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The Concept of Hope in Islam

Hope is something to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence. It is an ethereal quality that enables us to keep going in the direst of circumstances. We keep moving forward with optimism because hope allows us to envisage a better future or a good outcome. Allah promises us that after every difficulty is a relief. We must never lose hope that our situation will improve. Allah says:

وَلَا تَهِنُوا فِي ابْتِغَاءِ الْقَوْمِ إِن تَكُونُوا تَأْلَمُونَ فَإِنَّهُمْ يَأْلَمُونَ كَمَا تَأْلَمُونَ وَتَرْجُونَ مِنَ اللَّهِ مَا لَا يَرْجُونَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا

“And (do) not be weak in pursuit (of) the people. If you are suffering, then indeed, they are (also) suffering like what you are suffering, while you (have) hope from Allah what not they hope. And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.” (Surah an-Nisa 4:104)

Allah commands us to never lose hope in His mercy and forgiveness. Even if we have committed many sins, Allah forgives all sins except that of associating partners with Him. We need to remember that God gave us every reason to rely on Him and to hope for His forgiveness and His mercy. Hope will guide you through the darkness, but despair will only lengthen the journey. Allah says:

لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا

‘Certainly, is for you in (the) Messenger (of) Allah an excellent example for (one) who has hope (in) Allah and the Day the Last, and remembers Allah much.” (Surah Al-Ahzab 33:21)

Losing hope in Allah’s mercy is likened to disbelieving in Allah. True success comes to those who believe. Waking up to pray to Allah when we are tired is a sure sign of our hope in Allah’s reward. The path to paradise involves trials and difficulties. The believer calls on Allah in fear and hope: fear of His displeasure, and hope in His mercy and approval of us. But never lose hope! It is just a test!

The Concepts of Hope and Fear in the Islamic Thought:

  1. Hope is a vital bond between the future and the present
  2. Hope is the possible, desired and difficult to obtain
  3. Hope to give life and form his special character
  4. Hope to obtain something through petitions
  5. Hope voluntarily perform the love of God
  6. Hope emerging beauty an empty canvas
  7. Hope is a steadfast anchor of the soul
  8. Hope preserved from self-concern 
  9. Hope implanted in every heart
  10. Hope brings a blissful life
  11. Hope carries a bright future
  12. Hope does not oppress anyone
  13. Hope is the true value of desires
  14. Hope is the greatest virtue of love
  15. Hope is the inspiration of all desire
  16. Hope includes complete trust in God
  17. Hope is faith in Allah and the hereafter
  18. Hope find stability in our stormy present
  19. Hope is an active pursuit of Allah and Heaven
  20. Hope meets  all the characteristics of the virtue
  21. Hope being answered by the resources of others
  22. Hope answers the strong burning desires for happiness

Islam rejects excessive hope or excessive fear, describing both as a “pseudo”-type, which would respectively contribute to self-deceit and despair, and end in spiritual decline. We should expect things to turn out for the best and we can look forward to tomorrow with confidence. God has promised us that following His guidance will lead us to the best outcome. Allah says:

لَّا يَسْأَمُ الْإِنسَانُ مِن دُعَاءِ الْخَيْرِ وَإِن مَّسَّهُ الشَّرُّ فَيَئُوسٌ قَنُوطٌ

“Does) not get the tired man of praying (for) the good, but if touches him the evil then he gives up hope (and) despairs.” (Surah Fussilat 41:49)

The true foundation of hope is the good that we do in this life. The Quran and the traditions and sayings of Prophet Muhammad abound with references to how much God wants to be Merciful and how much He wants to forgive us. Allah says:

الْمَالُ وَالْبَنُونَ زِينَةُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَالْبَاقِيَاتُ الصَّالِحَاتُ خَيْرٌ عِندَ رَبِّكَ ثَوَابًا وَخَيْرٌ أَمَلًا

“The wealth and children (are) adornment (of) the life (of) the world. But the enduring good deeds (are) better near your Lord (for) reward and better (for) hope.” (Surah Al-Kahf 18:46)

Stress and anxiety seem to be the plagues of this new century. Depression, fatigue and sorrow all try to strip hope away from us. Hopelessness is not a new trait, it has been with humankind from the beginning; and from the beginning, God and His Messengers have urged us to be hopeful. They have given us guidance and encouragement.

Following are some Quranic verses that reflect the Islamic view about “Hope.”

  • “…So be not of the despairing.” (Quran 15:55)
  • “…After a difficulty, Allah will soon grant relief.” (Quran 65:7)
  • “God is with you and will never deprive you of your (good) deeds.” (Quran 47:35)
  • “…And whosoever fears Allah…He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine.” Quran 65:2-3)
  • “So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord – let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone.” (Quran 18:110)
  • “Wealth and sons are allurements of the life of this world: but the things that endure, Good Deeds, are best in the sight of thy Lord, as rewards, and best as (the foundation for) hopes.” (Quran 18:46)
  • “Do not lose heart nor fall into despair! You shall triumph if you are believers.” (Quran 3:139)

ذَرْهُمْ يَأْكُلُوا وَيَتَمَتَّعُوا وَيُلْهِهِمُ الْأَمَلُ فَسَوْفَ يَعْلَمُونَ

“Leave them (to) eat and enjoy and diverted them the hope, then soon they will come to know.” (Surah Al-Hijr 15:3)

Allah teaches us that the greatest hope one can have is to hope in Allah.  Hope that one will meet Allah and that’s the greatest success that any one of us can achieve.

Never Give Up – The Power of Hope:

  •  Believing truthfully in the Oneness of God: The only truth will always be from Allah, and believing truthfully in the Oneness of God will help us both in this life and the hereafter.
  • Allah likes to seek forgiveness: Allah reminds us of the power of his mercy and the importance of asking for forgiveness. Mercy and compassion are some of the most awe-inspiring acts of Allah.
  • Always relies upon Allah: Knowing that Allah is there for us all can serve as an important reminder that all we ever need is faith in Allah and knowledge of the Quran.
  • The mercy of Allah encompasses all things: Mercy of Allah, this can help those who are fearful of not being forgiven despite sincere prayer and repentance.
  • Towards being the best: Stay good and pure in our actions, and strive towards being the best Muslims even when it seems no one is looking. Beauty, on a deeper level, is often equated with the goodness of Allah.
  • Allah only tests us: When feeling overwhelmed by struggle, pain, or certain obstacles in life, it is important to remember that Allah only tests those with as much as they can specifically handle and overcome.
  • Allah encouraging us to do good: Insignificant acts of goodness will not go unnoticed by Allah. Encouraging us to do good even when it seems as if we are completely alone.

Hope is that element in our lives, that we need, that energizes us, that propels us forward so that we can achieve great things. In Islam, we find that the Quran teaches us that Hope is the source of light for those who yearn to have the best in all things. The great thing is that Allah shows us how to create hope for lasting bliss both in this worldly life and eternal hereafter. Allah says:

تَتَجَافَىٰ جُنُوبُهُمْ عَنِ الْمَضَاجِعِ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُمْ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ

“Forsake their sides from (their) beds; they call their Lord (in) fear and hope, and out of what We have provided them they spend.” (Surah As-Sajdah 32:16)

God has told us on numerous occasions to call on Him for help, and Prophet Muhammad reminds us that relief is no more than a supplication away. Turn to God, beg His forgiveness and hope for relief. The life of this world is filled with tests, trials, and tribulations but these must be faced with patience and hope. Hope that God will guide you to the best outcome. Allah says:

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ

“And surely We will test you with something of [the] fear and [the] hunger and loss of [the] wealth and [the] lives and [the] fruits, but give good news (to) the patient ones.” (Quran 2:155)

People feel terrible when they think that God will not forgive them or is angry with them. It is a dark and heavy feeling, and it is also one of Satan’s most useful weapons. Satan uses our despair to push us further away from God. There is no sin big enough to make a person despair of God’s mercy and forgiveness. No matter how big the sin, God’s mercy is bigger. Let us be hopeful about meeting our Lord with our worship of Him alone.