Having hope in Allah The Almighty
September 02 2021 10:15 PM

There are certain deeds that should never be neglected, which affect the heart permanently. Yet, some people, due to their weakness in faith, may be careless and may not perform them regularly.
One deed of the heart is to have constant hope in the kindness, generosity and favours of Allah The Almighty. One should be optimistic and never lose hope in the bounty of Allah The Almighty, which He bestows on whom He wills. However, this hope should be coupled with a reason, or means, for one to feel that it will be realised. Thus, one should keep performing good deeds that give one the opportunity to harbour hope in the generosity and kindness of Allah The Almighty, for if these means are not present, then it is mere wishful thinking on one’s part.
Hope is not for a person who is lazy and does not endeavour to remain upon the path of those who strive and exert great efforts. Such a person is just like someone who wants to grow plants and see them bearing fruit, without bothering to cultivate or water the seeds. Is this person equal to another, who digs the soil, plants the seeds and waters them carefully and regularly? Only the latter can realistically hope that his plants will grow fruitful. This is also the case regarding hope for the bestowal of the mercy and bounty of Allah The Almighty.
Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {It [i.e. Paradise] is not [obtained] by your wishful thinking nor by that of the People of the Scripture.} [Qur’an, 4: 123] Moreover, it was said, “Faith is not wishful thinking, but rather, it is what is instilled in the heart and proven by good deeds.”
Hope is necessary for those who are heading towards Allah The Almighty, because if a devout worshiper loses hope, then he is heading for ruin. A sincere Muslim hopes that Allah The Almighty will forgive his sins and that He will enable him to rectify a fault in himself. He hopes that Allah The Almighty will accepts his good deeds and hopes to draw closer to Allah The Almighty. Thus, hope is one of the most important means that one must possess in order to continue his journey towards Allah The Almighty with steadfastness, especially during the age of trials and tribulations we now live in.
Hope is a means of steadfastness. It is the complete opposite of despair, and to feel despair is to give up on the mercy of Allah The Almighty, which is a sin in itself, as Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And despair not of relief from Allah. Indeed, no one despairs of relief from Allah except the disbelieving people.} [Qur’an, 12: 87] This was the advice of Prophet Ya’qoob, may Allah exalt his mention, to his sons.
How does one achieve hope?
l By remembering the past favours of Allah The Almighty on you.
lBy remembering the promise of great rewards from Allah The Almighty, and remembering His generosity and kindness towards his slaves, especially when his slaves do not even ask Him for them and are unworthy of receiving them. The slave will continue receiving all these blessings and favours as long as he remains upon the straight path.
lBy remembering the bounties of Allah The Almighty with regards to one’s faith, body, and life in general.
l By remembering the great mercy of Allah The Almighty and that His mercy precedes His wrath, and that He is the entirely Merciful, the especially Merciful; that He is Kind and Compassionate. Thus, acquiring hope in Allah The Almighty can be achieved by knowing His Names and Attributes.
Those whose hearts are alive recognise the fallacy of this world, and realise that this life is like a field in which they plant seeds for the Hereafter. The similitude of the heart is like that of the earth. Just as the earth must have seeds sown in it for it to yield fruits, the heart requires acts of obedience to make it flourish and remain alive. Just as the earth requires continuous attention, watering, digging, and so on, the heart requires continuous attention; it is enlivened by its obedience of Allah The Almighty. Just as the earth needs maintenance like removing harmful weeds from around the plants, the heart needs to be purified from doubts and desires, lest they ruin the fruits of one’s acts of obedience, which have been irrigated with the water of servitude.
It is rare for one to benefit from his faith if his heart is full of evil, just as seeds cannot grow in saline water or a swamp. The slave’s hope can be compared to that of a farmer’s. Only if a farmer seeks good, fertile soil, sows quality seeds in it, waters it and takes good care of it, can he then wait for the favour of Allah The Almighty. This is real hope.
On the other hand, if the farmer were to implant his seeds in a swampy, slanted area where water cannot reach, it would be ridiculous of him to expect any result or hope for anything to grow there. Also, if the farmer were to plant good seeds in good soil, but it is above ground level and on a hilly slope so that water cannot reach it; he certainly cannot hope for plants to grow there, but he might indulge in wishful thinking.
Hope means waiting eagerly for results after one has exerted all efforts and employed all possible means available to them. Therefore, one should exert oneself in performing acts of obedience and worship and then wait for the bounties from Allah The Almighty to make him steadfast, to protect him from deviating until he dies, and to guard him from misguidance until he leaves this world and meets a Lord Who is pleased with him.
The person with hope is someone who has been consistent in his acts of obedience and fulfils the implications of faith. He hopes that Allah The Almighty will not cause him to stray from the straight path; he hopes that Allah The Almighty will accept his good deeds and not reject them; he hopes that Allah The Almighty will reward him doubly. This is a person who can be said to have exerted all possible efforts, and who can then hope for the mercy of his Lord.
Conversely, someone who habitually indulges in immoral acts, fails to water his heart with obedience, and does not curb his pleasures and lusts, and then hopes for the forgiveness and mercy of Allah The Almighty, is a deceived fool. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And there followed them successors who inherited the Scripture [while] taking the commodities [i.e. unlawful gains and pleasures] of this lower life and saying, ‘It will be forgiven for us.’} [Qur’an, 7: 169]
In the Qur’an, Allah The Almighty tells us what the ungrateful disbeliever said, whom Allah The Almighty blessed with a garden: (what means): {I do not think the Hour will occur. And even if I should be brought back to my Lord, I will surely find better than this as a return.} [Qur’an, 18: 36] This was a case of wishful thinking on his part.
Hope is a cure that two types of people require:
1. Those who have reached the state of despairing from the mercy of Allah The Almighty, to the point that they have given up worshipping Him, concluding that it is fruitless and useless.
2. Those whose fear has overwhelmed them to the point that they have caused harm upon themselves and their families; such fear transgresses the limits permitted in Islam, and thus these people must correct themselves and be balanced by also having hope in Allah The Almighty.
Talking to some people about hope can cure and motivate them; however, it does not cure those deceived sinners who think that they possess hope, but in fact are only wishful thinkers because they wish for the forgiveness of Allah The Almighty whilst not doing enough acts of worship. Talking about hope with such people would only cause an increase in their transgression and make them stray even further. The only way to help them is to severely admonish them into refraining from sinning – which is a very important point that we must all pay attention to.
Some of the scholars said, “The person admonishing others should be kind and look to the areas of weakness and disease in people and address them, aiming to cure each person according to his level and situation; but nowadays, one should not address matters from the hope perspective, but rather exaggerate in terrifying them. The admonisher should only mention the virtues of having hope and how one can attain it in order to attract the hearts.” Thus, one should scare people, but not to the level of making them feel despair, as ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “The true scholar is the one who does not make people give up on the mercy of Allah, nor make them feel secure from His wrath.”

Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/

The benefits of hoping for the best
Having hope in Allah The Almighty bears fruit to the following:
*It makes one strive more and exert greater effort in performing acts of worship.
*It makes one even more inclined to be constantly obedient to Allah The Almighty.
*It makes one enjoy drawing closer to Allah The Almighty, and makes one experience the thrill of supplicating to Him.
*It makes one express his servitude to and need for his Lord, and makes him realise that he cannot do without the favours and kindness of his Lord, even for a period that is as rapid as the blinking of an eye.
*Allah The Almighty loves that His slaves ask favours of Him and supplicate to Him; He is angered by those who shun supplicating and asking Him. The one with hope usually supplicates much more than others who are not, and Allah The Almighty is angry with those who do not harbour any hope in the mercy and kindness of Allah The Almighty. Thus having hope rescues one from the wrath of Allah The Almighty.
*Hope is what makes the person enjoy his journey towards Allah The Almighty and the Hereafter; it makes him steadfast upon the path because had it not been that people hoped for Paradise and that their rewards be multiplied, then nobody would have been able to continue on their path towards Allah The Almighty and the Hereafter.
*It makes one increase in his love for his Lord, because the more he gets what he asked and hoped for, the more his love for his Lord will increase and the more grateful he becomes to his Lord – which is one of the implications of the state of servitude.
*Hope makes one reach the state of being thankful; which is what servitude is all about.
*lHope makes one research more into the Names and Attributes of Allah The Almighty.
*Hope is interconnected with fear of Allah The Almighty, because the one who hopes for the mercy of Allah The Almighty and His Paradise will fear that he may not be doing enough to be worthy of them; this is indeed a wonderful relationship between the two different states of the believer’s heart: hope and fear.
*When one hopes for something and Allah The Almighty grants it to him, this encourages him to ask for more and strive harder to please Allah The Almighty, which consequently increases his level of faith and brings him close to the All-Merciful.
*The more hope that slaves harbour during this life, the more they will rejoice when attaining what they have hoped for in the Hereafter, and the best and highest of all causes for rejoicing is seeing Allah The Almighty and attaining His pleasure.
Furthermore, Allah The Almighty wishes that His slaves fulfil the other ranks of servitude, such as humbling themselves before Him, relying on Him in everything, seeking His support, fearing Him, persevering through His decrees and thanking Him for His bounties. Thus, Allah The Almighty decreed that people sin in order for him to fulfil these ranks, so His slaves seek the forgiveness of Allah The Almighty and humble themselves before Him in order to be forgiven. If people did not sin, they would not feel the need to humble themselves before Him or seek His forgiveness, nor would they repent to Him; this is why Allah The Almighty tests people with these sins, in order to purify their hearts by this humility and seeking His pardon. Thus, a very important aspect of servitude is fulfilled.
After the slave sins, he humbles himself before Allah The Almighty, and then begins to have hope that Allah The Almighty will forgive his sin. This results in the slave’s heart becoming more attached to his Lord.
There are three types of hope, two of which are praised and one dispraised:
1. The hope of an obedient person who hopes for the reward from Allah The Almighty.
2. The hope of a sinful person who hopes for the forgiveness of Allah The Almighty.
3. The hope of a negligent person who continuously sins and then hopes for the forgiveness of Allah The Almighty, without exerting any effort to attain His forgiveness. This is a false hope and wishful thinking, which deceives no one but the one who harbours it; it is by no means considered to be real hope in Allah The Almighty.

Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/

Hope – the most sublime rank for the followers
The believers’ relationship with their Lord is characterised both by fear and hope, such that the former deters them from sins and disobedience, whereas the latter drives them towards good deeds.
Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy upon him, said:
“Hoping for the reward of Allah is one of the most supreme and honourable ranks of one who pursues the right path. Allah The Almighty praises those [who do that], when He Says (what means): {There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often.} [Qur’an 33:21] It was also narrated in a Hadith Qudsi, that Allah The Almighty Says: ‘O son of Adam, If you supplicate to Me, expecting My forgiveness, I will forgive you however great or many your sins may be.’ When a person has hope, it means that he or she is bound and attached to these names of his or her Lord: ‘The Benevolent, The Beneficent’. The more one knows Allah The Almighty, His names, attributes and the dominance of His mercy over His wrath, the more his or her hope increases [in Him]. Had it not been for hope, the servitude of the heart and organs [to Allah] would have ceased, and monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques, where the name of Allah is frequently mentioned, would have been demolished. If not for the spirit of hope, [our] limbs would not have performed acts of obedience, and neither would the ships of good deeds have sailed in the seas of will without its pleasant breeze.”
Similarly, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “If a believer [truly] knew of the punishment of Allah, no one would expect His Paradise. Equally, were a disbeliever to know of the [actual] mercy of Allah, none would despair of His Paradise.” ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ood, may Allah be pleased with him, remarked, “The most encouraging verse in the Qur’an is in the Chapter Az-Zumar (The Groups); Allah The Almighty Says (what means), {Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.”} [Qur’an 39:53]”
One of those who visited Maalik ibn Anas, may Allah have mercy upon him, during the night in which he died, asked him, “O Abu ‘Abdullah, how do you find yourself?” He, may Allah have mercy upon him, answered, “I do not know what to say to you except that you will soon see [aspects] of the clemency of Allah that you have never expected.”
Glory be to Allah The Almighty! If those who turn away from Him only know how He waits for their return and how Merciful He is to them, they will long for Him enormously. Indeed, if this is His will towards such people, how will He be to those who draw near to Him? ‘Abdullah ibn al-Mubaarak approached Sufyaan Ath-Thawri, may Allah have mercy upon them both, on the night of [standing in] ‘Arafah, and found him kneeling [in prayer], as his eyes overflowed with tears; he asked, “Who is the worst person in this gathering [in the plains of ‘Arafah]?’ Sufyaan Ath-Thawri, may Allah have mercy upon him, replied: “Whoever thinks that Allah will not forgive their sins [i.e., of the people who are present].’”
On a similar night, Al-Fudhayl ibn ‘Iyaadh, may Allah have mercy upon him, observed people’s glorification [of Allah The Almighty] and their crying, so he asked those around him: “If those people went to a man and requested one-sixth of a dirham from him, would he let them return empty-handed?” When they replied in the negative, he commented: “By Allah, pardoning is easier for Allah than [that].” Therefore, I implore Allah The Almighty, seeking His forgiveness, knowing fully that He absolves and forgives; even if people’s sins are great, they are minor in comparison to His mercy.
Hence, a slave should have much hope in Him, especially when he or she is on the verge of death. Allah The Almighty Says, as narrated in a Hadith: “I am [to him or her] as My slave thinks of Me.” That is why, perhaps, when Waathilah ibn Al-Asqa’, may Allah be pleased with him, went to see Yazeed ibn al-Aswad, may Allah have mercy upon him, as he lay dying, he asked him, “What is your expectation about Allah?” The latter replied: “My sins have brought me to the brink of ruin, but I hope for the mercy of Allah.” So, Waathilah, may Allah be pleased with him, [happily] exclaimed “Allah is The Greatest”, and then said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, say: ‘Allah The Almighty Says: ‘I am as My slave thinks of Me, so let him think of Me what he wants’.’” For the same reason, when Sulaymaan At-Taymi, may Allah have mercy upon him, was dying, he instructed his son: “O Mu‘tamir, talk to me about exemptions [in Islam], so that I may meet Allah while having good expectations of Him.”

Hope prompts one to do good deeds
It is witnessed as a reality in life that many neglect good deeds and dare to commit evil and sins, claiming that they trust in the mercy and forgiveness of Allah The Almighty. Undoubtedly, this is a misunderstanding of the true meaning of hope. The words of Al-Hasan al-Basri, may Allah have mercy upon him, are applicable to such people mentioned above; he says: “There are people whose confidence in forgiveness diverts them from doing what is moral, so much so that they die with no virtues. They proclaim: ‘we have good expectation of Allah’. Surely, they are liars, for if they had hope [in Him], they would have done good [to support their claim].”
Allah The Almighty is indeed the most Forgiving, Ever Merciful; however, I would like to draw your attention, dear reader, to the subtle meaning embedded in the verse (which means): {Indeed, those who have believed and those who have emigrated and fought in the cause of Allah - those expect the mercy of Allah. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.} [Qur’an 2:218]. Contemplate how this verse alludes to these people hoping for the mercy of Allah The Almighty alongside doing those great noble deeds.
Dear Muslim, let us, then, do good and repent from our sins and evil which we have committed. Let us repeat the words of Mahmood al-Warraaq, may Allah have mercy upon him: “O Allah, I have much hope in Your forgiveness and You [alone] manage my affairs. I have concealed my secrets from my relatives and others; You are the only One to Whom I disclose them as I am confident that You will veil them. O Allah! Do not fail me on the Day of Resurrection when all hidden matters will be exposed. O Allah, do not reveal my secrets before people; Your protection will provide me with an argument [for my forgiveness], even though I have no basis for contention or a real excuse.”

Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/

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