A Believer Lives Between Hope and Fear

 A Believer Lives Between Hope and Fear
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A believer lives his life being aware of two things: the first is his shortcomings, sins, and whether his good deeds are being wasted or whether he is becoming deceived due to performing good deeds and becoming complacent and self-satisfied. The second is hoping for the forgiveness of Allah The Almighty and His great mercy, which results from the first.

Some scholars said, “Whilst the slave is on his path towards Allah, he is like a bird with two wings which it requires to fly properly and maintain its balance with; these 'wings' are hope and fear. A shortfall in either of the two makes the bird lose balance, and missing both signifies the death of the bird.” Imam Ahmad ibn ‘Aasim  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him was asked, “What is the sign of a person having real hope?” He  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him 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.”

Which one of the two types of hope is better: the hope of the obedient person who hopes for reward, or that of the repenting, disobedient one, who hopes for forgiveness? Scholars have differed on this matter, but the point to note is that both are praised types; one should have both and must not feel that one would suffice him, because the believer always fluctuates between the two conditions: virtues, for which he hopes for reward, and sin, for which he hopes for forgiveness.

The more one acquaints himself with the Names and Attributes of Allah The Almighty, the stronger his hope becomes, and had it not been for hope, then the heart would have not been able to practice servitude towards Allah The Almighty, and thus the limbs would not have acted in accordance with his conviction.

Hope is dependent on one's love for Allah The Almighty. Thus, the more one loves Allah The Almighty, the more he would hope for His reward and fear His wrath. The greater one's love for Allah The Almighty, the more he has hope and fear. The saying of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ): “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].

The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “He who loves to meet Allah, Allah loves to meet him; and he who dislikes to meet Allah, Allah abhors to meet him.” [Muslim]

Even after one's death, his hope is still present; in fact, it is even more so, because his hope is then for the pleasures of Paradise and other bounties of Allah The Almighty. His fear also increases, due to the sins which he may be punished for.

Thus, we say that the dead have feelings, and they are even more intense than the feelings of those who are alive, because death and the grave are the first stages of the Hereafter.

What is the condition of the disbelievers in the grave? Allah The Almighty tells us about Pharaoh when He says (what means): {The Fire; they are exposed to it morning and evening [From the time of their death until the Day of Resurrection, when they will be driven into it]. And the Day the Hour appears [it will be said], ‘Make the people of Pharaoh enter the severest punishment.’} [Quran 40: 46] This means that their fear increases every day, because they know that their final destination will be a pit in Hell – we ask Allah The Almighty to save us from such an end.

When the slave meets his Lord on the Day of Resurrection, he will have greater hope if he was a righteous person, as the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) informed us in an authentic Hadeeth (Prophetic narration). When the righteous dead get glimpse of the pleasures of Paradise in their grave, and when the gate towards Paradise is opened for them, they will say (as is in the narration): “O my Lord! Bring the Hour so that I can be rejoined with my family and wealth.”

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