Some people assume that love of Allah is enough for those who seek to live according to religious morals and earn Allah’s good pleasure. However, Allah informs us that His servants who possess superior morals and love Him also have a genuine fear and respect for Him. Every person who acknowledges Allah with all of His attributes and appreciates His greatness, as well as those who have intelligence and a conscience, will fear and respect Allah to the utmost degree. Allah enables such servants, who also abide by His will, to distinguish good from evil and to observe the limits that He has set for humanity. Allah informs us of the blessings He gives the believers in the following verse:
O you who believe. If you fear [and respect] Allah, He will give you discrimination, erase your bad actions, and forgive you. Allah’s favor is indeed immense. (Surat al-Anfal, 29)
For example, such people do not lie. Even if their self-interests suffer a loss, they will worry about not earning Allah’s good pleasure and thereby earning His retribution. Therefore, they will act in an honest manner. If they indulge in even a moment’s heedlessness and say something that is not right, they will immediately repent and undertake never to repeat that action in the future. Similarly, despite being in great need, they will not try to earn a living through unlawful means because they fear (and respect) Allah.
Every person who does not appropriately fear and respect Allah has his own private boundaries. Even if he is true and honest up to that boundary, he will act according to his own interests beyond it. Those who fear and respect Allah, on the other hand, will never stray from the straight path, regardless of how difficult their situation is. When confronted with any hardship, they immediately turn to Him in complete trust and ask Him to show them a way out.
Allah loves His servants, wills the good for them, is oft-forgiving and merciful, helps them in every instance, and bestows kindness upon His servants without seeking recompense. The idolaters and unbelievers are far away from Allah’s mercy. Our Lord, the possessor of infinite justice, provides for His pious servants who possess a genuine heart and true belief in Allah, and will reward them in this world and the Hereafter. Those who insist on unbelief will suffer the pains of Hell.
So fear [and respect] Allah as much as you are able to, and listen and obey. (Surat at-Taghabun, 16)
Spend in the way of Allah. Do not cast yourselves into destruction. And do good: Allah loves good-doers. (Surat al-Baqara, 195)
Those who comprehend our Lord’s infinite strength and ability to punish in the Hereafter hold Allah in complete awe and respect. As a result, they are careful not to adopt an attitude that does not earn our Lord’s good pleasure. However, on the other hand, as a result of their genuine and faithful love of Allah, hoping Allah will forgive their sins and accept their repentance, they do their best to earn His good pleasure and be rewarded with Paradise for their striving in His path. The Qur’an mentions the believers’ morals, as follows:
Those who fear [and respect] their Lord in the Unseen will have forgiveness and an immense reward. (Surat al-Mulk, 12)
O you who believe. Fear [and respect] Allah the way He should be feared [and respected], and do not die except as Muslims. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 102)
But those who have fear [and respect] of their Lord will have Gardens with rivers flowing under them, remaining in them timelessly, for ever: hospitality from Allah. What is with Allah is better for those who are truly good. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 198)
Every believer who genuinely loves Allah will feel a great awe for Allah’s punishment and, by trying not to lose His love and consent, will strive to earn His good pleasure. Allah says of those believers, who have these morals:
But as for anyone who desires the Hereafter and strives for it with the striving it deserves, being a believer, their striving will be gratefully acknowledged. (Surat al-Isra’, 19)