A Reflection on Fear from the Qur'an
I was reflecting on fear today and the part of the Qur’an where Musa and Haroon (alayhimussalaam) tell Allah their fear regarding approaching Fir’awn.
This is what they tell Allah:
‘قَالَا رَبَّنَاۤ إِنَّنَا نَخَافُ أَن یَفۡرُطَ عَلَیۡنَاۤ أَوۡ أَن یَطۡغَىٰ
قَالَا رَبَّنَآ إِنَّنَا نَخَافُ أَن يَفۡرُطَ عَلَيۡنَآ أَوۡ أَن يَطۡغَىٰ ٤٥
• Abdul Haleem:
They said, ‘Lord, we fear he will do us great harm or exceed all bounds.’ (20:45)
And then Allah SWT responds to them both with reassurance, telling them:
قَالَ لَا تَخَافَاۤۖ إِنَّنِی مَعَكُمَاۤ أَسۡمَعُ وَأَرَىٰ
قَالَ لَا تَخَافَآۖ إِنَّنِي مَعَكُمَآ أَسۡمَعُ وَأَرَىٰ ٤٦
• Abdul Haleem:
He said, ‘Do not be afraid, I am with you both, hearing and seeing everything. (20:46)
Fear is a normal thing that comes up for us and everyone experiences it. It’s interesting what Musa and Haroon AS do when they feel this fear...they don’t just dismiss it, they literally bring it to the light and tell it to Allah. They admit the fear. Admit the ‘problem’ vulnerably, and Allah responds with a reassurance for them both, AS.
When we admit our fears, bringing them to the light, allowing for the discomfort of feeling them, being a safe and nurturing container for them, and then speaking them in a safe place (primarily, with Our Lord SWT...and then, if we need or want to, with a trusted, loved one, or in the safety of the blank page of a journal, even), it begins to have less of a grip of us. It can afford us space...between us and the mental tape fear is trying to run. So we can make healthier choices from the ‘space’ that occurs after acknowledging or admitting the feeling, rather than choices made from the fear itself. Allah here comforts his Prophets (alayhimussalaam), reassures them.
So when we feel fear and there’s nothing in what we’re doing that goes against the guidelines of Allah SWT and His Messenger SAW, we can acknowledge it within ourselves and make space for it, speak to Allah about it, and remember His reassurance - that’s He’s with us - and proceed anyway.
We can pray istikhaaarah, and ask for guidance, and make the best decision, with where we’re at.
We can live our lives believing that we should avoid anything that brings up fear (I’m acquainted with this!)...but this beautiful passage normalises fear, and even shows us how we can begin to process and overcome it. Another ayah that tells us about fear being a staple of the human experience and a part of the tests of this life is this:
وَلَنَبۡلُوَنَّكُم بِشَیۡءࣲ مِّنَ ٱلۡخَوۡفِ وَٱلۡجُوعِ وَنَقۡصࣲ مِّنَ ٱلۡأَمۡوَ ٰلِ وَٱلۡأَنفُسِ وَٱلثَّمَرَ ٰتِۗ وَبَشِّرِ ٱلصَّـٰبِرِینَ
وَلَنَبۡلُوَنَّكُم بِشَيۡءٖ مِّنَ ٱلۡخَوۡفِ وَٱلۡجُوعِ وَنَقۡصٖ مِّنَ ٱلۡأَمۡوَٰلِ وَٱلۡأَنفُسِ وَٱلثَّمَرَٰتِۗ وَبَشِّرِ ٱلصَّٰبِرِينَ ١٥٥
• Abdul Haleem:
We shall certainly test you with *fear* and hunger, and loss of property, lives, and crops. But [Prophet], give good news to those who are steadfast, (2:155)
The first thing that Allah tells us He’ll test us with in this ayah is fear.
But remember what Our Lord says:
‘Don’t not be afraid. I am with you both, Hearing and Seeing everything’ (20:46)
So, go forth with Bismillah ❤️
And remember as you do life, that it's not practice makes perfect, it's practice makes progress ❤️