Optimism: I am as my Servant thinks of Me

The Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “Allah, the Most High, said, ‘I am as My servant thinks (expects) I am. I am with him when he mentions Me. If he mentions Me to himself, I mention him to Myself; and if he mentions Me in an assembly, I mention him in an assembly greater than it. If he draws near to Me a hand’s length, I draw near to him an arm’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.’ ” [Hadith Qudsi]

Positive thinking is a great quality of any human being. In order to be stress-free and more effective, we will have to start thinking positively. Positive thinking does not mean that we should ignore life’s less pleasant situations. It means that our attitude towards unpleasant situations will be more positive and we will deal with them in a more productive way. We should think the best is going to happen, not the worst. There is a negative attitude that has spread across the Muslim world. If we have trouble finding a job, we will blame society around us for being racist. If someone is going through hard times, we will assume Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) is punishing them because they are bad Muslims. Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) says in the Qur’an at many places that we should always expect the best of Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He), meaning He subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) will have mercy on us and will relieve us of hardship. He subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) will forgive us if we seek forgiveness, will accept our repentance if we repent, will answer us if we supplicate, and will suffice us if we ask for something. We should call upon Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) while we are certain that we will be answered by Him. The mindset for us, and for our children, must be to fulfill our obligations while we are certain that Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) will accept our actions and forgive our sins and make our matters easier for us. So, whoever performs such a deed and believes and expects that Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) will not accept it and that it will not benefit him, this is despair from the Mercy of Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) and is from the greatest of the major sins. Sometimes we assume the worst. We start to think that we are deprived of our rights, have bad luck, deserve more than what Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) gave them, and it is as if they are saying: ‘My Lord has wronged me and deprived me of what I deserve,’ and our soul bears witness to this while our tongue denies it and refuses to openly state this. So, let us ask ourselves, are we protected from this type of mindset? This type of attitude is very destructive and we should try our best to keep our children from negativity and always think positive in all situations.

‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said: “By the One besides Who none is worthy of worship, the believer is not given anything good better than his good expectations of Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He), and by the One besides Who none is worthy of worship, no servant of Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) expects good of Him except that Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) gives him what he expected, since all good is in His Hand.” [Reflections: Expecting the Best From Allāh, P.No:6]

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