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Should We Love Allah or Fear

Should we love Allah or fear
Should we love Allah or fear

The first thing to know and remember about Allah is that He is unique.

Most matters related to the love or wisdom of Allah are not matters based on reason or logic, but revelation. The best and the most appropriate way to approach Allah is stated by revelation, rather than pure reason.

Allah has said in the Quran, “Tell My servants that I am the Forgiving, the Compassionate, and that My torment is indeed the painful torment.” [Al-Hijr 15: 49–50]

Allah describes Himself as: “Allah, the Mighty, the Knower, the Forgiver of sins, the Acceptor of repentance, the Stern in punishment, the Bountiful. There is no deity besides Him. To Him is the final journey.” [Ghafir 40: 2–3].

Using reasons based on our perception and opinion, we end up shaping Allah in our own minds. Hence, Allah has taught us everything; how to approach Him, how to pray to Him, and how to repent to Him through the revelation. No intellect can interpret the magnificence of Allah, His exact being, except by taking guidance from the Quran and Sunnah - and that is the right way.

On the other hand, whenever Allah or divine wisdom is explained in relation to humans, it is for our understanding, it does not mean that we start a comparison of human attributes with divine attributes. That is not possible, that cannot be done, that is shirk al-asma was-sifaat (giving the attributes of Allah to humans or giving humans the attributes of Allah).

Allah is Al-Wadud-the loving kind-the one who is loving and merciful. Mercy is shown to the one who is in need. Comparing the loving kind of Allah with humans will never be the same. Allah is merciful without means, while humans in most cases are merciful not only to benefit the one who is shown mercy, but also to gain something in return, either from humans or from Allah.

To show mercy and love to humans, we need the element of mercy in ourselves from Allah. If Allah does not will we are independently not capable of showing mercy towards anyone. It is only Allah who is independent of everything, but everything else is dependent on Him.

Human love is dependent, but Allah’s love is independent.

So is the case with every other aspect and attribute of Allah.

Our human intellect can never reach its pinnacle of comprehending His being, His majesty, His power, His love, and His wrath. The moment we think we have figured this one thing, there is something more, there is something more - and that is His uniqueness, that is the greatness of Allah.

Nothing in the world has that. There is an end to everything that is created, but the creator is unique and eternal. Allah is the absolute, transcendent reality. He is the one.

The beauty of knowing Allah is that it leaves you in awe and astonishment every single time. The beauty of knowing Allah is His uniqueness. His uniqueness makes Him Allah, one true, eternal, praiseworthy lord.

Everything is a statement, but Allah is a fact. A statement can be changed, but a fact cannot.

When it comes to knowing Allah or obeying Him, we have to leave behind worldly emotions. We have to leave the mindset of seeing Allah through the mirror of the world to understand Him - that is what makes Him the most exalted, the glorified. Something beyond human comprehension. Something that makes you crave even more. Something that makes you believe. Something that tells you there can never be, and that there is nothing higher than Allah.

We love, but Allah is the source of love. A source is something that does not have a beginning or an end, it provides without means. We fear, but Allah is the source of all kinds of fears.

We cannot compare the love of Allah to the love of humans. Allah is the creator and we are the creation. Allah is the master, and we are the servants. SubhanAllah.

If Allah is Love, why should we fear Him?

Love and fear are the same feelings stemming from different emotional states. Fear in relation to love, is the fear of losing the one you love.

If there is love, there is fear! There is no love without fear.

The fear can be identified through its root. If the fear is liberating, it is stemming out of love - and if the fear is burdening, it is stemming out of obligation or disobedience.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying, "When Allah created the creatures, He wrote in the Book, which is with Him over His Throne: 'Verily, My Mercy prevailed over My Wrath"

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

If proof is needed, which is logical reasoning, Allah, the Messengerﷺ of Allah, and the Quran tells us clearly that Allah is more merciful than punishing. It means Allah is loving, and that is something that drives the believer, and we should always hope for the mercy of Allah.

Ibn Al Qayyim said: “The heart on its journey towards Allah the Exalted is like that of a bird(believer). Love is its head, and fear and hope are its two wings. When the head is healthy, then the two wings will fly well. When the head is cut off, the bird will die. When either of two wings is damaged, the bird becomes vulnerable to every hunter and predator.” [Madarij As-Salikeen]

The head of the bird(believer) is love. Love is the most essential driving point of a believer. For a believer, it's love that connects him to his Lord(Allah). It's love that makes a believer obey Allah. It's love that urges a believer to do what Allah loves. Love demands submission, obedience, and most importantly an open heart.

An open heart is required to feel, realize, accept, and declare love. An open is required to be ready to love. An open heart is required to stand up to fulfill the duty of love.

With love comes the fear - fear of displeasing Allah.

A lover does not want to displease the beloved.

A lover fears the rejection of a beloved.

A lover wants to do everything that the beloved says, even without saying or asking for it. A lover is hasty in doing everything and anything for the beloved. A lover takes notice of the smallest of the things the beloved likes or adores. A lover gradually colors himself in the color of the beloved.

Fear of displeasing Vs. Fear of punishment

A believer fears displeasing Allah, not Allah himself. A believer does not see Allah as someone who is angry in characteristics. A believer fears Allah because he knows his relation with Allah, of a master and a servant.

On the other hand, a fear stemming out of punishment is because a person knows that somewhere he is doing something that must cause him the wrath or punishment of Allah.

We all have our flaws, we are humans, we make mistakes, and we are made like this. We are not perfect - but Allah is perfect - and He is merciful and loving.

Allah tells us, come to me in sincere repentance and I will forgive you. It clearly states humans make mistakes and that is okay - but what is not okay is to take advantage of Allah’s mercy, being ignorant and not making an effort to find the path and follow it, not repenting to your mistakes.

The most loving act of a believer to Allah is repentance.

The first human Adam(as) made a mistake but repented - and Allah forgave him.

In reality, it is important to have a combination of love and fear in the heart. Without these, a believer’s relationship with Allah would be unstable and vulnerable.

You cannot love Allah with fear only. If you’ll only fear Allah and neglects His mercy, it will drive you away from Him - and if you will only love Allah, and not fear Him, you will not be able to obey Him completely.

Abuse of Allah’s Mercy

If there is only love, we fail in obeying Allah in its entirety, we take the blessings and favors of Allah for granted. With only love the major misconception arises; not evaluating our actions and thinking that Allah is the most merciful, and He will forgive us.

Surely He is the most merciful and He is oft-forgiving, but don’t forget, whomever He wills. For a believer, it's always a try, it's always and attempt, to be on the safe side - for a believer would never want to displease his Lord in any way.

Allah’s infinite mercy and love do not equate to keep doing the bad, and not intentionally obeying Him when you can. Taking unfair refuge in the love, mercy, and kindness of Allah to keep doing evil is an abuse of it, especially when you can refrain from what He does not like. When it is in your control to avoid what He does not like.

This is the reason Allah’s fear, wrath, and punishment are often mentioned when the mercy of Allah is spoken about.

A believer on the safe side will always strive to save himself from even the smallest of the things that he knows can displease Allah - because a believer will not want to go in front of the master with things that displease Allah.

Hope in love and hope in fear

Hope is like a stick on which love and fear balance itself.

The hope of an obedient one in love is to be rewarded with the love of Allah, to be rewarded with paradise where we will be closest to Allah. Where the people He loves will go. Where the people who obey the commands of Allah will go. A place where there will be no sorrow and only joy. A place that is eternal.

The hope of a disobedient one in fear is to be forgiven, to be saved from the hell fire, which is the place far far away from the closeness and liking of Allah.

"Imam Ahmad ibn ‘Aasim may Allah have mercy upon him was asked, “What is the sign of a person having real hope?” He(r) replied, “(It is) that a person is grateful whenever Allah bestows a favor upon him or enables him to do good, thereby hoping to attain more favors in this life, the perfect bounty of the Hereafter, and expecting forgiveness in the Hereafter.”

It is the hope in Allah’s mercy that keeps us driving and striving to practice servitude towards Allah. The hardship diminishes because of the hope in Allah. Patience becomes easy because of hope in Allah. And if we fall into sin, the hope of forgiveness keeps us going. SubhanAllah, love Allah, He will never let you fall.

Love, fear, and hope are interconnected - love being the driving factor for a believer.

Greater the love, the greater the hope, and the greater the fear - and surely Allah is the most merciful. May Allah guide us, and bless us with a steadfast iman.

The saying of the Prophet ﷺ

“A believer will be brought close to his Lord on the Day of Resurrection and (He will) envelop him in His Mercy, He will make him confess to his sins saying: `Do you remember (doing) this sin and that sin?' He will reply: ‘My Lord, I remember.’ Then He will say: ‘I covered it up for you in the worldly life, and I forgive you for it today.’ Then the record of his good deeds will be handed to him.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].”

So should we love Allah or fear Allah?

Hence, revelation informs us that as servants of Allah, we must love and keep our hope in Allah, while fearing His anger. Allah is Merciful and Compassionate yet Stern in punishment. Both hope and fear alone are unwise. Thus, fearing Allah and trusting in His kindness is in the best interest of a believer - and this is the way of the prophets as the Quran tells us:

They used to hasten to do good deeds and called upon Us with hope and fear, and they were humble before Us. [Al-Anbiya’ 21: 90]

We must fear Allah enough to avert His anger and trust in His kindness enough to repent and change ourselves to obtain His mercy.

Love, fear, hope, breathe!


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Sanniya Arif

A cozy corner, warm lights, clouds, pen, a journal, Quran, and coffee is what I am made of.
By profession, I am copywriter, editor, and designer - By soul, I want to be a rain drop, or a leaf that falls on the cold, wet ground.
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