In the name of Allah,
A believer never loses hope, not even during the most trying times. This is due to their conviction that Allah is the Creator of everything and that He can produce anything He desires by only commanding it to “Be”!
For a Muslim with such a rich soul, everything works out well. It is Allah Who brings difficulty to the person. He serves as the protector and helper. Anything and everything that Allah, the Almighty, has created is for the best and is filled with knowledge.
Hope in the Islamic Tradition
Losing hope is not befitting to the believers and could be a sign of misguidance. The ayah of the Quran supports this:
Prophet Abraham (Peace be upon him) said, “Who can lose hope in the mercy of his Lord except those who have lost the straight path?” [Translation Surah Al-Hijr, 15:56]
A da’I should be aware that his path won’t be straightforward. A test serves as a reminder of Allah’s love for a person and is advantageous to believers since it enables them to accumulate rewards for the afterlife.
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
“The greatest reward comes with the greatest trial. When Allah loves a people He tests them. Whoever accepts that wins His pleasure but whoever is discontent with that earns His wrath”(Sunan Ibn Majah 4031).
The only way for the believer to obtain the reward they seek through hardship is through patience. And the only way to be patient is to have a strong will and firm faith. The mockery and humiliation that one will face in the path of calling towards Allah could be a means of Expiation of sins. His level of religiosity will determine the level of trial. But one thing is certain for a sincere caller the more trial he will face, the more his sins will be erased.
The messenger of Allah said, …’ A person is tested according to his religious commitment. If he is steadfast in his religious commitment, he will be tested more severely, and if he is frail in his religious commitment, his test will be according to his commitment. Trials will continue to afflict a person until they leave him walking on the earth with no sin on him.’”( Sunan Ibn Majah, 4023)
A Never-Ending Dawah
The Dawah of the prophet was both in Makkah and Madinah. He never stopped calling people towards Islam. He never lost hope despite being ridiculed and humiliated and thrown out of the city[i].
Abu Sufyan Sakhr bin Harb (May Allah be pleased with him) mentioned Heraclius in a long Hadith and said: Heraclius asked me, “What does this Prophet (ﷺ) teach you?” I said, “He orders us to worship Allah Alone and not to associate a thing with Him in worship, to discard what our ancestors said, to perform the Salat (prayer), speak the truth, and maintain the ties of kinship”(Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
Setbacks are Temporary
The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be on him) raised the spirits of his companions following the Muslims’ defeat in the Battle of Uhud. He foretold the conquest of Yemen, Persia, and Syria by Muslims. He could see the palaces of Syria while living in Medina. He received the keys to Yemen[ii].
He said, “Allāhu Akbar (God is Great)! I have been given the keys to Shām; I can see its red palaces at this very moment.” Then he shattered another chunk and said, “Allāhu Akbar (God is Great)! I have been given the keys to Persia; I can see Madain’s white palace.” Then he shattered the last chunk and said, “Allāhu Akbar (God is Great)! I have been given the keys to Yemen. By Allah, I can see the Gates of Sana‘a at this very moment from here.” (Aḥmad, 14249., Nasā’I, 3176 )
Hope in the Face of Pervasive Corruption
We shouldn’t give up hope or believe that improving our community is out of our reach when we witness so much evil occurring all around us. Some individuals work constantly to push young people to change their righteous beliefs into filthy and wicked ones[iii]. To do this, they not only try to undermine young people’s beliefs but also endeavor to implant doubts in their minds. We must not leave them behind because if we do, they will spend more time with others like them. The incidence of Taif is one of the greatest examples of this. Prophet Muhammad traveled to Taif to call the locals to Islam. However, they not only rejected his message but also hurt him physically.
When Allah noticed his sorrow, He sent Gibril (peace be on him) to tell him that He had sent mountain angels at his command. They said that if he desire, they may be crushed between these two Makkah mountains. Instead, the Prophet pleaded for them in prayer. He said,
“I instead hope that Allah will bring out from their loins (i.e., from their progeny) those who worship Allah alone, without associating any partners whatsoever with Him.”( Bukhari 3231)
Hope that the Followers of Truth will be Safe until Judgment Day.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) announced the good news about a group of Muslims who will uphold Islam despite difficulties and crises. Despite being a minority, this group will not allow the plans of its opponents to succeed. There will always be a group of believers through them Allah will restore the Sunnah.
Ibn ‘Abdullah said: “I hope that the explanation of this hadith from the Prophet (Peace be upon him): “A group from among my ummah will continue to adhere to the truth
and those who forsake them or oppose them will not harm them.”(Sunan ibn Majah, 10)
Al-Mugheerah ibn Shu‘bah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) say: “Some people of my ummah will remain victorious over the people until the decree of Allaah reaches them.”
‘Imraan ibn Husayn (may Allaah be pleased with him) said that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “A group of my ummah will continue fighting for the truth, and will prevail over those who oppose them until the last of them will kill al-Maseekh al-Dajjaal (the Liar or Anti-Christ).”
The belief that, despite their sins, all believers will eventually enter Jannah
Those who call people to Islam must have patience with sinners. The individuals who are called frequently worry if their sins are pardonable or if they will ever enter Jannah[iv].
According to the messenger of Allah, there will be 120 rows of people in paradise, with 80 rows set aside for this Ummah (Tirmidhee).
The prophet (peace be on him) has said in another narration: By him in whose hands my soul resides, I sincerely hope that you will make up half of paradise.’(Bukhari & Muslim).
One should never lose trust in Allah’s ability to make up for lost possessions because He is capable of replacing anything. One must realize that the anguish one feels after losing something is little in comparison to the joy that awaits them in paradise[v]. He is given a mansion in heaven. When believers witness their recompense on the day of judgment, they will wish for their skin to be cut off on earth. (Tirmidhee).
A Win-Win Situation for the Believers
A caller should be grateful when the outcome is in his favor in addition to being patient during trials and tribulations. He must never assume that his efforts were the reason why the people were receptive to his message. Allah is the one who moves people’s hearts toward the truth.
Suhayb reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace, and blessings be upon him, said,
“Wondrous is the affair of a believer, as it is good for him in every matter; this is not the case for anyone but a believer. If he experiences pleasure, he thanks Allah, and it is good for him. If he experiences harm, he shows patience, and it is good for him.”( Muslim, 2999)
Despite being forced from his hometown and subjected to boycott, the prophet (peace be upon him) never gave up. He kept on giving dawah. The goal of the prophet’s dawah was not to bring down a state or achieve absolute power. It came to bring about social transformation. With Tawheed, he abolished shirk, the most heinous crime.
He was effective in putting an end to superstitious beliefs that were common in the Arabian Peninsula, such as burying girls alive and treating women unfairly, among others. His 23 years as a prophet have been filled with hope for the callers, and he continues to be a shining example until the last day.
[i] Madkhali, Rabee ibn Hadee (1997). The methodology of the prophets in calling towards Allah. Al Hidaya publishing and Distributions page 95
[ii] Mubarakpuri, Safi-Ur-Rahman. (1996). Ar-Raheeq Al- Makhtoom( The sealed nectar). Maktaba Darrusslam, page 312
[iii] Uthaymeen, Muhammad bin Saleh, (1992). The Islamic Awakening translated by Faisal Ibn Muhammad. Page 77
[iv] Jawziyya, Ibn Qayyim, (2010). (ZAD AL M AA’D) PROVISIONS OF THE AFTERLIFE, WHICH LIE WITHIN PROPHETIC GUIDANCE, Translation Ismail Abdus Salaam. Dar Al-Kotob Al-llmiyah Publication, page 10
[v] Jawziyya, Ibn Qayyim, (2010). (ZAD AL M AA’D) PROVISIONS OF THE AFTERLIFE, WHICH LIE WITHIN PROPHETIC GUIDANCE, Translation Ismail Abdus Salaam. Dar Al-Kotob Al-llmiyah Publication, page 588