summarized this idea with the statement, “The heart is like a bird. Love is its head, and its two wings are hope and fear.”

Candice said...

Nice way to understand it. Thanks.

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