How Do I Balance Between Fear and Hope?

Question: How do I balance between fear and hope? 


Dear questioner,

May Allah bless you and increase you in good.

You are doing excellent masha’Allah. Every Muslim should hope to gain this spiritual state of hope and fear. What you are feeling, for the most part, is right in line with the way of true believers.


Hope and Fear

One should always know that Allah forgives all sins and they should never fall into despair. Allah, Most High says in the Quran,

قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” [Quran, 39: 53]

“Whoever does evil or wrongs their soul, then seeks the pardon of Allah, will find Allah Forgiving and Merciful.” [Quran, 4:110]

Verses of Fear:
وَاتَّقُوا النَّارَ الَّتِي أُعِدَّتْ لِلْكَافِرِينَ
And fear the Fire, which has been prepared for the disbelievers. [Quran, 3:131]

We also need to remember that there is punishment but that it always needs to be balanced with hope.

Therefore every time you feel a real sadness about your sins to a point where it starts becoming too much to bear, remember and have hope in your Lord. Have a good opinion that Allah will forgive you. To repent is to forget the sin. You repented and you have moved on. Simple as that.

The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The one who repents from sin is like the one who never committed it.” [Ibn Majah]

However if you slip ever, repent again immediately, this is the way of the true believer.

Hasan al Basri (Allah be pleased with him) was asked about a believer who constantly sins and then repents and then sins and repents (continuing in this manner) He responded by saying, “That is the character of the believer.”


Balance and Moderation

As long as you do not despair nor get too comfortable in the mercy of Allah where you commit sins without regret, then you are balanced. Remember to always stay balanced. Too much fear without hope leads to despair. Despair is dangerous as it can lead to a path that is not healthy at all. This could be depression or even giving up on doing good deeds at all.

This is why if you ponder on the names of Allah Most High, you will see the balance. A believer rejoices in the good news of the mercy of Allah, in the blessing of the mercy to mankind, in the beautiful religion of truth.

So stay happy and joyous, yet regretful over your wrong actions. But you must go on to live life also.


Humans Are Not Perfect

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace)  said, “By Him in whose hand is my soul, if you did not sin, Allah would replace you with people who would sin and they would seek forgiveness from Allah and he would forgive them.” [Muslim]


Further Advice

I would recommend you make some quiet time and listen to this wonderful talk and you will enjoy and feel better.

May Allah continue to inspire you with faith and wisdom and guidance and piety.

Allah alone gives success.

[Imam] Yama Niazi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani