Ibn Rajab on the need for having fear, hope, and love

Ibn Rajab (may Allah grant him mercy) writes in Istinshāq al-uns min nafaḥāt riyāḍ al-quds about how an individual needs to have fear, hope, and love, without leaving out any single one of them:

It is known that worship is built from only three sources: fear, hope, and love. Each one is an intrinsic duty, and gathering the three is an obligatory injunction.

Because of this, the Forbears censured whoever devoted oneself to one while neglecting the other two. [After all,] the innovation of the Khawārij and those resembling them came about from emphasizing fear while avoiding love and hope; the innovation of the Murjiʿah [those who hold that belief guarantees the unrepentant safety from punishment for grave sins] came about from clinging to hope alone while avoiding fear; and the innovation of many advocates of free-thinking [ibāḥiyyah] and divine indwelling [ḥulūl] who ascribe themselves to devotion, came about from singling out love while avoiding fear and hope.

There are occasions where it is appropriate for one of these to dominate, such as hope when one is on their deathbed. But even then, the other two still remain, just not as strong.

And Allah knows best.

[n.b. This is an old post from the defunct hanbali.org.]

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