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On Eemaan, Ibaadah and Tawheed : Their Link and Interrelation.
  Lesson 3: Love, Hope and Fear
Author: Abu Iyaad as-Salafi
Article ID : SCL010003  [20260]  
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And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allâh as rivals (to Allâh). They love them as they love Allâh. But those who believe, love Allâh more (than anything else). If only, those who do wrong could see, when they will see the torment, that all power belongs to Allâh and that Allâh is Severe in punishment. [Baqarah 2:125]

O you who believe! Whoever from among you turns back from his religion (Islâm), Allâh will bring a people whom He will love and they will love Him… [Maa’idah 5:54]

And the well known hadeeth:

"There are three qualities, whoever possesses them will taste the sweetness of eemaan… … that he loves Allaah and the Messenger over everything else…"

2. The Vast in Mercy (ar-Rahmaan), Ever-Merciful (to His Believing Servants)

The word ‘ar-Rahmaan’ is such in the arabic language that it denotes an overflowing quality. In other words it shows that Allaah is vast and overflowing in His Mercy, or that He is the Most-Merciful and that His mercy comprehends and envelopes everything. As the Angels say:

O our Lord, You have encompassed everything with Your knowledge and mercy… [Ghaafir 40:7]

The word ‘ar-Raheem’ means one who constantly bestows mercy, is always being merciful in His actions.

The first of the two names ‘ar-Rahmaan’ is general for the whole of creation. In other words Allaah gives blessings and shows mercy to the disbelievers and the hypocrites etc. since He gives them food, drink, saves them from harm and other such things. So this is general for the whole of creation. The second of the two refers only to the Believers, those whom Allaah favours with knowledge, guidance, forgiveness, eemaan etc.

This verse contains the element of hope in the sense that we hope in Allaah, either for our worldly needs and more importantly for the needs with respect to the religion and the hereafter. So when we come to know of these two names of Allaah it produces the feelings of hope in our hearts. That is we hope that Allaah grants us mercy, forgives us, turns to us, guides us, increases in knowledge and faith. And also we hope that He provides for us, sustains us, protects us, etc.

3. Master/King of the Day of Judgement

It is clear why this verse is linked to and produces fear in the hearts. This reminds us of the terrors of the day of Judgement, the various events that will take place such as being held to account, standing in front of Allaah with Hellfire to the right and left, being presented with the scrolls, either in the right hand, the left hand or behind our backs, when we will be tested to see if we can prostrate when Allaah reveals His Shin, the crossing over the bridge, the settling of the accounts and disputes that occurred amongst the believers - those who manage to get over the other side of the bridge, the fact that everything we have done will be laid out in front of us to see - and all the other things which are too numerous to mention.

So this no doubt, will inculcate fear in our hearts, fear of Allaah’s anger, His punishment, His rejection of our actions and our worship etc.

Now we are aware of the foundations of worship, or the characteristic features of worship - love, hope and fear. We shall now make some additional points to give us a better understanding of this topic.


POINT 1 : Combining Hope and Fear

We have been requested to combine both hope and fear, in our worship and prayers and all other actions. Allaah said:

And call upon Him out of fear and hope [A’raaf 7:56]

Their sides forsake their beds, to invoke their Lord in fear and hope [Sajdah 32:16]

So we have been requested to combine both these qualities. In other words - for example -when we make supplication, we hope that Allaah answers our prayers and we fear that it might be rejected. Doing this protects from two things - despairing of Allaah’s Mercy, and not being too confident or arrogant that somehow Allaah will and must respond.

In fact the above two verses and others like them can be understood and linked to verses such as the following:

Declare (O Muhammad SAW) unto My slaves, that truly, I am the Oft-Forgiving, the Most-Merciful. And that My Torment is indeed the most painful torment. [Hijr 15:49-50]

The Forgiver of sin, the Acceptor of repentance, the Severe in punishment, Extensive (in His Favour, Grasp, Power) [Ghaafir 40:3]

See how Allaah mentioned His mercy along with His punishment? He did not mention mercy alone - but He coupled it with His punishment and likewise He did not mention punishment alone but coupled it with His mercy. This shows that we should worship Allaah with both of these states.

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