I had few times talked with some Christian friends and I used to mention to them about fear to the God the Highest. Well, if people talk with me, I would try very hard avoiding from imposing our views on others but only explaining what is our belief. I found that they cannot understand and keep repeating about Jesus love and salvation through the divinity of lord Jesus is better than fear to the God because the way the God can be approached is through love. Most of all they are "new" converts which sometimes make me feel annoyed as they behave like some kind of religious zealots and trying to baptize me by pressuring persuasion. I am still maintaining connection with my non-Muslim friends including some of them are Buddhist monks and I never convert any of them! I only talk about my belief or faith when they ask me. If they do not ask me then I will remain silent. I do not like to compare anything to make others look bad or to force something which is not "meant" for them. I also believe in the soul tendency other than the Wisdom of the God.
First of all, I respect Jesus Christ as a noble prophet and we give due honor to his mother, lady Maryam the virgin who talked with the Archangel Gabriel a.s. We are strictly prohibited from saying bad words about Jesus a.s or else we will automatically become apostate as to show that there is not much difference between noble prophets and messengers of the God who conveys His message to the Earth. The way we talk about Jesus a.s is the way that we talk about other prophets that we have faith in down to Muhammad s.a.w as the seal of eras. I am familiar with theophany theory in few world philosophies and I do not like to dwell so much in it as it is not practical. It is just a "theory"!
Method of Servants
Fear as according to Abu Hamid al-Ghazali in his "Method of Servants" and according to the Glorious Quran refers to three meanings...
1. Shy, humble and respect
2. Devotional obedience in worship and services
3. Purifying the heart from influences of sin
And there is a mention about genuine fear by Abu Hamid al-Ghazali. These are the conclusion from his book. Generally speaking, the word which is translated simply as fear from Arabic refers to the avoidance of one self from His wrath and punishments due to crossing the lines which is drawn by Him who is Supreme. General fact of fear is that He oversees us and we cannot escape His vision by committing errors in hidden or in open space. He never lost us on whatever He commands us as we are in His vast Kingdom.
The word taqwa was like other Semitic words was derived from three letters root verb. It is the eighth stem in the Arabic tongue articulation dictionary and lexicon mediator. It could literally means...
(1) protecting one self from something.
(2) afraid of the penalty and avoid from violating the "nature"
(3) cautious and avoidance of something
(4) making something as a protection and boundary line for something
Encyclopedia of Islam (2013) mentions that the word "fear" is an Islamic term which denotes God-consciousness, mindfulness and piety. The literal meaning is to put a barrier between one self and the wrath of the God. This is an ethical base for a Muslim and Muslims who form a community. It plays a significant role in one's relationship to the God by reminding believers of His omnipotence and knowledge. Fear is one of few stations in the Path. And it is important due to its ability in bringing one closer to the God.
Ibn Katir Exegesis mentions that the root of the word taqwa is to avoid what one dislikes. It was reported that Umar al-Khattab r.a asked Ubay b. Ka'ab r.a about the word. Ubay r.a asked him, "Have you ever walked on a path that has thorns on it?" Umar r.a said, "Yes, certainly". Ubay r.a asked him agaim, "What did you do then?" Umar r.a replied, "I rolled up my sleeves and struggled". Ubay r.a answered, "So that is taqwa (fear). It is a sense of protecting one self from sin through dangerous journey in this life so that one can successfully complete the journey without being influenced by sin".
Ibn Abbas regarding the verse from Surah al-Baqarah 2:2 which means, "the guidance for the fearful" said that "the fearful" means, "They are the believers who avoid associating the God the Highest with anything from the Earth and Heavens and who work in His obedience". He further elaborates, "They fear the punishment of the God the Highest which would come if they abandoned the true guidance that they already recognize and know. They also hope in His Mercy by through His revelation".
Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace and love, amin!