Liv­ing be­tween hope and fear

Daily Trust - - TRUST ISLAMIC FORUM - By Jabeer Mustafa

A be­liever lives his life aware of two things: the first is his short­com­ings, sins, and whether his good deeds are be­ing wasted or whether he is be­com­ing de­ceived due to per­form­ing good deeds and be­com­ing com­pla­cent and self­sat­is­fied. The sec­ond is hop­ing for the for­give­ness of Al­lah the Almighty and His mercy, which re­sults from the first.

Some schol­ars have ex­plained that “Whilst the slave is on his path to­wards Al­lah, he is like a bird with two wings which it re­quires to fly prop­erly and main­tain its bal­ance with; these ‘wings’ are hope and fear. A short­fall in ei­ther of the two makes the bird lose bal­ance, and miss­ing both sig­ni­fies the death of the bird.” Imaam Ah­mad ibn ‘Aasim was asked: “What is the sign of a per­son hav­ing real hope?” He replied: “(It is) that a per­son is grate­ful when­ever Al­lah be­stows a fa­vor upon him or en­ables him to do good, thereby hop­ing to at­tain more favours in this life, the per­fect bounty of the Hereafter, and ex­pect­ing for­give­ness in the Hereafter.”

Which one of the two types of hope is bet­ter: the hope of the obe­di­ent per­son who hopes for re­ward, or that of the re­pent­ing, disobedient one, who hopes for for­give­ness? Schol­ars have dif­fered on this mat­ter, but the point to note is that both are praised types; one should have both and must not feel that one would suf­fice him, be­cause the be­liever al­ways fluc­tu­ates be­tween the two con­di­tions: virtues, for which he hopes for re­ward, and sin, for which he hopes for for­give­ness. The more one ac­quaints him­self with the Names and At­tributes of Al­lah, the stronger his hope be­comes, and had it not been for hope, then the heart would have not been able to prac­tice servi­tude to­wards Al­lah, and thus the limbs would not have acted in ac­cor­dance with his con­vic­tion.

Hope is de­pen­dent on one’s love for Al­lah. Thus, the more one loves Al­lah the Almighty, the more he would hope for His re­ward and fear His wrath.

The say­ing of the Prophet (SAW): “A be­liever will be brought close to his Lord on the Day of Res­ur­rec­tion and (He will) en­velop him in His Mercy, He will make him con­fess to his sins say­ing: ‘Do you re­mem­ber (do­ing) this sin and that sin?’ He will re­ply: ‘My Lord, I re­mem­ber.’ Then He will say: ‘I cov­ered it up for you in the worldly life, and I for­give you for it to­day.’ Then the record of his good deeds will be handed to him.” [Al-Bukhaari and Mus­lim].

The Mes­sen­ger of Al­lah (SAW) said: “He who loves to meet Al­lah, Al­lah loves to meet him; and he who dis­likes meet­ing Al­lah, Al­lah ab­hors meet­ing him.” [Mus­lim]

Even af­ter one’s death, his hope is still present; in fact, it is even more so, be­cause his hope is then for the plea­sures of Par­adise and other boun­ties of Al­lah. His fear also in­creases, due to the sins which he may be pun­ished for.

Thus, we say that the dead have feel­ings, and they are even more in­tense than the feel­ings of those who are alive, be­cause death and the grave are the first stages of the Hereafter.

What is the con­di­tion of the dis­be­liev­ers in the grave? Al­lah tells us about Pharaoh when He says (what means): {The Fire; they are ex­posed to it morn­ing and evening [From the time of their death un­til the Day of Res­ur­rec­tion, when they will be driven into it]. And the Day the Hour ap­pears [it will be said], ‘Make the people of Pharaoh en­ter the sever­est pun­ish­ment.’} [Qu­ran 40: 46] This means that their fear in­creases ev­ery day, be­cause they know that their fi­nal des­ti­na­tion will be a pit in Hell – we ask Al­lah to save us from such an end.

When the slave meets his Lord on the Day of Res­ur­rec­tion, he will have greater hope if he was a right­eous per­son, as the Prophet (SAW) in­formed us in an au­then­tic Hadeeth (Prophetic nar­ra­tion). When the right­eous dead get glimpse of the plea­sures of Par­adise in their grave, and when the gate to­wards Par­adise is opened for them, they will say (as is in the nar­ra­tion): “O my Lord! Bring the Hour so that I can be re­joined with my fam­ily and wealth.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.