Fear and Truth

بسم الله والحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله

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Allaah سبحانه و تعالى Says in the Qur’an:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا

“O you who believe. Fear Allaah and always speak the truth.” [Al-Ahzab, 70]

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Here Allaah is Commanding those who believe to:

1. Fear Him: There are numerous Ayaat exhorting Muslims to fear Allaah; this reflects to the happiness and contentment one will find in fearing Allaah as He should be feared. It is a key to stopping people from committing sin and other actions that are disapproved of. The Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “Fear Allaah wherever you are and follow up an evil deed with a good one for it will wipe it…” [Tirmidhi, 5083] and the effects and reward of this fear is beyond measure. The Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “For him who fears Allah He will appoint a way out and He will give him provision from an unimagined source.” [Tirmidhi, 5306]

2. Always speak the truth: About this, Ibn Katheer said that it means: “To speak in a straightforward manner, with no crookedness or distortion. He (Allaah) promises them that if they do that, He will reward them by making their deeds righteous, i.e., enabling them to do righteous deeds, and He will forgive them their past sins. With regard to whatever sins they may commit in the future, He will inspire them to repent from them.”

Imam Qurtubi said in his Tafseer:

وقال عكرمة وابن عباس أيضا : القول السداد لا إله إلا الله وقيل : هو الذي يوافق ظاهره باطنه . وقيل : هو ما أريد به وجه الله دون غيره . وقيل : هو الإصلاح بين المتشاجرين .
وهو مأخوذ من تسديد السهم ليصاب به الغرض . والقول السداد يعم الخيرات ، فهو عام في جميع ما ذكر وغير ذلك
وظاهر الآية يعطي أنه إنما أشار إلى ما يكون خلافا للأذى الذي قيل في جهة الرسول وجهة المؤمنين .
ثم وعد جل وعز بأنه يجازي على القول السداد بإصلاح الأعمال وغفران الذنوب ; وحسبك بذلك درجة ورفعة ومنزلة

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And once the believer continues to safeguard the above two commands, Allaah سبحانه و تعالى then Says in the very next Ayah:

يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ ۗ وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا

“He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed achieved a great achievement.” [Al-Ahzab, 71]

Here Allaah has linked salvation to the keeping of the believers’ duty to Allaah by observing the two conditions mentioned in the previous Ayah. This is because those conditions will enable the believer to do righteous actions due to his consciousness of Allaah and what this demands from him in terms of fearing Allaah and being obedient to Him. This will then in turn, lead to the strengthening of his faith and thus, he will never hide the truth nor shy away from speaking the truth no matter where he is or with whom he is.

The end result of righteous actions based on such taqwah is that Allaah will forgive the sins of the believers and save them from the Hell-fire and admit them to Paradise. This is the “great achievement” that is mentioned at the end of the Ayah; and salvation can never be attained except by obeying Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم

Imam At-Tabari said in his Tafseer:

يقول – تعالى ذكره – للمؤمنين : اتقوا الله وقولوا السداد من القول يوفقكم لصالح الأعمال ، فيصلح أعمالكم
ويعف لكم عن ذنوبكم ، فلا يعاقبكم عليها ( ومن يطع الله ورسوله ) فيعمل بما أمره به وينته عما نهاه ويقل السديد
فقد ظفر بالكرامة العظمى من الله

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And Allaah alone is the source of success.

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