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The Foundations of Ibadah
  Worshipping Allaah out of Love, Fear and Hope
Source: Ad-Dawah ilalLaah Magazine
Article ID : IBD010006  [35624]  
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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." [1:4].


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

"Call upon Him with Fear and Hope." [al-A'raff(7):56].

And also:

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

So both fear and hope should be present inour hearts in equal proportions. Anas - radiAllaahu 'anhu - reported that the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam entered upon a young boy who was dying. The Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi 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 sallallaahu 'alaihi 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 have 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 out Repentance and forgive us, but we should also fear that we may be accountable for it.

This balance should also be reflected in out da'wah (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 as well as telling 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 Oft-Forgiving, the Giver of Mercy." [al-A'raaf(7):167].

And our Righteous Predecessors used to 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 [e.g. Soofees, Christians]. But he who worships Allah in fear, love and hope is a Muwahhid Mu'min [a believer upon Tawheed." [4]

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

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

As for the Khawaarij, they worshipped Allah in fear only because they held that anyone who committed major sins was a disbeliever and would therefore dwell in Hellfire forever. This, of course, is gross extremism and a straying from the correct Path. The Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam said: "There were two men from Banoo Israa'eel who strove equally. One of them committed sins and the other strove hard in worship. And the one who strove in worship continued to see the other 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 to my Lord; have you been sent as a watcher over me?" He said: "By Allah, Allah will nor forgive you, nor will Allah admit you to Paradise." Then their sould were taken and they came together before the Lord of the Worlds. So He said to the one who strove in worship: "Did you have knowledge of Me, or did you have any power over what was 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 said: "By Him is 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 since this is a great sin. However, we fear for those who commit major sins because they have been threatened with punsihment in the Qur'aan. It is up to Allah whether He chooses to punish them or whether He will forgive them.

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