"ذَلِكَ ٱلكِتَـٰبُ لَا رَيبَۛ فِيهِۛ هُدً۬ى لِّلمُتَّقِينَ" (البقرة: 2)
“This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah.” (Quran 2:2)
The key word in this statement is ‘guidance’. It expresses the essence and the nature of the Qur’ān. But guidance for whom? Who are the people who will find that this Book provides them with light, direction and true counsel? They are the God-fearing. Once a man’s heart is filled with the fear of God, he will benefit by the Qur’ān. Fear and consciousness of God is the quality that opens one’s mind to the true guidance contained in the Qur’ān and allows it to have its proper effect on one’s life.
It is the factor that causes one’s heart and mind to become sensitive and receptive to God’s guidance and enables one to respond to His call and His instruction.
Anyone seeking the benefit and Godly wisdom of the Qur’ān must approach it with an open mind and a pure heart. One must also approach it with perception and sensitivity, and with a determination not to fall by the wayside or be tempted away from God. Then, and only then, will the marvels and treasures of the Qur’ān be opened and revealed, and their light and wisdom will pour into this apprehensive, alert and welcoming heart.
It is reported that `Umar ibn al-Khaţţāb, a close companion of the Prophet and his second successor, asked the learned Companion, Ubayy ibn Ka`b, about the true meaning of ‘fear of God’.
Ubayy asked `Umar, “Have you ever walked along a thorny road?” “Yes, certainly,” `Umar replied.
Ubayy asked again, “How did you manage to get through it?” `Umar replied, “I gathered up my clothes and tried my best to avoid the thorns.” “That is precisely what God-fearing is like,” said Ubayy.
Fear of God, then, is to have a sensitive conscience, clear feelings, a continuous concern, vigilance and alacrity, and a yearning for the correct path in life. It is a feeling that is ever alive, a feeling of being aware of life’s temptations and pitfalls; and the ambitions and hopes, and the worries and fears that come with it. It is a feeling of being able to discern false hopes and unwarranted fears that one associates with individuals or powers that could neither bring benefit nor cause harm. Above all, the journey of life is full of many other kinds of thorns and nettles one must be aware of and strive to avoid.
Source: In the shade of Quran