Hope and fear from Imam Khomeini's viewpoint

Hope and fear from Imam Khomeini's viewpoint

Imam Khomeini has devoted a detailed discussion in his famous book 'an exposition on Forty Hadith' to the issue of fear and hope, and has examined the station of these attributes from the aspect of Gnosticism.

According to Imam's view, the cause of fear and anxiety of a believer is that since he evaluates the relation between himself—one that is utterly in want—and God Almighty—Who is Absolute Self-Sufficiency—and sees one side as total deficiency and shortcoming and the other side as All-Beauty and Splendour, and as he fails to acknowledge and respect the right of God as He deserves, he experiences dread and apprehension.

His hope also stems from the fact that he discerns that God, the Most Sublime, has bestowed everything upon him without the least claim, and given him the promise of excessive forgiveness and clemency. In short, he is hopeful of the perpetual mercy of God.  
Hence, man should always be moving back and forth between these two views: neither should he ever close his eyes to his defects and shortcomings in fulfilling the duties of creaturehood [‘ubūdiyyah], nor should he ever take his eyes off the expansive and all-encompassing mercy, love and compassion of God Almighty.

But, why must these two attributes be equiponderant without either one of them prevailing over the other? The Imām’s mystical reply is thus:
The gist of the matter is that the self is in a state of utter imperfection and shortcoming, and God at the height of greatness, glory, all-embracing mercifulness and grace, and the devotee is always in a median state of fear and hope between these two views.

And since the Divine attributes of glory and perfection cast their light simultaneously on the wayfarer’s heart, none of the two, fear or hope, exceeds the other.

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