Give your people hope and glad tidings

April 16th, 2013 @   -  No Comments

The Battle of Ahzab (or the Battle of the Ditch) was a very testing time for the Muslim community around the Prophet (PBUH). Several big tribes of the Arabian Peninsula, aided by some non-believers within Medina, surrounded the city to finish off the young Muslim community once and for all. Allah describes this chilling situation:

Behold! they came on you from above you and from below you, and behold, the eyes became dim and the hearts gaped up to the throats, and you imagined various  (vain) thoughts about Allah!  In that situation were the Believers tried: they were shaken as by a tremendous shaking.  And behold! The Hypocrites and those in whose hearts is a disease (even) say: “Allah and His Apostle promised us nothing but delusion!”  Behold! A party among them said: “You men of Yathrib!  you cannot stand (the attack)! therefore go back!” And a band of them ask for leave of the Prophet, saying, “Truly our houses are bare and exposed,” though they were not exposed they intended nothing but to run away. (Quran 33:10-13)

What was the Prophet’s (PBUH) response? He helped maintain the believers’ strong faith in Allah and raised their morale by giving them glad tidings about the success they were going to achieve.

While digging the ditch around Medina, the companions would call the Prophet (PBUH) to break the large rocks that they could not break. While breaking one of them, he said, “Allah Akbar, I was given the keys of Sham (Palestine, Syria, Jordan – which was still under Roman control)… Allah Akbar, I was given the keys of Persia, By Allah I can see Madain and its white palace from here… Allah Akbar, I was given the keys of Yemen and by Allah I can see the doors of Sanaa from here.”

Not only did this message indicate that they will be victorious in this battle but also that they will gain control of all the areas around the Arabian Peninsula, which were ruled by great empires at the time.

As a leader, the Prophet (PBUH) was always optimistic and constantly instilling the spirit of hope and optimism in his followers.

Given that he is our role model, are we instilling the spirit of hope and optimism in those around us as he did?

Reflect on your behaviour in this regard. Is your faith in Allah such that you only see and expect good things to happen, even in those incidents which at first appear bad or not in your interest? Allah tells us, “But it is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and that you love a thing which is bad for you.  But God knows, and you know not.” (Quran 2:216)

Moreover, Allah warns us against despair. Indeed, he is not a believer who loses hope in Allah. In the conversation between Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) and the angels who visited him, Allah tells us, “They said, ‘We have given you good tidings in truth, so do not be of the despairing’. He said, ‘And who despairs of the mercy of his Lord, but such as go astray?’” (Quran 15:55-56)

Allah also instructs his prophet, “Say, ‘O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of God: for God forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.’” (Quran 39:53)

How do you carry the message of hope among those you influence?

Be hopeful

You can’t carry a message of hope if you do not practice it yourself. How do you see the world? Is it one full of opportunities or one of hardship and scarcity? Do you truly believe that Allah’s mercy and sustenance is boundless and that He gives His servants without measure? Do you believe that He is closer to us than our jugular vein, He hears and knows everything, and answers the call of those who call on Him? Do you believe that He loves you and wants the best for you? If yes, then you can be a carrier of the message of hope. If not, reflect more on these issues, strengthen your belief in the true message of Islam and increase your trust in Allah.

Spread the message of hope

The Prophet (PBUH) told us, “How amazing is the affair of the Muslim. His affairs are all good. If he experiences ease, he is grateful, and that is good for him. If he experiences hardship, he faces it with patience and perseverance, and that is also good for him.” (Bukhari) Instil this message of hope in your people.

Take action

Ibn al-Qayyim explained the difference between hope and wishful thinking. The latter involves laziness where the person neither exerts himself nor strives to achieve what he wishes. Hope, however, entails striving, exertion and beautiful reliance.

The first is like the one who wishes that the earth would plant and sow its own seeds for him. The second is like the one who actually tills the soil, plants the seeds and then hopes that crops will grow. Therefore, hope and action go hand in hand.

As leaders, let us move forward with the message of hope and glad tidings to all those who want Allah to guide them to success in this life and the hereafter.

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