Reflection No. 153 on Q 10:62 – Fear & Grief

أَلَا إِنَّ أَوْلِيَاءَ اللَّهِ لَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

Alā inna awliyā’a-llāhi lā khawfun ‘alayhim walā hum yaHzanūn
Now surely the friends of Allah – they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve
(Sūrat Yūnus, No, 10, Āyat 62).


The word ‘awliya’ in the verse above refers to those who are close to Allah. The Arabic word walī means someone who is close, whether in physical distance, relationship, position, or affection. It shows a lack of barriers, and a continuous connection. Thus a walī can be a friend, a guardian, a representative etc.

The above verse makes an amazing statement. Those who are close to Allah do not suffer the torments of grief and fear, two emotions that constantly trouble the human being and rob him of peace of mind. How is it that human beings can be immune to grief and fear? To better understand that, (let us) think of the following points:

1) For most people, grief and fear has to do with the world; grief over the past, and fear of the future, or grief and fear over worldly loss. It stems from attachment to the world.

2) When a servant of Allah loves Him and is close to Him, everything else seems completely insignificant. Imam Ali (a) says: The Creator is so great in their hearts that everything else seems small in their eyes. Such a believer is not affected by the sorrows and fears of this world.

3) When a person is so occupied with God, he does not have space in the heart for anything other than Allah. He is thus unaware of worldly fears and sorrows as the only things that concern him are those in connection with God.

4) For true believers, there will be a different type of grief and fear. Grief at separation from God, and at not being able to worship Him the way He deserves to be worshiped. Fear of the Justice of God and of sins, of the Day of Judgment, and of answering for one’s deeds. These are the emotions that trouble the believer, and which will be put at rest in the Hereafter, inshā’ Allah.

Thus grief and fear in this world are of different types. It is only in the Hereafter that a believer will be completely free of grief and fear.

Sources: Āytaullāh Nāsir Makārim Shirāzī (ed), Tafsīr-e Namūneh;