The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “I swear by Allah that if you knew what I know, you would laugh little and weep much, and you would not take delight in women, but you would go out to an open space and call on Allah for help. I wish I were a tree that could be cut down and cease to exist.” [Al-Bukhari; Kitab ar-Riqaq]
This hadith indicates that if we knew as much as the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) knew about the Might of Allah, and His retribution for whoever disobeys Him, then our weeping and grief and fear for what might await us would be long-lasting. We might never laugh at all.
Aisha (radi Allahu anha) reported that whenever the wind changed and storms blew, the Prophet’s (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) demeanour would change and he would walk to and fro in the room in agitation, going out and then coming back in again. All of this was out of fear of Allah’s punishment. [Al-Bukhari; Kitab Bad al-Khalq]
A servant with such a heart becomes watchful over every breath and every moment, and constantly reprimands the self for its inner thoughts, its actions and its words. His state is like that of a person who is trapped in the claws of a lion, not knowing whether it will leave him alone and allow him to escape, or whether it will attack him and kill him. Thus he becomes both inwardly and outwardly occupied with what he fears. There is no room in him for anything other than what he fears. This is the state of a person who is overwhelmed by the fear of Allah.