بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
FEAR - the great intrinsic motivator. What is our greatest fear? Global surveys reveal that our greatest fears include loneliness, death, public speaking and a collection of dangerous creatures such as snakes and spiders. This emotion is defined scientifically as a primitive inherent device that is triggered to promote survival. It allows the body to enter what is known as the "fight or flight" mode to overcome perceived threats.
The fears mentioned above are mainly irrational fears as they don’t require a high level of concern, only greater understanding. Upon realisation of the true nature of these catalysts of fear the perceived danger is rendered impotent, thereby eliminating the fear. Allah (swt) has clearly stated in the holy Quran.
“VERILY THE ONES WHO FEAR ALLAH ARE THOSE ENDOWED WITH KNOWLEDGE”
Once the true purpose of the faculty of fear is understood all other fears become insignificant. Allah (SWT) endowed us with the sense of fear so that we may be driven to likeable acts. It has been narrated that fear is the whip of Allah (SWT) that drives the servants towards knowledge and goodly acts.
Beneficial fears are of three types:
Beneficial fears are proportionate to the knowledge of the source of the fear. For the first beneficial fear it is essential to have knowledge of the creator (SWT) to gain the benefit of this fear. Generally we have a level of fear for the ones we perceive as having control over our needs. We have fear of our employers as we feel they control our incomes which are necessary for our sustenance; we have a fear of our governments as we feel they control the security of our lands; and we fear unsavoury characters because we feel they may destroy or take what we have.
In reality these perceived fears are irrational when compared to the fear of the one who really has control over all of these elements and more - Allah (SWT), the one who brought us from non-existence into being. He is the one who shaped us as he pleased, and originated a world which seems to automatically sustain us by set laws and consistent phenomena.
In actual fact, this earth is floating in the middle of space, rotating around its own axis, while maintaining a constant gravitational force that keeps us on it. The rotation of the Earth, relative to the Sun, provides illumination during the day so that we may seek sustenance, and silent darkness during the night for rest and pleasure. Earth is set at an angle of 23.5 degrees to provide seasons for fertility of both the land and beast alike.
He (swt) allows procreation from a lowly fluid and a clot of blood. He has created rivers of fresh water and oceans of salt water, all working in harmonious unison to maintain life on this fragile planet. He assorted us into races and tribes so that we may mingle and become familiar with one and other. Truly the one who commands all of these variables, of which only a fraction have been mentioned, is to be awed and feared.
In one of Imam Ali's (AS) sermons, in his description of the Godwary he says:
“Their perception of the grandeur of Allah (SWT) has made all other than him insignificant in their eyes."