There was a conversation via Whatsapp that continued into Facebook, where the suggestion to ‘Fear Allah’ was understood by the addressee as ‘malicious’.
The addressee wrote this on Facebook:
الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله
All praise is due to ALLAH and peace and blessing upon His Messenger
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful
1. The Addressee:
“Fear Allah !”
I pity those people who think that somehow using those words makes them more religious, more closer to GOD.
They do not know the pedigree of those words,
I have never heard of any instance of a companion saying as such.
But there is one incidence in the Seerah where a man did say as such..
A man came to the Messenger of Allah (saw) and said to him, ” Fear Allah”. He replied, am I not the best to Fear Him.
As the man departed, the Messenger (saw) informed the companions that that man was the father of the Khawarij.
2. I responded:
Assalaamu alaikum bro,
The expression “fear Allah” is qura’nic. It was used by the people not merely for rebuke, but actually, for the purposes of reminder. It is a common-place expression. See:
O Prophet, fear Allah and do not obey the unbelievers and the hypocrites. Verily Allah is All-Knowing, Most Wise.
(i.e. Surely Allah is not Khawarij, astaghfirullah.)
O you who have believed, do not put [yourselves] before Allah and His Messenger but fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is Hearing and Knowing.
They ask you, [O Muhammad], about the bounties [of war]. Say, “The [decision concerning] bounties is for Allah and the Messenger.” So fear Allah and amend that which is between you and obey Allah and His Messenger, if you should be believers.
And what Allah restored to His Messenger from the people of the towns – it is for Allah and for the Messenger and for [his] near relatives and orphans and the [stranded] traveler – so that it will not be a perpetual distribution among the rich from among you. And whatever the Messenger has given you – take; and what he has forbidden you – refrain from. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty.
This is the Book (the Quran), whereof there is no doubt, a guidance to those who are Al-Muttaqoon (the pious and righteous persons who fear Allah much (abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which He has forbidden) and love Allah much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained)).
Quran (Surah Al-Baqarah, Verse 2)
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah said: “A man who weeps for fear of Allah will not enter Hell until the milk goes back into the udder, and dust produced (when fighting) for the sake of Allah and the smoke of Hell will never coexist.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi and al-Nasaa’i.
(“until the milk goes back into the udder” is a metaphor for it being impossible)
2) The issue with saying ‘fear Allah’ in your example is that the bedouin was saying this to the prophet himself, peace be upon him – and this clearly is a reprehensible act. This explains why he was Khawarij and such people are condemned, as you say. But you or I are not a prophet.
Saying ‘fear allah’ in and of itself is normal, and a good reminder – especially nowadays where we prefer to rely on our own opinions, whims and desires (a greater ailment now in modernity – a culture that worships the Self). However, saying this to the prophets is a conceited act because it assumes the lay person knows more than the the most knowledgeable. Hence, we must gain more knowledge before we act. We ought to humble ourselves, by sitting and learning from those that are truly knowledgable (experts in the deen).
Note: I only responded as I chanced to see your post on my facebook feed.
3. The Addressee responded:
This is all true. But does nothing to dent the understanding that the companions and believers never used it as an expression amongst themselves.
As far as I know.
The Qur’an is Allah’s words and the companions understood the difference between Qur’an and Sunnah. There is no indication that the Messenger himself ever used the words,
And no quote here had been used to prove otherwise.
We are commanded to follow the Messenger, and the Qur’an is for our instruction,
And not for use as a benefit to ourselves.
4. I replied:
Assalaamu alaikum bro,
There are many speeches and letters that start with “O Slave of Allah, fear Allah…” or words to this effect. For instance,
Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said in a letter:
I command you and your army to fear Allah at all times because piety is the best weapon against the enemy and the best strategy in the battle… [Ibn Kathir in Al-bidayah wan Nihayah]
Abu Dharr al Ghifar and Mu’adh bin Jabal (may Allah be pleased with them) relate that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
Fear Allah wherever you are. Follow up a bad deed with a good deed and it will blot it out. And deal with people in a good manner. [Tirmidhi]
Hudhayfah ibn al-Yamaan (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
“Do not perform any act of worship that was not practised by the Companions of the Messenger of Allah, for the earlier generation did not leave any room for the latter to add anything (to the religion). Fear Allah, O’ readers, seekers of knowledge, and follow the path of those who came before you.” [Narrated by Ibn Battah in Al-Ibaanah]
It is reported that ‘Abdullâh b. Mas’ûd (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
One of the worst sins is when a man says to his brother, “Fear Allâh,” and he replies, “Worry about yourself.” [Abû Bakr Al-Daynûrî, Al-Mujâlasah wa Jawâhir Al-‘Ilm article 2619]
Sufyan Ath-Thawree mentioned:
“We met a people who loved it when it was said to them “Fear Allah the most high!“. Today you find people become annoyed at this.” See:https://theauthenticbase.wordpress.com/quotes-from-the…/
The fear of Allah
The Arabic word for the “fear of Allah” is taqwâ . It comes from the root word meaning “to protect from something, to prevent”. Indeed, a person exhibits the fear of Allah by seeking to prevent Allah’s punishment by carrying out what Allah has commanded of him and abstaining from what Allah has prohibited him. Read More: http://en.islamtoday.net/artshow-427-3221.htm
5. To which the Addressee replied:
It is obvious that a thorough search has been done, and yet the closest is an general injunction,
“Fear GOD wherever you may be”..
Which is a thousand miles from one man saying it to another as an admonition.
Therefore there are no instances in the Sunnah, that you have found, where the Messenger said as such to another man, in a direct and specific manner.
This is not the quality of the Messenger, and it is not part of his Sunnah.
And these others that you quote are brothers advising each other, in a general manner…
And not others using the words to support their position in a difference of opinion, nor as a term of rebuke.
This is how it is used too often today.
When you believe someone has done something wrong against you, and you wish to rebuke them.
Whilst they have done nothing wrong, and you only want to control them…
It is used today as a personal weapon, even though it’s use, as such, is not within the Sunnah.
6. To which I replied:
Assalaamu alaikum bro,
There are four parts to this.
A) A summary:
You’d mentioned you’ve never heard any instance of a companion mentioning the expression, ‘Fear Allah’. I indicated it was a common-place expression and cited evidence from the Qur’an, where its normality is clear; you insisted this was not sufficient, explaining that the companions and believers never used it as such AND nor did the prophet, peace be upon him. I cited evidence that the companions did use this expression, as did the prophet, peace be upon him; and now you’re saying that there is no evidence of the prophet, peace be upon him, using this expression as admonition… Sigh. 😦 See C.
B) In terms of “When you believe someone has done something wrong against you, and you wish to rebuke them,” cannot be addressed in this format. A face-to-face discussion is better. So, I won’t address this point here. But to be honest, this appears to be the crux of the discussion. The point is that “They have done nothing wrong” seems to me to be THE question. Whether a rebuke is used because something is genuinely wrong or used purely based on an opinion can only be discerned in such a discussion.
The term, ‘Fear Allah’ is meant to make us reflective and cautious of any wrong-doing. It serves as a reminder to BOTH the sender and receiver that Allah subhana wa ta’ala is All-Knowing. The point being made rather than the rebuke itself is what’s important. The rebuke is meant to jolt us to heed the words – not focus on the rebuke itself. The issue of control, however, is dubious. We are free to make our own minds, but reminders about remembering Allah subhana wa ta’ala’s judgement in that process is always a good thing.
C) However, the suggestion that the term ‘Fear Allah’ is solely a term of advice and not to be used to rebuke is not accurate.
In the last post, ‘Abdullâh b. Mas’ûd (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
One of the worst sins is when a man says to his brother, “Fear Allâh,” and he replies, “Worry about yourself.”
Regardless of the tone of the statement, ‘Fear Allah’, judging by the reaction of the brother, who took it defensively, is clearly an admonition.
Furthermore, when looking at Sufyan Ath-Thawree’s example in the last post:
“We met a people who loved it when it was said to them “Fear Allah the most high!“. Today you find people become annoyed at this.”
Again, the annoyance, is clearly due to the term being used as an admonition. I repeat, its use as admonition is not (or ought not to be) the problem. Rather it’s the point being made that’s important.
Moreover, there is yet another hadith that reads as follows:
“Al-Nu`mân b. Bashîr once addressed the people from the pulpit and told them about what took place between the Prophet, peace be upon him, and his father, saying:
My father gave him a gift. Then my mother, `Amrah bint Rawâhah, said: “I will not be satisfied until Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) is a witness to it.”
So my father went to Allah’s Messenger and said: “I gave a gift to my son from `Amrah bint Rawâhah, and she told me to have you be a witness to it, O Messenger of Allah.”
The Prophet (peace be upon him) asked: “Did you give your other children something similar?” He replied that he had not. So the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Fear Allah, and be just between your children.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (2587) and Sahîh Muslim (1623)]
The term “fear Allah” cannot have been uttered placidly. Indeed, the commentator on Islam Today says this about it:
“…We know the matter of justice is serious in our religion, because the Prophet (peace be upon him) told the father to “Fear Allah”. This is a strong rebuke to the father on account of his conduct. Such a strong rebuke shows us that being unjust in our dealings with our children is a serious sin.” See: http://en.islamtoday.net/artshow-425-3424.htm
Hadith on Racism: The Prophet reprimands his companion for insulting Bilal’s race:
Abu Umamah reported: Abu Dharr reproached Bilal about his mother, saying, “O son of a black woman!” Bilal went to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, and he told him what he said. The Prophet became angry and then Abu Dharr came, although he was unaware of what Bilal told him. The Prophet turned away from him and Abu Dharr asked, “O Messenger of Allah, have you turned away because of something you have been told?” The Prophet said, “Have you reproached Bilal about his mother? By the one who revealed the Book to Muhammad, none is more virtuous over another except by righteous deeds. You have none but an insignificant amount.” Source: Shu’b al-Iman 4760
Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Albani
In other narration, the prophet (peace be upon him) said:
You are person still in ignorance (Jahiliah)
Such expressions, here, is stronger than saying, “Fear Allah,” because, “Fear Allah” is sincere advice to your brother and sister.
In this matter we must ask an Arabic person (and I have) as these words are usual in Arabic speech and as indicated in my first post is already taken from the Qur’an, as the Quran is the main source of the Arabic language.
After asking the Sheikh, who is Iraqi, as you know, he explained to me, the above, adding that anyone saying something in contrast to this is either ignorant, engaging in sophistry or follows his own desire and lust.
Allah subhana wa ta’ala says:
“Did you ever consider the case of him who took his desire as his god, and then Allah caused him to go astray despite knowledge, and sealed his hearing and his heart, and cast a veil over his sight? Who, after Allah, can direct him to the Right Way? Will you not take heed?” Qur’an (45:23)
The problem with the statement, ‘Fear Allah’ ought to be put to bed: it isn’t a problem. However, the question of the complaint, as in point B, is, I feel, the heart of the matter.
With best wishes bro.
7. The Addressee replied:
We agree to disagree but you will never find that I use that expression against another person.
سبحان ربك رب العزة عما يصفون وسلام على المرسلين والحمد لله رب العالمين والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله محمد وعلى اله وصحبه أجمعين
Exalted be your Lord, the Lord of Glory, above what they attribute to Him, and peace be upon the Messengers, and all praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Universe. And the peace and blessing upon prophet Mohammed and his relatives and all his companions.