Renewing faith through fear and hope
February 01 2019 02:28 AM

Texts from the Qur’an: The hope of the believers which is accompanied with good deeds; Allah The Almighty Says (what means): “Indeed, those who have believed and those who have emigrated and fought in the cause of Allah - those hope (i.e., expect) the mercy of Allah.” (Qur’an, 2: 218) They believed, gave up their homes, migrated to strange countries, fought for the sake of Allah The Almighty, sacrificed, suffered the perils of war, and put up with the hunger, thirst and exhaustion that accompany Jihaad (struggle). Such people can rightly hope for the mercy of Allah The Almighty and for His Paradise.
Hope for the forgiveness of sins; Allah The Almighty Says (what means): “Say, ‘O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [i.e., by sinning] do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins [i.e., for those who repent and correct themselves].” (Qur’an, 39: 53) Regardless of how many sins one has committed, minor or major, one should never despair of the forgiveness of Allah The Almighty.
 Allah The Almighty Says (what means): “Say, ‘To whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and earth?’ Say, ‘To Allah.’ He has decreed upon Himself mercy. He will surely assemble you for the Day of Resurrection, about which there is no doubt. Those who will lose themselves [that Day] do not believe.” [Qur’an, 6: 12]
Imaam ibn Jareer At-Tabari, may Allah have mercy upon him, commented on this verse saying, “Allah has decreed that He will be merciful with His slaves, but how was His mercy expressed? He did not punish them although they deserved it (due to their sins); rather He delayed and accepted their repentance, which made them have hope.”
Hope even applies to worldly matters, like hoping for wealth, children, a wife, a job, finding what is lost, and so on. Prophet Ya’qoob, may Allah exalt his mention, taught his children to have hope in finding their lost brother Yusuf, may Allah exalt his mention: “O my sons, go and find out about Yusuf and his brother and do not despair [i.e., lose hope] of relief from Allah. Indeed, no one despairs of relief from Allah except the disbelieving people.” (Qur’an, 12: 87)
Texts from the Sunnah (Prophetic tradition):
Anas bin Maalik, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Allah the Exalted has said: `O son of Aadam! I forgive you as long as you pray to Me and hope for My forgiveness, regardless of the sins you have committed. O son of Aadam! I do not care if your sins reach the height of the heaven; if you then ask for my forgiveness, I would forgive you. O son of Aadam! if you come to Me with an earth load of sins, but meet Me associating nothing with Me, I would match it with an earth load of forgiveness.’” [At-Tirmithi]
On the deathbed, people have two different sensations, fear or hope. One must always train himself to have good expectations of his Lord, because Allah The Almighty will treat a person according to his expectations. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, advised three days before his death: “Let none of you die unless he has good expectations of Allah.” [Muslim] Thus, we are encouraged have hope at the time of our deaths. This is why some of our Salaf (righteous predecessors), may Allah have mercy upon them, would command their children to recite the verses from the Qur’an that mention the mercy of Allah The Almighty whilst they were on their deathbed, in order to have good expectations of their Lord before dying.
The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “A believer will be brought close to his Lord on the Day of Resurrection and (He will) envelop him in His Mercy, He will make him confess to his sins saying: `Do you remember (doing) this sin and that sin?’ He will reply, ‘My Lord, I remember.’ Then He will say: ‘I covered it up for you in the worldly life, and I forgive you for it today.’ Then the record of his good deeds will be handed to him.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “He who loves to meet Allah, Allah loves to meet him; and he who dislikes to meet Allah, Allah abhors to meet him.” [Muslim]
Thus, one should combine fear of and hope in Allah The Almighty.
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Enter the gate of repentance
O slave of Allah, Allah has opened the gate of repentance for you, so why not enter it? It was reported that repentance has a gate whose width is like the distance between East and West [according to another report: its width is like the distance travelled in 70 years]. It will not be closed until the sun rises from the West. (Reported by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer; see Saheeh al-Jaami’, 2177).
Listen to the call of Allah: “O My slaves, you err night and day, but I forgive all sins, so ask Me for forgiveness and I will forgive you.” (Reported by Muslim). So why not seek forgiveness?
Allah stretches forth His hand at night to forgive those who have done wrong during the day, and He stretches forth His hand by day to forgive those who have done wrong during the night. Allah loves our apologies and pleas, so why not turn to Him?
How beautiful to Allah are the words of the one who repents: “O Allah, I ask You by Your power and by my own shame to have mercy on me. I ask You by Your strength and my own weakness, by Your self-sufficiency and my own dependence. To You I submit my lying, sinful forelock. You have many slaves besides me, but I have no Master except You. I have no refuge or escape from You except with You. I beseech you in the manner of a poor and destitute man, I pray to you with the prayer of one who is humble, I call upon you with the supplication of one who is blind and afraid. This is a plea from one whose head is humbled before You, whose nose is in the dust, whose eyes are filled with tears and whose heart has submitted to You.”
It was reported that one of the righteous people was passing through the street when he saw an open door out of which came a boy who was crying and weeping, followed by his mother who was pushing him out. She shut the door in his face, and went back inside. The boy went a short distance away, and stood there, thinking, but he could find no other refuge than the house from which he had been expelled and no one else who would care for him as his mother would. Broken hearted, he went back, and found the door still locked. So he lay down on the doorstep and went to sleep, with the tear marks still streaking his face. A little while later, his mother came out. When she saw him in this state, she could not help herself. She embraced him, kissed him and started to weep, saying: “O my son, where did you go? Who would care for you except me? Didn’t I tell you not to disobey me and not to make me punish you, when Allah has made me merciful and caring towards you?” Then she picked him up and went back inside.
But the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) told us: “Allah is more compassionate towards His slaves than this mother towards her child.” (Reported by Muslim).
There is no comparison between a mother’s compassion and the Mercy of Allah, which encompasses everything. Allah rejoices when His slave repents to Him, and we can never despair of goodness from a Lord who is rejoices. Allah rejoices more over the repentance of a slave when he repents to Him than a man who was travelling through the wilderness and stopped to camp awhile in an isolated and dangerous place, but he had his camel by his side, with his food and drink loaded on it. He sought out the shade of a tree, where he lay down and went to sleep. When he woke up, his camel had disappeared, so he went looking for it. He came to a hill and climbed it, but he could not see anything. He climbed another hill and looked around, but he could not see anything. When heat and thirst overcame him, he said: “Let me go back to where I was and sleep there until I die.” He went back to the tree and lay down in its shade, despairing of ever seeing his camel again. Whilst he was lying there, he opened his eyes, and saw his camel standing next to him, with its halter dangling and his food and drink still loaded on it, so he grabbed hold of its halter. Allah rejoices even more when the believer repents to Him than this man rejoiced over the return of his camel and his supplies.” (Compiled from saheeh reports; see Tarteeb Saheeh al-Jaami’, 4/368)
You should know that sincere repentance brings contrition and humility before Allah, and the pleading of the one who repents is dearly beloved to the Lord of the Worlds.
The believing slave still remembers his sin, and is filled with sorrow and regret. He follows his error with so many acts of obedience and goodness that Shaytaan may even say, “Would that I had never led him into this sin in the first place!” Thus some of those who repent may become better after repenting than they ever were before.
Allah will never forsake His slave who turns to Him in repentance.
Imagine a boy living with his father, who gives him the best food and drink, dresses him in the finest clothes, gives him the best possible upbringing, and gives him money to spend. He takes care of all the boy’s interests. But one day his father sends him on an errand, and an enemy comes and captures the boy, ties him up and carries him off to enemy territory. Now the way he is treated is the opposite of the kind treatment his father gave him. Whenever he remembers his father’s kindness, his heart is filled with anguish and grief because of the blessings that he has lost. It so happens that while he is still a prisoner of the enemy, and about to be executed by them, he suddenly turns towards his father’s home, and he sees his father standing nearby. He runs to him and throws himself into his arms, crying “O my father, O my father! Look what has happened to your son!” with tears streaming down his cheeks. He clings tightly to his father even though the enemy runs after him to snatch him back, and catches up with him.
Do you think the father will give the boy back to the enemy and abandon him? What then do you think of One Who is more merciful towards His slaves than any father or mother towards a child? How do you think Allah will respond when a slave flees from his enemies and throws himself at His door, rolling in the dust and weeping, saying “O Lord, have mercy upon the one who has no one to show him mercy except You, no supporter except You, no place of refuge except You, no helper except You, one who is poor and in need of You, one who beseeches You. You are his place of refuge, You are his Source of protection. There is no escape or refuge from You except with You...”?
Let us move on, then, to good and righteous deeds, to the company of righteous people, to avoiding deviation after having been guided aright. May Allah be with you.
[From the book I want To Repent, But...!!]

Suffering in the path of Da’wah

Suffering is well-nigh an inescapable phenomenon for the Islamic movement of old and new, the reason being that Islam is a call to rebel against the institutions, thoughts and customs of ignorance (pre-Islamic era) in all its forms and shapes. This characteristic which distinguishes Islam has made the Islamic movement more susceptible to suffering.
Suffering is one of the most important factors of character-building and selection in Islam. Theoretic training may have no value as long as hardship and trial do not accompany it. Even faith is in need of suffering to probe its depths and measure its extents. Allah, the Most Exalted, Says in the Qur’an (what means):
“And of the people are some who say, “We believe in Allah,” but when one [of them] is harmed for [the cause of] Allah, they consider the trial [i.e. harm] of the people as [if it were] the punishment of Allah. But if victory comes from your Lord, they say, “Indeed, We were with you.” Is not Allah most knowing of what is within the breasts of the worlds [i.e. all creatures]? And Allah will surely make evident those who believe, and He will surely make evident the hypocrites.” [Qur’an 29:10-11]
Thus, every claim must have its proof, and faith is a claim which needs proof. Steadfastness in times of hardship is a manifestation of faith and it is also the proof of its existence and its firmness. Almighty Allah Says (what means): “Do the people think that they will be left to say, We believe and they will not be tried? But We have certainly tried those before them, and Allah will surely make evident those who are truthful, and He will surely make evident the liars.….” [Qur’an 29:2-3]
Thus was the decree of Allah: that the truth should be in eternal conflict with falsehood, and every time a ray of light emerges, the forces of darkness gather to extinguish it. Allah, The Exalted Says (what means): “They want to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will perfect His light, although the disbelievers dislike it.” [Qur’an 61:8]
Since the beginning of the creation and the first of Prophets (may Allah exalt their mention), since the birth of good and evil, the struggle between the two has been violent and frightful. But the reality which keeps on recurring and which appears clear is that truth is always victorious and falsehood ever fading. Allah Almighty Says (what means):
“And Our word [i.e. decree] has already preceded for Our servants, the messengers. [That] indeed, they would be those given victory. And [that] indeed, Our soldiers [i.e. the believers] will be those who overcome.” [Qur’an 37:171-173]
Some of the people may come to the Daa’iyah (caller to Islam) and say, “You’re doing tremendous work, persisting day and night. But the end result is little and the people are abandoning you. Yet you see the reasons that devastation and destruction overwhelm the majority of them.” This begins to ruin in an hour what the Daa’iyah builds in a year!
Such talk may influence many who are not used to steep roads. Here lies the role of patience. Being hasty in picking the fruit of Da’wah is not conformable to patience which must be a characteristic of the Daa’iyah. The Daa’iyah may be in a certain place, a school or institute, he is forbidding the forbidden, spreading the Da’wah (call to Islam) and speaking to many people, but he won’t notice the change himself, because it is coming gradually. Just as the father does not notice the growth of his child whom he sees every morning and evening! He is growing gradually! How many Du’aat (pl. of Daa’iyah) deserted a certain place thinking that he’d had no influence, but after he left, his absence became noticeable, and his influence then appeared.
So, the Daa’iyah should not rush the results and the fruits of the Da’wah, but he should strive and depend upon Allah, The Exalted, and realise that according to the logical settled experience from the historical aspect, and the realistic aspect, that any truthful effort expended will yield fruit. Because it hasn’t happened that when a person gave Da’wah, nobody at all responded to him, or when he advised, nobody at all took his advice, or when a scholar sat down teaching, nobody at all came to learn.
Every Daa’iyah will find a respondent. For things have not yet reached what Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, warned us of concerning submissiveness to greed (stinginess), pursuit of desires, influence of the worldly life, and admiration of one’s opinion. This has not yet happened to the entire Muslim nation. It may be soon an individual level or in a specific region, but there remain many who respond and accept the Da’wah, or listen to the advice of the adviser, provided that he speaks with knowledge and wisdom.
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