What Happens If Fear of Allah Does Not Exist?
Think of two men. One of them is aware that every act of his has a recompense and that he will meet Allah. The other, on the contrary, supposes that he will not have to give account to anyone. Surely, there is a great difference between how these two men conduct themselves. Someone bereft of the fear of Allah is likely to commit any evil and ignore all kinds of immorality when he feels his interests are at stake. Someone, who readily kills a human being, for instance, for no apparent reason or for a worldly interest, does this because he does not fear Allah. If he had steadfast faith in Allah and the hereafter, he would never dare to do anything of which he could not give account in the hereafter.
In the Qur'an, the story of the sons of the Prophet Adam, peace be upon him, are given as examples to call our attention to the sharp difference between a person who fears Allah and one who does not:
Recite to them the true report of Adam's two sons when they offered a sacrifice and it was accepted from one of them but not accepted from the other. The one said, 'I shall kill you.' The other said, 'Allah only accepts from people who have fear of Allah. Even if you do raise your hand against me to kill me, I am not going to raise my hand against you to kill you. Truly, I fear Allah, the Lord of all the worlds. (Surat al-Ma'ida: 27-28)
The one who has no fear of Allah dares to kill his brother without batting an eyelid although his brother has no guilt, whereas the victim, despite being threatened with death, says that he would not even attempt to kill his brother. This is the consequence of this person's fear of Allah. Thus, once the individuals of a society have fear of Allah, then murder, oppression, injustice and inequity, of which Allah does not approve, will end.
Covetousness for the world also accounts for people's cruelties and immoralities. The main worry of many people is about becoming poor, or having no guarantee of their future. These concerns essentially explain why bribery, corruption, theft, false witnessing and prostitution become ways of life for many people. For someone who has faith in Allah, however, the approval of Allah is over and above everything else. Such a person avoids anything that will cause him to lose the approval of Allah. In his heart, he only harbors fear of Allah; neither death, nor hunger, nor any other hardship can divert him from the right path.
Consequently, no matter what the circumstances, a person having fear of Allah, never deviates from the Qur'an. Equally, he is trustworthy. He always acts conscientiously. Having a profound sense that Allah sees and hears everything, he does not attempt to act against his conscience even when alone.
Lack of religion instigates the loss of conscience. To make this point clear, think of somebody who has no hesitation in running away after hitting a man on the street with his car. This is an indication of his being distant from religion. This man, who without conscience, leaves a human being all alone in agony in the middle of the street, who would, otherwise, have an opportunity to survive, thinks that he can avoid people by running away from them. Never does he think, however, that Allah surrounds him, seeing and hearing him every second. One can never run away from Allah's reckoning and the Day of Judgment. Allah will pay everyone back for all injustices, cruelties, and conscienceless acts on the Day of Account. Allah reveals in the Qur’an as follows:
… Those who misappropriate will arrive on the Day of Rising with what they have misappropriated. Then every self will be paid in full for what it earned. They will not be wronged. Is someone who pursues the pleasure of Allah the same as someone who incurs displeasure from Allah and whose refuge is Hell? What an evil destination! (Surah Ali 'Imran: 161-162)
When people are reminded of Allah's verses, and instructed in this important truth, such unscrupulous acts will be prevented.
One example of the unscrupulous attitudes of people distant from the true religion is the people in some societies who provide medical care as if they were doctors despite having no medical background. Being totally ignorant of any field of medicine, such people readily deceive patients, and dare to treat them without concern about the serious threats they pose to their health. Such unscrupulous acts can even end with the death of the patient. Totally ignoring these drawbacks, they only think of acquiring some benefits and making money. However, in one of His verses, Allah commands believers to "to render back trusts to those to whom they are due". (Surat an-Nisa': 58) The health of a person, too, is a precious trust. Hence, in compliance with the aforementioned verse, people should avoid practicing a profession to which they are not entitled and becoming involved in situations that will harm other people.
In all walks of life, one is likely to encounter the unscrupulous acts committed by people who do not fear Allah. Failing to see the closeness of Allah's reckoning and failing to ponder over it, one readily slanders an innocent person. Meanwhile, he merely thinks of convincing people about his innocence and making them believe in his words. Such a person is utterly devoid of understanding that Allah is witness over all things and, without exception, everything will be reckoned in the hereafter. In this sense, that the innocent undergoes an ordeal, feels distress or is sent to prison does not disturb his conscience. Allah, in the Qur'an, declares the punishment a slanderer will receive as follows:
Anyone who commits an error or an evil action, and then ascribes it to someone innocent, bears the weight of slander and clear wrongdoing. (Surat an-Nisa': 112)
There is a group of you who propagated the lie. Do not suppose it to be bad for you; rather it is good for you. Every one of them will incur the evil he has earned and the one who took it on himself to amplify it will receive a terrible punishment. (Surat an-Nur: 11)
A person who does not fear Allah does not respect and value other people. This lack of fear explains why many restaurant owners do not run their business hygienically, or why the majority of people no longer respect elderly people. Similarly, having no fear of Allah accounts for patients dying in emergency rooms due to lack of care, and despised and poor people and millions of innocent people being massacred for a handful of land, etc.
In societies with members having fear of Allah, nobody engages in any of these, being aware that any misdeed a person commits in this life will meet him in the hereafter. With individuals having a sound conscience, this society is entitled to enjoy peace and a sense of trust. Strict avoidance of debauchery, prostitution and any other form of immorality, together with the sensitivity shown to values such as respect, compassion and mercy ensure unbreakable family ties, which are undeniably essential for a strong society. The society enjoys such reliable bases mainly because people show allegiance to one another.
Doing Good without Expecting a Recompense
A person who has fear of Allah is also someone who listens to his conscience and always acts according to the Qur'an. In the Qur'an, Allah commands people to engage in good deeds without expecting any worldly reward, to provide people help and strive to present them a good life. In the verse "Do not give out of a desire for gain" (Surat al-Muddaththir: 6), the prohibition stresses that people should not seek worldly gain for services they render intending the good pleasure of Allah. A person who observes Allah's commands and does not expect any worldly gain does all these for a single purpose; to earn the approval of Allah so that He will accept him as a slave worthy of the Garden.
However, a great number of the favors done in our day are based on seeking a reward to be received in this world. A businessman, for instance, who undertakes to establish a house for the poor with so-called charitable purpose, seemingly derives no material gain from such an undertaking. Yet, the truth is otherwise, mainly because thereby he promotes his name, appearing on the front pages of newspapers and TV news programs, which turns this charity into a form of showing off. Meanwhile, his company saves money since the costs of this charitable work are deducted from his taxes. Besides, often charity work engaged in for similar benefits is far removed from being pertinent to the actual needs of the recipients. A truckload of food sent to an earthquake-stricken province, for instance, fails to meet the needs, either because it is already rotten, or because it is something which is highly inconsistent with the actual needs of the victims.
Politicians' attitudes often serve well to make this issue clear. Throughout their lengthy campaigns, politicians rhetorically repeat slogans expressing that their commitment is to serve. Once these people are not appointed as minister, however, pushing aside all their associations with their party and the purported "goals" set out in their agenda, they can disclose their underlying motives for getting involved in politics and show that they ran for "office" and status. It is incredible how few benefits such a mentality brings to the community.
Briefly, deeds void of sincerity render service fruitless in the next life. Allah reveals this in the following verse:
You who have faith! Do not nullify your charity by demands for gratitude or insulting words, like him who spends his wealth, showing off to people and not having faith in Allah and the Last Day. His likeness is that of a smooth rock coated with soil, which, when heavy rain falls on it, is left stripped bare. They have no power over anything they have earned. Allah does not guide disbelieving people. (Surat al-Baqara: 264)
Favors done with sincerity to help people and to earn the approval of Allah, on the other hand, prove to be profitable and beneficial, as stated in many of Allah's verses. In return for the sincere intentions, Allah leads people to success in all the deeds they become involved in and ensures fertile outcomes for their undertakings. In a verse this is indicated:
The metaphor of those who spend their wealth, desiring the pleasure of Allah and firmness for themselves, is that of a garden on a hillside. When heavy rain falls on it, it doubles its produce; and if heavy rain does not fall, there is dew. Allah sees what you do. (Surat al-Baqara: 265)
Someone who seeks only the pleasure of Allah does not restrict himself to certain areas in engaging in good deeds and making sacrifices. In a society distant from religion, people often tend to believe in the existence of a hidden motive in any sacrifice, which is purely a rationale that disbelief instills in people. In a society where the pleasure of Allah is not pursued, people put their self-interests over everything else. Believers, on the other hand, seek the pleasure of Allah and nothing else:
They fulfill their vows and fear a day whose evil will spread far and wide. They give food, despite their love for it, to the poor and orphans and captives: 'We feed you only out of desire for the Face of Allah. We do not want any repayment from you or any thanks. Truly We fear from our Lord a glowering, calamitous day.' So Allah has safeguarded them from the evil of that day and has made them meet with radiance and pure joy. (Surat al-Insan: 7-11)
The subsequent chapters of this book give extensive coverage of the solutions provided by Allah's verses for the problems that demand immediate solutions. In reading these solutions, remember that just living by the Qur'an will create everlasting solutions to all problems. In our day, addressing the needs of the poor, providing quality care for the elderly, instilling good values in children, disabusing teenagers of degenerate attitudes, providing urgent aid to disaster-afflicted countries, overthrowing the inherently cruel ideologies responsible for causing countries to drift into war and murdering thousands of innocent people, confronting those who rebel against their state and many other issues often sour into stalemate. In this sense, only compliance with the Qur'an, the sole illuminating guide Allah provided to mankind in our age, would secure the unique solution to the various problems encountered in life. Living by the principles of Allah would remove all kinds of evil from the earth. In case the situation turns out to be otherwise, people deliberately commit themselves to a cruel system. In the Qur'an, Allah attracts attention to the harm people give to themselves:
Corruption has appeared in both land and sea because of what people's own hands have brought about so that they may taste something of what they have done so that hopefully they will turn back. (Surat ar-Rum: 41)
Solutions that Appear with Wisdom
Having the traits of wisdom, insight (the power to grasp the essence of things), and sagacity are essential in bringing solutions to the problems polluting the earth and, in all domains of life, bringing good to the humanity. The acquisition of these traits can only be possible by following the Qur'an. In a verse, Allah stresses the wisdom the faith grants man:
You who have faith! If you fear Allah, He will give you a discrimination and erase your bad actions from you and forgive you. Allah's favor is indeed immense. (Surat al-Anfal: 29)
Occasionally, people may feel like launching a quest for solutions to problems they encounter. However, they fail to reach desirable conclusions because they are not solution-providers and are bereft of intuition, sagacity and insight, qualities which are all consequences of faith. Void of faith-inspired zeal, their decisions often end up in delays when it comes down to the stage of implementation. Alternatively, failing to see, or skipping significant details, they face deadlocks at various stages.
For instance, today, all around the world homeless children and orphans left to live on the streets are a major problem lacking a definite solution. Aid-missions and measures addressing the many problems associated with homelessness, especially those designed to prevent homeless children becoming crime-prone individuals or drug-addicts, often prove feeble, thereby pushing these children into a downward spiral of homelessness, onto the streets and into reformatories, or making the conditions ripe for their suicide or death from inadequate care. The situation would definitely be otherwise, however, if these children received training based on the Qur'an coupled with appropriate services. Having fear of Allah, they would not be prone to criminal activity. On the contrary, they would grow into adults striving to render the best services to their country and people.
Those with diseases needing costly treatment also make this point clear. The rich, having no problems in paying their bills, usually have the means to survive them. The poor, on the other hand, with no health coverage, are left to die. Rarely does this situation move anybody, which is confirmed by the fact that nobody thinks of initiating any measures.
Again, lack of fear of Allah and its consequence, having no wisdom, account for this indifference. Those failing to discriminate between right and wrong fail to work out a solution to the problems they encounter. Lack of discrimination is an attribute peculiar to disbelievers. Allah defines how these people behave:
The likeness of those who disbelieve is that of someone who yells out to something which cannot hear – it is nothing but a cry and a call. Deaf – dumb – blind. They do not use their intellect. (Surat al-Baqara: 171)
However, people who live by the Qur'an and the Sunnah, have, by merit of the wisdom they possess, well-developed faculties for finding solutions, developing resources, and organization. Organizations led by these people and contributions of well-to-do people may help a lot to build better lives for these unfortunates. First, people can be alerted about the existing problems and accordingly advised about the solutions. A few businessmen, for instance, may undertake to build or renovate shelters for homeless children and to educate them;. this indeed requires a relatively simple organization. In a society living by the Qur'an and the Sunnah, this problem would cease to exist forever because of these practical solutions. Every family that has adequate means, for instance, may undertake the care of a single child and his or her education. People endowed with the values of the Qur'an and wisdom can handle all sorts of problems with such workable solutions. Similarly, those patients without health coverage can be identified and their treatment costs covered from an allocated fund. In such matters, what is essential is to divert the world's resources to the right areas in the most productive way, without allowing even the slightest extravagance. Allah demands this type of behavior from man in the Qur'an.
People who take control of events by following their consciences and using their intellects can rapidly identify deadlocks and needs, and accordingly produce solutions. Often people fail to spot where the systems fail or simply pretend not to see. Even if circumstances evoke pangs of conscience in them, they fail to know what to do or feel too lazy to start a mission. Reluctant to disturb their peace, they avoid spending time and energy on such matters. However, the efforts of conscientious people and people of wisdom in organizing people according to their power and capabilities will result in rapid solutions to many enduring problems.
Encouraging people for a good cause is an attribute highly praised in the Qur'an:
Those who join forces for good will receive a reward for it. Those who join forces for evil will be answerable for it. Allah gives all things what they deserve. (Surat an-Nisa': 85)
A contrary behavior is mentioned as an attribute of disbelievers and defined as wicked:
No indeed! You do not honor orphans nor do you urge the feeding of the poor; you devour inheritance with voracious appetites and you have an insatiable love of wealth. (Surat al-Fajr: 17-20)