خَفِ اللّهَ يُؤمِنْكَ، وَ لا تأمَنْهُ فَيُعَذِّبَكَ
Fear Allah and he will make you safe, but if you do not fear him he will punish you.
Fearing Allah and avoiding sins is a cornerstone in the practice of Islam. In sermon 64 of Nahjul Balagha, Ali bin abi Talib said:
O creatures of Allah! Fear Allah and anticipate your death by good actions. Purchase everlasting joy by paying transitory things – pleasures of this world. Get ready for the journey, for you are being driven, and prepare yourselves for death, since it is hovering over you.
We discussed the importance of keeping hope in Allah in a previous post. Fear and hope should both be present in one’s heart:
Man’s psyche should contain a perfect balance of fear and hope.
Here is a good article about the same subject.
لايُحْسِنُ عَبْدٌ الظَّنَّ بِاللّهِ سُبْحانَهُ إلاّ كانَ اللّهُ سُبْحانَهُ عِنْدَ أحسْنِ ظَنِّهِ بِهِ
If the believer keeps his hope in Allah, Allah will not let him down.
Islam has put great importance on the virtue of keeping hope in Allah. The following verse from Surat Yūsuf (Joseph) talks about it:
“O my sons! go ye and enquire about Joseph and his brother, and never give up hope of Allah’s Soothing Mercy: truly no one despairs of Allah’s Soothing Mercy, except those who have no faith.”
No matter how big and numerous are the sins of a person, Allah will forgive him if and when true repentance happens. To despair from Allah’s mercy is the second greatest sin in Islam, the first being Shirk. Another sin is Qunut (despondence), which is considered the third greatest sin in Islam.
Hope in Allah extends to worldly matters too. A positive mental attitude is a fundamental factor in reaching success in business, education, sports, health, family, etc…
Research has shown that through emotional intelligence training and positive psychology therapy one’s attitudes and perceptions can be modified to improve their personal and professional life.