We are all victims of fear and being able to fear is totally human. However, in islam peace and fear are two opposing concepts; both can not exist together. One can’t feel at peace if he or she feels threatened. The concept of fear Islamically, has its positive as well as its negative sides. This is because the thought of the day, when all humans will face their actions and be judged accordingly, creates a moment of fear which enables us desist from of evil and enjoin good. On the other hand, all muslims are meant to believe there exists only one source of fear and that is Allah. Any other source aside him is a weakness in the heart of the believer.
This article looks into few ways one can liberate him/her self from the weakness of fear.
- Don’t take it every where you go
Allah is the gracious and most merciful and above all he is aware of every thing that happens to us. In line with this, it is vital for us to put all fears of the world behind us and believe that Allah is watching over us and know that no harm can come to us but that which has been decreed by him.
“For any trouble, illness, worry, grief, hurt, or sorrow which afflicts a Muslim, even the prick of a thorn, Allah removes in its stead some of his (minor) sins.” (Hadith Qudsi)
- Know Your Limitations
Yes, there no doubt that as human we have the ability to control most of our actions. Still, there are some actions which are way beyond our control. There are always limits to what we can do and can not do; that which we can change and that which we can not. At times, things happen and no matter how hard we try we just can not alter the path of destiny- Al – Qadr (predestination). Prophet Mohammad (SAW) said to Ibn Abbas: “if the whole nation were to gather together to benefit you they would only benefit you with that which Allah had already written [for] you, and if the whole nation were to gather to harm you they could only harm you with that which Allah had already written to harm you. The pen has been lifted and the ink has dried”.
- “Fear” Allah (SWT) Only
Although it is human to have fear, muslims are advisable to maintain a balance between “fear and hope” as excessive fear diminishes hope. As such, the need to fear is important but that is if it is only for your creator.
“……so fear them not, but fear me, if you are (true) believers”. [3:175]
“A man sinned greatly against himself, and when death came to him he charged his sons, saying: When I have died, burn me, then crush me and scatter [my ashes] into the sea, for, by Allah, if my Lord takes possession of me, He will punish me in a manner in which He has punished no one [else]. So they did that to him. Then He said to the earth: Produce what you have taken- and there he was! And He said to him: What induced you to do what you did? He said: Being afraid of You, O my Lord… and because of that He forgave him.” (Bukhari, Muslim, An-Nasai and Ibn Majah).
- Increase Your Worship
We all know our individual short comings when it comes to religious responsibilities. Some Muslims excel in salat but forget about being charitable while others easily fast but doesn’t read the Quran. The good news is that there is always room for improvement for as long as there is life. We should do more towards boosting our relationship with Allah (zikr) and by doing this, we tend to narrow down fear associated with the thought of failing to carry out religious duties as described in the holy Quran and hadith.
- Avoid Things That Make Your Angry
Anger is very dangerous as actions performed under such condition never generate positive outcomes. Anger and fear complement each other as usually anger originates from fear.
Abu Hurairah (RA), reported that a man said to the Prophet (SAW), “Advise me.” He said, “Do not become angry.” The man repeated his request several times, and each time the Prophet (SAW) told him, “Do not become angry.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, Fath al-Bari, 10/456)
- Stay Informed
It is a fact that in our society today the number one cause of fear is misinformation and ignorance. With the rise in islam-attributed-terrorisms and growing phobia for muslims globally, its quite difficult not to be angered by people around you with all the wrong information and who don’t care to listen even when you offer to enlighten them. As Muslims, we must desist from been used as tools for disseminating wrong information. Always confirm your facts before even discussing them with others.
- Forget About It
Its quite obvious that fear leads to depression and one best way to fight depression is by putting yourself to work. Keep yourself busy with positive things and fear will have no space in your mind. Participate more in voluntary services or focus more on things you love to engage in regularly.
Its quite clear how unnecessary fear can overwhelm and ruin our lives. Also, Psychologists realize that an excessive need for control can lead to anxiety and a paralyzing fear. The Prophet (SAW) said: “Verily, the greatness of the reward is tied to the greatness of the trial: When Allah (SWT) loves a people, he puts them to trial. Whoever accepted it, will enjoy Allah’s Pleasure and whoever is displeased with it, will incur Allah’s Displeasure.” (Tirmidhi)
According to Dr. Les Parrott III, “Anxiety is the fuel that runs the engine of every control freak. That translates into fear… that leads them to become over-controlling.” Psychology online journal, Oct. 2000.