The Key To Faithfulness: Love And Fear Of Allah
Love of Allah
One can be faithful to another person, and devote his entire life to his or her needs and desires, only if he feels a strong and sincere love for that person. Therefore, those whose bond of love is false can never experience the meaning of true faithfulness. It is important to notice here that, even if certain relationships are bound in love, those involved are far from understanding the true meaning of faithfulness and love that Allah describes in the Qur'an, because their bond is formed on criteria established by those ignorant of the morality of the Qur'an.
A person can experience real love and devotion only when be comes to believe and grasp the greatness of Allah. Basically, a person must feel sincere love and faithfulness towards our Lord Allah. Those who experience these deep feelings for Allah will also experience a deep sense of love for those who are also practicing the kind of morality that is pleasing to Him. Therefore, real love can be experienced only among those who fear Allah and feel a true love and respect towards Him. The way disbelievers understand love, however, is based instead on a number of humanly-devised values, and is far from experiencing the depth and integrity of that of believers.
Believers and disbelievers are poles apart in their understanding of faithfulness. As Allah says in the Qur'an, "They do not measure Allah with His true measure. Allah is All-Strong, Almighty." (Surat al-Hajj, 74) disbelievers cannot form a bond with Allah, because they cannot sufficiently understand His power and majesty, or the mercy He shows towards human beings. All those who fail to bind themselves to Him in love and faithfulness cannot be truly faithful towards others, nor can others be faithful to them. Therefore, in order for there to be a strong sense of faithfulness, there must be a strong sense of love towards Allah. And so, the only ones who can feel this strong love towards Allah are believers. In the Qur'an, Allah tells us about this characteristic of the believers:
There are many reasons at work to allow believers to possess a strong sense of faithfulness and submission towards Allah. As Allah says in the verse, "Say: 'Praise be to Allah. He will show you His Signs and you will recognize them.' Your Lord is not unaware of what you do." (Surat an-Naml, 93), believers are those who recognize Allah's help, protection and mercy during the events that occur in their lives. As Allah explains in the Qur'an, in order to strengthen their hearts, and increase their love and devotion to Him, He has promised to show them that everything they experience within themselves, and in the outside world, is "truth." The above verse informs us that believers behave with the knowledge that everything that happens to them in the course of their lives occurs in accordance with the promise Allah has made to them. Their faith, love and consequent submission and faithfulness continually increase. They know that Allah is the constant friend and helper of believers, and that He answers all their prayers, and so do their best to win His favor with zeal and enthusiasm. No matter what happens to them, their devotion and faithfulness towards Him never diminish; in order to please Him, they are patient, and submit to Him in difficult times; He is their advocate and they take refuge in Him. This is one of the foremost proofs of the real strength of a believer's faithfulness. In the Qur'an, Allah tells us that believers have a strong sense of devotion and submission to Him:
Believers, who have a strong sense of love and faithfulness towards Allah, also show sincere love, respect and faithfulness to the messengers He has sent to be their guides. The source of this devotion is the love and faithfulness they feel towards Allah.
Explaining that love towards Allah will also give rise to sincere devotion and submission to Him, prophets called people to establish a sincere bond of love with Allah:
Because they have a sincere sense of love towards Allah and His messengers, believers are determined to live according to the moral teachings of the Qur'an, and take great pleasure in doing so.
Fear of Allah
Love towards Allah is a very important part of faithfulness, but it is not enough in itself. There must also be a sense of fear towards Him. Fear of Allah aids believers to be meticulous in obeying His commands and prohibitions, to avoid behavior that will not please Him, and to exercise "will-power" against the intimations of Satan and their lower-selves.
Human beings were created weak. Allah tells us this in the Qur'an:
The voice of our lower-selves and that of Satan continually urge us towards evil. Great determination or will-power is needed in order not to become entangled up in these satanic intimations. So, fear of Allah renders a person's sense of determination firm. In the Qur'an, Allah commands believers to fear Him:
Fear of Allah urges an individual to try to live every moment of his life in a way that would please Allah, and to be awake to the desires of Satan and his own inner-self, and to be alert and prepared for the tricks and games that they play. This will vitiate the deceit of Satan and the inner voice of the lower-self that want to get him to do their unbounded will.
For this reason, Satan and the inner voice of the ego are particularly interested in removing the fear of Allah from people. They want to prevent them from fearing Allah by false intimations, such as that, "the most important thing is to have a pure heart". However, a person who has read the Qur'an is aware that these kinds of satanic intimations have no validity; he will easily see that their purpose is to deceive and lead people astray. In the Qur'an, Allah has commanded believers to fear Him. This command appears in many verses, for example:
Fear of Allah allows a believer to be devoted to Him with a deep sense of faithfulness. Their desire to earn Allah's love and good pleasure, as best as they can, or otherwise the possibility of meeting His torment, makes the faithfulness of believers profound.