AsSalam Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuhu
The example of a servant’s hope in Allaah’s mercy and forgiveness
By Shaykh Ahmad Fareed
Source: Al-Istiqaamah Magazine, Issue No.3 – Rabî’ul-Awwal 1417H / August 1996
The example of a servants hope in Allaah’s mercy and forgiveness can be likened to the hope of a farmer:
If the farmer searches for fertile soil, then sows it with good and healthy seeds, giving to the seeds what they need at the appropriate time, removing from around them the weeds and anything else that may hinder or ruin their growth, then he sits and waits for the Favour of Allaah – the Most High – with regards to Him keeping away violent storms and other harmful elements, until the seeds have fully ripened and grown – then this type of waiting and expectation can truly be described as hope. However, if the farmer sows the seeds in hard and barren soil, too high up for water to reach it, and he does nothing to care and protect the seed from harm, and then he sits and waits for a good harvest – then this waiting and expectation is not called hope, rather, such waiting is called foolishness and delusion!
So, the term hope only applies to waiting for what is dear or desired, after all the means – that will assist in realising this desire and are within the ability of the person – have been utilised. As for that which is not within the servants ability, then it is left to the favour of Allaah – the Most High – and He is the One who can prevent harmful matters, if He so wishes.
So if the servant sows the seeds of eemaan, and waters them with acts of obedience to Allaah, and cleanses his heart from harmful qualities and traits, then waits for the favour of Allaah – the Most High – with regards being granted firmness upon this until death and an excellent end leading to His forgiveness – then such a wait can truly be called hope.
Allaah – the Most High – said:
“Indeed those who believe and those who migrate and who make jihaad in the path of Allaah, they are the ones who have the hope of Allaah’s mercy. And indeed Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.” [Soorah al-Baqarah 2:218].
The meaning of this being that such people are truly worthy of hoping in Allaah’s mercy. And He did not intend only to particularise them with this, since others also can hope in Allaah’s mercy. However, He particularised them as being those who truly deserve to hope. So the one whose hope in Allaah’s mercy guides him to obedience and deters him from disobedience, his hope is true. And the one whose hope invites him to being immersed in sin and disobedience, is in delusion.
It is also necessary to know that truly hoping in something necessitates three things:
- Firstly: Yearning for what one hopes.
- Secondly: Fearing to miss gaining it.
- Thirdly: Striving to achieve it.
If hope is not connected with any one of these matters, then it is mere wishful thinking, since hope is one thing, and wishful thinking something else. And every person who is hopeful, is also fearful, and whosoever traverses a path, makes haste when he fears that he may miss what he hopes for.