There could be an exceptional condition of an individual. Due to age and special circumstances, at one point in time, only fear or love may prevail. However, in general, the virtuous servants acquire both qualities, they fear Allah and they love Him as well. Both are essential for maintaining a good relationship with Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ.
There are similar instances in worldly life. A child is afraid of her father and at the same time, she has a great love for her father. Often, due to immense love, there is a fear that if she says something to her father in a particular way, he may get very angry. Therefore, it immediately comes into the daughter’s or son’s mind, “by such an utterance, if my father gets angry?!”, that could result in a big loss! This worry or apprehension is combined with love, and due to the intimate relationship with one’s father, which always continues to grow and of course, it is positive.
Indeed, the fear and love for Allah are incomparable to all others and wonderful! No creation could ever be compared with Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ. He is the holiest and noblest deity. He is the Creator of all. His knowledge abounds each and everything, His listening abounds everything. He is completely self-sufficient. Everything is fully dependent on him. He has full knowledge of our weaknesses, from the beginning and till the end. He cannot be feared like the fear of man, and the relationship of love between Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ and his servants is different. The fear and love between the creations and the one with the Creator are completely different.
Throughout the ages, pious servants have developed an intimate relationship with Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ by pursuing His path. So it has to be said again and again, which is undeniable, He is found only through the connections of pious and saintly people — ones who have already developed a good relationship with Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ. To establish a good relationship with Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ, this is His way or Sunnah. According to this Sunnah of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ, all good qualities are required to be rightly learned through the guidance and assistance of pious servants. The methodology of acquiring the qualities of fear and love of Allah is no exception; we have to attain these through the pious.
Basically fear is very useful and this is the fundamental factor. That is why the Quran has repeatedly commanded to fear Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ. It is fear that is an easy and effective means of gaining the identity of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ. The greater a deity, the more important it is to realize his greatness and might. When the height of fear towards an elder has been attained, his dignity and level of admiration could properly be comprehended. His might acquires permanency in the heart. Thereafter, the good relationship that is created in the heart through fear, produces true and sincere love. Then there is also a balance between His fear and love. Because, the person who is to be admired, His identity, dignity, and position have already been comprehended well.
In fact, what could we express regarding the glory of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ, and His dignity?! What could be there to compare Him?! There is absolutely nothing. His Beloved and our dearest too, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, said while praising Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ:
لا أًحصى ثناء عليك
أنت كما أثنيت على نفسك
Meaning: I am not able to praise you (fully), your praise is as You Yourself have done (O Allah)! Ibne Majah
Therefore, even if thousands of lives are sacrificed for the purpose of gaining fear and love of that sublime Being, it is nothing! (But undoubtedly a little effort on this way is highly valued, a means of gaining Allah’s pleasure)
..When we take a little step, He will take us to His path and make us cross the path, and reach His (satisfaction) InshaAllah. We have to run towards Him with a determined will, effort, and supplication.
O Lord! Do help us! Aameen.