“Fear and hope are each a station of the stations of all the beloved followers. Fear is the feeling of the passing away of the Beloved and the coming of what is dreaded. And hope is the greed of the nafs to its wishes fulfilled by the Beloved. Hope is one of the attributes of the one who has seen the soul of the beauty, and fear is one of the attributes of one the one who has seen the power of the majesty.” Sidi
“If they both endure and each of them become a habitual attribute for the lover, it is then referred to as a station. There is no doubt that these two stations come to the lover in the beginning of his path because when a person loves something, he wishes for it to remain and to be permanent with him, and he is fearful of loosing it, or of being cut off from it. If either of these two attributes overcome the lover, and it is continuous, he is then referred to according to this attribute. To have one of them without the other is a lack in him because fear on its own brings about desolation and loneliness and longing for the Beloved, and this is because of the density of the veil which separates the lover. Hope on its own allows the lover to fall into a state of amazement and astonishment in which he may become lacking in good manners. The seeker only walks in the perfect way when the manifestation of both of these attributes is balanced in him.” Sidi
“With regards to the attributes of expansion and contraction (constriction and ease), these come to the heart of the lover, and sometimes they come in a way that is hidden and not easily seen because they are more subtle then the attributes of fear and hope which the lover recognizes more clearly. It is possible that they originate from feelings of fear or hope because fear leads to contraction of the heart while hope expands it. One of the knowers said, “Fear contracts me and hope expands me, but the Truth (al-Haqq) drowns me.”” Sidi
(The above three quotes are from Sidi, Music of the Soul, page 423.)
You will hear the statement, “Fear Allah” often. Understand that the attribute of fear that is stated is in keeping with the way Sidi speaks of fear in the above references. The word that is often translated as fear in Arabic is taqwa. Tawqa is better translated as reverence, piety or mindfulness that comes from the awe of God. Appropriate fear is in relationship to Allah. In other words, do not fear how other may see you, only fear how Allah sees you. Do not fear what others may do to you only what Allah may create for you by ways of trial and testing. Taqwa is an aspect of worship and an attribute of love, as Sidi says, it is natural to fear loosing the favor or the presence of one whom we love. Taqwa keeps is awake, mindful of the presence of Allah Who is always watching. The most dreaded of all fears for the student is the fear of loosing connection with the Beloved.
Hope is the fragrance of Allah that guide us back to him. When you enter a home and smell cookies baking you are drawn towards the kitchen. Hope is that part of us that does remember and longs to return and draw close to the Source of all hope, the Beloved. Fear and hope form the guardrails for the seeker on the path to Allah Most High in the beginning.