Imagine this. You are walking in a dark alley which you use every other day/night and pretty sure that in spite of the dark it’s quite safe. But maybe, just maybe today you are wrong. You feel your hairs rise, your gut tells you something is amiss. You keep looking back half sure you will see someone, something that means you harm.
If you are a woman your gut tells that it’s either a serial killer or a rapist…..Your breathing has doubled, you want to run but your legs fail you.
Now you are pretty certain there is SOMETHING lurking in the dark; you just might not make it to the end of the alley in one piece. You stiffle an overwhelming urge to scream out for help.
Another second and you could have soiled your pants!
Instance 2: it’s been raining hard for a few days; it’s been worse this particular morning. The road is overly and dangerously wet making your car skid every moment you hit 60 kmph. You drive carefully, eyes alert, every sense in your body alert. Heart thumping hard wishing you had stayed back with your spouse and kids back home. You lose yourself to the thought of the steaming pot of coffee you left behind.
Suddenly out of nowhere you catch sight of a huge truck honking furiously, full lights, approaching at an extraordinary speed. Damn, it’s skidding terribly your way and it’s too close for you to do anything; the narrow road relatively reduces your options.
By the grace of God, you survive the skid, unscathed. Automotive is ok too, phewks! At that very moment you remember there is a creator who controls everything and you thank Him!
Both situations depict instances of immense fear. Totally human; totally acceptable. Only a madman is not afraid. Ok, i wouldn’t know whether this is true coz i have never been mad. Yes, i do lose my mind at times but it always comes back home to roost!
But there is another kind of fear am alluding to here. Fear that Muslims feel and exhibit. Fear that is so well defined that the very nature of it is recognised the world over. At least this kind of fear, displayed especially at certain times, is NOT YET considered as being extremist or fundamentalist or radical; not just yet!
It’s the fear of Allah, creator and Sustainer of the entire universe. He is the giver of life and death; the Deity who holds the ‘tap’ of the air that we breathe. At His Will He turns it on and off and Mr. B becomes ‘the late so and so’ and Mrs. J finds herself under a life support machine!
Out of this fear of the creator, Muslims pray five times a day, fast the entire month of Ramadan and give alms to the less fortunate. Right now we are on the first 10 days of Ramadan.
If you are afraid of something the most natural reaction would be to flee as far away as possible from the threat. With Allah it’s different; the more you fear Him, you tend to get closer to Him. The less you do, the further you drift away from Him.
So Muslims fast this entire month despite having food available, cold drinks cooling away in the fridge etcetera etcetera. I mean, you open your fridge to take something out and you got this refreshing, ice cold orange juice which would really cool you down coz the weather is too freaking hot; but you don’t even venture a sip, yet no one is watching you.
You lick your lips and bid for Iftar time immediately after sunset…
That’s coz the order to fast is from Allah and you know the immense reward that it holds. The joys of a fasting person are two; first when he is breaking his fast and second when he meets His Lord. Of course the latter is greater since Allah reminds us that only He knows what the rewards of fasting are, and it is nothing short of paradise!
So a Muslim does exhibit both of the above fears. The fear of Allah and the fear of things like unseen stuff in a dark alley. For me if i sense something scary in a dark alley i will just flee and live to probably die another day.