Hope is the elixir of life

Hope is the elixir of life

Please join us in mediating on what motivates a farmer to work hard and sweat. It is the hope of a bountiful harvest. What urges a merchant to travel, adventure and leave his people and home? It is the hope of getting revenues. What encourages a student to study hard and remain awake for hours? It is the hope for success. What motivates a soldier to fight desperately and endure the hardships of war patiently? It is the hope for victory. What makes a patient willing to take bitter medicine? It is his hope for recovery and regain the health. What calls a believer to disobey his desires and obey his Lord? It is the hope of winning the Pleasure and Paradise of Allah the Almighty.

Hope, then, is a motivating power that makes one feel delighted when working, that provides the stimulus for struggling for the sake of duty and which enlivens body and soul. This power encourages lazy people to work hard and urges hardworking people to remain as such. It also stimulates the failing person to try repeatedly until he/she succeeds, and encourages the successful person to double his efforts to be more successful. The hope which we are talking about here is the opposite of despair; it carries meanings of cheerfulness and good thoughts. Despair is the demolishing tool that destroys the work motive in man's soul and weakens the sources of strength in his body. Therefore, Ibn Mas‘ood  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him said, “Destruction lies in two things: despair and conceit.” Imam Al-Ghazali  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “They were mentioned together because happiness cannot be obtained except through endeavor, hard work, and diligence; a despairing person neither seeks nor endeavors, because what he hopes for is impossible in his eyes.

Faith infuses hope in the soul

Faith infuses hope in the soul and defends it against despair and sorrow. A faithful person believes that everything is at the hands of Allah the Almighty. Accordingly, he thinks good of his Lord and aspires for His reward taking into consideration the Qudsi Hadeeth (Sacred narration) in which Allah the Almighty Says: “I am as My slave thinks I am…”

How can despair sneak into a believer’s heart while he reads the Quranic verses (which mean):

  • {And despair not of relief from Allah. Indeed, no one despairs of relief from Allah except the disbelieving people."} [Quran 12:87]
  • {And who despairs of the Mercy of his Lord except for those astray?} [Quran 15:56]

If a servant is a real believer, he will never despair; rather, he will be always cheerful, satisfied, and looking forward to what is better in all cases and under all circumstances. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “How wondrous is the case of a believer! There is good for him in everything. If prosperity attends him, he expresses gratitude to Allah and that is good for him; and if adversity befalls him, he endures patiently and that is good for him.” How, then, could a true believer despair while he is promised of goodness in all circumstances?

His true faith makes him feel that Allah the Almighty is with him and that He will support and protect him, consequently:

  • If he gets sick, he would hope for recovery and reward. Allah the Almighty Says (what means): {And when I am ill, it is He who cures me.} [Quran 26:80]
  • If he commits a sin, he would repent to Allah the Almighty immediately in the hope that Allah the Exalted would forgive and have mercy upon him. In such a case, he would keep the following Quranic verse in his mind (which 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."} [Quran 39:53]
  • If he suffers distress or hardship, he would be certain that this would end soon since Allah the Almighty Said (what means): {For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease. Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.} [Quran 94:5,6] Of course, one hardship cannot defeat two eases.
  • Eventually, whenever he falls into trouble, he would hope for support and relief; as all Prophets of Allah did. Allah the Almighty Quotes in the Quran as the words of Prophet Moosa  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him. Allah the Almighty Says (what means): {"Indeed, with me is my Lord; He will guide me"} [Quran 26:62]
  • And in another verse, Allah the Almighty again Quotes as the words of believers (what means): {Sufficient for us is Allah , and [He is] the best Disposer of affairs"} [Quran 3:173]

A believer always has great hope for the mercy, relief, and support of Allah the Almighty. This is because he does not count on material means only, but also believes that these means have a Creator in Whose Hand is the dominion of all things, and when He decrees a matter, He only Says to it, "Kun (i.e. Be)," and it is. Hence, a believer’s heart is filled with trust in Allah the Almighty and hope for gaining His Mercy. This is exactly what the disbelievers lack, thus we see them commit suicide and suffer many psychological diseases. We ask Allah to protect us against this.

How difficult life would be without hope

Hope is necessary for achieving progress in all fields. Without hope, civilizations would not have been built and science and technology would never have progressed. Without hope, nations would have never overcome times of distress and no call for reforming a society would have been made. In the past, a sage said, “Without hope, none would have built a building or planted a plant.

Hence, O believer, think good of your Lord, hope for gaining His reward and support. If you suffer a distress or hardship, be patient and be sure that wherever there is a difficulty, certainly there would be ease. So, be patient and courageous, seek support from Allah the Almighty, and do not lose heart! Once again, remember the Word of Allah the Almighty (which means): {"Indeed, with me is my Lord; He will guide me"} [Quran 26:62]

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