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FearBusters: Conquering Our Fears

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Sometimes I wonder and ask myself if the prophets were ever afraid? Was Moses 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) afraid when he was leading his followers away from the Pharoah’s army and ended up stuck in front of the sea? How about Abraham, before he was tossed into a giant, blazing fire? What about Noah 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him)? Was he afraid of what people might think of him when he was building a ship in the middle of the desert? How about Jesus when his message was only accepted by a few loyal followers? Or his mother who found out she was pregnant even though she had never been with a man? What about Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), when he was facing physical and verbal abuse from his own people? Or when he and his followers were kicked out of their own homes and hometown, forced to start from scratch in a new city?

As human beings with emotions, they must have felt some sense of fear while facing these incredible obstacles, right? This curiosity regarding whether the prophets felt fear or not led me to a simple conclusion: What they felt during these critical times, I may never find out (until inshallah I can ask them myself in Jannah). However, what I do know for sure is that THEIR FAITH WAS ALWAYS STRONGER THAN THEIR FEARS.

You see the prophets understood this very powerful principle despite their fears. The strength of their faith always outweighed their fears, thus overcoming the daunting obstacles that life threw their way and ultimately fulfilling their greater purpose in life.

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But how many of us don’t follow in their examples? How many of us allow our fears to get the best of us and hold us back from living out our greater purpose in life and achieving all the great things that we have the potential to achieve?

This series of articles is about that dirty 4 letter word that I think all of us should despise and fight with all of our mental, emotional and spiritual strength:  FEAR.

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Here are some of the negative results of living a life in which our fears are stronger than our faith:

Fear cripples us; it prevents us from seeking to do and become more. Fear encourages sameness which oftentimes means stagnation and lack of growth. Fear causes us to not actively seek to live out the best version of ourselves.

  • Fear is almost always not real. What I mean by that is that our fears our self-created and don’t actually exist. Think about it….often times we fear things that won’t and can’t cause harm to us. It’s all in our heads, but since it’s in our minds it becomes our reality.
  • Fear is a tool that shaytaan uses to limit our ability to do great things. It is a tool he uses to keep us under his influence or the influence of things both tangible and intangible (substances – the fear of giving them up; negative thoughts etc.) rather than be completely free, which is the state that we enter into when we fear only God.
  • Fear is an emotion that highly successful people overcome. Look back at the example of the prophets that I mentioned earlier. In my business, I work with highly successful people day in and day out, and one of their shared qualities is that they do not let fear influence their decision making.
  • Fear is something that Allah removes from the hearts of those who have faith and follow it up with good action. Therefore, if we have true faith in Allah’s words then we trust Him and know that he has removed fear from our hearts. Allah mentions the word khawf in that form 26 times in the Quran (based on my limited research on the topic), more than 20 of those are assuring the believers that Allah removes fear from us. Here’s an example of one of those verses:5_69

“Indeed, those who have believed [in Prophet Muhammad] and those [before Him] who were Jews or Sabeans or Christians – those [among them] who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness – no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.” (5:69)

  • Fear in some cases can keep us from doing the right thing. Allah mentions an example of this from the story of Moses 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) in the Quran:10:83

“But no one believed Moses, except [some] youths among his people, for fear of Pharaoh and his establishment that they would persecute them. And indeed, Pharaoh was haughty within the land, and indeed, he was of the transgressors.” (10.83)

As you can see from this verse, it was ONLY the few young people that did not have fear in their hearts who made the right choice of following Moses rather than the Pharoah.

These are just some examples of how fear can negatively impact our lives.

In this series, I will address 8 of the most common fears that we human beings have, and offer some simple principles on how to overcome these fears. The fears that I will discuss in this series are the following:

Fear of Poverty

Fear of Criticism

Fear of Poor Health

Fear of Loss of Love

Fear of Change

Fear of Old Age

Fear of Death

Fear of Failure

As a personal and professional coach, I help people overcome their fears on a daily basis, so I have quite a bit of experience with this topic. I love seeing people overcome their fears and get the most out of their lives. If there’s one thing that I’ve seen time and time again destroy the dreams and aspirations of people, it’s their own fears and doubts.

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I’m a self-proclaimed FEAR BUSTER! For those of you who are old enough to remember the movie Ghost Busters, you can go ahead and start singing the song in your head now, but just exchange the word “Ghost” for the word “Fear”.

I’ve tried to always push the limits of my life and overcome my own personal fears and doubts. I have taken many risks in my life, some led to great results and others not so much. However, the one thing that I have consciously done is to make sure that I don’t let my fears stop me from seeking to live out my best life possible and to achieve the greater purpose for what I was created to do/accomplish.

[button color=”blue” size=”normal” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”newwindow” url=”http://muslimmatters.org/2014/10/28/lessons-in-leadership-from-the-prophet-muhammad-saw/”]Read 21 Lessons in Leadership from Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) By Adnan Jalali [/button]

I ask Allah to bless us with faith that is much stronger than our fears. I ask Allah to help us overcome our fears and not let them limit us and what we accomplish in our lives.

Let’s do this….

 

To be continued: Part 1: Fear of Poverty

FearBusters: Fear of Poverty

FearBusters: Fear of Criticism

FearBusters: Fear of Poor Health

FearBusters: Fear of Loss of Love

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Adnan Jalali is a former School Teacher and Principal/Head Master turned Leadership Trainer, Executive Coach and International Keynote Speaker. Adnan is the founder of The Jalali Group (jalaligroup.com), a Consulting firm focused on Leadership & Personal Development. The mission of the Jalali Group is to develop inspirational leaders across the globe. Adnan received his Bachelor’s Degree in Geography from Texas State University and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Houston. He holds a Teacher’s and School Director’s License in Texas and is a certified Leadership Trainer, Coach and Speaker with the John Maxwell Team. He is currently working on a project to develop inspirational leaders in Colombia, South America.

11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Pingback: FearBusters: Fear of Criticism - MuslimMatters.org

  2. Pingback: FearBusters: Fear of Poor Health - MuslimMatters.org

  3. Muslim

    April 22, 2015 at 6:00 PM

    Asalamu alaikum!
    I must first start with saying “YOU GO BROTHER!” . This article really inspired me. It was like Allah knew that I needed it and guided me to it. SubhanAllah. I’ve most of my life lived within my own cubic of fears. But now as I’m 20 yrs old moved to myself, I’m ready to face the world and ins shaa Allah with the help fo Allah achieve my goals.
    I think the biggest fear I got is fear of poverty..but subhanAllah lately I’ve been tested with that and my fear aint that high anymore. I rather fear losing my deen. Anyways..great article! Keep it up :)

    • Adnan

      May 19, 2015 at 1:38 AM

      Thank you for the comment Muslim. I’m glad that the article helped. It’s simply a matter of always making sure that our faith is always stronger than our fears.

  4. Pingback: FearBusters: Fear of Old Age - MuslimMatters.org

  5. Pingback: FearBusters: Fear of Change - MuslimMatters.org

  6. Pingback: FearBusters: Fear of Loss of Love - MuslimMatters.org

  7. Pingback: » FearBusters: Fear of Death

  8. Amaya

    June 30, 2015 at 12:18 AM

    Jazaakallaahu Khayr!!

  9. Pingback: » FearBusters: Conclusion

  10. Pingback: Conquering Our Fears | islamlife.info

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