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There are certain deeds that should never be neglected, which affect the heart permanently. Yet, some people, due to their weakness in faith, may be careless and may not perform them regularly.

One deed of the heart is to have constant hope in the kindness, generosity and favours of Allah The Almighty. One should be optimistic and never lose hope in the bounty of Allah The Almighty, which He bestows on whom He wills. However, this hope should be coupled with a reason, or means, for one to feel that it will be realised. Thus, one should keep performing good deeds that give one the opportunity to harbour hope in the generosity and kindness of Allah The Almighty, for if these means are not present, then it is mere wishful thinking on one’s part.

Hope is not for a person who is lazy and does not endeavor to remain upon the path of those who strive and exert great efforts. Such a person is just like someone who wants to grow plants and see them bearing fruit, without bothering to cultivate or water the seeds. Is this person equal to another, who digs the soil, plants the seeds and waters them carefully and regularly? Only the latter can realistically hope that his plants will grow fruitful. This is also the case regarding hope for the bestowal of the mercy and bounty of Allah The Almighty.

Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {It [i.e. Paradise] is not [obtained] by your wishful thinking nor by that of the People of the Scripture.} [Quran, 4: 123] Moreover, it was said, “Faith is not wishful thinking, but rather, it is what is instilled in the heart and proven by good deeds.”

Hope is necessary for those who are heading towards Allah The Almighty, because if a devout worshiper loses hope, then he is heading for ruin. A sincere Muslim hopes that Allah The Almighty will forgive his sins and that He will enable him to rectify a fault in himself. He hopes that Allah The Almighty will accepts his good deeds and hopes to draw closer to Allah The Almighty. Thus, hope is one of the most important means that one must possess in order to continue his journey towards Allah The Almighty with steadfastness, especially during the age of trials and tribulations we now live in.
Hope is a means of steadfastness. It is the complete opposite of despair, and to feel despair is to give up on the mercy of Allah The Almighty, which is a sin in itself, as Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And despair not of relief from Allah. Indeed, no one despairs of relief from Allah except the disbelieving people.} [Quran, 12: 87] This was the advice of Prophet Ya’qoob, may Allah exalt his mention, to his sons.

How does one achieve hope?

• By remembering the past favors of Allah The Almighty on you.
• By remembering the promise of great rewards from Allah The Almighty, and remembering His generosity and kindness towards his slaves, especially when his slaves do not even ask Him for them and are unworthy of receiving them. The slave will continue receiving all these blessings and favours as long as he remains upon the straight path.
• By remembering the bounties of Allah The Almighty with regards to one’s faith, body, and life in general.
• By remembering the great mercy of Allah The Almighty and that His mercy precedes His wrath, and that He is the entirely Merciful, the especially Merciful; that He is Kind and Compassionate. Thus, acquiring hope in Allah The Almighty can be achieved by knowing His Names and Attributes.

Those whose hearts are alive recognize the fallacy of this world, and realise that this life is like a field in which they plant seeds for the Hereafter. The similitude of the heart is like that of the earth. Just as the earth must have seeds sown in it for it to yield fruits, the heart requires acts of obedience to make it flourish and remain alive. Just as the earth requires continuous attention, watering, digging, and so on, the heart requires continuous attention; it is enlivened by its obedience of Allah The Almighty. Just as the earth needs maintenance like removing harmful weeds from around the plants, the heart needs to be purified from doubts and desires, lest they ruin the fruits of one’s acts of obedience, which have been irrigated with the water of servitude.



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