Love & Fear

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

I was probably about seven years old when I was slapped across the face by the only adult who has ever raised a hand at me. It's not that I never deserved an occasional smack, but I'm grateful that the adults in my life favoured a merciful option in raising me. As for the exception, it was actually the hand of a Quran teacher who, surprisingly, accidentally struck me instead of my sister. And for that, I consider it a blessing.

After that incident, my father removed my siblings and I from that class, but there were no alternative classes. My parents both grew up with teachers who hit their students, and I think that sometimes my mother felt that we lost out by not continuing to attend. Despite reading the Quran with much difficulty and losing a Quran teacher, I appreciated my father's decision. Perhaps I figured that I could not learn in an environment of fear so leaving it only opened an opportunity to find a new path.

I mention this event because recently I have been contemplating the interaction between love and fear. For reasons best known to Allah, I wanted to love the Quran even though I feared Quran classes. But how does one go from fear to love? Or rather, how can one overcome one's fears well enough to embrace that which he loves?

At the heart of both fear and love is the recognition that only Allah is deserving of the manifestations of both these emotions. He is the One who has power over all. The dominion of the Heavens and Earth and all that exists and has ever existed and will ever exist sits firmly with Him and belong solely to Him. One might even say that our love of Him is inherent, though we are obliged to nourish it. Is love not something that grows when fed and withers when neglected?

When we love or fear something for other than His sake, then it must be from our weakness. Neither can be considered worthwhile when not for His sake since they must be emanating from our desires, and one who follows his desires alone is treading a treacherous path.

But when we love for His sake and simultaneously find ourselves cradling fears for other than His sake, which one takes the lead? Fear I imagine. Why? Because both love and fear return to having a good opinion of one's Lord. We have a good opinion of our Lord when we love for His sake, and yet we have an unbefitting opinion of Him when we fear for other than His sake. Our worthless fears form a wall that prevents us from embracing the good that He guides us to. Having a good opinion of one's Lord necessitates abandoning one's unfounded fears by putting one's trust and dependence in Him, Most Glorified is He.

I'm not sure if what I'm saying here makes sense to other than me. I see the lack of clarity in trying to articulate my thoughts, and perhaps that's partly because these thoughts are still immature and have yet to ripen. Or maybe this is as coherent as it gets for me. Either way, as a final thought (though it might be stretch to figure out how this connects to what I've said above), I am again reminded of some words that were kindly shared with me one day... "As it's said, if the veils were lifted you wouldn't choose for yourself other than what Allah has chosen."

!الله أكبر و لله الحمد

6 comments:

Nauman said...

I haven't visited your blog in a while but I like the new look. :)

Farzeen said...

Assalaamu'alaykum

Thanks for the visit. Your use of the word "new" is indicative of how long ago you last visited... but glad you like it all the same.

Hope all is well there with you and your family, insha'Allah!

Nauman said...

I don't remember when the last time was when I visited but nonetheless, it looks good. The blog article was good too. Keep it up...

All is well, alhamduhlillah - how about you?

Farzeen said...

Assalaamu'alaykum

Glad to hear all is well there. Alhamdulillah, same here. Thanks for your words of encouragement.

Mustafa said...

Assalam a'laikum,

Been long since i visited your blog...thanks for all...

Shireen said...

no new posts??... what's going on??

"Do you think that you will enter the Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They encountered suffering and adversity and were so shaken in spirit that even the Apostle and those of faith who were with him cried: 'When (will come) the help of God?' Ah! Verily the help of God is (always) near!" [2:214]

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Inspiration

"Be mindful of God, and God will protect you. Be mindful of God, and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask of God. If you seek help, seek help of God. Know that if the whole world were to gather together to benefit you with anything, it would benefit you only with something that God had already prescribed for you. And if the whole world were to gather together to harm you, it would harm you only with something that God has already prescribed for you. The pens have been lifted and the ink has dried."
--Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him]