Fear and love cannot co-exist, but what does the Quran say, Love Allah or Fear Him?

It gets my goat when someone says that he or she's a god-fearing person. 'To be god-fearing is to be god-unloving because fear and love can't co-exist,' said Jiddu Krishnamurthy. Yours truly has been an eternal non-believer, yet he believes that one must never be god-fearing, but god-loving. Fear is a negative emotion and anything that comes out of a negative feeling has a non-productive ramification.

There's a palpable negativism in the very word ‘fear’. Fear engenders all that's undesirable. 'If you believe in god out of fear, your faith has no foundation,' Buddha said when a man told him that because of fear, he believed in god. Fear and love are poles asunder and they exist at the extreme opposite ends of a spectrum. In Christian or Biblical theology, there's a Greek word 'agape'. It means not just 'divine love' but also a mutually loving relationship between the god and all his creatures living or non-living.

Love and respect are spontaneous emotions. They must never be tainted with fear because fear demeans and dwarfs love. Tagore put is so succinctly in one of his 103 verses in Gitanjali: ' I'm able to LOVE my god because he gives me freedom to deny him.' Fear closes all doors and makes a believer undesirably meek and submissive.' American sage-poet Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, 'God says, love me with all your audacity. Be flippant, but not fearful of me. This desecrates my love for all.' Fear is coercion. It forces one to kow-tow to a higher and greater worldly or spiritual authority. There's no natural or spontaneous willingness in that. Fear precludes one to love wholeheartedly and there's always some kind of a reservation in this type of a relationship with god or anyone in a mundane context.

'Love me. Fear me not,' is god's request to mankind, wrote Jalaluddin Rumi in one of his Masnavis. Love has no place for fear and vice versa. We're human beings, ergo, more evolved than animals. To love and be loved is the crux of human existence. In all activities and actions of human beings, the overwhelming presence of love is theleit motif. So why shouldn't it be the cardinal emotion while believing in the Creator? Why should fear come and act as a spoilsport? 

'The god that frightens is no god/The god that loves, lives in a heavenly abode,' penned William Butler Yeats. We've desecrated god and his boundless love by worshipping him out of fear. Remember, fear is like a spear. It pierces and bleeds the possessor to death, whereas love is eternal life. It resuscitates our dying and dwindling spirits. It gives a new lease of life.

'Khauf se khuda khush nahin hota/Muhabbat pahli shart hai aqeede ki' (God is not happy with fear/Love is the primary condition of being a true believer).

If only, we all understood this simple principle of faith. The world and human beings would have been far better and much more loving. Alas, we're living in a constantly lurking penumbra of fear and apprehension.

MG Comment:  

We respect the writer’s opinion and his right to have such an opinion but we do not share it. 

What does the Quran say, Love Allah or Fear Him?

We are mentioning some verses from the Quran which call believers to love Him and to fear Him. Dont go by the number of times Allah asks us to do something. As those who submit themselves to the will of God, even once is enough. Hence, it is correct to say that one must fear Allah, love Him, and have hope in Him all at the same time. 

Say, [O Muhammad], "If you should love Allah , then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful."   https://quran.com/3/31

And they feed, for the love of Allah, the needy, the orphan, and the captive (prisoner),-https://quran.com/76/8

And so amongst men and crawling creatures and cattle, are they of various colours. Those truly fear Allah, among His Servants, who have knowledge: for Allah is Exalted in Might, Oft-Forgiving. https://quran.com/35/28

O ye who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam. https://quran.com/3/102

O Prophet! When ye do divorce women, divorce them at their prescribed periods, and count (accurately), their prescribed periods: And fear Allah your Lord: and turn them not out of their houses, nor shall they (themselves) leave, except in case they are guilty of some open lewdness, those are limits set by Allah: and any who transgresses the limits of Allah, does verily wrong his (own) soul: thou knowest not if perchance Allah will bring about thereafter some new situation. https://quran.com/65/1

So fear Allah as much as ye can; listen and obey and spend in charity for the benefit of your own soul and those saved from the covetousness of their own souls,- they are the ones that achieve prosperity. https://quran.com/64/16

O ye who believe! Fear Allah and be with those who are true (in word and deed). https://quran.com/9/119

O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah , through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed Allah is ever, over you, an Observer. https://quran.com/4/1

O ye who believe! stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.  https://quran.com/5/8

O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. https://quran.com/33/70

To understand God, understand His 99 attributes: