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20.01.2017 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 1/2018

Journal of Religion and Health 1/2018

The Concepts of Hope and Fear in the Islamic Thought: Implications for Spiritual Health

Journal of Religion and Health > Ausgabe 1/2018
Fatemeh Bahmani, Mitra Amini, Seyed Ziaeddin Tabei, Mohamad Bagher Abbasi


The Holy Qur’ān and medieval Islamic writings have many references to “hope” (rajā) and “fear” (khawf) as both single and paired concepts. However, a comprehensive analytical study on these two notions from an Islamic point of view still seems lacking. Both paper and electronic documents related to Islamic and Qur’ānic literature are being used in this study. Also Web resources are searched for keywords of fear, hope and Islam in three languages of Arabic, English and Persian, including,,,,, and Google Scholar. Findings indicate that hope and fear are comprised of three conceptual elements: emotional, cognitive and behavioral, and are identified as “praiseworthy” hope or fear, when associated with God as the ultimate object. Nonetheless, this praiseworthy hope or fear is only distinguishable as “true,” when both are in equilibrium, a necessary condition for spiritual health, which results to perfection. Islam rejects excessive hope or excessive fear, describing both as a “pseudo”-type, which would respectively contribute to self-deceit and despair, and end in spiritual decline.

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