Ranks of the FearfulSold Out
Allah سبحانه و تعالى has praised those who possess the attribute of a heightened sense of fear:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ هُم مِّنْ خَشْيَةِ رَبِّهِم مُّشْفِقُونَ
"Surely those who tremble in awe of their Lord." [Surah Al-Muminun 23:57]
The element of fear exists within mankind in varying degrees. When the fear of Allah is established in the hearts, it eliminates wrongdoing and attachment to worldly desires. It is a light that navigates a person through sin and temptation, and when this fear is removed, it easily leads them astray - for surely true and praiseworthy fear is being vigilant from transgressing the limits of Allah.
Yet when fear exceeds its proper boundary, it gives rise to hopelessness and despair, which is equally blameworthy. The attribute of fear therefore, is not the end goal itself, but a means towards a successful end.
And He also Said:
فَلَا تَخَافُوهُمْ وَخَافُونِ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ
"..So do not fear them; fear Me if you are ˹true˺ believers." [Surah Aal-e-'Imran 3:175]
In this short book, ' الخوف حقيقته وبيان درجته/ Al-Khawf Haqiqatihi wa Bayan Darajatihi' , Imam Ibn Qudamah brings disquieting realities of fearing Allah in a unique perspective; elucidating some profound insight into the topic, its reality and merits, types and levels and cures that bring about fear.
This book also discusses causes that lead to a bad ending for people on this earth, while taking rooted examples from the lives of the fearful ones from among the Angels, Prophets and our righteous predecessors.
Imam Muwaffaq ad-Din Ibn Qudamah Al-Maqdisi [d. 620 AH] was a leading scholar and an ascetic known for his piety and vast knowledge. He is renowned for authoring major authoritative treatises of Hanbali jurisprudence and doctrine. He was the Imam of the Hanabilah and the Muslim community at large, unparalleled in Islamic jurisprudence.
Imam Ibn Kathir said of him, ".... there was not found in his era nor before it by a long span of time, anyone possessing more understanding of the religion than him