Saturday, August 09, 2008

On Repentance, Hope and Fear

[The saint] al-Hasan al-Basri, may God have mercy on him, has said:
"Hopes for forgiveness have deceived some people until they left the world as bankrupts," that is, devoid of good works.
And he has said, may God have mercy on him:
"the believer conjoins excellent behaviour with fear, while the hypocrite conjoins vile behaviour with security; for the believer wakes up apprehensive and ends his day apprehensive; he works and says: "I shall not be saved, I shall not be saved", and the hypocrite abandons work and says: "Most people are like this, I will be forgiven." The Prophets and the saints, perfect as they were in their knowledge of God, their good opinions of Him, good works, and scarcity or total lack of sins, were nonetheless exceedingly fearful and apprehensive. They are those whom God has guided, so follow their guidance." [VI:90]


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