The Enthusiasm of Believers
The Source of Believers’ Enthusiasm: Their Faith, Love and Devotion to Allah
Believers’ enthusiasm and ardor are very different from the concept prevalent in the society of ignorance, which is based on vested interests. The love believer’s feel for Allah and their devotion to Him account for this. They do not feel attached to the life of this world like the members of the ignorant society, but to Allah, the all-Merciful, who created them from nothing and provided them with means. The most important reason for this is that believers evaluate events with clear consciousness. They are aware that Allah sustains one’s life at every moment, that He protects every being, and that all creatures are dependent on Him. Due to their love and devotion to Allah, they strive to earn His acceptance throughout their lives. The desire to earn the pleasure of Allah is the most important source of enthusiasm and joy for believers. Aspiration for earning His approval and attaining Paradise inspires infinite energy and enthusiasm in believers.
Believers' Enthusiasm Is Non-Abating
This description reveals the enthusiasm believer’s harbor in their hearts. It is so because no matter what, the unyielding struggle to uphold their values lasts for a lifetime and is only sustained with an enthusiasm that faith grants to man. The merit of the believers’ steadfastness in their struggle and the value of their continuous efforts are also stated by Prophet Muhammad (saas):
"The most beloved deeds to Allah are those done regularly."7
Another factor keeping believers’ enthusiasm strong and fresh is the mood of apprehension combined with longing in their hearts, which they experience throughout their lives:
The meaning of "in fear and aspiration" is the following: Believers can never be completely sure whether or not Allah is pleased with them, and whether or not they have displayed the moral conduct which would make them worthy of Paradise. For this reason they fear Allah’s punishment and constantly strive to perfect their morals. Meanwhile, they know that through zeal and sincerity, they will do their best to earn the approval of Allah, His love and His mercy. They experience fear and hope simultaneously; they work hard but never find their efforts sufficient and never consider themselves perfect, as confirmed in the verse:
Therefore, they embrace Allah’s religion with great zeal and make great efforts for its cause. Their fear of Allah prevents them from becoming weak-hearted or growing heedless, and this mood upholds their zeal. Knowing that Allah gives glad tidings of Paradise to those who have faith and do good deeds encourages them further and adds to their commitment.
A believer reveals himself also through the care he takes over his religious observances and performing them with joy and zeal; he enthusiastically performs the prayer 5 times a day, ablutions and fasting commanded by Allah throughout the course of his life.
Narrated Ibn 'Umar (ra):
The Prophet (saas) said, “The religion of Islam is based on five fundamental principles: attesting that there exists no deity but Allah, that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger, praying, fasting and pilgrimage.” (Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)
A believer’s concept of zeal is completely different from that of a society of ignorance. Compared to the temporary enthusiasms of disbelievers, believers’ zeal is a never-ending exuberance nourished by faith in Allah. He has given believers glad tidings of the result of continuous zeal in the Qur’an:
There Are Those among Believers Who Are Foremost In Good Deeds
Not every person’s faith and devotion to Allah is the same. Allah has stated that in respect to their faith, believers are of various degrees:
What gives strength to those who are "foremost" is undoubtedly their devotion to Allah and humility before Him. Their sincere faith gives them strong zeal to compete in earning the approval of Allah. In the Qur’an it states that those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons will be granted high status in the sight of Allah:
Those who are "moderate" are the ones who prefer keeping to a middle course over striving hard with their hearts and souls to earn the pleasure of Allah. No doubt, their condition in the Hereafter will not be same as those who are foremost in good deeds.
In addition, Allah has mentioned a third group among Muslims: those who lag behind in terms of their zeal.
As stated in the previously quoted verse from Sarah Fair, such people wrong themselves, and their state in the Hereafter will reflect the difference. While those foremost in good deeds will earn the highest status in the sight of Allah, those who remain indifferent and hang back will see their labor lost unless they repent and compensate for their neglect. Two verses from the Qur’an can be cited as an example of each state.