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=LOVE, FEAR & HOPE-PART 11 Striking the Balance

After understanding the need to have love, hope and fear in our
worship, the next question that naturally arises is that, in what proportion
should these qualities be present in our worship? Again we turn to the
Qur'aan for the answer.

"Call upon Him with Fear and Hope." [ Soorah (7): 56]

"Their sides forsake their beds, to invoke their Lord in Fear and Hope."[(32): 16]

So both fear and hope should be present in our hearts in equal
proportions. Anas reported that the Prophet (salla-allahu alaihe wa-sallam)
entered upon a young boy who was dying.

The Prophet (salla-allahu alaihe wa-sallam) asked, "How are you?" The
boy replied, "O Messenger of Allah, I am in between hoping in Allah and
fearing for my sins." The Prophet (salla-allahu alaihe wa-sallam) said, "The
like of these two qualities do not unite in the heart of a servant except
that Allah gives him what he hopes for and protects him from what he

Therefore whenever we do a good action, we should hope that it has
been accepted by Allah, but at the same time we should also have fear that
maybe it isn't enough or that the good deed has not been worthy of
acceptance. Likewise when we sin, we should have hope that Allah will accept
our repentance and forgive us, but we should also fear that we may be
accountable for it.

This balance should be reflected in our Dawah (which of course is also
worship). So when we invite others to the Truth, we should not give them the
impression that 'they have nothing to worry about', nor do we suggest that
'they are doomed forever'. Rather we couple warnings with encouragement. We
inform them of the horrors of the Fire and tell them about the bliss of
Paradise. Just as we find Allah telling us in the Qur'aan:

"Verily your Lord is Quick in Punishment and verily He is the
Oft-Forgiving, the Giver of Mercy." [(7): 167]

And the scholars of Islaam say, "He who worships Allah with hope only
is a murji'ee. He who worships Him in fear only is a Harooree [Khaarijee].
And He who worships Allah in love only is a Zindeeq [eg. the Soofis, the
Christians, etc]. But he who worships Allah in fear, love and hope is a
Muwahhid Mu'min [a believer upon Tawheed]."[4]

The Murji'a were a sect that emerged within the first century of
Islaam. The people of this sect (i.e. the murji'ees) believe that sins do
not affect faith i.e. no matter what sins a person commits, his eeman
(faith) is complete and perfect. They worship Allah only with hope because
they believe that as long as one believed and testified to Islaam, they
would enter Paradise regardless of their actions.

Unfortunately, all too often nowadays we find a similar attitude
amongst many Muslims today, which is why we find that so often we try to
advice someone to turn to the Deen and abandon sin, they just point to their
hearts and say, "Allah knows what is in my heart", or "Allah forgives", or
something else like that.

As for the Khawaarij, they worshipped Allah in fear only because they
held that anyone who commits major sins was a disbeliever and would
therefore dwell in Hellfire forever. This of course is gross extremism and
straying from the correct path.

The Prophet (salla-allahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: "There were two men of
Banoo Israa'eel who strove equally. One of then committed sins and the other
strove hard in worship. And the one who strove in worship cto see the other
in sin and kept saying to him: "Desist." So one day he found him committing
a sin and so said to him: "Desist" So he replied, "Leave me by my Lord, have
you been sent as a watcher over me?". He said, "By Allah, Allah will not
forgive you, nor will Allah admit you to Paradise". Then their souls were
taken and they came together before the Lord of the Worlds. So Allah said to
the one who strove in worship: "Did you have Knowledge of Me, or did you
have any power in what is in my Hands?" And He said to the sinner: "Go and
enter Paradise through My Mercy." And He said to the other: "Take him to the
fire." Aboo Hurairah t said: "By Him in whose Hand is my soul! He spoke a
word which destroyed this world and the hereafter for him."[5]

Therefore we should never say of anyone that he or she is a 'lost
cause' or 'doomed' or the like for this is a great sin. However, we fear for
those who commit major sins because they have been threatened with
punishment in the Qur'aan and the Hadeeth. However it is up to Allah whether
He chooses to punish them or whether He will forgive them.

The Zindeeqs - or the heretics - are groups, such as many of the Soofis who
have become like the Christians and reduced the religion to just 'love' and
so all their talk and their mystical practices are centred around developing
more 'love'.

It is thus clear how imbalances in any of the three qualities of worship can
lead to major deviation and straying to the True Guidance. It is therefore
important for every Muslim to combine all three of them in his heart
properly. As was mentioned before, the fear and hope should be in equal
proportions[ 6], but as for love then that should be uppermost. As Fudayl
ibn-'Iyaad - rahimahullah - (d.187H) said,

"The love is better than the fear. The fear checks us from sinning, and the
love makes us do what is prescribed with an open heart."[7]

May Allah grant us what we hope for and protect us from what we fear. And
may the Blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammed, upon his family,
his Companions and upon all those who follow Guidance until the Last Day.

[1] Collected by Imaam Bukhari in al-Adabul-Mufrad and declared hasan by
al-Albaanee in al-Irwaa (1601)

[2] As explained by Ibnul-Qayyim (d.751H) in Badaa'I ul-Fawaa'id.

[3] Collected in Sunan at-Tirmidhi and Sunan Ibn Majah and
authenticated by Sheikh al-Albani in Ahkam al-Janaa'iz (no.2)

[4] Quoted by Ibn Rajjab in al-Takhweef minan-Naar.

[5] Collected in Sunan Abu Dawood (english trans. vol.3, p.1365,
no.4883). See Saheehul-Jaami (4455) by Sheikh al-Albani.

[6] This was the opinion of most of the Salaf. Al-Fudayl ibn 'Iyyaad
said that, when one is healthy and well, then fear should predominate, but
when terminally ill then hpoe should predominate - so that one should strive
to do good when well and not despair of Allah's Mercy when terminally ill.
[Al-Takhweef minan-Naar]

[7] Reported in Al-Takhweef minan-Naar of Ibn Rajab. Note that some
scholars hold that the fear is better than love, and Allah knows best.

Taken From ad-Dawah illaah Magazine

And put thy trust in Allah, and enough is Allah as a disposer of
affairs.(Holy Qu'ran 33:3)

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