Having Hope in Allah The Almighty - II

Having Hope in Allah The Almighty - II
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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.’} [Quran, 7: 169]

In the Quran, 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.} [Quran, 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.”

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