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Having good expectations of Allah: An act of worship and key to happiness

Thursday، 07 January 2021 10:20 PM

Having good expectations of Allah, The Exalted, is a great act of worship that a believer should fill his heart with in all his states and throughout his life. He should evoke his good expectations of Allah with regard to receiving guidance and Rizq (provision) and whenever he hopes for the righteousness of his offspring, the acceptance of his supplications, the forgiveness of his sins, and in all his affairs.
Ibn Mas‘ood, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “By Allah, a believer is not endowed with a better blessing than having good expectations of Allah. By Allah, no person expects good of Him except that He gives him what he expected; for all good lies in His Hand.” [Ibn Abi Ad-Dunya]
How wonderful it is to have good expectations of Allah and be certain that one’s heartbreak will be healed, his hardship will be relieved, his toil will be succeeded by comfort, his tears will be replaced with smiles, his sickness will be followed by recovery, and that after the worldly life comes to an end, there will be Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for the righteous.
An Arab poet said (what means):
Say to the one whose heart is filled with pessimism
Who goes around narrowing the horizons around us
The secret of happiness is having good expectation of the One
Who created life and divided Rizq among the creation
The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention), said in a Qudsi Hadith: “Allah, the Exalted, Says, ‘I am as my slave expects me to be.’” When a person expects good of Allah, He showers him with His abundant blessings and generous bounties. When he believes with certainty that Allah intends good for him, Allah will bestow upon him of His blessings what is beyond his imagination. Allah, The Exalted, treats His slaves in accordance with their expectations of Him and grants them what they expect of Him and much more.
When you supplicate Allah, The Exalted, you should have good expectations of Him that He will accept your supplication. When you give in charity for His sake, you should have good expectations of Him that He will reward you. When you give up something for His sake, you should have good expectations of Him that He will compensate you with what is better than what you gave up. When you seek forgiveness, you should have good expectations of Allah that He will forgive you and replace your sins with good deeds.
An Arab poet said (what means):
If distress grows more severe, the door to Allah is wide open
The one who returns to Allah will never fail
Whenever you are overwhelmed with distress, say ‘O Merciful Lord,’
He will relieve your distress and bless you with rewards
Always have good expectations of The Most Generous
And His Grace will indeed amaze you
Al-Ma’moon said to Muhammad ibn ‘Abbaad: “I was informed that you show hospitality to all the visitors of Basra!” He responded: “Withholding generosity implies having bad expectations of Allah.” Another version of his response reads: “He who has a rich master (i.e. Allah) can never become poor!”
Times when having good expectations of Allah is further emphasised:
First: during times of crises, afflictions, sacrifices, overwhelming Fitnah (temptations), misfortune, debts (insolvency), poverty, and the like.
The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Whoever is afflicted with destitution and refers it to Allah (i.e. beseeches Him for relief), Allah will grant him provision sooner or later.” [Abu Daawood, At-Tirmithi, and Al-Haakim]
The Qur’an mentions the state of the Prophets when harsh adversities befell them; they had good expectations of their Lord with certitude and trust in His promise. Their actions were based on firm conviction rather than passing thoughts. An example is the response of Moosa (Moses), may Allah exalt his mention, to his people when they said (what means): {…“Indeed, we are to be overtaken!”  [Moosa] said, “No! Indeed, with me is my Lord; He will guide me.” Then, We inspired to Moosa, “Strike with your staff the sea,” and it parted, and each portion was like a great towering mountain.} [Qur’an 26:61-63]
Another example is what Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said to Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, when his enemies were standing by the entrance of the cave (where they were hiding) (what means): {Do not grieve; indeed, Allah is with us.} [Qur’an 9:40]. He, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said to his Companion: “O Abu Bakr! What do you think of two (persons) the third of whom is Allah?”
An Arab poet said (what means):
Expect the doings of your Lord to come
With what you wish for of prompt relief
And do not despair when calamity befalls
As the unseen (future) may be holding astonishing surprises in store for you.
Second: when making supplication
When a person is devoted to supplication, no matter how harsh the calamities that befall him may be, he is never overwhelmed by them and is always guided to find ways out of them. His affairs are facilitated and all his efforts are blessed with success. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Surely, the one who supplicates (Allah) will never be destroyed (i.e. will never lose).” [Al-Haakim in Al-Mustadrak] Another Hadith reads: “Call upon Allah while being certain of being answered.” [At-Tirmithi]
‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “I do not worry about having my supplication answered, but I worry about making supplication (in the first place). If I am inspired to make supplication, then the answer comes with it.”
Third: at the time of repentance:
A Muslim should be confident in the vastness of the Mercy of Allah and that He accepts the repentance of His slaves and pardons their bad deeds.
Al-Fudhayl went to Sufyaan Ath-Thawri, may Allah have mercy upon them, on the Day of ‘Arafah and asked him: “Who among the people is in the worst condition on this day?” He answered: “The ones who think that Allah will not forgive them.” This is because doubting His Forgiveness constitutes having ill expectations of Allah, The All-Forgiving, Whose vast Mercy encompasses all things.
Fourth: during the agony of death
The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Let none of you die except while he has good expectations of Allah.” [Muslim]
Ibraaheem An-Nakha‘I, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “They liked reminding a dying person of his good deeds so that he would have good expectations of his Lord.”
A Bedouin fell ill and the doctor said to him: “You are dying.” He said: “And where will I go next?” The doctor said: “To (meet) Allah!” The Bedouin said: “Why would I dislike going to the One Who Alone  is the source of all good things?”  
A dying man was asked: “What do you think Allah will do to you?” He said: “He has honored me in my abode (the worldly life), so He will not honor me any less when I am in His Abode.”  
A Bedouin asked Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with them: “Who will hold people accountable on the Day of Judgment?” He replied: “Allah.” The Bedouin said: “By the Lord of the Ka‘bah, I have been saved! When the Most Generous is in a position to punish, He shows mercy, and when He brings to account, He pardons.”
Al-Hasan Al-Basri, may Allah have mercy on him, said, warning and explaining the difference between having good expectations of Allah and being tempted and deluded by the worldly life: “There are people whose confidence in forgiveness diverts them from performing good deeds, , so much so that they die without having a single good deed. . They proclaim: ‘we have good expectation of Allah’. Surely, they are liars, for if they had good expectations [of Him], they would have done good [to support their claim].”
An Arab poet said (what means):
Contemplate life and you will notice things and marvel at how they went down
How many were the anguishes that made eyes weep, but when Allah, The Most Generous, alleviated them for us, they became easy to bear
And how many were the needs that seemed like a mirage, but when Allah willed it, they became attainable
How much bitterness have we tasted, but it faded away despite the harshness of life
This is the way of the world; if you adorn it with patience, it becomes adorned with prosperity
Oh Allah, bless us with having good expectations of You, showing genuine reliance on You, and relishing the sweetness of acknowledging our need of You.
Article source: http://www.
islamweb.net/emainpage/




Know Allah in prosperity, and He will know you in adversity
In his comprehensive advice to Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, and all Muslims after him, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention), said: “Know Allah in prosperity, and He will know you in adversity.” [This addition was authentically attributed to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, cited by At-Tirmithi and others, and a number of scholars classified it as authentic]
This is an invaluable piece of advice for you, dear Muslim, if you wish that Allah, The Exalted, protects you during times of adversity and tribulation, shields you against misfortune and afflictions, and guards your religiosity against temptations that lead you astray. So know Allah at times of prosperity. When a slave of Allah fears his Lord at times of prosperity, honours His boundaries, fulfils His Rights over him, obeys His Commandments, avoids His Prohibitions, and glorifies Him at all times and in all states, he develops a special knowledge of Allah and a love and affection for Him that entail earning His Protection at times of adversity.
If you are enjoying good health and wellness, wealth and richness, safety and welfare, (find) comfort in your family, tranquillity in your marital life, your children are obedient to you, and your affairs are favourably going well, as you wish, then you are indeed relishing prosperity and bliss. This should not hinder you from devoting time to worship, abundantly supplicating Allah, reciting Qur’an and Thikr (expressions of remembrance of Allah), and performing good deeds.
Do not be an ungrateful slave who only knows his Lord and turns to him during times of need and destitution.
Do not be an ungrateful slave who supplicates his Lord (only) when afflictions befall him, then, whenever He bestows upon him a blessing, he forgets Him Whom he once called upon and ascribes equals to Him! Instead, accustom yourself to resort to Allah before adversities befall you. All people are good at turning to Allah during times of adversity and need, even the Arab polytheists (in the early days of Islam), the disbelievers all over the world, and the atheists throughout the history of mankind. Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means) about them: {And when they board a ship, they supplicate Allah, sincere to Him in religion. But when He delivers them to the land, at once they associate others with Him.} [Qur’an 29: 65]
A brother related to us that he once boarded a plane departing from an Arab capital city and heading to Moscow, the capital of atheism in the world. The plane carried a large number of those who say: “There is no god.” During the flight, the plane flew into a thundercloud and was tossed violently in extreme turbulence, so much so that all the passengers were certain of their imminent demise! He said: “Every single passenger on that plane raised his hands asking Allah to save him.” Allah, The Exalted, spoke the truth when He Said (what means): {It is He Who enables you to travel on land and sea until, when you are in ships and they sail with them by a good wind and they rejoice therein, there comes a storm wind and the waves come upon them from everywhere and they assume that they are surrounded, supplicating Allah, sincere to Him in religion, “If You should save us from this, we will surely be among the thankful.”  But when He saves them, at once they commit injustice upon the earth without right...} [Qur’an 10: 22-23]

True Heroism

Heroism is not in remembering Allah, The Exalted, at times of need, destitution, adversity, and distress. Everyone is good at that, as we said before. True heroism, rather, is in remembering Him at times of prosperity, showing gratitude to Him for His Blessings, striving to earn His Pleasure (through good doing), fulfilling His Rights, and adhering to the (straight) path He chose for you.
As for those who do not know their Lord except at times of adversity and forget Him at times of bliss and well-being, Allah, The Exalted, rebuked their behavior and dispraised them in many verses of the Qur’an. He Says (what means):
{And when adversity touches man, he calls upon his Lord, turning to Him [alone]; then when He bestows on him a favour from Himself, he forgets Him Whom he called upon before, and he attributes to Allah equals to mislead [people] from His way. Say, “Enjoy your disbelief for a little; indeed, you are of the companions of the Fire.”} [Qur’an 39:8]
{And when affliction touches man, he calls upon Us, whether lying on his side or sitting or standing; but when We remove from him his affliction, he continues [in disobedience] as if he had never called upon Us to [remove] an affliction that touched him. Thus is made pleasing to the transgressors that which they have been doing.} [Qur’an 10:12]
{And when We bestow favour upon man, he turns away and distances himself; but when evil touches him, then he is full of extensive supplication.} [Qur’an 41:51]
There are many verses to the same effect, and they point to a reality that most of us live. As long as we are relishing well-being, we are heedless of Allah, far from Him, far from worshipping and obeying Him, and neglectful of supplicating Him. However, the moment an adversity, anguish, disease, or tribulation befalls us, we raise our hands to Him with extensive supplication.
During times of adversity, Allah, The Exalted, only answers the supplications of those who knew Him and turned to Him during times of prosperity. Therefore, accustom yourself to resort to Allah before adversity befalls you, sharpen your arrows (of supplication) before shooting them (to ensure their acceptance), and increase your credit (of good deeds) with Allah, The Exalted, at the time of ease so that you could withdraw from it at times of need and distress.
Ponder over how Allah, The Exalted, treated His slave Yunus ibn Matta (Prophet Jonah), may Allah exalt his mention, when the whale swallowed him. He called upon his Lord while enveloped in three layers of darkness: the darkness of the night, the darkness of the sea, and the darkness of the whale’s belly. Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means): {…And he called out within the darknesses, “There is no deity except You; exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.”} [Qur’an 21:87] Allah also Says (what means): {So, We responded to him and saved him from the distress. And thus do We save the believers.} [Qur’an 21:88] Allah, The Exalted, clarified the reason for accepting his supplication and saving him from this strange place from which no one ever comes out alive. He Says (what means): {And had he not been of those who exalt Allah, He would have remained inside its belly until the Day they are resurrected.} [Qur’an 37:143-144] This means that if it were not for his abundant remembrance of Allah, supplication, and obedience at time of prosperity, He would not have saved him during times of distress and adversity.
On the opposite end is Fir‘awn (Pharaoh), may Allah curse him, who was blessed with Allah’s Favours but arrogantly disobeyed Him, disbelieved, and stubbornly failed to show gratitude to Him for His Blessings and Grace. When he was drowning, he supplicated his Lord – just as Yunus did – but the response was drastically different; Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means): {Now? And you had disobeyed before and were of the corrupters?} [Qur’an 10:91] It means, “At the time of prosperity, you disbelieved, turned arrogant and tyrannical, and you forgot your Lord, and therefore, you do not have any credit with Us like the credit Yunus had, so: {...today We will save you in body that you may be to those who succeed you a sign...} [Qur’an 10:92]
The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Whoever wishes that Allah answers his supplication during hardship and grief, let him supplicate plentifully at times of ease.” [At-Tirmithi, and Al-Haakim: authentic]
If you wish that Allah, The Exalted, aids you at the time of misfortune the way you like, then you should devote yourself to Him (in worship and obedience) at the time of prosperity the way He likes. If you wish Allah  to know you at the time of adversity, you should know Him at the time of blissfulness and ease, as the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Know Allah in prosperity, and He will know you in adversity.” May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon our master Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, his family, and his Companions.
Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/


Dignity: The trait of the righteous
Praise be to Allah, The Exalted. May peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention), his family, Companions, and whoever follows his example.
It is becoming of a Muslim to adhere to all that adorns him of noble traits and shun all that disgraces and discredits him.
One of the noble traits that are befitting of a Muslim is Waqaar (dignity). We can (fairly) say that dignity is a moral attribute generated by the adherence to a number of noble morals, such as forbearance, serenity, composure gentleness, and steadfastness. This is why it was defined as: “Deliberateness towards the realisation of wants.”
Al-Jaahith defined it as follows: “Refraining from idle talk, futility, unnecessary gesturing and movement, keeping anger in check, listening attentively before asking questions, deliberateness in giving answers, guarding against haste, and promptness with regard to all matters.”
The pure Islamic Shari‘ah was keen on adorning the believers with dignity. With regard to establishing one of the key obligations in Islam, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, urged the Muslims to adhere to dignity. He said: “If you hear the Iqaamah (second call to prayer), walk to the prayer with tranquility and dignity, and do not hasten your pace (to join the congregational prayer). Perform of the prayer what you catch up with (i.e. with the Imaam) and complete what you missed.”
If lay-Muslims are required to adhere to dignity, then the scholars and devout Muslims are required to adhere to it with greater reason. Such was the practice of the scholars of the righteous predecessors. An example is Imaam Maalik, may Allah have mercy upon him; whenever he related Hadith to his students, he would clean himself, wear perfume, comb his beard, and put on his best apparel. Allah, The Exalted, bestowed upon him a great share of dignity, so much so that the following verses of poetry were composed about him (translation of the meaning): “He would at times not answer the questions directed to him, and the questioners would not dare to remind him out of awe of him, and they would keep their heads down. He was endowed with the light of dignity and the honor of piety; revered like a king without being one.”
Adhering to dignity was the advice that Ibn Mas‘ood, may Allah be pleased with him, gave to those who are devoted to the Qur’an. He said: “The one who memorises  the Qur’an should be oft-weeping, sad, wise, forbearing, and serene. He  should not be harsh, heedless, slugabed (lazy), loud, or rough.”
Al-Hasan Al-Basri, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “A man would pursue knowledge, and soon it would show in his earnest fear of Allah, decorum, sayings, gazes, and righteousness.”
When a person’s heart is alive and his face is adorned with bashfulness, he is prompted to adhere to dignity. He reveres other people, and they revere him in return, and he becomes characterised by dignity.
The more a person venerates and glorifies his Lord, the more people revere him. Whoever glorifies and venerates Allah, The Exalted, He will instill the love and reverence for him in the hearts of people.
On the other hand, the one who takes the Rights of Allah lightly, and the reverence for his Lord weakens in his heart, thus emboldening him to commit sins and transgress against His Limits and neglect His Commands and Obligations, Allah, The Exalted, will not cast reverence for him or awe of him into people’s hearts. Even if some people revere him to avoid his evil, it is a false reverence that is founded on hatred rather than love or admiration.
Finally, let us ponder over these beautiful verses composed by an Arab poet (translation of meaning): “Speak the truth, refrain from vain and idle talk, and do not use vulgar language or promote suspicions. Be dignified; speak less, and think more. When you speak, do not give prolonged speeches; do not hasten to answer a question without deliberation, and do not answer a question that was not directed to you.”
We ask Allah, The Exalted, to adorn us with faith and bless us with dignity.
Article source: http://www.
islamweb.net/emainpage/

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