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].
STRIKING THE BALANCE
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
"Call upon Him with Fear and
"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."
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
"Verily your Lord is Quick in
Punishment and verily He is Oft-Forgiving, the Giver of Mercy."
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
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."
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.