Question: What are the signs of the fear of Allah?
The root cause of the fear of Allah is ilm (knowledge) and marifa (knowing Allah). The people of ilm and marifa see their own imperfections, their sins, and their defects in acts of worship. When they compare these with the blessings Allahu taālā has bestowed upon them, they feel ashamed of their actions and deeds. Thus, they develop a sense of fear. A hadīth-i sharīf declares:
(The source of all kinds of hikmah is the fear of Allah.) [Tabarānī]
The word hikmah has several meanings, such as useful knowledge, science and art, and spiritual knowledge. Then a person who fears Allah and so avoids harām and performs acts of worship is understood to be a wise person possessing hikmah. The wisest of you is the one who fears Allah most, was declared in a hadīth-i sharīf. (Ibni Muhbar)
As the fear of Allah is a fear that arises from the anxiety of losing the Beloved, so it also arises from the fear of incurring disasters as a result of disobeying Him. Allahu taālā purports in the Qurān al-karīm:
(Fear Allah, so that you can attain to salvation.) [Sūrat-u Āl-i Imrān, 200]
(Only ulamā fear Allah.) [Sūrat-u Fātir, 28]
(The most honorable among you is the one who fears Allah most.) [Sūrat-ul-Hujurāt, 13]
The existence of the fear of Allah manifests itself through seven things [through the tongue, through the heart, through eyes, through the stomach, through hands, through feet, and through acts of worship]:
1. Through the tongue: The tongue does not tell a lie. It is declared in hadīth-i sharīfs:
(Avoid lying, for a lie leads a person to a sin. A sin, in turn, drags a person to Hell.) [Bukhārī]
(One of the signs of hypocrisy is to lie.) [Bukhārī]
(Lying is contrary to īmān.) [Bayhaqī]
(Every disposition may exist in a Believer. Only mendacity and perfidy do not exist in him.) [Bazzar]
(Shame on those who tell lies in order to amuse people.) [Abū Dāwud]
Also, the tongue of a person who fears Allah does not backbite, as it does not tell a lie. Backbiting (ghiybat), which is a grave sin, causes decrease in ones thawāb and causes others sins to be added to the backbiters sins. Some hadīth-i sharīfs declare:
(Backbiting weakens ones īmān and annihilates it in the end.) [Isfahānī]
(Backbiting is worse than eating carrion.) [I. Hibbān]
(If the person criticized (behind his back) possesses the fault ascribed to him, then ghiybat has been committed. Otherwise it is a case of slander.) [Muslim]
(On the Day of Judgement, a person will look at his reward-book. He will say, I performed such and such acts of worship, but they are not recorded in the page. He will be answered, They have been erased from your book and transferred to the books of people you backbit.) [Isfahānī]
(The supplication of a backbiter is not accepted.) [Shira]
Those who fear Allah do not engage in idle talk, either. It is stated in hadīth-i sharīfs:
(On the Day of Judgement, the one who has the most sins is the one who talks idly.) [Abū Nasr]
(A persons engaging in useless talk and idling his time away is a symptom of Allahu taālās not loving him.) [Maktūbat-i Rabbānī]
When the mother of a young man who became a martyr said, My son, let Paradise be glad tidings to you, our master Rasūlullah stated, How do you know? Maybe, he used to say useless things (Tirmudhī).
2. Through the heart: The heart has been purged of vices, such as hatred, jealousy, and so on.
3. Through eyes: Eyes do not look at harām. A pertinent hadīth-i sharīf declares: Looking at harām is one arrow from Shaitāns poisonous arrows. Allahu taālā bestows such an īmān upon a person who does not look at harām out of fear of Allah that he feels its taste in his heart (Hākim).
They look at everything in the universe in order to take a lesson. Hadrat Īsā stated, The one whose speech is a mention (of Allah), whose silence is contemplation, and whose glances take a lesson is like me.
4. Through the stomach: The stomach keeps away from harām morsels. A hadīth-i sharīf communicates, The good deeds of a person who has eaten one morsel of harām food are not accepted for 40 days (Tabarānī).
5. Through hands: Such people do not extend their hands to harām.
6. Through feet: Feet do not walk to the places where sins are committed.
7. Through acts of worship: Such people hold fast to ikhlās [Allahs good pleasure] and avoid ostentation.
Those who fear Allahu taālā try strictly to carry out His commands and to abstain from His prohibitions. They do not harm anybody. They show patience toward those who harm them. They repent for their faults. They do not wrong anybody in trade. They respect people of knowledge and good morals. They like their friends, and their friends like them. They do not talk behind anybodys back. They never treat anybody harshly. They wish property and rank in order that they may do favors to everybody by means of them. They are not arrogant. Thinking that Allahu taālā sees and knows every moment, they never commit evil. In short, those who fear Allah are useful to their country and countrymen.