Seerah > Sahaabah > FEAR OF ALLAH
Nabi's Anxiety at the Time of a Storm

Hadhrat Aishah relates that whenever a strong wind, bringing dense clouds, started blowing, then Nabi's face turned pale with the fear of Allah . He became restless and would go in and out with worry, and would recite the following dua:

"O my Allah! I ask of You the good out of this wind, the good out of that which is in this wind, and the good out of that which is the outcome of this wind. I seek refuge in You from the evil of this wind, from the evil out of that which is in this wind, and from the evil out of that which is the outcome of this wind."

She says: "And further when it began to rain, signs of delight appeared on his face. I said to him once, 'O, Nabi of Allah, when clouds appear everybody is happy as they foretell rain, but why is it that I see you so much perturbed at that time?' He replied, 'O, 'Aishah! How can I feel secure that this wind does not warn of the wrath of Allah ? The people of A'ad were punished with the wind. They were happy when they beheld the gathering dense clouds, believing that they brought rain; but actually those clouds brought no rain but utter destruction to the people of 'A'ad."

Nabi was obviously referring to the following verses of the Qur’aan:

"Then, when they (A'ad) saw a dense cloud coming toward their valleys, they said: ‘Here is a cloud bringing us rain.’ No, but it is that very calamity which you did seek to hasten, a wind wherein is grievous penalty, destroying all things by commandment of its Lord. And morning found them so that nothing could be seen, besides their dwellings. Thus we treat the guilty folk." (XL VI: 24 & 25)

Look at the fear of Allah  in the heart of a person who is the best of all creation. In spite of a clear verse in the Qur’aan that Allah  would not punish the people so long as Nabi was with them (Al-Qur’aan VIII: 33), he has so much fear of Allah  in him, that a strong wind reminds him of the punishment awarded to the people in the past. Now let us look into our own hearts for a moment. Although we are fully saturated with sins, yet none of the unusual phenomena viz: earthquake, lightning, etc., arouses the least fear of Allah  in our hearts and, instead of resorting to Istighfaar or Salaah at such times, we only indulge in absurd investigations.

What Hadhrat Anas used to do when a storm approached

Hadhrat Nadhr-bin-Abdullah relates: "One day while Hadhrat Anas was alive, it became very dark during the day time. I went to him and said, "Did you ever see such a thing in the time of Nabi?" He replied, "I seek refuge in Allah ! In those days, if the breeze grew a little stronger than normal, we would hasten towards the musjid, fearing the approach of the Last Day."

Hadhrat Abu Darda narrates: "Whenever there was a storm, Nabi would get worried and would go to the musjid."

Nowdays, even at the time of the worst of calamities, who thinks of going to the musjid? Leave aside the common people, even those who regard themselves as good and practising Muslims, do not practice this Sunnat. What deterioration!

What Nabi did at the Time of Solar Eclipse

The Sun was once in eclipse in Nabi's time. The Sahaabah left their jobs. Even the young boys, practicing archery, hastened towards the musjid to know what Nabiwould do at that time. Nabistarted Salaah of two rakaat, which were so long that some people fainted and fell down. He wept in his Salaah and said:

"O Allah! You have said that You will not punish them as long as I am with them and so long as they seek Your forgiveness."
This refers to a verse in the Qur’aan wherein Allah  says:
"But Allah would not punish them while You are with them, nor will He punish them while they seek forgiveness." (VIII-33)

He then addressed the people saying: "You should hasten for Salaah whenever you happen to find the Sun or the Moon in eclipse. If you happen to know the signs of the Last Day as I do, then surely you would weep more and laugh less. In all such happenings, resort to Salaah; pray to Allah  and distribute sadaqaa (charity) to the poor."

Nabi's weeping the whole night

Once Nabikept weeping through the whole night, again and again repeating the following verse:
If You punish them, they are Your slaves; and if You forgive them, You only are the Mighty, the Wise." (S5 : V118)

It is said about Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullah alaih) that he also once wept the whole night, reciting the following verse of the Qur’aan in Tahajjud:

"Seperate yourselves on this day, O you guilty." (S35 : V58)

This verse means that on the Day of Qiyaamah, the guilty will be asked to separate themselves from the good, and will not be allowed to mix with them as they were doing in the worldly life. Why should not the people with fear of Allah  in their hearts weep in anxiety regarding which class they will belong to on that Day?

Hadhrat Abu Bakr and the Fear of Allah 

According to our belief, Hadhrat Abu Bakr is the most exalted person after the Ambiyaa . Nabi himself conveyed to him the glad tidings of his being the head of a group of persons in Jannat.

Nabi once remarked: "Abu Bakr's name shall be called out from all the gates of Jannat, and he will be the first of my followers to enter it."

With all these virtues and privileges, Hadhrat Abu Bakr used to say: "I wish I were a tree that would be cut and done away with."

Sometimes he would say: "I wish I were a blade of grass, whose life ended with the grazing of an animal."

He also said: "I wish I were a strand of hair on the body of a Mo'min."

Once he went to a garden, where he saw a bird singing. He sighed deeply and said: "O, bird! How lucky you are! You eat, you drink and fly under the shade of the trees, and you fear no reckoning of the Day of Qiyaamah. I wish I were just like you."

Hadhrat Rabiah Aslami narrates: "I once had some argument with Hadhrat Abu Bakr , during which he uttered a word that I did not like. He realized it immediately and said to me 'Brother, please say that word back to me in retaliation.' I refused to do so. He persisted, and even spoke of referring the matter to Nabi, but I did not agree to utter that word. He got up and left me. A few people of my clan remarked, 'Look! How strange! The person does wrong to you and on the top of that, he threatens to complain to Nabi'. I said, 'Do you know who he is. He is Hadhrat Abu Bakr . To displease him is to displease Nabi and to displease Nabi is to displease Allah , and if Allah  is displeased then who can save Rabiah from ruin? I went to Nabi and narrated the whole story to him. He said, 'You were quite right in refusing to utter that word. But you could have said this much in reply: 'O, Abu Bakr, ( May Allah  forgive you!"

Look at the fear of Allah  in Hadhrat Abu Bakr . He is so anxious to clear his accounts in this world, that no sooner has a slightly unpleasant word been addressed by him to a person, than he regrets it and requests him to say that word back to him in retaliation. He is so particular in this that he threatens to have the retaliation done through the intervention of Nabi. We are in the habit of saying offensive words to others, but we fear neither the retaliation nor the reckoning in the Hereafter.

Hadhrat Umar and the Fear of Allah 

Hadhrat Umar would often hold a straw in his hand and say: "I wish I were a straw like this."

Sometimes he would say: "I wish my mother had not given birth to me."

Once he was busy with some important work when a person came to him complaining about some petty grievance, and requested for its redress. Hadhrat Umar lashed him across his shoulders, saying: "When I sit for that purpose, you do not come to me, but when I am engaged in other important work you come with your grievances to interrupt me."

The person walked away. But Hadhrat 'Umar sent for him and handing his whip over to him, said: "You lash me now to even the matter." The person said: "I forgive you for the sake of Allah ."

Hadhrat Umar went home, prayed a Salaah of two rakaats in repentance and reprimanded himself, saying: "O, Umar! You were low but Allah  elevated you. You were wandering astray but Allah  guided you. You were an ordinary person but Allah  ennobled you and gave you rule over the people. Now one of them comes and asks you for redress of the wrong done to him, and you beat him? What answer have you to give before Allah ?" He kept on scolding himself thus for a very long time.

Once when Hadhrat Umar with his slave Aslam was going towards Harrah (a suburb of Madinah), on his usual rounds, he saw a distant fire in the desert. He said: "There seems to be a camp. Perhaps, it is a caravan that could not enter the town due to nightfall. Let's go and look after them and arrange for their protection during the night."

When he reached there, he found a woman and some children. The children were crying. The woman had a pan of water over the fire. Hadhrat 'Umar greeted her with salaam and with her permission, went near her.

Umar asked: "Why are these children crying?"

The Woman replied: "Because they are hungry."

Umar again asked: "What is in the pan?"

The Woman replied: "Only water, to soothe the children, so that they may go to sleep in the belief that food is being prepared for them. Ah! On the Day of Qiyaamah, Allah  will judge between Umar and me, for neglecting me in my distress."

Umar ((weeping) said: "May Allah  have mercy on you! How can Umar know of your distress?"

The Woman replied: "When he is our Amir, he must keep himself informed about us."

Hadhrat 'Umar returned to the town and immediately went to Baitul-Mal to fill a sack with flour, dates, fat and clothes, and also drew some money. When the sack was ready, he said to Aslam: "Now put this sack on my back, Aslam."

Aslam protested: "No please, Amir-ul-Mo'mineen! I shall carry this sack."

Hadhrat 'Umar refused to listen to Aslam, even on his persistent requests to allow him to carry the sack, and remarked: "What! Will you carry my load on the Day of Qiyaamah? I must carry this bag, for it is I who would be questioned (in the Hereafter) about this woman."

Aslam most reluctantly placed the bag on Hadhrat Umar's back and he carried it with a swift pace right to the woman's tent. Aslam followed at his heels. He put a little flour and some dates and fat in the pan and began to stir. He blew (with his mouth) into the fire to kindle it.

Aslam says: "I saw the smoke passing through his thick beard."

After some time, the food was ready. He himself served it to the family. After they had eaten to their fill, he made over to them the little that was left for their next meal. The children were very happy after their meal and began to play about merrily. The woman felt very grateful and remarked: "May Allah  reward you for your kindness! In fact you deserve to take the place of Khalifah instead of 'Umar."

Umar consoled her and said: "When you come to see the Khalifah, you will find me there."

He sat for a while at a place close by and kept on watching the children. He then returned to Madinah. On his way back, he said to Aslam: "Do you know why I sat there, Aslam? I had seen them weeping in distress; I liked to see them laughing and happy for some time."

It is said that Hadhrat Umar used to recite Surah Kahf, Surah Taha and other such Soorahs when leading Fajr Salaah and would weep so much, that his crying could be heard way back to several rows. Once he was reciting Surah 'Yusuf in Fajr, when he came to the verse:

"I only compain of my distress and anguish unto Allah," (S12 : V86)

He wept so much, that he could not recite any further. In Tahajjud Salaah, he would sometimes fall to the ground and would get indisposed with excessive weeping.

Such was the fear of Allah  in Hadhrat Umar , whose name struck terror in the hearts of the mightiest kings of his time. Even today, the people are filled with awe when they read about him. Is there any person in power today who is prepared to show such kindness to the people in his charge?

An Admonition by Hadhrat Abdullah bin Abbas

Wahab bin Munabbah says: "Abdullah bin Abbas lost his eyesight in his old age. I once led him to the Haram in Makkah, where he heard a group of people exchanging hot words among themselves. He asked me to lead him to them. He greeted them with 'Assalamu Alaikum.' They requested him to sit down, but he refused and said: 'May I tell you about people whom Allah  holds in high esteem? These are those whom His fear has driven to absolute silence, even though they are neither helpless nor dumb. Rather they are possessors of eloquent speech and have power to speak and sense to understand. But constant glorification of Allah's  name has so over-powered their wits that their hearts are overawed and their lips sealed. When they get established in this state, they hasten towards righteousness. Where have you people deviated from this course? After this reprimand, I never saw an assembly of even two persons in the Haram."

It is said that Hadhrat Ibne Abbas used to weep so much with Allah's fear that the tears streaming down his cheeks had left permanent marks on them.

In this story, Hadhrat Abdullah bin Abbas has prescribed a very easy way to righteousness. This is to meditate over the greatness of Allah (. If this is done, it becomes very easy to perform all other acts of righteousness with full sincerity. Is it so very difficult to devote a few minutes, out of the twenty four hours of a day at one's disposal, to spiritual meditation?

Nabi's passing near the ruins of Thamud during the Tabuk expedition

The Tabuk expedition is one of the major campaigns of Nabi and the last one in which he personally took part. When he received the news that the Caesar (of Rome) had gathered a large force to crush the power of Islam and was on his way (through Syria) to invade Madinah, he decided to lead the Sahaabah to check him on his way. On Thursday, the 5th Rajab, 9 A.H., the devoted jamaat of Sahaabah marched out of Madinah. As the weather was hot and the fighting was expected to be very tough, Nabi made an open declaration that the Muslims should gather in strength and prepare fully to face the forces of the Roman Empire. He also encouraged them to contribute towards the equipment of the expedition. It was on this occasion that Hadhrat Abu Bakr contributed all his belongings. When he was questioned by Nabi as to what he had left for his family, he replied: "I have left Allah  and His Nabi for them."

Hadhrat Umar contributed half his belongings and Hadhrat 'Uthmaan provided for the equipment of one-third of the whole army. Although, everyone contributed beyond his means, the equipment fell far short of the requirements. Only one camel was available for each group of ten persons, who were to ride it in turn. This is why this campaign is known as "The campaign of hardship."

The Tabuk expedition is one of the major campaigns of Nabi and the last one in which he personally took part. When he received the news that the Caesar (of Rome) had gathered a large force to crush the power of Islam and was on his way (through Syria) to invade Madinah, he decided to lead the Sahaabah to check him on his way. On Thursday, the 5th Rajab, 9 A.H., the devoted jamaat of Sahaabah marched out of Madinah. As the weather was hot and the fighting was expected to be very tough, Nabi made an open declaration that the Muslims should gather in strength and prepare fully to face the forces of the Roman Empire. He also encouraged them to contribute towards the equipment of the expedition. It was on this occasion that Hadhrat Abu Bakr contributed all his belongings. When he was questioned by Nabi as to what he had left for his family, he replied: "I have left Allah  and His Nabi for them."

Hadhrat Umar contributed half his belongings and Hadhrat 'Uthmaan provided for the equipment of one-third of the whole army. Although, everyone contributed beyond his means, the equipment fell far short of the requirements. Only one camel was available for each group of ten persons, who were to ride it in turn. This is why this campaign is known as "The campaign of hardship."

The journey was long and the weather hot and dry. The orchards were laden with ripe dates (the staple crop of Madinah) and it was just the time for harvesting, when all of a sudden the Sahaabah were required to start on this campaign. It was really an acid test of their Imaan. They visualised the long and arduous journey, the scorching heat, the formidable enemy opposed to them and, to top all, the prospective loss of the year's crop, but they could not even dream of evading the call to arms, and that solely on account of the deep-rooted fear of Allah  in their hearts. Except the women, children (who were excusable), those who were ordered to stay behind by Nabi himself and the munafiqin, nearly everybody joined the expedition. Also among those left behind were such persons who could neither arrange conveyance for themselves, nor was Nabi able to provide them with any. It is about such people that Allah says in his Book:

"They turned back with eyes flowing with tears in sorrow that they could not find means to spend." (IX: 92)

Of the true believers, those who stayed behind without any excuse whatsoever were three in number. Their story would be presently related. On their way to Syria, when the expedition reached the habitation of Thamud, Nabi covered his face with his shirt and quickened the pace of his camel. He also instructed the Sahaabah to do the same, since that was the scene of Thamud's destruction. They were advised to pass there weeping and fearing lest Allah  should punish them as he had punished the Thamud.

The dearest and the most beloved Nabi of Allah  and his privileged companions pass by the ruins of the punished people in fear and tears, lest they meet the same fate. On the other hand today, if any place is struck with an earthquake, it becomes a place of sightseeing for us and, if we come across any ruins, our eyes remain dry and our hearts unaffected. What a change of attitude!

Hadhrat Ka'ab's Failure to Join the Battle of Tabuk

Together with the Munaafiqin who did not join in The Battle of Tabuk, there were more than eighty people from the Ansaar and an equal number from amongst the nomadic Arabs and a large number from the strangers. They themselves did not go and they encouraged others not to go as well.

"Don’t go in the heat."

Allah’s (reply to this was:)

"Say, the fire of Jahannum is of more intense heat."

From amongst the Sahaabah , there were only three people who failed to join Nabi. They were Muraarah bin Rabi, Hilal bin Umayyah and Ka'ab bin Malik . Muraarah had orchards of dates, laden with fruit. He convinced himself to stay behind saying:

"I have taken part in all the battles so far. What possible harm would befall the Muslims, if I miss this one?"

He feared the loss of the entire crop in his absence and this prevented him from going out. But when he realised his mistake, he gave away in charity the whole crop and garden also which had caused him to stay behind. Hadhrat Hilal's case was different. Some of his family, who had been away for a long time, had just returned to Madinah. It was for their sake that he did not join the Battle. He had also participated in all the battles previously and thought (like Murarah ) that it would not matter much if he missed just that one battle. When he came to know of the seriousness of his mistake, he made up his mind to cut off all his connections with those relatives who had been the cause of this mistake. Hadhrat Ka'ab himself explains his story in detail, which is quoted in all books of Hadith.

He says: "I had never been so well off financially as I was at the time of Tabuk. I had two she camels of my own which I never owned before. It was the habit of Nabi that he never disclosed the destination of his battles, but he would keep on asking about the conditions elsewhere.

But this time in view of the distance, the hot season and the strength of the enemy, he had declared his destination, so that proper preparations could be made. The number of the participants was so large that it was difficult to note down their names even, so much so, that those who were absent could hardly be noticed in the large crowd.

The gardens of Madinah were full of fruit. I intended every morning to make preparation for the journey, but somehow or the other, the days passed by and I made no progress. I was satisfied that I had all the necessary means at my disposal and that I would be ready in no time if I did once decide to do so.

I was still not yet decided when I learnt that Nabi had left with his companions. The idea still played in my mind that I would take a day or two to get ready and overtake the group. This delay continued till the time for Nabi's arrival in Tabuk drew very near. I then tried to get ready but again, but somehow or the other, I did not do so. Now, when I came to look at the people left behind, I realized that there was no one in Madinah except those who had been condemned as Munaafiqeen or had been specially allowed to stay behind for certain reasons.

On reaching Tabuk, Nabi inquired 'How is it that I do not see Ka'ab?' Somebody said, 'O, Nabi of Allah: His pride in wealth and ease has caused him to stay behind.' Hadhrat Ma'az interrupted and said, “No, this is wrong. As far as our knowledge goes, he is a true Muslim.' However, Nabi kept quiet."

Hadhrat Ka'ab says: "After a few days I heard the news of Nabi's return. I was struck with grief and remorse. One after the other, good excuses entered my mind and I was sure that I could escape Nabi's wrath with one of them for the time being, and later on pray for Allah’s  forgiveness. I also sought the advice of the wise men of my family in this matter.

But when I knew that Nabi had actually returned, I was convinced that nothing but the truth would save me. So I decided to speak out the plain truth.

It was the noble habit of Nabi that whenever he returned from a journey, he would first go to the musjid and perform two rakaat 'Tahiyyatul Musjid' and then stay there for a while to meet visitors. As he sat in the musjid, the Munaafiqeen came and gave their excuses taking oaths as to why they did not accompany him on the battle. He accepted their excuses entrusting the matter to Allah (.Just then I came and greeted him with 'salaam'.

He turned his face with a scornful smile. I begged him with the words: 'O, Nabi of Allah! You turn your face from me. By Allah! Neither am I a Munaafiq, nor do I have the least doubt in my Imaan.' He asked me to come near and I did so.

But when I knew that Nabi had actually returned, I was convinced that nothing but the truth would save me. So I decided to speak out the plain truth.

It was the noble habit of Nabi that whenever he returned from a journey, he would first go to the musjid and perform two rakaat 'Tahiyyatul Musjid' and then stay there for a while to meet visitors. As he sat in the musjid, the Munaafiqeen came and gave their excuses taking oaths as to why they did not accompany him on the battle. He accepted their excuses entrusting the matter to Allah (.Just then I came and greeted him with 'salaam'.

He turned his face with a scornful smile. I begged him with the words: 'O, Nabi of Allah! You turn your face from me. By Allah! Neither am I a Munaafiq, nor do I have the least doubt in my Imaan.' He asked me to come near and I did so. He then asked me: 'What prevented you from coming with me? Had you not purchased the she camels? I replied: 'O, Nabi of Allah, If I were dealing with a worldly man, then I am sure that I would escape his displeasure through (seemingly) reasonable excuses, for Allah  has gifted me with the gift of speech. But in your case, I am sure that if I make a false statement, Allah  would be displeased with me. On the other hand, I am sure that if I displease you by confessing the simple truth, then Allah  would very soon make you happy with me. I, therefore, will speak the truth. By Allah, I had no excuse at all.

I had never been so well to do as I was at that time.” Nabi remarked: 'He is speaking the truth.' He then said to me: ‘You go away, Allah  will decide about you.’ When I left the musjid, many people from my clan blamed me and scolded me saying, ‘Never before had you committed any wrong. If after making some good excuse for once, you had requested Nabi to make dua for your goodness, surely his dua would have been sufficient for you.’ I asked them if there were any more people like me. They informed me that there were two other persons viz. Hilaal bin Umayyah and Muraarah bin Rabi , who also had admitted their faults like me and received the same reply from Nabi.

I knew that both of them were very good Muslims and had taken part in the Battle of Badr. Nabi instructed that no one should speak with the three of us.”

It is a common rule that displeasure is shown where some love exists, and a scolding is given when there is hope for correction. A warning to a hopeless person would be a useless effort.

Hadhrat Ka'ab continues: "Under the instructions of Nabi, the Sahaabah completely boycotted us. Nobody was prepared to mix with or even speak to us. It seemed as if I was living in a strange land altogether. My own birth-place looked like a foreign land and my best friends behaved like strangers towards me.

'The earth, vast as it is, was closing up on me’ (Al-Qur’aan IX: 113]. The thing that worried me most was that, if I died in this condition, Nabi would not lead my Janaaza Salaah and if Nabi died in the meantime, I would be doomed forever, with no one to talk to me and with no one to make dua at my funeral. The other two companions of mine locked themselves in their houses.

I was the most daring of the three, I would go to the market, and join the Jamaat for Salaah, but nobody would talk to me. I would approach Nabi and say, 'Assa-lamo alaikum' and would watch eagerly to see if his lips moved in reply. After Fardh, I used to complete the Salaah by standing close to him, and I would look at him from the corner of my eye to learn if he ever cast a single glance at me. I noticed that when I was engaged in Salaah he did look at me, but when I was out of it, he would turn his face away from me."

Hadhrat Ka'ab continues: "When this boycott became too difficult for me to bear, I one day climbed up the wall of my dear cousin Qata-dah , and greeted him with 'Assalamualaikum'. He did not return my greetings. I said to him, 'For Allah's  sake, do answer me one question. Don’t you know that I love Allah (and His Nabi?' He kept quiet. I again repeated my request, but again he would not speak. When I asked for the third time, he simply said, 'Allah and His Nabi know best.' At this, tears flowed out of my eyes and he left me alone."

"Once, I was passing through a street of Madinah, when I noticed a Coptic Christian, who had come from Syria to sell his grain, inquiring about Kaab-bin-Malik. When the people pointed me out to him, he came and made over a letter to me from the Christian King of Ghassan. It read: 'We have come to know that your master has ill-treated you. Allah  will not keep you in disgrace. You better come to us. We shall extend all help to you.' When I read this letter, I uttered

"Inna-lillahi-wa-Inna-ilaihi-raaji-oon"

To Allah we belong and to Him is our return;
and said; 'So my state of affairs (had) reached such a low point that even the Kaafirs were aspiring to draw me away from Islam.' I could not imagine a calamity worse than that. I went and threw the letter into an oven. Thereafter I presented myself to Nabi and exclaimed: 'O, Nabi of Allah! Your indifference towards me has lowered me to such an extent that even the Kafirs are building up their hopes over me."

When forty days had passed in this condition, a messenger of Nabirought me this command: ‘Be separated from your wife, ' I asked him, 'Am I to divorce her?' He replied: 'No, only be separated.’ A similar message was delivered to my other two companions as well. I therefore said to my wife: ‘Go to your parents and wait till Allah  decides my case.'

Hadhrat Hilaal's wife went to Nabi and said; 'O, Nabi of Allah! Hilaal is an old man and there is nobody else to look after him. If I go away from him, he will die. If it is not very serious, kindly permit me to keep attending to him.' Nabi replied; 'There is no harm."

Hadhrat Ka'ab says: "It was suggested to me that I might also request Nabi for permission to keep my wife with me for my service, but I said; 'Hilaal is old, while I am young. I do not know what reply I shall get and, as such, I have no courage to make the request.”

Another ten days had passed and now our trial had lasted for a full fifty days. On the morning of the fiftieth day, I had performed my Fajar Salaah and was sitting on the roof of my house stricken with grief. The earth had closed upon me and life had become miserable for me. I heard an announcer from over the top of mount Sula; 'Glad tidings to you, O, Kaab.' The moment I heard this, I fell on the ground in sajdah and tears of joy rolled down my cheeks, as I understood that our test was now over.

In fact, after the Salaah that morning, Nabi had announced the Divine forgiveness for all three of us. At this, a person ran up to the top of the mountain and announced the forgiveness in a loud voice and this was the cry that had reached me. Thereafter, a rider came galloping to deliver the same happy news to me.

The clothes that I was wearing were given away as a gift, to the messenger of glad tidings. I swear by Allah , that I had no other clothes in my possession at that time. I dressed up by borrowing clothes from some friend and went to Nabi. As I entered the musjid, the people in the audience of Nabi ran to congratulate me. Hadhrat Abu Talha was the first to approach me. He shook my hand with such warmth that I shall never forget.

Thereafter I made salaam to Nabi. I found his face beaming and radiant like the full moon. This was usual with him at times of extreme joy. I said to him, 'O, Nabi of Allah! I propose to give away in charity all that I possess as thanks for the acceptance of my Taubah.’ He said: 'This will be too much for you. Keep a portion with you.' I agreed to keep my share of the booty that fell in our hands in the Battle of Khaibar."

Hadhrat Ka'ab says: "It is the truth that had brought me salvation, and as such I am determined to speak nothing but the truth in the future."

The above story brings out the following outstanding characteristics of the Muslims of that time:—
  1. The importance of striving in the path of Allah . Even those who had faithfully participated in every battle, had to bear the brunt of Nabi's b anger when they failed to respond to Allah’s  call, even though it was for the first time in their lives.
  2. Their devotion and obedience to Nabi. For full fifty days the whole Muslim community, including their nearest and dearest ones, would not speak to the three persons, in obedience to Nabi's orders. The three people themselves went most steadfastly through the suffering imposed on them.
  3. Their strong faith. Hadhrat Ka’ab was so much perturbed when he received the letter from the Christian King, inciting him against Nabi. His words and his action at that time are a testimony to the strong faith in his heart. Let us search our hearts and see how much devotion we have in fulfilling our obligations to Allah . Leaving aside Zakaat and Hajj, which involve the sacrifice of money, and taking the case of Salaah alone, which is the most important pillar of Islam after Imaan, how many of us are particular about it?
Nabi's warning on the Sahaabah's Laughing

Once, when Nabi came to the musjid for Salaah, he noticed some people laughing and giggling.

He remarked: "If you remembered your death, I would not see you like this. Think of your death often. Not a single day passes when the Qabr (grave) does not call out: 'I am a wilderness, I am a place of dust, I am a place of worms.’ When a momin is laid in the Qabr (grave), it says; 'Welcome to you. It is good of you to have come into me. Of all the people walking on the earth, I liked you the best. Now that you have come into me, you will see how I entertain you. ‘The Qabr then expands as far as the occupant can see. A door from Jannat is then opened for him in the Qabr (grave), and through this door he gets the fresh and fragrant air of Jannah.

But when an evil man is laid in the Qabr (grave) it says; 'No word of welcome for you. Your coming into me is very bad for you. Of all the people walking on the earth, I disliked you the most. Now that you have been made over to me, you will see how I treat you!' The Qabr (grave) then closes upon him so much that his ribs of one side penetrate into the ribs of the other side. As many as seventy snakes are then set upon him, to keep biting him till the Day of Qiyaamah. These snakes are so poisonous that if one of them happened to squirt its poison upon the earth, not a single blade of grass would ever grow." After this, Nabi said: "The grave is either a garden of Jannat or a pit of Jahannum."

“Fear of Allah” is the basic and essential requirement of a Muslim. Nabi advised the believers to remember death often and to keep the fear of Allah  ever present in their hearts.

Hadhrat Hanzalah's Fear of Nifaq (hypocrisy)

Hadhrat Hanzalah says: "We were once with Nabi when he delivered a talk. Our hearts became tender, our eyes were flowing with tears, and we realised where we stood. Thereafter, I left Nabi and returned home. I sat with my wife and children and cracked jokes with them, and soon realised that the effect of Nabi's talk had completely vanished from my heart.

Suddenly, it occurred to me that I was not what I had been, and I said to myself; 'O, Hanzalah! You are a Munaafiq (hypocrite - one who claims to be a muslim but hides disbelief in his heart)'. I was stricken with grief and I left my house repeating these words in sorrow; 'Hanzalah has turned Munaafiq.’

I saw Hadhrat Abu Bakr coming towards me and I said to him; 'Hanzalah has turned Munafiq.' He said; 'Subhanallah! What are you saying? Hanzalah can never be a Munaafiq.’ I explained to him: 'When we are with Nabi and listen to his advice about Jannat and Jahannam, we feel as if both are present before our very eyes but when we return home and are absorbed in our home and family affairs, we forget all about the Hereafter. Hadhrat Abu Bakr said: 'My case is exactly the same.’

We both went to Nabi and I said; 'I have turned Munaafiq, O Nabi of Allah!' He inquired about the matter, and I repeated what I had said to Hadhrat Abu Bakr . Thereupon Nabi remarked: 'By Him Who controls my life, if you could keep up the spirit aroused in you when you are with me for all times, then the Malaa’ikah would greet you whilst you are walking and in your beds. But, O, Hanzlah! This is rare! This is rare!’" We have to attend to our personal and other worldly affairs, and therefore we cannot be pondering about the hereafter twenty-four hours of the day. According to what has been said by Nabi, complete absorption in the Hereafter is rare, and it should not be expected by all. It is only for the Malaa’ikah to remain in the same state at all times.

In case of men, the state of their mind changes with circumstances and environments. But we can see from this story how anxious the Sahaabah were about the condition of their Imaan. Hadhrat Hanzlah suspects Nifaaq in himself when he feels that the condition of his mind at home is not the same as it is when he is with Nabi.

A Few Miscellaneous Stories about the Fear of Allah

It is very difficult to cover all that is said in the Qur’aan and the Hadith about the importance of the fear of Allah . However, it may be understood that fear of Allah  is an essential step towards all spiritual advancement. Nabi has said: "Fear of Allah  is the root of all wisdom".

Hadhrat Ibn 'Umar used to weep so much with the fear of Allah  that he lost his eyesight. He said to somebody watching him: "You wonder at my weeping. Even the sun weeps with the fear of Allah ."

On another occasion, he is reported to have said: "Even the moon weeps with His fear."

Nabi once passed by one Sahaabi who was reciting the Qur’aan, when he came to the verse:

"And when the heavens split and become rosy like red hide", (LV:37)

The hair of his body stood on end, and he was nearly choked, with excessive weeping. He would cry and say: "Alas, what will happen to me on the day when even the Heavens will split asunder. Woe to me!"

Nabi said to him: "Your crying has made even the Malaa’ikah weep."

Once an Ansaari Sahaabi sat and wept after Tahajjud, saying: "I cry to Allah  for protection from the fire of Jahannum". Nabi said to him: "You have made the Malaa’ikah weep today".

Hadhrat Abdullah bin Rawahah was once weeping. His wife also began to weep on seeing him in this condition. He enquired of her: "Why are you weeping?"

She replied: "Whatever makes you weep makes me weep too".

He said: "The idea that I have to cross the bridge of Siraat across Jahannum makes me weep. I don't know whether I shall be able to cross over or fall into Jahannum’.

Zurarah bin Aufa was leading the Salaah in a Musjid when he recited the verse:

For when the Trumpet shall sound; surely that day will be a day of distress"! (LXXIV: 8 & 9)

He fell down and passed away. Thereafter, people carried his body to his house.

Khulaid was saying his Salaah. During his Qiraat, he reached the verse:

Every soul will taste of death" (III: 185)

He began to repeat it again and again. He heard a voice from a corner of the room saying: "How often are you going to repeat this verse? Your recitation has already caused the death of four Jinns".

It is reported about another Sheikh that (while reciting the Qur’aan) when he reached the verse:

Then are they returned unto Allah, their Lord, the Just, is not His the Command?" (VI: 62)

He gave out a cry, shivered and breathed his last.

There are many stories of this type. Fudhail (Rahmatullah alaih), a famous Sheikh, says: "Fear of Allah  leads to everything that is good".

Shibli (Rahmatullah alaih), another Sheikh of high position, says: "Whenever I have felt Allah's  fear in me, I have found a fresh door of knowledge and wisdom opened for me".

In a Hadith, it is said: "Allah  says; ' I do not impose two fears on my slave. If he does not fear me in this world, I shall give him fear in the next, and if he fears me in this world I shall save him from all fears in the Hereafter".

Nabi says: "All things fear a person who fears Allah , while everything is a source of fear to him who fears somebody other than Allah ."

Yahya bin Ma'az (Rahmatullah alaih) says: "If a man fears Jahannum as much as he is afraid of poverty then he may enter into Jannat."

Abu Sulaiman Daaraani (Rahmatullah alaih) says: "There is nothing but ruin for a heart that is devoid of fear of Allah ." Nabi says: "The face that gets wet with the smallest drop of tear from the fear of Allah  is safe from entrance into the fire of Jahannum."

He also said: "When a Muslim shivers with the fear of Allah , his sins fall away from him like the falling leaves of a tree." Nabi has said: "A person weeping with the fear of Allah  cannot go to Jahannum until milk goes back into the udders, (which is an impossibility)."

Hadhrat Uqbah bin Amir once inquired of Nabi: "What is the way to salvation (i.e. becoming saved from the fire of Jahannam)?"

He replied: "Gaurd your tongue, stay indoors and cry over your sins."

Hadhrat A'ishah (Radhiyallaho anha) once asked Nabi: "Is there anybody among your followers who will go to Jannat without reckoning?" "Yes," replied Nabi, "The person who often cries over his sins."

There is another Hadith, in which my dear Master, Hadhrat Muhammad j has said: "No drop is more dear to Allah  than two drops; a drop of tear shed in the fear of Allah , and a drop of blood shed in the path of Allah ."

It is said in a Hadith that seven persons would be under the shade of the Arsh on the day of Qiyaamah. One of them would be the person who remembered Allah  when he was all alone, and tears flowed from his eyes with the fear of Allah  and in repentance for his sins.

Hadhrat Abu Bakr says: "One who can weep should do so, and one who cannot should make the appearance of a weeping person."

It is reported of Muhammad bin Munkadir (Rahmatullah alaih) that, when he wept, he smeared his tears over his face and beard saying: "I have heard that the fire of Jahannum does not touch the place touched by these tears."

Thabit Bunaani t was suffering from a disease of the eyes. His doctor said to him: "Your eyes would be all right, provided you do not weep in future."

He replied: "What is the good of an eye if it cannot shed tears." Yazid bin Maisarah t says: 'There can be seven reasons for weeping viz., extreme joy, insanity, extreme pain, horror, fraud, intoxication and fear of Allah . A single tear shed in the fear of Allah (is sufficient to quench oceans of fire (of Jahannum)."

Hadhrat Ka'ab Ahbar says: "By Him who holds my life in His (hands), I love to weep for fear of Allah , with tears flowing down my cheeks, rather than spend a mountain of gold in charity."

There are numerous other sayings of the Auyliyaa and other pious people, indicating that weeping because of the fear of Allah , and over one's sins, is very effective and beneficial in attaining spiritual elevation. However, we should not lose hope in Allah . His Mercy is all-embracing.

Hadhrat 'Umar says: "If it be announced on the Day of Qiyaamah that all except one individual shall go to Jahannum, my expectation of the Mercy of Allah  would make me hope that I may be that chosen one. Again, if it be announced on that day that all except one individual shall go to Jannat, then my sins would make me fear that I may be that one."

It is therefore necessary that we should combine fear and hope together in our hearts. Especially when the time of death is approaching, we should have more hope than fear.

Nabi says: "None of you should die, except with a strong hope in the Mercy of Allah ."

When Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal approached his end, he sent for his son and asked him to read to him the Ahaadith that induce hope in Allah  and His Mercy.


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