Hope

Is this a time to talk about hope?  Baghdad has been sacked, again, the situation in Palestine is getting worse, and the overall situation of Muslims all over the world is miserable and you want to talk about hope?  Yes, of course, this is the most suitable time to talk about hope. 

Some people have lost all hope in a change and think that our ummah’s (Muslim nation) rise is just a dream that will never come true.  Such despair is very dangerous because it leads to loosing confidence in Allah’s Ability and Power. Such despair causes an imbalance in our belief in Destiny.

Despair brings with it weakness, failure and loss of orientation.  Even though Muslims are one fifth of this planet’s population, look how many gold medals we win in the Olympics, look at how many Nobel Prizes we receive, how many times did we win the World Cup?  One of the reasons for our overall failure is despair.  Despair is our enemy and that is why today we will fight despair with hope.

Having hope means being positive, having hope means doing something.  Hope means that if there is a will there is a way.  Hope means that the dream could come true.  Today we want to plant hope in out hearts, today we want to defeat despair and sense of defeat.

If hope is embedded in our hearts, we will restore our confidence in Allah, and if that happens will call on to Him in our supplications and prayers, and if that happens we will become more positive, and if we become positive, we will make an effort and work, which will lead to productivity.  Hope is a driving force that increases energy and production.  This whole book of “Until they change themselves” will loose its value if we lack hope.  Why would I want to change myself if I do not have hope?  Hope is essential for us.

What should we hope for?  We need to keep the hope that the overall situation of our ummah will improve, that Allah will grant us Honor, that Palestine and Jerusalem and the Aqsa mosque will be liberated.  Hope that our ummah will once again be a source of knowledge for the world.  Hope that after the darkness of the past century, finally there will be light once again.

The most religion that embedded hope in the hearts of its believers is Islam.  In the Qur’an you find words like “Bushra” which means glad tidings, or news that makes your face relax and smile.  Allah says what can be translated as,

“And give good tidings to the ones who have believed and done deeds of righteousness that for them are Gardens from beneath which Rivers run. Whenever they are provided with any produce therefrom (once) as a provision, they will say, “This is the (same) as we were provided earlier.”And they are brought (them) in (perfect) resemblance; and therein they will have purified spouses and they are therein eternally (abiding)” (TMQ[xviii] 2:25).

Another snapshot of hope and happiness described in what Allah says that can be translated as, “(Some) faces upon that Day will be shining, Laughing, (happy) at the glad tidings “ (TMQ 80:38-39).  Allah is embedding in our hearts hope and is bringing glad tidings to those who do good deeds.  More than 60 ayahs[xix] in the Qur’an mention glad tidings. Reading the Qur’an is supposed to give you hope and remove despair from your heart.  It gives you hope in Allah’s Mercy, in His Assistance and Victory.

Another thing that is very interesting is that “Istibshar” which is to be happy and relaxed because you know that something good will happen, is an inherent character in human beings and that is why the word for “human” in Arabic is “Bashar”.  Allah says what can be translated as, “(Remember) as your Lord said to the Angels, “Surely I am creating a mortal of a clay “ (TMQ 38:71).

The word in the Qur’an for “man” is Bashar, which implies “Bushra”, a word that brings meanings like happiness, hope and relaxation to mind.  Therefore, originally humanity is supposed to have hope, and this ummah in particular is supposed to have hope and should never let despair crawl into their hearts.  In the Qur’an, you find Allah constantly giving glad tidings to the Prophets.

About Prophet Ibrahim (AS[xx]) (Abraham), Allah says what can be translated as, “So We gave him the good tidings of a forbearing youth” (TMQ 37:101).  And Ibrahim’s (AS) wife also; Allah says what can be translated as,  “And his wife was upright, so she laughed. Then We gave her the glad tidings of Ishaq, (Isaac) and even beyond Ishaq, of Yaaqû‍b (Jacob)” (TMQ 11:71).

About Ya’qub (AS) (Jacob) himself, when his son Yusuf (AS) (Joseph) was lost for decades and Ya’qub (AS) lost his sight out of weeping for this great loss, what did Allah say?  Allah says what can be translated as, “Then, as soon as the bearer of good tidings (actually) came, he cast it on his face; so he turned back a beholder once again. (i.e., He regained his eyesight) He said, “Did I not say to you that surely I know from Allah what you do not know?” (TMQ 12:96).

Another example in the Qur’an; Allah says what can be translated as, “’O Zakariyya, surely We give you good tidings of a youth whose name is Yahya (John). No namesake have We given him earlier’” (TMQ 19:7).

Additionally, Allah says what can be translated as, “As the Angels said, “O Maryam, (Mary) surely Allah gives you good tidings of a Word from Him whose name is the Masîh Isa (Literally: pens) son of Maryam, esteemed in the present (life) (Literally: the lowly “life”, i.e., the life of this world) and the Hereafter, and one of the near -stationed (i.e., stationed near to’ Allah)” (TMQ 3:45).

See how “good news” is everywhere in the Qur’an?  See how hope is the banner of our religion?  See how despair is such a non-Islamic behavior?  By Allah there is Hope!  By Allah the darkness of this night is ending and the sun will rise again!

But take care about this observation.  The glad tidings given to Prophets in the Qur’an      was related to having children, but the glad tidings given to the Believers at large was the coming of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS[xxi]).

Allah says what can be translated as, “And (remember) as Isa son of Maryam (Jesus son of Mary) said, “O Seeds (Or: sons) of Israel) surely I am the Messenger of Allah to you sincerely (verifying) that which is before (Literally: between my two hands) me of the Tawrah, (The Book revealed to Mûsa (Moses), of which the extant Torah is a corruption) and a constant bearer of good tidings of a Messenger who will come up even after me, whose name is ةAhmad.” Then, as soon as he came to them with the supreme evidence (s), they said, “This is evident sorcery” (TMQ 61:6).    

Moreover, and to Prophet Muhammad (SAWS), Allah says what can be translated as, ” Surely We have sent you with the Truth, a bearer of good tidings and a warner, and you will not be asked about the companions (i.e., the inhabitants) of the Hell-Fire” (TMQ 2:119).

Not only in the Qur’an, but also in the everyday Islamic vocabulary you find words that imply “glad tidings”.  For example, you have “The ten mubashareen bel-Jannah” which means the ten Companions that were given glad tidings when they were alive that they would be granted Paradise. And when Khadijah (RA[xxii]), the beloved wife of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) was dying, Jibril (AS) (Gabriel) came down to Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) telling him to give Khadijah (RA) glad tidings of a Palace made out of pearls in Paradise.  Even in the most difficult situations in our life, we are supposed to have hope.  This Religion is a source of Hope for humanity.

Now let us discuss something very important; are we mentioning “hope” today, just to raise our morale and feel better, or because it is an Islamic obligation to have hope?  Actually, having hope is an obligation for Muslims.  Ya’qub (AS) told his children in what Allah says that can be translated as,  “O my sons, go and inquire (Literally: grope, probe) about Yû‍suf and his brother, and do not despair of relief from Allah; surely none despairs of relief from Allah except the disbelieving people “ (TMQ 12:87).

This means that loosing hope in Allah’s Mercy is a sign of loosing your faith; it does not mean that you are a rejecter of faith, but it means that you are adopting and imitating a non-believer’s characteristic.  See how important hope is for a Muslim, it is part of our Faith.  Have Allah not say what can be translated as, “…“Peace be upon you. Your Lord has prescribed for Himself (the) mercy, …” (TMQ 6:54)?  Also, Allah says what can be translated as, “…and My mercy has embraced everything; … “ (TMQ 7:156)  How then can we not have hope?

A non-devout Muslim looses hope when the going gets tough, but the devout and sincere Muslim gains hope when things get worse because he is absolutely sure that Allah Sees and Hears and nothing happens except with His will.

Look and see how our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) used to plant Hope in our hearts.  Adyy Ibn-Hatem was a very wealthy and honored man but not yet a Muslim.     He became a Muslim after the following conversation with Prophet Muhammad (SAWS).     Let us listen to Adyy (RA) tell the story.

He said, “Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) came to me and said, ‘I know why you do not wish to embrace Islam.  You think that it is the preserve of the weak and the helpless, and that the Muslims are contemptible to the Arabs.  Do you know Al-Heira (a town on the borders of Iraq)?’  I replied, ‘I did not visit it, but I have heard of it.’”

The Prophet (SAWS) declared, “By Him in Whose hands is my soul, Islam shall be so firmly-established that a woman might travel from Al-Heira to the Sacred House without guard or escort, and that the treasures of Chosroes Ibn-Hermiz shall be at our disposal.”  I interrupted him in astonishment, “The treasures of Chosroes Ibn-Hermiz?” He said, “Yes; The treasures of Chosroes Ibn-Hermiz.”  He continued, saying, “And wealth and money will be so abundant, they will not find people that need it.”  Adyy (RA) continued with his story, “And thus we are today; Women come from Al-Heira to circumambulate the House without guard or escort, while I myself was one of those who seized the treasures of Chosroes Ibn-Hermiz.

“By Him in Whose hands is my soul, the third of the prophecies shall assuredly be realized, for it was prophesied by the Messenger of Allah.”  The thrust of Hope and Confidence in Prophet Muhammad’s voice, removed any traces of doubt in Adyy’s (RA) heart.  Can we have such hope that Allah will make us victorious and revive this ummah once again?

During the Battle of the Trench, when 10000 pagans from all over Arabia surrounded Muslims, who were outnumbered and hungry, they started to dig a Trench around Madinah to prevent the enemy from crossing and entering.  While the trench was being dug the Muslims came upon a large rock, which their picks could not shift.

When they complained to the Messenger of Allah about it, he took up a pick, saying, “In the name of Allah.” His first blow broke off a third of the rock and sent sparks flying.  “Allah is Great!”  He said, “I have been given the keys of Rome.  By Allah, I see its red castles, if Allah wills.”  He struck at the rock a second time and another third broke off. “Allah is Great! I have been given the keys of Persia and, by Allah, I see the white castles of al-Mada’en”.

With his third blow, he invoked the name of Allah and the rest of the rock shattered.  Can you imagine in such situation, surrounded, outnumbered, and hungry, the Prophet is promising the Companions with such victories?  Hope dear brothers and sisters.  Hope, and Confidence in Allah’s Victory!

After our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) was verbally and physically abused from the people of Ta’if, things started to seem very dark.  Nobody was embracing Islam anymore, Quraysh was oppressing and torturing Muslims, and no city was ready to defend the message of Islam.

At that moment Jibril (AS) came with the Angel of Mountains, who said “O Muhammad, if you wish, I could crush them (the people of Ta’if) between these two mountains!”  What did Prophet Muhammad reply with?  Did despair crawl into his heart letting him feel that there is no way that these people will embrace Islam and they are better off crushed?  No!

He said, “No, for maybe Allah will raise from their following generations people who will believe in Him.”  The Messenger of Allah had hope that the people who abused him and shed his honorable blood will enter into Islam one day.  He never gave up on them.  Hope dear brothers and sisters, hope.

From now, what are you waiting for?  What are your dreams?  If you have a dream then remain firm and persistent to make that dream come true and never loose hope.  With Allah’s Will it will happen!

If you are an athlete, plant hope firmly in your heart and say, “With the Will of Allah, I will train and win a gold medal in the Olympics, why not?  I am from the ummah of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS)!”  If you want to be the best Architect in your country, if that is your dream, stick to it and make it come true!

What is your dream?  Make it come true! 

What is the dream of this ummah?  Let us dream together, and let us make our dream come true!

What is our dream?  Entering the Aqsa mosque hand in hand, praying there, prostrating to Allah inside that Sanctified Mosque.  Imagine how many Muslims lived and died when the Aqsa mosque was occupied, and Allah honors you amongst them all by letting you be one of the Muslims that liberate it and enter it, victorious over your enemies and humble towards your Lord.

You are entering the mosque the same way Salahuddin entered it, and before him Omar Ibnul-Khattab (RA).  Who do you wish to be with you?  Whose hand do you want to be holding while entering the Aqsa mosque?  Whose tears of joy do you want to see on that day?  Can you hear the voices around you?  “Allahu Akbar” is coming from everywhere.

Can you hear that man reciting aloud what Allah says that can be translated as, “The Truth has come and untruth has expired; surely the untruth has been certain to expire.” (Literally: ever-expiring)” (TMQ 17:81).  Can you see the gates of the mosque?  Can you see the Dome of the Rock?  See the olive trees!  See your Palestinian brothers greeting you with hugs and joy?  Can you see those two people in front of you holding each other’s hands?

It is an Iraqi holding the hand of a Kuwaiti!  They are entering the Aqsa mosque together! Can you hear the adhan[xxiii]?  Are you imagining Bilal?  Can you feel your warm tears on your cheek?  Can you see that train?  What train is that?  It is the train that passes by every single Muslim country, linking them all together, and bringing Muslims from all over the world to the Aqsa mosque to pray together there.

Can you see yourself kissing the hands of a Palestinian woman?  You are telling her “Your son was martyred, I am your new son.”  Or saying, “Would you give me permission to rebuild your house that was demolished?”  What a beautiful dream.  Do you want it to come true?  Then live for it!  Dedicate your life to make that dream come true!

This dream is not an illusion, it is reality and it could happen, it will happen!  But succeed in your life, succeed in your studies, in your work, be more productive!  It will happen, but change yourself so that Allah may change us!   It will happen!   It will happen!   The dream will come true!

Why am I so sure?  Why am I so confident?  Ten reason, write them down, memorize them:

1- it is a Divine Law that Allah says what can be translated as,

    “… And such days We interchange (i.e. the change of fortune) among mankind   …” (TMQ 3:140).  Leading the World does not remain with only one group, Allah rotates it based on His Will and decreed Divine Laws.  First the East led the world because it was the Land of the Prophets and the Kingdoms of Solaiman (AS) (Solomon) and Dawud (AS) (David) were so powerful.

Then the power rotated to the West, the Romans and Greeks lead the world.  Then the power shifted again to the East and the Muslims lead the world, and then it went again to the West the way we see to day, and then, what is next?  Our turn is next!  Another Divine Law, Allah says what can be translated as, “… Surely Allah does not change what is in a people until they change what is in themselves; …” (TMQ 13:11).  Are we not changing?  We are!  And therefore Allah will change our overall situation!

2- this ummah never dies, it could get weak, but never dies?  Why?  Because it has the Eternal and Final Message of Allah with it, and the Message must be conveyed and therefore this ummah will never die.  This ummah is not like the Greeks, Romans, Persians, or Pharaohs!  No, this ummah has a mission to accomplish.  The Creator of the Worlds assists this ummah in accomplishing its mission!

This ummah never dies!  Would life on this planet last if the Sun or Moon were taken away?  No; the same thing with this ummah, its a fundamental ingredient in this planet, because it bears the teachings of the Creator to the people of this world.  The past 100 years were not the Sunset of Islam. It was just an eclipse.  If this ummah dies, then it means that the world has come to an end.  This ummah will rise up again!

3- Allah says what can be translated as, “Surely We indeed vindicate Our Messengers and the ones who have believed in the present life (Literally: lowly life, i.e., the life of this world) and upon the Day when the (noble) Witnesses rise up” (TMQ 40:51).

See, victory is not just on the Day of Judgment, but in this World also!  Allah says what can be translated as,

 “Allah has promised the ones of you who have believed and done deeds of righteous- ness that indeed He will definitely make them successors in the earth, (even) as He made the ones who were before them successors, and that indeed He will definitely establish for them their religion that He is Divinely satisfied with (i.e., that He approves of) for them, and that indeed He will definitely give them in exchange, even after their fear, security. ‘They shall worship Me, not associating with Me anything.’ …” (TMQ 24:55).

Also, Allah says what can be translated as, “They would (like) to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths; and Allah refuses (anything) except to perfect His light, though the disbelievers hate (that)” (TMQ 9:32).

Has hope been embedded in your heart or not?  Not yet?  Then listen to what the Messenger of Allah (SAWS) said.

4- “Verily, Allah (SWT[xxiv]) folded the earth for me, so much so that I saw its East and its West: The kingdom of my ummah will reach as far as the earth was folded for me.”  Is that a glad tiding or not?  The Prophet was asked, “Which of the two cities would be conquered first, Constantinople or Rome?” to which he replied, “The city of Heraclius would be conquered first (i.e. Constantinople).”  Then 800 years later, Muhammad al-Fatih conquered Constantinople.

Constantinople has been opened; now its time for Rome.  It is a Prophetic promise, and it will come true.  But take care, Opening a City does not necessarily mean by war.  It could happen without a drop of blood but instead by dialogue, the way Indonesia the biggest Muslim country entered Islam.  Look at the Europeans today, they are entering Islam in large numbers, people need Islam, and Islam is growing everywhere in Europe, including Rome.  The Muslims will rule Rome.

Also, Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) said, “The Last Day will not arrive until the Earth is filled with injustice and treachery, then Allah will send a man that will fill it with justice and mercy.”  It is a Prophetic promise and it will happen with the Will of Allah!

Has hope stretched its roots deep into your heart yet?    Not yet!  There are more reasons to have hope and confidence.

5- whenever this religion becomes at the edge of destruction, it rises high up again and becomes stronger than what it used to be.  This can be seen repeatedly in our history.  During the Year of Grief, Khadijah (RA) the beloved wife of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) died as well as Abu-Taleb, his uncle.  Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) lost his emotional supporters, his wife and his only political support, his uncle.

Things got really bad, but what happened right after?  The Hijrah (the migration from Makkah to Madinah) and the first Islamic State with all the victories that followed!  Every time you think that it is impossible, Islam returns stronger than before.  When Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) died and most of Arabia rejected Islam, again, and started to fight the few Believers remaining, Islam was at the brink of destruction, but what happened right after?

Both the Roman and Persian Empires were defeated after Islam was re-established firmly in Arabia!  The Tawa’if dynasty fell in Andalusia, and then right after, the Dynasty of The Murabits rose up and shined for 400 years in Spain! The Crusaders occupied Jerusalem for 90 years, and right after, Salahuddin liberated it! The Tatars sacked Baghdad and killed millions of Muslims, and right after, Qutuz defeated them and the Tatars willingly embraced Islam.  Muslims were expelled out of Spain and they lost al-Andalusia, at the same time, the Ottoman Empire rose in Turkey.  Islam was expelled from the West of Europe and at the same time rose high in its East!  This Religion has a mysterious inner power that keeps it alive no matter what happens.  When the going gets tough, all of the sudden an enormous amount of energy and power bursts from the Muslims.

What else make me so sure our dreams will come true and the ummah will rise again?

6- the widespread awareness and awakening in our youth all over the world.  Mosques are full of youth and students are excelling in their studies.  Muslims from all ages are learning tajweed[xxv] and memorizing Qur’an.  Huge numbers of sisters are wearing the hijab[xxvi].  Islamic books are the most sold books in the Muslim world.  More people want to perform hajj[xxvii] and umrah[xxviii], and from all ages.  Successful Muslims in different domains of life are getting closer to Allah!  Popular Muslim celebrities are getting closer to Allah and becoming devout Muslims.  Non-Muslim celebrities in the West are embracing Islam.  Glad Tidings!  Everywhere you go you find Glad Tidings!

7- Muslim Women are getting closer to Allah!  And if women get closer to Allah, then the whole family becomes closer to Allah, because she is the mother, wife and sister.     Muslim women are half of the society, and they bring up the other half!

8- our ummah has an enormous degree of energy and resources: spiritual energy, manpower, and financial and economical resources.

9- the rest of the world is getting weaker in its principles and morals with the spread of immorality and social bankruptcy.  As if Allah is showing us that all the systems other than Islam do not work, and only Islam could be our complete way of life.  Did we not try Communism and Socialism, where did it take us?  Are we not trying Capitalism? Are we getting better?  Nothing works except what Allah has given Mankind; Islam.  Even the previous widespread obsession with the Western Culture is shrinking in our Muslim countries.

10- the last reason that I am sure that our victory and rise are soon is that Victory comes right when we reach the worst levels of defeat.  Dawn comes right after the night reaches its darkest stages.

Hope brothers and sisters HOPE!  

Spread the word!

[xviii] TMQ = Translation of the Meaning of the Qur’an.  This translation is for the realized  meaning, so far, of the stated (Surah:Ayah) of the Qur’an.  Reading the translated  meaning of the Qur’an can never replace reading it in Arabic, the language in which it was revealed.

[xix] Ayah = A verse in the Qur’an.

[xx] AS = Alayhe/alayha as-Salam [Peace be upon him].

[xxi] SAWS = Salla Allah alayhe Wa Salam [All Prayers and Blessings of Allah be upon him]

[xxii] RA = Radeya Allahu anha [May Allah be pleased with her].

[xxiii] Adhan = the call to prayer.

[xxiv] SWT = Suhanahu wa Ta’ala  [Glorified and Exalted Be He].

[xxv] Tajweed = A system of rules regulating the correct oral rendering of the Qur’an

[xxvi] Hijab = literally “cover”. It describes the self-covering of the body for the purposes of modesty and dignity; broadly, a prescribed system of attitudes and behaviour regarding modesty and dignity.

[xxvii] Hajj = The pilgrimage to Makkah during the first half of the month of Dhul-Hijjah, and is the fifth pillar of Islam.

[xxviii] Umrah = A voluntary short pilgrimage that can be performed at any time of the year.

source: until they change themselves by amr khaled

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About theCall

“Invite to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious..”
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