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 Love Fear And Hope The Three Essential Ingredients For Iman

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Ahmed
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Ahmed

Number of posts : 951
Registration date : 2006-10-07

PostSubject: Love Fear And Hope The Three Essential Ingredients For Iman   Tue Oct 02, 2007 7:07 am



Love Fear and Hope


The Three Essential Ingredients
for Eeman


One of the most beautiful things
about the concept of worship in Islaam is the truly unique way in which it
incorporates the feeling of love, fear and hope within the hearts of the
worshippers of Allah. Understanding how to combine these three qualities into
the worship (ibaadah) of Allah is one of the most essential things that every
Muslim must grasp, not least because every sect which has drifted from the
Straight Path has strayed in the aspect of worship. The deviation of the other
religions in this regard is clear for all to see: “God is love! Jesus is love!”
say the Christians, denying the fact that Allah should be feared too. As for
the Jews, their hearts were filled only with hope; hope that the Fire will never
touch them, since they were the “Promised People”.


In Islaam however, no worship is complete without the presence
of all three qualities: love of Allah, hope in His Mercy and fear of His
Punishment. Contemplate the opening Soorah of the Qur'aan - Soorah al-Faatihah -
and you will see this for yourself.


Aayah 1: “All praise [and thanks] is for
Allah, Rabb of all
the worlds.”


In this opening aayah (verse) of the Qur'aan, we have LOVE of
Allah and every time we recite this aayah we are testifying to our love for
Allah. How is that you ask?


It is because in the aayah, we are acknowledging that
Allah is
our Rabb and the Rabb of all the worlds. Rabb is usually translated as ‘the
Lord’, but this translation does not do justification to this name of Allah and
all the meanings this name carries. In reality, Rabb means that Allah is the
Creator of everything; He sustains and nourishes everything; He gives life and
Death; anything good that we have is from Him; everything is dependant on Him
and nothing can happen unless He wills it. Furthermore, for the Muslims He - the
Rabb - in the One who has guided us to the Truth and given us good morals and
manners.


Thus when we testify that Allah is our Rabb, then we are
acknowledging that He is the One who has given us so many blessings - so many
that if we try to enumerate His blessings, we would be unable to do so. So how
could we not but LOVE Him?


After all, we all love those who show kindness towards us or
present us with gifts. And therefore the Messenger of Allah (salla-allahu
alaihe wa-sallam) encouraged the exchange of gifts between Muslims because it
helps to strengthen ties and develop love for one another. He (salla-allahu
alaihe wa-sallam) said, “Give gifts to one another, you will come to love one
another.”[1]


So imagine the LOVE we should have for our Rabb who has given
us everything: nice families, shelter, security, food, health and above all the
Guidance of Islaam and the Sunnah. We should be overwhelming in our love for
Him. That is why we praise Him and thank Him and say, “All praise (and thanks)
is for Allah, Rabbil-‘aalameen.”


Aayah 2: The Rahmaan (Merciful) and the Raheem (Mercy-Giving).”



In the first aayah of Soorah al-Faatihah,
Allah mentioned He
was the Rabb. In this aayah two more of His beautiful names are mentioned:
ar-Rahmaan and ar-Raheem. Ar-Rahmaan means that He is the Most Merciful.
Ar-Raheem means that He is the Giver of Mercy, in other words His actions are
full of Mercy and He shows Mercy to His creation.[2]


When we mention these two names of Allah, then we have HOPE.
Since He is the One who is full of Mercy, and we hope He will forgive our
mistakes and shortcomings. We should never loose hope, because Allah says in
the Qur'aan, “O My slaves, who have transgressed against themselves! Despair not
of the Mercy of Allah, Verily Allah forgives all sins (except sins). Truly He
is Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful” [39: 53]


The need to have FEAR in our worship is shown by the next aayah
of Soorah al-Faatihah.


Aayah 3: “King/Master of the Day of Judgement.”


When we recite this aayah, we remind ourselves of the Day of
Judgement - that awful Day, when all of humanity shall stand before Allah …
naked, uncircumcised and barefooted. People will appear drunk though they are
not. On that Day, every person will stand before Allah and account for his
sins, knowing that not even the smallest action which he did is hidden from
Allah: “So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom, shall see it.
And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom shall see it.” [Soorah 99
: 7-8]


So when we recite this third aayah of Soorah al-Faatihah, we
remind ourselves of this Judgement and accountability and that should bring
about in us a sense of fear - that maybe our evil actions will be too great and
we will be responsible for them - May Allah protect us from such a fate. Then
the next verse goes on to say: “You alone we worship.” i.e. we single out Allah
for our worship. And how do we worship Him? With LOVE, HOPE and FEAR. And in
order to achieve these qualities, we need Allah’s assistance, so we say then,
“We seek Your Aid.”


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 feared.”[3]


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.



From ad-Dawah illaah Magazine

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