Fearing is one of the emotions that control the decisions of the people. It is used by the Satan in order to convince people to disobey Allah. Allah said: “Satan threatens you with the prospect of poverty and bids you to be niggardly” (2:268). A Muslim must confront fearing by trusting Allah and submit himself to Him. The Quran gives us various examples of the Prophet who feared only Allah and stood bravely stood against the falsehood.
– Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him), a young man against the whole town
Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him)’s story is a clear example of trusting Allah alone and neglecting any threat. This young man did not only reject his people religion, but he explicitly declared that he does not fear their gods. Allah expressed Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him) declaration: “And how should I fear what you have associated when you yourselves are not afraid that you have associated with Allah, without having any proof for doing so? Which of the two parties then (of the monotheists and polytheists) is better entitled to security (and salvation) if you truly know?” (6:81).
Moreover, he fearlessly went to destroy their idols in order to refute their belief. Allah said: “So he smashed them all into pieces, except their chief (idol), that they might return to it (for inquiry as he planned).” (21:58) Then, “he said, to them in reproach: ‘Do you worship what you [yourselves] have carved, out of stone and other materials, idols,” (37:95).
Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him) (peace and blessings be upon him) believed that Allah would support him, even when they made a great fire and they were about to fling him in such blazing fire, he did not retract his belief; rather, he trusted Allah and was firmly confident that Allah was not leave him. Therefore, Allah changed one of the physical laws for him. Allah said: “So, I said, ‘O fire! Become cool and safe for Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him)” (21:69).
As long as you follow Allah’s religion, you should not fear the consequences. Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) said:
One day, I was riding behind the Prophet (ﷺ) when he said, “O boy! I will instruct you in some matters. Be watchful of Allah (Commandments of Allah), He will preserve you. Safeguard His Rights, He will be ever with you. If you beg, beg of Him Alone; and if you need assistance, supplicate to Allah Alone for help. And remember that if all the people gather to benefit you, they will not be able to benefit you except that which Allah had foreordained (for you); and if all of them gather to do harm to you, they will not be able to afflict you with anything other than that which Allah had pre-destined against you. The pens had been lifted and the ink had dried up”. [At- Tirmidhi]
– My Lord is with me and He will guide me
Another example presenting how to overcome the natural human fearing by obeying and believing in Allah is shown the story of the Prophet Musa (peace and blessings be upon him). From the very beginning of his story, Allah was teaching Musa (peace and blessings be upon him) (and all Muslims) how to control his fearing until he stood against the Pharaoh and his great army without any doubt in Allah’s victory.
The story begins when Allah called Musa (peace and blessings be upon him) at the valley Tuwa, then Allah commanded him to cast his staff down. Suddenly, the staff turned into a moving snake. Allah describes Musa (peace and blessings be upon him)’s reaction as a human: “he turned his back and retreated and would not even look back.” (28:31). Yet, Allah called him to return and take while it is still a snake to practically teach him how to overcome his fearing and trust Allah alone as long as he obeys him.
Allah said to Musa (peace and blessings be upon him) (peace and blessings be upon him) (peace be upon him): “Take hold of the stick and do not fear its having turned into a snake. When you take hold of it, I will return it to its former state” (20:21).
Allah taught his Prophet this lesson because he would send him to the greatest kingdom at this time, so He showed him one of the shapes of His power so that Musa (peace and blessings be upon him) could trust Allah and face the Pharaoh in his palace.
However, Prophet Musa (peace and blessings be upon him) and his brother pleaded Allah saying: “We fear that he will quickly punish us before we can deliver Your message to him, or that he will exceed the limit in oppressing us by killing us or otherwise.” (20:45)
Allah reassured them: “Do not be afraid, I am with you both with My help and support. I hear and see everything that occurs between you and him.” (20:46). After this conversation, Musa (peace and blessings be upon him) went to the Pharos bearing in his mind he would be supported by the All-Hearing and the All-Seeing.
At the end of the story, The Pharaoh and his massive army were about to catch Musa (peace and blessings be upon him) and his companions because there was no chance to flee. The Pharaoh’s army was behind them and the sea was in front of them. Therefore, Musa (peace and blessings be upon him)’s companions desperately said: “Surely we are overtaken.” (26:61).
However, Musa (peace and blessings be upon him) had learnt at the beginning of the story that he would be helped by Allah, the All-Hearing and the All-Seeing and he would support him against the Pharaoh and his army. Musa (peace and blessings be upon him) applied what Allah had taught him in the beginning of the story. He did not know what would happen, but he was firmly believing that his Lord would not disgrace him because he reassured him that He would be with him.
So, Musa (peace and blessings be upon him) (peace and blessings be upon him) replied “Absolutely not! My Lord is certainly with me—He will guide me.” (26:62)
As a result of this firmed faith, Allah inspired Musa (peace and blessings be upon him) (peace and blessings be upon him): “Strike the sea with your staff, so it split, and each (separate) part was as a tremendous towering mountain.” (26:63) Then Allah saved Musa (peace and blessings be upon him) (peace and blessings be upon him) and those with him, all of them.
If we certainly believe that Allah is with us knowing our concerns, we should fear nothing except Him. The Quran tells us what happened when the idolaters said to Muslims that the Quraysh, led by Abū Sufyān, had come together in great numbers to fight against them and to finish them off, warning them against meeting them. But their words and attempts to scare them only increased their reliance on Allah and their trust in His promise. So, they went out to fight them, saying that Allah was enough for them and that He is the best Protector, while committing their lives to Him. They returned from the battle of Ḥamrā’ Al-Asad with a great reward from Allah, an increase in their rank and security from their enemy, whilst suffering no deaths or wounds. They did what pleased Allah, always doing as He instructed and not going against Him; and the grace of Allah for His servants who have faith is great.
Allah commented on this story saying: “That is only Satan who frightens [you] of his supporters. So, fear them not, but fear Me, if you are [indeed] believers.” (3:175)
Do not to let the Satan to control you through frightening you, leading you to disobey Allah; rather, take the advantage of your fearing to increase your belief in Allah.