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In the Name of God بسم الله

My Position On Prophet And Imams Being Afraid

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This has been bothering me quite some time now. A brother has posted a few hadiths which hinted towards this subject.

 

And by this isnad, from Ahmad b. Muhammad from his father Muhammad b. `Isa from ibn Bukayr from Zurara. He said:

I heard Abu `Abdillah عليه السلام say: Verily the Qa’im will be occulted prior to his rising; he will be afraid – and he pointed with his hand to his stomach – meaning, [afraid of] being killed. (al-Kafi)

(muwathaq kal-sahih) (موثق كالصحيح)

 

or

 

My father and Muhammad b. al-Hasan رضي الله عنهما narrated. They said: Sa`d b. `Abdillah narrated. He said: Muhammad b. al-Husayn b. Abu’l Khattab and Muhammad b. `Isa narrated from Muhammad b. Abi `Umayr from Jameel b. Darraj from Muhammad b. Muslim.

He said: Abu Ja`far عليه السلام said: No one answered [the call of] the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله before `Ali b. Abi Talib and Khadija عليهما السلام. The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله remained in hiding in Mecca for three years, afraid and waiting. He was afraid of his community and the people.

 

Quranic Verses someone brought to show evidence of ambiya being scared and my rebuttal to them:

 

 

[shakir 15:52] When they entered upon him, they said, Peace. He said: Surely we are afraid of you.
[Pickthal 15:52] (How) when they came in unto him, and said: Peace. He said: Lo! we are afraid of you.
[Yusufali 15:52] When they entered his presence and said, "Peace!" He said, "We feel afraid of you!"

[shakir 15:53] They said: Be not afraid, surely we give you the good news of a boy, possessing knowledge.
[Pickthal 15:53] They said: Be not afraid! Lo! we bring thee good tidings of a boy possessing wisdom.
[Yusufali 15:53] They said: "Fear not! We give thee glad tidings of a son endowed with wisdom."

 

-This sense of being afraid portrayed by this verse clearly does not refer to being afraid of the angels, for the angels respond by saying dont be afraid I brought good news. Therefore he was afraid for bad news. We can also confirm it was not regarding bad news for himself but for his people. Because the verses that come after speak in relation to the people of Lut and what is the role of these specific messengers. [shakir 15:58] They said: Surely we are sent towards a guilty people

 

 

 

[Shakir 38:22] When they entered in upon Dawood and he was frightened at them, they said: Fear not; two litigants, of whom one has acted wrongfully towards the other, therefore decide between us with justice, and do not act unjustly, and guide us to the right way.
[Pickthal 38:22] How they burst in upon David, and he was afraid of them. They said: Be not afraid! (We are) two litigants, one of whom hath wronged the other, therefor judge aright between us; be not unjust; and show us the fair way.
[Yusufali 38:22] When they entered the presence of David, and he was terrified of them, they said: "Fear not: we are two disputants, one of whom has wronged the other: Decide now between us with truth, and treat us not with injustice, but guide us to the even Path..

 

-In this case David A.S was afraid of the trail in the sense of knowing he was being tried and not wanting to fail. I think this case is similar to that of where prophets seek forgiveness even though they dont need it. So, Prophet David A.S showing fear here is showing the magnitude of being tried. It is not something that should be taken lightly, even for a prophets case who was chosen because of his innate ability to pass such trials. This is confirmed by the following verse: [shakir 38:24] and Dawood was sure that We had tried him, so he sought the protection of his Lord and he fell down bowing and turned time after time (to Him). It shows that he knew of the trial being placed on him. Therefore, it is only logical that a prophet chosen by God is to pass the trail else why be chosen by a All Mighty being to spread this "perfect" religion, if it was not the case that the prophet chosen is able to. He was not afraid for his life or those people, because those people state after telling him to not fear and solve their issue. If he was afraid for his life, they would have mention I am not here to hurt you.

 

 

 

[shakir 19:5] And surely I fear my cousins after me, and my wife is barren, therefore grant me from Thyself an heir

 

-This case is very simple. Prophet Zacheriya A.S was afraid for his family. This is expected of anyone, whether you are a prophet or imam. You care for the people after you die. So the prophet wanted a successor, so that one of the cases be to take care of his family after him. Again, this has nothing to do for being afraid of death or people.

 

 

 

[shakir 19:17] So she took a veil (to screen herself) from them; then We sent to her Our spirit, and there appeared to her a well-made man.

[shakir 19:18] She said: Surely I fly for refuge from you to the Beneficent Allah, if you are one guarding (against evil).

 

-Clearly Baby Maryam was only afraid for modesty and chastity, for the fact that there was a man with her in the room. It is expected, and it shows she cares for her modesty and chastity. You can see that by the later verses.

 

 

 

[shakir 41:6] Say: I am only a mortal like you; it is revealed to me that your Allah is one Allah, therefore follow the right way to Him and ask His forgiveness; and woe to the polytheists;

 

-Simply this verse implies Muhammad A.S is just like us, in that he has an end and is a man. This doesnt mean all man's weakness also fall upon him. That would contradict all cases that take him above a normal man that was granted by Allah. There would be inconsistency.

 

 

 

Argument presented to by by a dear brother:

 

Fear is a human emotion that even the prophets have felt. 41:6 says that the Prophet (pbuh) is a human like us, which implies that he still feels basic human emotions. Allah could have sent an angel to teach us, but He sent a man who we can relate to. Infallibility is the absence of sin, and fear of being killed is not a sin. It is a test that the Prophet (pbuh) and the Imams (as) have passed, one that we may not pass ourselves. Courage is not the absence of fear, it is to move ahead despite your fear.

 

---------------------------------------

 

 

 

 

My argument will be mainly a rational (aqli) argument for I have not done extensive research on quran or hadith on this topic. I would also like to ask, did some of our scholars not uphold the same position I am holding on this issue? I remember something like this being said from our past scholars.

 

Why I do not think your argument is valid :

 

  1. I am not conforming the sources around what I believe because these sources can be prone to error.
  2. If there be a sahih hadith found in which shows our prophet committed a sin, by your standards we must accept it. Where as, rationally, it goes against aql and it should not be done so.
  3. Them being human doesnt hold any significance for their will to go beyond human came from Allah regardless. Meaning, yea they were human, but they still brought the dead back to life, created beings from clay and etc..
  4. Being Human also means being courageous and un-fearful of death or anyone, because it IS possible.
  5. The verse that which refers to being human can mean him being mortal.
  6. The quranic verses you have quoted can be allegorical just as verses portraying prophet committing sins do not mean they sinned. Same way goes with prophets and messengers praying for forgiveness, when it has a higher meaning and no matter what their status they seek the protection of Allah.
  7. I am not saying they dont have fear, for everyone MUST fear Allah.

 

 

My argument:

 

If we are to say prophets and imams were afraid of death and people a few things are implied:

  1. They doubt Allah
  2. They doubt themselves

We are not talking about phobia's here (irrational fears), we are talking about rational fears, meaning there is a reason behind it. Therefore, them being afraid of death or other people result in these doubts in which more reasons stem from them such as they may have in fact sinned or cared for the material world to be afraid of their lives.

 

The point of this argument is that Allah's religion is perfect, therefore there MUST be no room for doubt. Whether there is valid evidence or not of the prophets and imams specifically stating why there were afraid of people or death, does not rid of this doubt, unless it was being afraid for the sake of the people themselves. This attacks their status as a prophet and imams, and not only that, but brings about doubt upon our own beliefs. I do not believe Allah would allow such a case. Thus, I cannot come to believe it, rationally.

 

Feel free to discuss! If any other points come to my I will add on.

 

 

*Please forgive and bear with me. Sorry my post is a bit sloppy.. :P

(wasalam)

Edited by PureEthics
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  • Advanced Member

I don't quite see a problem in the prophet(pbuh) and the Imams(as) having fear for being killed. For example, the Imams(as) did have fears for being killed, and that  fear is mainly for the sake of the truth of Islam being lost from reaching humanity and not solely because they feared for their own lives or seeing death.

 

The prophet also feared for his life from the Quraysh Kuffar before migrating from Mecca to Medina, and not because he feared of seeing death, but because of the potential chance that his message from Allah will be lost. The same applies for the Imams, and hence, it would make sense for them to embrace Taqiyah to preserve the truth.  

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I don't quite see a problem in the prophet(pbuh) and the Imams(as) having fear for being killed. For example, the Imams(as) did have fears for being killed, and that  fear is mainly for the sake of the truth of Islam being lost from reaching humanity and not solely because they feared for their own lives or seeing death.

 

The prophet also feared for his life from the Quraysh Kuffar before migrating from Mecca to Medina, and not because he feared of seeing death, but because of the potential chance that his message from Allah will be lost. The same applies for the Imams, and hence, it would make sense for them to embrace Taqiyah to preserve the truth.  

 

Exactly, as I said, fear for the sake of your family, ummah, God, the message of Islam is all rational. But some hadiths as I pointed above say the fear was being killed or afraid of the people. That I have a major problem with. It doesnt make no sense what so ever, if a Prophet, infallible, chosen by God, fears death or people, have a sole purpose to spread the message. Why would a perfect religion, have a system where the chosen beings to represent/spread the message are scared to do so?

 

Taqiya isnt being scared. It is a rational and logical method of not foolishly dying, surviving. Now we, the people, we who are not infallible, fear death. So in that sense yes we are afraid of dying and being killed. We have materialistic desires, that cause us to care for this life too much so in that sense we are afraid of dying. Our level of faith is nothing compared to the prophets or imams. The prophets and imams faith were perfect, no doubt what so ever. Their desire was to solely please Allah. To them dying in the way of Allah was like honey. Nor were they afraid of people, for that was their cause, their sole purpose in being chosen.

 

Again I repeat, Prophets and Imam's who did Taqiyya did not do so cause they were afraid for their life or death. It is irrational. Their positions are too high for such a case. You aql tells you, if you can save yourself do so by hiding your faith. Else you die a foolish death. This did not stop the prophet or Imam from preaching their message or doing their job. I am simply talking about how, they cannot be afraid of death or people in general. Therefore, if the hadiths spoke of fearing death for the sake of people or the religion is understandable. Or that the prophet hid to protect his life. This makes much more rational sense.

 

(wasalam)

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(salam)

 

I have another question , were our beloved :Rasool (as) and the glorious :Imams (as) afraid of the hellfire ?

Even though the hellfire will never touch these rightly guided souls  , were they afraid of the Hell itself and it's reality of eternal punishment to the sinners ?

 

ws

 

Yes, because it is the wrath of God. If anything it was to show the magnitude of the Justice of Allah. If they were not afraid, it implies they would not be afraid of God or His punishment, and that is preposterous. One important note to make, this does not mean they did good or followed Islam because they were afraid of the punishment of God, no, far from this.

 

(wasalam)

Edited by PureEthics
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Yes, because it is the wrath of God. If anything it was to show the magnitude of the Justice of Allah. If they were not afraid, it implies they would not be afraid of God or His punishment, and that is preposterous. One important note to make, this does not mean they did good or followed Islam because they were afraid of the punishment of God, no, far from this.

 

(wasalam)

If such perfect souls are afraid of the justice and wrath of :Allah swt , what can you say for the ignorant fools that are not afraid and continually disobey :Allah swt and at times challenge him ?

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Ayatollah Ibrahim Amini (Imam Mahdi just leader of humanity):

 

Dr. Jalali: What would be wrong with the Imam suffering death in the path of reforming society and disseminating the true religion and defending the oppressed? Is his blood more dear than that of his forefathers who also suffered martyrdom in defending the religion of God? My question is why at all should he be afraid of being killed?

Mr. Hoshyar: The Imam of the Age, like his forefathers, is not afraid of being killed. Nevertheless, his being killed is not in the interest of the society or the religion. The reason is that whereas when his forefathers were killed they had their offspring to succeed them, the twelfth Imam does not have a son to succeed him should he be killed, and surely the earth cannot remain without God's Proof on it. It is well established that it is God's will that truth shall become triumphant over falsehood and that through the existence of the twelfth Imam the world will become the abode of godfearing people.

http://www.al-islam.org/al-imam-al-mahdi-just-leader-humanity-ayatullah-ibrahim-amini/chapter-7-why-did-not-occultation#why-mahdi-afraid-being-killed

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They [a] had emotions like we do. They were human beings, not robots.

I'm not sure about your argument. You can have fear of something without doubting God.

(Salam) dear brother. No where on my post says they were emotionless. I never said all fear leads to doubt, but as my argument says, those specific fears do. For you have irrational fears and rational fears, which is the latter in this case. Therefore, there must be a reason behind those fears. My argument explained it. Now, having no fear of death, being killed, or people, does NOT make you a robot, nor does it not make you a human.

(Wasalam)

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