In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Aa’isha [may Allaah be pleased with her] reported that Allah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] granted permission for doing a thing, but some people amongst the people avoided it. This was conveyed to Allah’s Messenger and thus he became so angry that the sign of his anger appeared on his face. He then said, “What has happened to the people that they avoid that for which permission has been granted to me? By Allah, indeed, I know Allaah and fear Him the most amongst them”. [Saheeh Muslim 2356]
In this hadeeth there is an urge (by way of a command) to follow the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him], a prohibition against looking too much into affairs (without a need) and a rebuke against refraining from something that is (clearly) permissible due to harbouring doubt about its permissibility. This shows that drawing close to Allaah (i.e. to earn Allaah’s pleasure, love etc) is a means to an increase in knowing Him and having great fear of Him. And regarding the statement of the Prophet, “By Allah, indeed, I know Allaah and fear Him the most amongst them”, this means that they thought that their way- instead of what the Prophet did – was a greater means of drawing close to Allaah for them if they did so; but it was not what they thought; rather I [i.e. the Prophet] know Allaah and fear Him much more than you. Therefore, seeking to draw close to Allaah [Glorified and Exalted be He] and fearing Him has to be in accordance with what I command and not based on the imagination of the souls and deeds one obligates on himself which I have not commanded. [Sharh Saheeh Muslim Vol 15. Page 87]