Q: What is the ruling on some people who say: “O Allah, I worship You out of my love for You. If I worship You fearing Your Hell, let me enter it and if I worship You seeking to enter Your Paradise, let me enter Your Hell”?
A: Worshiping Allah just by loving Him is the Manhaj (methodology) of misguided Sufis, which is of their own invention.
Loving Allah is the highest degree of Ibadah (worship), but not the sole act of Ibadah.
The Manhaj of Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah (adherents to the Sunnah and the Muslim mainstream) is to worship Allah through love, fear, hope and other expressive forms of `Ibadah.
Allah (Exalted be He) says:
“Invoke your Lord withhumility and in secret.” [Surah Al-A`raf, 7: 55]
Allah says about His Prophets:
“Verily, they used to hasten on to do good deeds, and they used to call on Us with hope and fear, and used to humble themselves before Us.” [Surah Al-Anbiya’, 21: 90]
Allah also says about the angels:
“And they stand in awe for fear of Him.” [Surah Al-Anbiya’, 21: 28]
“They fear their Lord above them, and they do what they are commanded.” [Surah Al-Nahl, 16: 50]
There are many Ayahs (Qur’anic verses) elaborating on this meaning.
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions.
Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’
Chairman : Abdul-Aziz ibn Abdullah ibn Baz
Fatwas of the Permanent Committee – Group 2 – Part 2 – Page 73