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The True Believer Combines Fear and Hope in Allāh

Imām ʿAbd al-Raḥmān ibn Nāṣir al-Saʿdī

A brief explanation on the perspective the believer should have and why.

The true believer must allow fear and hope to consistently accompany him in all his affairs. This is because he possesses two outlooks. When he looks inwardly, he sees his own deficiency in the fulfilment of Allāh’s rights. This instils fear. Then, his second outlook is towards the blessings of Allāh upon him, and the goodness He has shown. This instils hope within him.

Also, he must look towards His attributes of greatness, majesty, wisdom, and justice. This will also instil a sense of fear from the effects exerted by these attributes. Then, he looks towards His attributes of openhandedness, mercy, generosity and showing goodness, so he hopes for that which results from it. If he engages in a deed of righteousness, he combines fear and hope such that he hopes for its acceptance and fears its rejection. If he engages in sin, he fears its torment while hoping for it to be forgiven by the grace of Allāh.

Thus, he perpetually goes back and forth between fear and hope. To them he returns in fear, continually returning from one to the other (i.e. hope). Those are the ones who have succeeded with flying colours. Those are the successful.

Source: Al-Durar al-Fākhirah: 15-16
Translated by: Riyāḍ al-Kanadī

Published: September 12, 2023
Edited: February 20, 2024

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