Know that being firm in speaking the truth to the faces of the assisters of the tyrants, making them hear what they dislike of Tawhid, criticism of their false gods, and disassociation from them and their worshippers and helpers is the appropriate path for those who wish to be from the helpers of the Religion of Allah and the group that is supporting the Religion of Allah who cannot be harmed by those who oppose them or betray them until the Command of Allah comes while they are in such a state.1 We are referring here to Tawhid and the call to it, and not unrelated details that will only serve to bring about harm to the Muslims.
It might be said that when one is in a situation where he is being questioned by an authority figure, for example, such is not the time to express the word of truth, as the helpers of the tyrants don’t want to know the truth at this moment as much as they simply want to know your mindset and belief in order to take you to account and judge you for it.
In response, we say that this is true. However, there is no reason why you cannot relay the word of truth to one of them in a beautiful way such that it shakes him strongly and lands in his heart. In any case, the situation differs based on the people and circumstances involved.
If a person is imprisoned and sees that he is weak and cannot handle the ramifications of this open proclamation of the truth, he does not have to do so, with the condition that he never says a word that constitutes kufr if he is not in a state of true coercion, since many people are excessively easy on themselves when it comes to this, and they excuse themselves in saying words of kufr that they were not coerced, beaten, or otherwise forced into saying by claiming to be in a position of weakness. This comes despite the fact that one can use vague terms, answer with another question, or simply say ‘I don’t know’ out of fear of giving a false fatwa or speaking about the Religion of Allah without knowledge.
I say that this saves one from speaking a word of falsehood or kufr, mixing truth with falsehood, or expressing one’s approval of their disbelief and false gods when not in a state of coercion, and it has come in a hadith that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu a’laihi wa sallam) said, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him speak what is good or remain silent.” [Bukhari – 6018, 6136, 6475, Muslim – 47, Abu Dawud -5154, Tirmidhi – 2500, Ahmad – (2/267, 433, 463), Ibn Hibban – 506, 516)
In any case, in many countries, they do not care what you believe or say to those who interrogate you as much as they care what you say in the streets or the mosques in the presence of people, such as speaking against the tyrants and turning people against them. In some places, what you say cannot even hurt you unless you sign your name to it on a piece of paper with your interrogators. So, it is possible for you to speak the word of truth openly without having it signed to on paper, and it is possible for the brothers upon Tawhid to speak in general terms without mentioning specific tyrants by name that they are criticizing. Every situation has its proper thing to say and every place has its own circumstances, and those upon Tawhid can sum these factors up on their own.
However, what is most appropriate for the brother upon Tawhid – especially if he is from those who have taken it upon themselves to call the people and speak the word of truth – is to remain firm upon this in the face of the tyrants even if he is beaten, harmed, or hears from them whatever he hears. After all, he is not the first or the last of those who have chosen this path, as he has been preceded by the Prophets, the truthful, and the martyrs. How many of the Messengers were harmed to the point of some being killed? Likewise, the righteous people who followed them were tied to boulders and cut up with saws! None of this increased them except in faith and submission!
And it is authentically reported from the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu a’laihi wa sallam) that he (Sallallahu a’laihi wa sallam) said, “The leader of the martyrs is Hamzah, as well as a man who stood up to a tyrannical leader and commanded and forbade him, and was killed by him as a result.”
So, beware of pleasing the people by angering Allah. Rather, anger the people by pleasing Allah, and you will then own their hearts and dominate them, and Allah will place awe of you in their hearts.
And many of our brothers upon Tawhid have tried this in the most uncomfortable of circumstances, and this only brought about respect, veneration, and awe in the hearts of the enemies of Allah for them, and it was reported by al-Imam Ahmad and others from Abi Sa’id al-Khudri (may Allah be Pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu a’laihi wa sallam) said, “A man should not let intimidation by people prevent him from speaking the truth if he sees or witnesses a situation where he should do so, as speaking the truth or mentioning something important will not shorten his life or delay his provision.”
Also, my Muwahhid brother, do not forget that such situations are witnessed by the Angels and Seen by Allah, and they are placed in a record. So, allow a record to be made for yourself of a situation that will distance you from the enemies of Allah and bring you closer to your Master and Helper, and that you can use in your favor on the Day in which no wealth or children will be of any benefit, and only those who come to Allah with a sound heart will be saved.
“And those absent from such battles,
Will be stricken with regret for a year afterwards …”
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have Mercy on him) said in his book ‘Ighathat al-Lahfan (1/94 ) : “From the plots of the enemy of Allah (i.e. Satan) is that he makes the believers afraid of his soldiers and allies. So, they do not strive against them, they do not enjoin what is good, and do not forbid what is bad. This is from his greatest plots for the believers, as Allah has informed us by Saying:
“It is only Satan that suggests to you the fear of his allies. So, do not fear them, and fear Me if you are believers.” (Surah Ali Imran, 3 : 175)
The meaning with all of the scholars of Tafsir is that Satan makes you afraid of his allies.
Qatadah explained this by saying, “He makes them great and powerful in your heart.”
This is why Allah Said, “… So, do not fear them, and fear Me if you are believers.”
So, the stronger your faith becomes, the weaker the fear in your heart will be of Satan’s allies, and the weaker your faith becomes, the stronger the fear in your heart will be of them.”
Yes, because if the fear of Allah fills the person’s heart, there will be no room left in the heart for fear of anyone else. If the person realizes the greatness of Allah and that He possesses Great Power, is Overwhelming, Mighty, Dominating, Supreme, is the One who controls everyone, and he realizes His presence, everything else will appear tiny and puny, and all of the powers on Earth will be of no significance to him. If he adopts the concept of reliance and certainty in his heart and knows that whatever misses him was not meant to befall him, and whatever befalls him was not meant to miss him, and that if all of the Jinn and humans got together to hurt him, they wouldn’t be able to hurt him except with something Allah had Decreed against him – if he realizes all of this, Allah will keep him firm and his heart strong.
So, if all of the powers on Earth do end up gathering against him, this will not push him off of the path he has chosen or cause him to turn away from his correct belief, and this will increase him only in faith and submission:
“… Those who convey the message of Allah and fear Him, and fear none except Allah, and Allah is sufficient as a Reckoner.” (Surah al-Ahzab, 33 : 39)
Indeed, from the methods the tyrants and the enemies of Allah utilize in their war against the believers is the method of inspiring fear and awe. This is a method that they inherited from their leader, Satan. So, just as he – may Allah’s curse be upon him – always tries to inflate the image of his allies in the believer’s heart and make him afraid of them in order to push him away from the clear truth, they likewise do the same.
They try to show off their power and boast about their numbers, armies, weapons, torture methods, and intelligence agencies. They always praise them and speak about how great they are, and give the impression that they encompass everything and know every large and tiny detail in the country, and that it does this, it does that, etc. This is just as Allah mentions in His Book about them:
“Yet, they try to frighten you with those besides Him! And for whom Allah sends astray, there will be no guide.” (Surah az-Zumar, 39 : 36)
Such methods only affect those who have weak faith, who do not allow the fear and veneration of Allah to dominate their hearts. As a result, they fear people more than they fear Allah. The danger to the believers posed by such people is great since they are an instrument of demoralization in the Muslim ranks. So, it is a must to keep them where they cannot bring about a negative effect, just as it is necessary to not give them any attention or consideration, or be deceived by them. Allah Said regarding their likes:
“Had they went out with you, they would have added to you nothing except disorder, and they would have hurried about in your midst sowing sedition among you, and there are some among you who listen to them …” (Surah at-Tawbah, 9 : 47)
So, to have a negative and discouraging attitude in such difficult circumstances has a great effect on people, since at times like this, a person needs someone to encourage him to be firm and have a strong heart, and to remind him of the stands taken by the believers who struggled for this religion and the active scholars. This is why Allah condemned negativity and discouragement at such times:
“When there comes to them some matter of safety or fear, they announce it among the people. If only they had referred it to the Messenger or to those charged with authority among them, the proper investigators would have understood it from them correctly. Had it not been for the Grace and Mercy of Allah upon you, you would have followed Satan, except a few of you.” (Surah An-Nisa, 4 : 83)
These are great times and situations where Allah is testing His slaves in order to purify their ranks and distinguish the good from the wicked. When Allah Said,
“It is only Satan that suggests to you the fear of his allies. So, do not fear them, and fear Me if you are believers.” (Surah Ali Imran, 3 : 175)
He added shortly after,
“Allah will not leave the believers in the state in which you are now until He distinguishes the wicked from the good.” (Surah Ali Imran, 3 : 179)
So, the believers who stayed true to the pact they made with Allah are not affected by such tyrannical methods, and they will not be pushed away from the stands they take and will not be shaken. Rather, they will only increase in faith and submission:
“Those to whom the people said, ‘Verily, the people have gathered against you a great army. So, fear them.’ But it only increased them in faith, and they said, ‘Allah is sufficient for us, and He is the best disposer of affairs.’ So they returned with grace and bounty from Allah. No harm touched them, and they followed the good Pleasure of Allah, and Allah has great bounty. It is only Satan that suggests to you the fear of his allies. So, do not fear them, and fear Me if you are believers.” (Surah Ali Imran, 3 : 173-175)
And Allah mentioned before these verses the stance of the hypocrites in demoralizing and scaring the believers, and the reply to them came as follows:
“The ones who said about their killed brethren while they themselves sat back, ‘If only they had listened to us, they would not have been killed.’ Say, ‘Avert death from your own selves if you are truthful.’ ” (Surah Ali Imran, 3 : 168)
He then mentioned the status of the martyrs who fulfilled their pact with Him in order to show the believers their path and to make them love it and long for it, Saying,
“Think not of those who are killed in the Path of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, and they have provision. They rejoice in what Allah has bestowed upon them of His bounty, rejoicing for the sake of those who have not yet joined them, but are left behind, that on them no fear shall come, nor shall they grieve. They rejoice in a grace and a bounty from Allah, and that Allah will not waste the reward of the believers. Those who answered Allah and the Messenger after being wounded – for those of them who did good deeds and feared Allah, there is a great reward. Those to whom the people said, ‘Verily, the people have gathered against you a great army. So, fear them.’ But it only increased them in faith, and they said, ‘Allah is sufficient for us, and He is the best disposer of affairs.’ ” (Surah Ali Imran, 3 : 169-173)
Likewise, Allah also taught His Prophet (Sallallahu a’laihi wa sallam) to say, after mentioning,
“Yet, they try to frighten you with those besides Him!” (Surah Az-Zumar, 39 : 36)
“Say, ‘Allah is sufficient for me. Those who trust place their trust in Him.’ ” (Surah Az-Zumar, 39 : 38)
So, if everyone who exists besides Allah – and this includes everyone that the disbelievers scare the believers with – if all of these people are below Allah, how is it that the believer who truly depends on Allah – the Mighty, the Overwhelming – can fear them instead of Him?
History teaches us lessons, and the best history is that of the Prophets with their peoples. Go back to it and reflect on the eternal stands they took with their arrogant peoples, and how these people would scare their Prophets with their gods, threatening them and warning them by way of their numbers and power. Look at the firmness of the stands the Prophets took and nourish yourself on it, and strengthen yourself with its pure power. Indeed, it contains your provision … and what great provision it is!
For example, look at the Prophet of Allah Nuh in the depths of time, and listen to him as he addresses his people while he is all alone. However, he experienced the presence of Allah – upon Who he had placed his trust and realized His Power. So, he addressed them without fear of their authority or tyranny, saying:
“… If my stay and my reminding of the signs of Allah is hard on you, then I put my trust in Allah. So, devise your plot, you and your partners, and let not your plot be in doubt for you. Then, pass your sentence on me and give me no respite.” (Surah Yunus, 10 : 71)
‘Gather yourselves and the power and authority you have – you and your allies that you honor yourselves by – and then do whatever you can without leaving me time for respite.’ He did not say this out of carelessness or empty zeal that would quickly dry up and disappear. Rather, he said it while he knew that he was accompanied by power that would never disappear, and while he knew that Allah was with him, and that they could not harm him so long as he was placing his trust in Him and held to His firm Rope – except what Allah Willed. If Allah did Will something else, it was not out of betrayal of His slave. Rather, it was a test, evaluation, and means of purification and distinction.
And look to Hud (Sallallahu a’laihi wa sallam) and how he stood between his people all alone while they were the strongest people on Earth and the most viscous of them. They tried to scare him through their false gods that they venerated, saying,
“All that we say is that some of our gods have seized you with madness.” (Surah Hud, 11 : 54)
So, he would stand up to them, relying on Allah with firmness like that of the mountains, and he would speak the words of the believer who fears none but Allah:
“I call Allah to witness and bear you as witnesses that I am free from what you ascribe as partners to Him in worship. So, plot against me, all of you, and give me no respite. I put my trust in Allah, my Lord and your Lord! There is not a moving creature except that He has grasp of its forelock. Verily, my Lord is on the truth.” (Surah Hud, 11 : 54-56)
And reflect on the stand taken by Ibrahim, the khalil of Allah, while he debated with his people and faced them and taught them that he cared nothing for what they or their false gods that they tried scaring him with would do to him.
Security, tranquility, and firmness are only for the helpers of Allah who truly single Him out for worship and do not associate any with Him in this. As for the polytheists, how can they be granted any of this tranquility and security by Allah while they associate partners in worship with Him that He gave no approval of? Rather, such people are granted nothing but fear, anxiety, and betrayal –
“Do you dispute with me concerning Allah while He has guided me, and I fear not those whom you associate with Allah in worship? Nothing can happen to me except when my Lord Wills something. My Lord comprehends in His Knowledge all things. Will you not then remember? And how should I fear those whom you associate in worship with Allah while you fear not that you have joined in worship with Allah things for which He has not sent down to you any authority. So, which of the two groups is more deserving of security? If you only knew.” (Surah Al-An’am, 6 : 80-81)
“It is those who believe and do not mix their belief with wrongdoing (polytheism). For them, there is security, and they are the guided.” (Surah Al-An’am, 6 : 82)
And look at Musa, the one who spoke with Allah. Look at him in the most difficult hours while he was being tested, as Fir’awn and his troops – with all their power and numbers – were catching up to him. At the time, they possessed all the power and authority, and Musa was in a position of weakness and minority, having nothing to use to defend himself against them. He and his followers had fled from these tyrants in order to protect their religion, and were suddenly met by the sea with no way to escape anywhere else. So, when his companions saw Fir’awn with all his power quickly approaching accompanied by his massive number of troops, they said,
“We will surely be overtaken.” (Surah Ash-Shu’ara, 26 : 61)
However, in the most dangerous, difficult, and frightening circumstances, Musa replies with full trust, certainty, and firmness that cannot even be displayed by the strongest mountains,
“No! Indeed, my Lord is with me, and He will guide me.” (Surah Ash-Shu’ara, 26 : 62)
So, what was the result of Musa realizing Allah’s presence with him? What was the result of this firmness and trust in Allah?
“Then We inspired to Musa, ‘Strike the sea with your stick,’ and it parted, and each separate part became like the huge, firm mass of a mountain. Then, We brought the others near to that place, and We saved Musa and all those with him. Then, We drowned the others. Indeed, in this is a sign. Yet, most of them are not believers. And verily, your Lord is truly the Mighty, the Merciful.” (Surah Ash-Shu’ara, 26 : 63-68)
And look at Fir’awn’s magicians after they allowed faith to become dominant in their hearts, and how they paid no mind to the threats of this tyrant and his attempts to scare them with promises of severe torture:
“You believe in him before I give you permission? Verily, he is your chief who taught you magic. So, I will surely cut off your hands and feet on opposite sides, and I will surely crucify you on the trunks of date-palms, and you shall surely know which of us can give the severest and more lasting torment.” (Surah Ta- Ha, 20 : 71)
Listen to how they answer him with full power, firmness, and intense trust in Allah, the One and Overwhelming. They are not frightened in the least by the so-called power that he threatens them with, and they are not intimidated by the torture that he promises them, and they are not intimidated by his authority that he inflates himself with.
This is because after having faith, it became solidified in their hearts that Allah is the only true Owner of Power, and that His punishment is the severest of punishments, and that He is the only possessor of eternal authority. So, what comparison can there be between this and the power of the Creation? What comparison can there be between the punishment of the Master and that of the slave? What comparison can there be between the authority of the Strong and Powerful and the authority of the weak and insignificant?
Before, they would shake in the face of this tyrant and rush to carry out his orders. However, faith in Allah brings about miracles in that they were now standing up boldly to this same tyrant and saying to him with full clarity, without any fear or hesitation –
“They said, ‘We do not prefer you over the clear signs that have come to us, and to He Who Created us. So decree whatever you wish to decree, for you can only decree regarding this life. Indeed, we have believed in our Lord so that He may Forgive us our faults and the magic to which you did compel us. And Allah is better in rewarding in comparison to your reward, and is more lasting.’ ” (Surah Ta-Ha, 20 : 72-73)
And the examples are many …..
The final Prophet and Messenger (Sallallahu a’laihi wa sallam) was the best example in this regard.
Reflect over the hadith of ‘Amr bin al-‘As that was reported by al-Imam Ahmad and others with an authentic chain. [Declared authentic by Ahmad Shakir in his checking of Ahmad’s ‘Musnad’ (7036)]
Reflect over the stand he took standing between all of the disbelievers of Makkah as they were surrounding him (Sallallahu a’laihi wa sallam) while he (Sallallahu a’laihi wa sallam) was in a position of weakness, and how one man grabbed the collar of his (Sallallahu a’laihi wa sallam) cloak while they asked him (Sallallahu a’laihi wa sallam), “You are the one who says such and such?” – referring to how he (Sallallahu a’laihi wa sallam) would criticize their gods and way of life. So, he (Sallallahu a’laihi wa sallam) replied to them (Sallallahu a’laihi wa sallam) with full clarity and straightforwardness, without fear or hesitation – “Yes, I am the one who says this.”
And before this, he (Sallallahu a’laihi wa sallam) had said, “Listen, Quraysh! By the One Whose Hand Muhammad’s soul is in, I have come to you with slaughter!” So, everyone present was taken aback by this statement until there was not a single one of them who was not standing silent and motionless, and those who were previously severest against him (Sallallahu a’laihi wa sallam) were now finding the kindest words to say to him (Sallallahu a’laihi wa sallam).
And he (Sallallahu a’laihi wa sallam) would keep his Companions firm with the Qur’an that was being revealed to him, and he would remind them of the stands taken by the people of firmness and strength from the previous nations, saying, “Before your time, there was a man who was taken and had a hole dug for him in the ground, and he was placed in it. A saw was then brought and placed on his head, and he was cut in half and had his flesh combed off of his bones. This would not turn him away from his religion in the least. By Allah, Allah will complete this affair until a traveler will go from San’a’ to Hadramawt without fearing anyone except Allah and the wolves that might attack his sheep. However, you are too hasty.” (Bukhari -3612, 6943)
After all this, there is a reality that the believers should not ignore, and it is that falsehood is puny and weak no matter how much it tries to inflate itself with its outer image, and no matter how much it tries to give off the impression of being powerful, invulnerable, and immune. By Allah, it is more insignificant with the Controller of the heavens and Earth than a fly. May Allah have Mercy on Ibn al-Qayyim as he said in his ‘Nuniyah’ (poem) –
“Do not fear their large numbers, as they are worthless and like flies,
Would you fear a fly?”
Yes, by Allah! They are like flies. Rather, they are weaker than flies –
“And if a fly snatched something away from them, they would have no power to release it from the fly. So, both the seeker and the sought are weak.” (Surah Al-Hajj, 22 : 73)
And even if the people of falsehood have their periods of prosperity, the truth will have many more periods of prosperity. Their true nature and the phoniness of their power have been exposed throughout history.
However, this exposition occurred at the hands of men who fulfilled the pact they had made with Allah, with some of them having fulfilled that pact and others waiting to do so without having changed in the least. And falsehood and its people will never prosper, and it will never boast of its fake power, unless such men are absent from the theatre of events … and how pressing the need is for such men!
The Qur’an brings to our attention the destination of these transient nations who transgressed in the lands and introduced corruption in them, and those who were even more powerful than they were on Earth:
“Did you not see how your Lord dealt with the people of ‘Ad? They were very tall, like lofty pillars, the likes of which were not created in the land. And Thamud, who cut out rocks in the valley to make dwellings? And Fir’awn, who had pegs that he would bind men to torture them, and did transgress beyond bounds in the lands and spread corruption in them? So, your Lord poured on them different kinds of severe torment. Indeed, your Lord is Watchful over them.” (Surah Al-Fajr, 89 : 6-13)
“Have you not seen how your Lord dealt with the people of the Elephants? Did He not make their plot go astray? And He sent against them birds in flocks, striking them with hardened stones, and made them like an empty field of stalks.” (Surah Al-Fil, 105 : 1-5)
And the Qur’an pulls our eyes and ears to their final end and destination, and here are their remnants and dwellings that are now uprooted, and Allah destroyed them and gave victory to His believing supporters. So, the power that they used to boast of and the huge numbers that they used to show off and inflate their image with did them absolutely no good. Allah destroyed them, and they had nobody to help or assist them. This is because Allah is the Helper of the believers, and the disbelievers have no helper –
“Have they not traveled through the earth and seen the end of those before them? They were more numerous than them and mightier in strength, and in the remnants they left behind in the land. Yet, all that they used to earn did not avail them. Then, when their Messengers came to them with clear proofs, they were proud with what they had of the knowledge, and what they used to mock took over them. So, when they saw Our punishment, they said, ‘We believe in Allah alone and reject what we used to associate with Him as partners.’ Then, their faith could not avail them when they saw Our punishment. This has been the way of Allah in dealing with His slaves, and there the disbelievers lost utterly.” (Surah Ghafir, 40 : 82-85)
So, these are realities that are filled with material for reflection and insight for both us and our opponents in hopes that they would rethink their ways –
“And do not those who disbelieve think that they can outrun it. Verily, they will never be able to escape from it.” (Surah al-Anfal, 8 : 59)
Ibn al-Qayyim said in his ‘Nuniyah’(poem) –
“Openly proclaim what Allah commanded, and don’t fear the worthless instead of Allah,
And fear only Him, and you will succeed in safety;
And give victory to the Book of Allah and the traditions,
That came from the one sent with the Qur’an;
And strike every denier with the sword of Revelation,
Just like the Mujahid would strike over the fingertips;
And carry on with truthful zeal,
The way of the sincere and brave who are dedicated to Allah;
And remain firm with patience under the banner of guidance,
And if you are harmed in the process, it is for the Pleasure of the Merciful;
And make the Book of Allah and authentic traditions your weapons,
And strengthen your soul;
Who will fight and present himself,
Or compete on the fields?
Openly preach what the Messenger came with,
And do not fear the lack of helpers;
As Allah will give victory to His Religion and Book,
And Allah is sufficient to protect His slave;
And do not fear the plots of the enemy,
As they only fight using lies and falsehood;
The soldiers of the Messenger’s followers are Angels,
And their soldiers are the army of Satan;
What a difference there is between the two groups,
Whoever is confused should just compare them both;
Be firm and fight under the banner of guidance,
And be patient, as the victory of Allah, your Lord, is near;
As Allah will give victory to His Religion and Book,
And His Messenger with knowledge and authority;
And truth is a pillar that none can demolish,
Even if everyone gathered to do so;
And if your opponents become many and overwhelm you,
Stay firm, as their power is like smoke;
It rises up and afterwards,
Is blown away to where the eye cannot see;
Do not fear their large numbers, as they are worthless and like flies ,
Would you fear a fly?
And do not be pleased with the leadership of the cow,
Whose leaders are themselves oxen;
And if they intend, they will come against you,
So, do not act shocked or cowardly if they do so;
And remain firm and do not carry on without support,
As this is not praiseworthy with the brave;
Even though the group of Allah fights with their righteous actions,
Not a battalion of the brave;
By Allah, they did not conquer lands due to their numbers,
Their numbers were not noticeable;
So, if you see the group of Islam,
With its cavalry side by side with those in authority;
In such a case, enter their ranks,
And do not be lazy or fluttered;
The truth will be aided and tested
So, do not be surprised, as this is the pattern of the Merciful;
This is how His group will be distinguished from His enemies,
And this is why the people are two groups;
And this is why the Messengers fought the disbelievers,
Since this rag-tag group first existed;
However, the good end will be for the people of truth,
If it doesn’t come here, it will come later from the Rewarder.”
1. He is referring here to the Victorious Group (at-Ta’ifah al-Mansurah), described by the Prophet in the authentic hadith: “There will not cease to be a group from my Ummah upholding the affair of Allah, not being harmed by those who oppose them, until Allah’s Command comes about and they are uppermost amongst the people.”
By: Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, From the book: DO NOT FEAR THEM