Every day of our lives is filled with the moments in which we long for an anchor to whom we could rest our hopes. As Muslims, having hope in Allah is our way of dealing with such moments. Each one of us faces many issues, be it related to our financial status, problems at work, family, or any other social or personal challenge. Our friends and the ones around us might try to soothe us, giving us some hope and helping us not to give up and stand aside. Sometimes you might hear words like “Never lose your faith in God” or “Allah helps the ones who help themselves” or even “God knows that you have tried.” These words may help you at that moment and move your emotions from distress to hope. But is this a long-run solution? Are we supposed to have hope in Allah? Is that possible, with all the problems and the difficulties of modern life?
The American Heritage defines the word hope as to wish for a particular event to happen. It also gives an archaic definition as to have confidence; to Trust” . As the meaning suggests, it refers to having a positive outlook toward future events. Also, it presents trust and confidence in the one who makes everything come true with his will power.
The Holy Quran insists on the fact that the believers must never lose hope in the Mercy of Allah:
"Say [that Allah declares,] ‘O My servants who have committed excesses against their own souls, do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed Allah will forgive all sins. Indeed, He is the All-forgiving, the All-merciful." Quran (39:53)
It gives many examples of the state of the ones who were on the verge of giving up when Allah assisted them in some way. One of those examples is about Jacob, who was waiting for his dear son, Joseph, for many years. No one could even think that he might find his lost son again. When his sons went to Egypt to meet the king for the second time and saw what has befallen on their other brother Benjamin, Jacob advised them and said: “Go, my sons, and look for Joseph and his brother, and do not despair of Allah’s mercy. Indeed no one despairs of Allah’s mercy except the faithless lot.” Quran (12:87)
He has all the power and strength to do whatever He wishes to do, that’s for sure. He has invited and asked the believers to have faith in His Power, assistance, mercy, forgiveness, satisfaction, bounty, etc. All that he is trying to convey is that we must be hopeful because we have Allah on our side. The Quran gives us another example, the very first Muslims who emigrated to Medina with Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), hoping for Allah to help them. Almighty Allah says that the money donated to Islam belongs to the poor, the needy, and the emigrants who left their houses to support their own prophet:
“The spoils that Allah gave to His Apostle from the people of the townships are for Allah and the Apostle, the relatives, and the orphans, the needy and the traveler so that they do not circulate among the rich among you. Take whatever the Apostle gives you, and refrain from whatever he forbids you, and be wary of Allah. Indeed, Allah is severe in retribution. [They are also] for the poor Emigrants who have been expelled from their homes and [wrested of] their possessions, who seek grace from Allah and [His] pleasure and help Allah and His Apostle. It is they who are truthful.” Quran (59:7-8)
Furthermore, He insists on the fact that he forgives the sins of those who repent, calling himself Forgiving 91 times in the Quran . His Forgiveness and Mercy are higher than any other creature, great enough to be on our side whenever we call Him wholeheartedly.
To conclude, one must remember the fact that no human and non-human power, wish, desire, etc. is higher than that of Allah. He asks all his creatures to believe in Him and rely on his willpower. So why should we doubt? Having hope in Allah can turn us into optimistic individuals who are proven to be more productive in their daily life, physically and mentally healthier, and more flexible in hard times and situations .
- American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
- Subhani, Jafar The Eternal Prism , Pp 307-308 at
- Conversano, C., Rotondo, A., Lensi, E., Della Vista, O., Arpone, F., & Reda, M. A. (2010). Optimism and its impact on mental and physical well-being. Clinical practice and epidemiology in mental health: CP & EMH, 6, 25–29.
Before she was born, both Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) and lady Khadija (AS) went to a spiritual retreat separately for forty days by the command of Allah. During those days, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) and Lady Khadija (AS) prayed Allah sincerely and prepared their pure soul to receive Allah's blessing, their beloved daughter. After those forty days of worship and servitude, angels brought Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) an apple from heaven, and he broke his fast with those gifts from Allah. That night Lady Fatima (AS) was formed .
The father-daughter relationship between Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) and Lady Fatima (AS) was one of a kind. Here, we are going to exemplify some instances of deep father-daughter love between the two and the formation of an ideal respectful relationship.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) was always affectionate and caring toward Lady Fatima (AS). He used to kiss her throat every time she returned from a trip . In response, she used to hug her dear father and kiss his forehead, between his eyes . He didn't get to sleep before kissing her cheeks and praying for her, which reveal his deep respect and fatherly love toward her . Aisha said she was the most similar person to Muhammad (PBUH&HP) in her speech. Whenever she came to see Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), he used to take her hand and kiss her and sat next to her, and whenever Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) went to meet Fatima (AS), she used to kiss his hand and sat next to him respectfully .
Lady Fatima (AS) lost her mother when she was five. The other five years of her life passed without a mother. As a daughter, she used to take care of her father. Whenever the unbelievers threw him stones and ashes, Fatima (AS) used to take care of him and do what a mother does for her child. That is why when Allah asked Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) to call his wives Umol-Mumenin (Mother of the Believers), she asked him to grant her a title, too, Then Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) called her Umme Abiha, the mother of her father .
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) was at home, resting, with his cloak over his body. Fatima (AS) came beside him with some food. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) asked her to call her husband, Ali (AS), and her two sons, Hassan (AS) and Hussain (AS). They started eating together when Allah inspired this verse to his Prophet:
"Stay in your houses and do not flaunt your finery like the former [days of pagan] ignorance. Maintain the prayer and pay the zakat, and obey Allah and His Apostle. Indeed, Allah desires to repel all impurity from you, O People of the Household, and purify you with a thorough purification." Quran (33:33)
Then Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) covered the four of them with the remaining of his cloak and prayed:
O Allah, these are the people of my household and my special ones. Keep them pure and clean and take all evil away from them .
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) used to know about the difficulty of Lady Fatima's (AS) life after his death and the cruelty imposed on her and her family, and he cried for that a lot. Once when she was crying, he inspired her with this news: "You will join me in the other world soon after"  Lady Fatima (AS) was martyred 95 days after the death of his father!
- Naseri, Muhammad (2011), Prophet Muhammad's Behavior with Fatima, Farhang-e Kothar, vol. 81.
- Bihar al-Invar, Vol.43, p. 6.
- ibid, p 40.
- ibid, p 42.
- Amini, Ibrahim The Model Woman of Islam, Fatima Pp108-109.
- Qa'emi, Ali In Fatima's School p.90.
- Tabatabai, Muhammad Hussain, Tafsir Al-Mizan Vol. 16, P 474
- Qomi, Abbas, Montahal Aamal p164.
Love and kindness are two of the main components of Islam. To the extent that Allah regards Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) as kind and benevolent towards people of all nations in the Holy Quran: “We did not send you but as a mercy to all the nations (21:107).” And says that if he had not been gentle to people, they would have surely scattered from around him. (3:159)
Imam Hussain (AS), following in his grandfather’s footsteps, also placed particular emphasis on this prophetic trait and ethic. He was not only gentle and affectionate towards his children, family, and relatives, but also showed great care, compassion, and respect towards others, even his enemies. The whole Fifty-seven years of Imam Hussain (AS)’s life are replete with such exemplary behavior. He did not give up this attitude towards others even in the hardest situations, like when he was at war with his enemies in the desert of Karbala.
Here we will see only a few examples of Imam Hussain’s (AS) love and affection towards others in the last days of his life:
Imam Hussain (AS)'s Attention to Children:
During the battle, in Karbala, Imam Hussain (AS) would sympathize with his family and children and treated them with love and care whenever possible.
At the night before Ashura, Imam Hussain (AS) refers to his relatives and companions as the best ones ever: “It is a fact that I am not aware of any companions more faithful and honest than my companions and any relatives more righteous and kind than my relatives.” Imam Hussain (AS) then permits all his companions to leave him without any restrictions to save their lives, but they don’t accept. On several occasions, such as the morning of Ashura, he addresses them with the most respectful titles like “the nobles.” Also, it is narrated that during the battle, Imam (AS) would be present near his martyred companions himself, and wept and prayed for them one by one, even for the African slave, Jawn.
Imam Hussain (AS) never used foul language or even one wrong word against his enemy. He would not hesitate to take advantage of any opportunity to stop the violence and invite his enemies to peace. For instance, when Imam Hussain (AS) and his companions came across Hur, and his army, who were supposed to intercept Imam Hussain (AS) outside Kufa, Imam Hussain (AS) quenched their thirst. He, along with his companions, also even gave water to their horses.
Another example of Imam Hussain’s compassion for the enemy is his encounter with Umar ibn Sa’ad and the other commanders of the enemy’s army on the day of Ashura, and his effort to persuade them to stop the war. In fact, Imam (AS) did not want them to commit an unforgivable sin- i.e., killing the innocent Imam (AS) and his companions- that would make them end up in hell.
So, it was only Imam Hussain's (AS) love and mercy towards humankind that touched every one’s heart, even his enemy to the extent that some of whom, like Hur, would surrender to righteousness, accompany Imam Hussain (AS), perform their prayer in congregation behind him, fight against his enemy and finally be martyred along with him.
This is Imam Hussain’s (AS) lesson of tolerance and benevolence towards all human beings, which is beyond any religion or sect; that if one does not want to follow a particular religion, he/she can at least live a human life .