Fear of Allah is a beautiful, blessed, and unique type, as it makes you flee to Him, as He says:
So flee to Allah. Verily, I (Muhammad) am a plain warner to you from Him. (Quran 51:50)
This beautiful verse combines the meaning of both the fear and hope you should have: fearing Allah and turning to Him, for there is no refuge from Him except in Him. No one offers refuge from Him except Him; doesn’t this show you He is more Merciful than anyone else?
Words for Fear in the Quran
There are more than ten words for fear mentioned in the Quran, the most common being khawf. Khawf is the one you feel when you actually see the upcoming danger and in turn you are afraid of what is coming.
For example when there is a severe weather warning, you see the signs and should prepare. So see the signs Allah laid out for you in this life and prepare for the next!
Khashiyah means fearing the direct harm of something, like fearing a dog or snake to bite you. Allah constantly warns you in the Quran about things and people before you did wrong and their punishments, so you can choose not to go down that road and it can add to your khashiyah of the dangers of certain deeds.
Khushu’ is normally mentioned related to prayer and feeling humility and having concentration in prayer, but it also has an aspect of fear build in it. The type of fear you feel in your heart and then affects your limbs and your muscles. Keep making dua’ that the speech of Allah reaches your heart and even causes an effect on your body.
Taqwa means that you protect yourself, or take precaution out of a certain fear or concern. An example is when you lock up your house as a precaution measure for burglars. And this is exactly how you should be as a believer, active and alert at all times in this world and take precaution by your actions and deeds in order to protect yourself from bad consequences in this life and the next.
7 Ways to Increase Your Fear of God
1. Don’t Forget Yourself
Sometimes you are so worried about and focused on others, you forget about yourself and you no longer have fears for yourself. You lose the connection with yourself and find yourself not getting emotional when you hear the Quran or when you make dua’. Reconnect with yourself, look in the mirror and recognize your weaknesses in your relationship with Allah.
2. Be Careful with Exposing Yourself
Be careful with exposing yourself to scary movies, graphic video games etc. This over stimulation might harden your heart, so when you read about the scenes Allah describes in the Hellfire for example, it hardly affects your heart anymore, as it is so hardened by the things you have been showing yourself. This is very important in your children’s upbringing, too!
3. Realize that it is a Blessing
But for he who has feared the position of his Lord are two gardens. So which of the favors of your Lord would you deny? (Quran, 55:46-47)
If you feel fear for standing in front of Him and mind your actions, this genuine fear actually qualifies you for Paradise; your fear is a blessing in disguise!
4. Reflect on the Fear of the Creation
Did you know the Day of Judgment will be on a Friday? The Prophet said:
There is no angel, sky, earth, wind, mountain, or river that does not fear Friday (Ibn Majah)
With knowledge of this narration, remind yourself of the Day of Judgment on Friday– and every other day— and let it motivate you to fill your days with good deeds.
5. Be Inspired by Jibreel
Jibreel came to the Prophet Muhammad and was crying. So the Prophet asked him:
What makes you cry?
My eyes have not been dry since Allah created Jahannam, out of fear that I would disobey Him and He would throw me in it. (Al-Bayhaqi)
Have you ever cried just thinking about the Hellfire?
6. Think of the Fear of the Companions
Think of the amazing deeds they did, yet they felt so much fear. Whenever you do a deed, have both hope that Allah will record it for you as fear it might not be accepted so you remain motivated to keep doing good deeds and aim higher and higher!
7. Advise Yourself and Others
Make it a habit to talk to yourself and tell yourself out loud: Fear Allah! Also gently advise others out of love for them and their success in this life and the next by reminding them to fear Allah saying: ‘fear or be aware of Allah’.