Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Do not lose hope in the mercy of Allah

“Say: O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Sûrah al-Zumar: 53]

Despair: –noun
1. loss of hope; hopelessness.
2. someone or something that causes hopelessness: He is the despair of his mother.–verb (used without object)
3. to lose, give up, or be without hope (often fol. by of): to despair of humanity.

Despair is the hopeless feeling that overwhelms and overcomes masses of people, when they are confronted with trials and hardships of this world. But why exactly is it a sin? Why did I bother to place such great emphasis on it?

"And those who disbelieve in the Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allâh and the Meeting with Him, it is they who have no hope in My Mercy, and it is they who will (have) a painful torment. "

[012:087] “Oh my sons! Go look for Yusuf and his brother. Do not give up hope. Have faith in the mercy of Allah. Surely, only the disbelievers lose hope in the mercy of Allah!”

Despair in its very essence is destructive to ones physical and spiritual health.

There is a story related in the Quran about prophet Abraham, when the Angels come to him before destroying Sodom and Gomorrah; they announce to a aging Abraham the good news that he will bear a son:

51. And tell them about the guests (the angels) of Ibrâhim (Abraham).

52. When they entered unto him, and said: Salâman (peace)! [Ibrâhim (Abraham)] said: "Indeed! We are afraid of you."

53. They (the angels) said: "Do not be afraid! We give you glad tidings of a boy (son) possessing much knowledge and wisdom."

54. [Ibrâhim (Abraham)] said: "Do you give me glad tidings (of a son) when old age has overtaken me? Of what then is your news?"

55. They (the angels) said: "We give you glad tidings in truth. So be not of the despairing ones."

56. [Ibrâhim (Abraham)] said: "And who despairs of the mercy of Allah except those who are astray?"

In the verses that precede this account of Prophet Abraham's guests, Allah swt guides our attention to something that may perhaps open our eyes to another important point:

49. Declare (O Muhammad SAW) unto My servants, that truly, I am the Oft-Forgiving, the Most-Merciful

It is in the moment of complete and utter hopelessness and anxiety that we should be reminded of Allah SWT's magnificent and all encompassing mercy:

5. So verily, with the hardship, there is relief, 6. Verily, with the hardship, there is relief (i.e. there is one hardship with two reliefs, so one hardship cannot overcome two reliefs).

These verses above were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad; when he was perhaps in the most difficult of perdicaments; One can recall the era in Prophetic Seerah; the so named "the Year of Sorrows". It is during this period that the Prophet pbuh lost his most beloved Wife of 15 years; Khadija r.a and his Uncle Abu Talib, his sole protector in Mecca.

It was also during this period that the Prophet pbuh lost all his allies in the Sacred City and his enemies boycotted and exiled him and his companions into its outskirts, by so marginalizing and sanctioning them from any food and financial aid. In some accounts it is reported that the Prophet pbuh and his companions would tie stones to their stomachs in order to resist the pagns of hunger and starvation. Can one look at this example and think of how easier circumstances they have been gripped by yet they easily have lost their hope in Allah SWT's infinite mercy?

It is in the moments and in these times, when you are wrestled by the Shaitan to feel abandoned by your Creator; that you feel lost and left to wander in the burning anguish of your circumstance; it is in these hard and rough times that you should remember God's mercy; it is these moments and times when you are burdened with the false notion and whispers of the Shaitan that your LORD will never FORGIVE you for your trangressions and you are tempted to reach out for more vanity and tempted to commit more scrupulous acts and treachery; to remember:

God says:
“Say: O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Sûrah al-Zumar: 53]

The Devil tries to overcome you with distress and heartbreak, knowing that the deeper he plunges the Children of Adam into sorrow; they will be prevented from reaching out to their rescue, their aid; from reaching out to their LORD...

Rather, he will misguide and mislead the children of Adam towards other things to escape from their Hardships. Among them, Murder, Suicide and Drugs.

Do you know the name of the Devil in Arabic?

The name, "Iblis" which comes from the Semitic root, BALASA which in Arabic refers to "Despair". He wants to cause others despair; and in doing so he who is in despair desires company and to lead more people into the darkness. In other words; he is merely conjuring up copies of himself among men and women. For that, he is the father of all despair.

The Shaitan declares in a vivid narration:
I have defeated the Children of Adam when I cause them to Sin, but he then disdained and said, but they have defeated me whenever they call upon their LORD, because whenever they call upon him, he forgives them, for he is the oft forgiving, most merciful!"

One way he tries to stop the sons and daughters of Adam from reaching out to their LORD who is always there for him is as follows:

186. And when My servants ask you (O Muhammad SAW) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the caller when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright

The Devil makes Mankind feel unclean and impure and unable to approach Allah, so they resort to false mediums to approach him, such as intercessors, lesser gods and goddesses etc.

Through, one medium or another, he severs the servants link to his Creator, negating any and all attempts at redeeming his or herself. By making what was clear, unclear. As it is not enough for the Shaitan to merely cause the believers to fall into sin, but to completely cut them off from the source of their redemption. From the act of delaying them to turning them away from Allah entirely.
So do not be sad, and do despair. God is the Most forgiving, Most merciful.

It is important to assume the best about Allah SWT:

As Allah SWT said in a Qudsi Hadith: I AM AS MY SERVANT THINKS I AM

How Allah loves us, and how our enemy wants to lead us away from Him. Why? Because he lost all hope in his mercy. What made our parents, Adam and Hawwa different from him? From the accursed Iblis? When our enemy disobeyed his LORD, he did not feel regret, he did not feel remorse, he did not feel any shame. Rather he fell to his own arrogance, and he lost hope in Allah SWT's mercy.

When our parents disobeyed Allah, they felt regret, they felt shame, and they felt remorse. They cried out to Allah SWT, "O Allah forgive us, if you do not forgive us and have mercy on us, we shall surely be of those who are lost".

Allah loves us, and never wants us to lose hope in his mercy. We should love him, hope in his mercy, but also fear his punishment equally lest, the Shaitan make evil beautiful for us and we lose sight of Allah's wrath and punishment.

Here is a excerpt from a article on "Assuming the Best about Allah":

Jâbir b. `Abd Allah al-Ansârî relates that he heard Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said three days before his death: “None of you should ever die except while assuming the best about Allah.” [Sahîh Muslim (5125)]

A Muslim should always assume the best about his Lord. As long as the Muslim is striving to engage in good deeds, he should expect the best outcome: that Allah will accept his good deeds; that Allah from His grace will forgive him; and that Allah will bless him to live out his life, until its conclusion, upon faith. This is why the Prophet (peace be upon him) say: “None of you should ever die except while assuming the best about Allah.” [Sahîh Muslim (5125)]

Ibn al-Qayyim says:
There can be no doubt that assuming the best about Allah only comes as a result of righteous conduct. It is the righteous person who assumes the best about his Lord, since he knows that Allah will reward him for his good deeds and will never break His promise.On the other hand, the sinner who persists in wrongdoing, injustice, and disobedience is prevented by his evil deeds from assuming the best about his Lord. We can see a similar situation in how people relate to each other. A runaway slave, for instance, is not going to assume the best of his master. Good assumptions never go hand in hand with the disturbed state of disobedience. A sinner is estranged from his Lord to the extent of his sinfulness. The person who has the best outlook on his Lord is invariably the one who is the most obedient to his Lord.

Al-Hasan al-Basrî said:
“The believer assumes the best about his Lord so he does the best deeds. The sinner assumes the worst about his Lord, so he does evil deeds.”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) related to us that Allah says: “I am as My servant thinks of Me. I am with him when he remembers Me. If he mentions Me within himself, I mention him within Myself. If he mentions Me in an assembly, I mention him in a better assembly. If he comes near to Me a handspan, I come near to him the distance of a cubit. If he comes near to Me the distance of a cubit, I come near to him the distance of two outspread arms. If he comes to Me walking, I come to him running. [Sahîh al-Bukhârî(6856) and Sahîh Muslim (4832)]

Think about these words. The first thing Allah calls us towards is to have a positive outlook about Him under all circumstances, since He will be as His servant thinks of Him. Allah will relate to the person the way the person expects Him to. When the servant assumes the best about his Lord and pins his hopes on his Lord’s providence, his Lord will not disappoint him. Allah will never let his good deeds go unrewarded. When the servant beseeches Allah, he believes that his prayer will be answered. When he sincerely repents for a sin, he trusts that Allah will forgive him. When he performs a virtuous deed, he assumes that Allah will accept it form him and reward him for it. All of this is part of assuming the best about Allah.

This is why the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “When you beseech Allah in supplication, be convinced that He will answer you.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhî (3401)] Assuming the best about Allah is one aspect of our belief in Allah, since it is based upon our belief in His mercy, His power, His generosity, and His might. It is also a fundamental aspect of our reliance upon Allah, which is essential to or monotheistic belief.Allah rebukes a group of people who thought ill of Him. 

Allah shows their bad expectations about Him to be one of the clearest signs of their hypocrisy. He says about the hypocrites who abandoned the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Companions during the Battle of Uhud: “Another party was stirred to anxiety by their own feelings, moved by wrong suspicions of Allah – suspicions due to ignorance.”[Sûrah Al `Imrân: 154]

Elsewhere, Allah says about the hypocrites: “…the hypocritical men and the hypocritical women, and the idolatrous men and the idolatrous women, who think an evil thought concerning Allah.”[Sûrah al-Fath: 6]

Our assuming the best about Allah really means pinning our hopes end expectations on Allah. We know that Allah can be severe in punishment as well as most merciful, but we must hope for His mercy and be confident that if we sincerely repent for our sins and strive to do good, we will attain Allah’s mercy. We must never despair. We must never see our sins to be too great for Allah’s forgiveness. That despair itself is a great sin.

‘O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me, and hope in Me, I will forgive you for all that comes from you, and I do not care. O son of Adam, if your sins were to reach even the farthest heights (clouds) in the sky, and you asked for My forgiveness, I shall forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with an earthful of sins and met Me without having associated anything with Me, I shall grant you an earthful of pardon” Hadith Qudsi

FOR THE LINK ON THE ENTIRE ARTICLE ASSUMING THE BEST ABOUT ALLAH:http://en.islamtoday.net/artshow-426-3251.htm


  1. Alhamdulillah. very hope inspiring article. May Allah help u for posting it.

  2. Jazakallahukhair dearest brother. May Allaah help and aid you in all your endeavors as well, and May Allaah grant you certainty and forgiveness and keep you near to him.

  3. assalammu'alaikum wr.wb subhanallah great article, must learn a lot from you, O my brother.

  4. INsha'Allaah we can learn from eachtother dearest. I hope your last few days of Ramadan are both beneficial and blessed. May Allaah grant you the blessing and reward of Laylatul Qadr. Allaahumma ameen