Allah charge a soul with more than what it can bear

Fear and Hope in Allah

Fear of Allah makes us think twice before we sin. It is the quality of mindfulness and awareness of Allah that resides inside the heart of a believer. A believer lives his life being aware of two things: the first is his shortcomings, sins, and whether his good deeds are being wasted and self-satisfied. The second is hoping for the forgiveness of Allah The Almighty and His great mercy, which results from the first. Allah says

تَتَجَافَىٰ جُنُوبُهُمْ عَنِ الْمَضَاجِعِ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُمْ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ

“They arise from their beds and they supplicate their Lord in fear and hope, and they spend from what We have provided them.” (Surah As-Sajda 32:16)

Fear of Allah is the source of all knowledge as it motivates us to seek the truth and act by it. Indeed, the description of punishment in the Hereafter found in the Quran and Sunnah should increase our resolve to be righteous. The best provision is mindfulness of Allah, and the foundation of wisdom is the fear of Allah the Exalted. Allah says

لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا

“Certainly, is for you in (the) Messenger (of) Allah an excellent example for (one) who has hope (in) Allah and the Day the Last, and remembers Allah much.” (Surah Al-Ahzab 33:21)

Hope in Allah motivates us to perform good deeds and to abandon our base materialistic desires for the sake of righteousness. Hope is dependent on one’s love for Allah. We must do everything and anything we can right now to put ourselves in a good state. Make the effort to do good deeds, right your wrongs with others, and fulfil your responsibilities to Allah.

A believer must combine Fear and Hope with his Allah due to the following reasons:

  1. The fear of Allah is a vital bond between the future and the present
  2. The fear of being questioned about every little thing in life
  3. The fear of being distracted from Allah by other creation
  4. The fear of Allah voluntarily perform the love of God
  5. The fear of not being able to fulfil Allah’s obligations
  6. The fear of Allah is a steadfast anchor of the soul
  7. The fear of the fire, its chains, and its torment
  8. The fear of not living up to one’s repentance
  9. The fear of Allah is the soul of fasting
  10. The fear of not breaking one’s promise
  11. The fear of Allah leads to the greatest goal
  12. The fear of Allah is a complete trust in Allah 
  13. The fear of Allah is the action of the Holy Spirit
  14. The fear of Allah is to save oneself from anything
  15. The fear of Allah originates from God through faith
  16. The fear of Allah is the basis of a moral life is based
  17. The fear of Allah find stability in our stormy present
  18. The fear of Allah is an active pursuit of Allah and Heaven
  19. The fear of Allah makes the heart shine in eternal blessedness
  20. The fear of Allah answers the strong burning desires for happiness

Muslims are valuable entities bearing the Spirit of Allah. According to the Quran, it is improper for such people to exaggerate their mistakes and regard themselves as worthless because of them. It is Allah Who creates mistakes and causes people to commit them in destiny. Since Muslims have faith and trust in and rely on Allah, they always regard themselves as virtuous and valuable. They always have respect for themselves. Allah says:

إِنَّمَا يَخْشَى اللَّهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْعُلَمَاءُ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ غَفُورٌ

“Only those who fear Allah among His servants are those with knowledge. Verily, Allah is Almighty and Forgiving.” (Surah Al-Fatir 35:28)

A Muslim is never in despair, not even in the most difficult moments. That is because they believe that Allah is the Creator of all things. Everything turns positive for a Muslim with such a depth of soul. One of the important characteristics of a Muslim is that he remains in a positive state of mind. When one sins and then repents to Allah hoping for forgiveness. Allah says:

وَهُوَ الَّذِي يُنَزِّلُ الْغَيْثَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا قَنَطُوا وَيَنشُرُ رَحْمَتَهُ وَهُوَ الْوَلِيُّ الْحَمِيدُ

“And He (is) the One Who sends down the rain after [what] they have despaired, and spreads His mercy. And He (is) the Protector, the Praiseworthy.” (Surah Ash-Shura 42:28)

Allah is the believers’ Helper and Guardian. Allah teaches the souls of those believers who have a sincere and unsullied belief in Him throughout the life of this world to be worthy of Paradise. As for one who is constantly indulging in excesses and wrongdoings and is entertaining hopes of mercy from Allah Most High without doing good deeds, then this is a delusion, empty wishing, and false hope.

Allah Almighty says in The Holy Quran:

  • “He is with you wherever you are, for Allah sees what you do.” (Al-Hadeed 57:4)
  • “Those who rest not their hope on their meeting with Us, but are pleased and satisfied with the life of the present, and those who heed not Our Signs.” (Surah Yunus, 7)
  • “O, my people! why ask ye to hasten on the evil in preference to the good? If only ye ask Allah for forgiveness, ye may hope to receive mercy.” (An-Naml, 46)
  • “On their account, no responsibility falls on the righteous, but (their duty) is to remind them, that they may (learn to) fear Allah.” (Al-Anam, 69)
  • “Allah had helped you at Badr when ye were a contemptible little force; then fear Allah. thus May ye show your gratitude.” ( Al-Imran, 123)
  • “Hold firmly to what We have given you and bring (ever) to remembrance what is therein: Perchance ye may fear Allah.” ( Al-Baqara, 63)

Every day of our lives is filled with the moments in which we long for an anchor to whom we could rest our hopes. Each one of us faces many issues, be it related to our financial status, problems at work, family, or any other social or personal challenge. Our friends and the ones around us might try to soothe us, giving us some hope and helping us not to give up and stand aside. Allah says:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ لَا يَرْجُونَ لِقَاءَنَا وَرَضُوا بِالْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَاطْمَأَنُّوا بِهَا وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنْ آيَاتِنَا غَافِلُونَ

“Indeed, those who (do) not expect the meeting with Us and are pleased with the life (of) the world, and feel satisfied with it and those – they (are) of Our Signs, heedless.” (Surah Yunus 10:7)

As Muslims, having hope in Allah is our way of dealing with such moments. Sometimes you might hear words like “Never lose your faith in God” or “Allah helps the ones who help themselves” or even “God knows that you have tried.” These words may help you at that moment and move your emotions from distress to hope. Allah says:

أَفَتَطْمَعُونَ أَن يُؤْمِنُوا لَكُمْ وَقَدْ كَانَ فَرِيقٌ مِّنْهُمْ يَسْمَعُونَ كَلَامَ اللَّهِ ثُمَّ يُحَرِّفُونَهُ مِن بَعْدِ مَا عَقَلُوهُ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ

“Do you hope that they will believe [for] you while indeed (there) has been a part of them, (who used to) hear (the) words (of) Allah, then they distort it from after [what] they understood it, while they know?” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:75)

Much of Islam is about balance and moderation, that ever-so-famous middle road. To know Islam endorses this is a very comforting thought. It’s especially important to keep this aspect of the religion in mind when coming upon verses about fearing and keeping hope in Allah. Allah says:

إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا يُسَارِعُونَ فِي الْخَيْرَاتِ وَيَدْعُونَنَا رَغَبًا وَرَهَبًا ۖ وَكَانُوا لَنَا خَاشِعِينَ

“Verily, they would hasten to good deeds and supplicate to Us in hope and fear, and they were humbly submissive to Us.” (Surah Al-Anbiya 21:90)

However, we need to balance our fear of Allah with our hope in His reward and His Paradise. Let us remember that our hearts are just like a bird on a journey to Allah in the Hereafter. Our love of Allah is the basis of our worship, and our fear and hope are like two wings that propel us along the straight path toward our final destination. May Allah make us among those who spend their lives working to please Him.