How Should We Live?
How should we live? Allah Most High tells us, saying, “O you who have believed”—ya ayyuha alladheena aamanu—“fear Allah continuously”—ittaqu allah haqqa tuqatihi—“and never, ever die unless you are in a state of wholehearted submission.”—wa la tamutunna illa wa antum muslimun. (Qur’an, 3:102)
This verse tells us that we should live with continuous fear of Allah Most High, the overwhelmingly powerful creator and master of every atom in the universe.
Now, if you don’t know who Allah is, living in continuous fear of Him will sound miserable. You might think that living in continuous fear of Allah Most High is like living in continuous fear of some powerful and ruthless dictator (may Allah Most High preserve our freedoms and protect us from all kinds of subjugation). Living in continuous fear of a powerful and ruthless dictator is, indeed, miserable. When you sleep, you fear assassination; when you eat, you fear poisoning; when you leave your hiding-place, you fear imprisonment; when you use your cell-phone, you fear being tapped; when you talk to an acquaintance, you fear being betrayed—your continuous fear prevents you from being able to enjoy anything. You live in misery.
But living in continuous fear of Allah Most High is not like that because Allah Most High is not a powerful and ruthless dictator.