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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  [17861]  
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Imagine when you were a little kid and how from within your home you heard the ice-cream van come. The first thing that you start doing is jumping up and down in excitation and frenzy and shouting with the words "Ice Creeeaaaaaam!!!". This is because you love ice-cream, especially if it has a flake in it. So the picture of it comes to your mind (and you perceive the taste and feeling of enjoyment) and your heart becomes agitated. You hope that you can have one. But at the same time, you know that the ice-cream van will not stay there for long and will quickly move on and so at the same time you fear that you will not get one, that you will miss this chance. So fear too (of losing a pleasure), develops in your heart. So far you have love in your heart of the ice-cream. You have a great hope in your heart of getting one. You also fear that the ice-cream van will go away. But on top of this - as soon as you manage to get the change off your parents (or your generous brother or uncle) you zoom out of the house faster than Ben Johnson and even if the ice-cream van drove off you would still have enough energy to chase it all the way to the next block, puffing and panting. In other words you had detemination and you would never give up till you got what you wanted.

This then is an analysis of how these three components come together in the heart of a person - and how it is all genuine. When one of these three components are not there, then it is not a real and genuine ‘hope’ it is in fact a deception and merely a vain desire or a mere wish.

We should apply this analysis to every one of our actions, to see if all of these three components are there. This will allow us to see whether we have a genuine hope or whether we are merely deceived. So the extent to which one complies with the Sunnah in ones worship, behaviour, belief, methodology etc… then to that extent is a person’s ‘hope’ genuine and real. And if any one of these three components are missing then we are not really hoping in Allaah, we are merely deceiving ourselves.

A Benefit: Before we move onto the next aspect - it is worthwile mentioning another point. From the ice-cream example - can you see how children get conditioned by the environment around them. In other words the qualities of love fear and hope are instilled in children from an early age. You can see this by the way children react to certain things - such as ice-cream for example. Also to vain things such as cartoon characters, film stars, even toys etc… It’s important for those who are or will be parents to instill the love fear and hope into children for the right types of things. For example instead of reacting with hope, love and adoration to He-man or the Tele-tubbies wouldn’t it be better if they reacted in the same way to Imaam Bukhaaree? Or Ibn Abbaas, the explainer of the Qur’aan? Or Mu’aadh bin Jabal, the most-knowledgeable of the halaal and haraam? Or Ubayy bin Ka’ab the most skilled reciter of the Qur’aan? Or Imaam Ahmad, the Defender of the Sunnah and Destroyer of Innovation?

In other words children get attached to things by means of these three conditions of the heart: love, fear and hope. They love something, they fear not having it and they hope to have it. So in this is an additional lesson for parents, to be concerned about their children.

Now back to the main discussion:

Worshipping Allaah out of Fear alone is something that a sect called the Khawaarij fell into. They are at the other extreme of the Murjiah. In other words they claim that any action can nullify a person’s Islaam such that he becomes a disbeliever. In other words they had excessive fear without any hope. One way you will see this in people is that they will say: "I am already sinful, I have no good deeds, I am doomed anyway, what is the point? I am doomed to Hell so I might as well forget it.!" Such a person only knows Allaah through fear and thus, he has despaired of Allaah’s mercy, whereas Allaah’s mercy encompasses everything and His Messenger has told us that if the Son of Aadam was to come to Him with sins that fill the earth, He would still be merciful and forgiving. So you will often see this amongst many Muslims.


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