Fearing the Merciful
Dear sisters and brothers, Assalamu Alaikum. Bismillah….
We have read Surah Yaseen many times, right? Have we ever paused to understand its meaning?
Today I will focus on one phrase that is mentioned in two places in the Qur’an – in Surah Yaseen and Surah Qaaf: khashiyar Rahmaan.
إِنَّمَا تُنْذِرُ مَنِ اتَّبَعَ الذِّكْرَ وَخَشِيَ الرَّحْمَٰنَ بِالْغَيْبِ ۖ فَبَشِّرْهُ بِمَغْفِرَةٍ وَأَجْرٍ كَرِيمٍ
“You can warn only him who follows the Admonition and fears the Merciful Lord without seeing Him. Give such a one good tidings of forgiveness and a generous reward.” (Surah Yaseen: 11)
مَنْ خَشِيَ الرَّحْمَٰنَ بِالْغَيْبِ وَجَاءَ بِقَلْبٍ مُنِيبٍ
“Who feared the Most Merciful unseen and came with a heart returning [in repentance]” (Surah Qaaf: 33)
Look at the combination of two words ‘Khashiyar Rahmaan’, fearing the Merciful!
When we know that Allah is infinitely Merciful, Kind, Compassionate, Gracious, Forgiving, Relenting then why should we fear Him? We fear only an angry person, an uninspiring person, a task master, a stickler for rules. We fear a person who does not have any acquaintance with the feeling of mercy and compassion. But after realising that Allah is Ar Rahman, the Most Merciful, we should be afraid of Him because of two reasons:
1) Allah has different dimensions in the form of Al Asmaa-ul-Husna, the Handsome Names and Attributes of Allah. When we look upon Allah as Ar-Rabb (Rabbul ‘Aalameen, Creator and Sustainer of the worlds), there is a personal relationship between Allah and man. But when we look upon Allah as Al-Maalik (Maaliki Yaumid deen, the Lord of the Day of Judgement), the relationship becomes official.
We are vicegerents of Allah on earth. He has appointed us as His ambassadors. We have to live under the shade of His guidance and rule and legislate in His name. Everything is put under our custody. We are answerable to Him. The Day of Judgement is an important concept in Islam to emphasise an official relationship between Allah and man. As officials we will have to answer our activities. Fearing Allah, who is All Merciful, is because of this official relationship.
When we take into our hearts the impact of that official relationship, the emotion that should be uppermost is the emotion of obedience. We must be obedient to Allah and His Messenger – Atiullah wa atiur Rasool. If we disobey we will have to pay a heavy price on the Day of Judgement. We cannot say we didn’t know because Allah took all care and precautions to send the prophets and messengers. It is our duty to follow the Last Divine Book – al Qur’an – and the last Prophet – Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) – implicitly and unquestioningly. Otherwise we will be responsible for our own perdition and ruin.
2) In ‘khashiyar Rahmaan’, there is a subtle point which Imam Razi has pointed out. In Arabic, there are two words for fear, khauf and khashiyah, which have a difference in their shade of meaning. The word khauf is generally used for the fear that a man feels in his heart on account of his sense of weakness as against someone’s superior power and strength, and the word khashiyah is used for the dread and awe with which a man is filled and inspired because of somebody’s glory, grandeur and greatness.
Here, the word khashiyah has been used instead of khauf, which is meant to point out that a believer does not fear Allah only on account of the fear of His punishment, but it is the sense of Allah’s glory and greatness that keeps him awe inspired at all times.
Jazakumullah Khayr. Vassalam.
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November 19, 2011 - Posted by MuQeet | Reflections, Surah Yaseen | Al Raheem, Al Rahman, Allah, Fear of Allah, Islam, khalifa, khashiya, Khauf, Love of Allah, Quran, Quran blog, Rahmah, Righteousness, vicegerent, Yassarnalquran
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