Remembering God’s Mercy can help you to stay hopeful even in difficult times In Sha Allah
“Are you not ashamed to despair? How many times have you shed tears, fearing the worst, expecting nothing good to come to you simply because you do not feel you deserve it? How many times have you received what you couldn’t even bring yourself to hope for? Who are you to believe that the generosity of Allah SWT will be withheld even though you’ve received so many blessings? Hope is the state of faith, of knowing and remembering what is true. Have you not been saved from every dark period, protected from your worst fears, comforted when even your sleep no longer brought rest and peace? Have you not witnessed miracles in the form of love, success and healing? Would you not let your doubt rest after all this? Would you hold onto it with fear tighter than hope with love and contentment? Allow yourself to hope fully, dream vividly and work without fear of failure – the worst that can come is falling, but have you not been caught every single time?”
The paragraph above was written in a personally difficult and dark time when suddenly a realisation that Allah SWT is so very Merciful brought hope. Mercy and hope are so interlinked in so many ways. If you forget the Lord’s Mercy, the world can be a very dark and scary place. His Mercy is the ultimate source of hope we have. Knowing that Allah SWT helps and guides and wants the best for each and every single one of us gives us hope, because this life isn’t meant to be a personal hell – it is meant to be a place of learning and growing and it is full of blessings which are a mercy from Allah SWT. Being grateful for the blessings we have both reminds us of the good that we are given and that we should hope.
Think about some friends or family members you have and what qualities stand out for each of them. If you have a friend that is extremely generous, and you have a dinner party at their house planned (post-lockdown of course), you would never think “I will go to their house and my friend will not give me any food”, because of the way they have been generous in the past and the way they have spoken to you about the dinner party you feel absolutely sure that when you walk into their house you will be hit with the smells of many delicious dishes which they will lovingly and generously pile onto your plate at dinner. Yet too often we might lose sight of Allah’s Mercy and therefore think badly of Allah SWT, Astaghfirallah (I seek forgiveness in Allah). He gives us our food, water, clothes, our loved ones, our joy and absolutely everything we need but too often we feel frustrated that we don’t have something that we want, we might feel that something is being withheld from us or we might get so used to not having something that we lose hope of ever being given it.
A powerful reminder that continually remembering Allah’s Mercy can help us to hold onto hope is the story of Zakariya AS, who saw Maryam RA with sustenance, and was so surprised and asked her where the food came from. Maryam RA’s response was Allah SWT, which later encouraged Zakariya AS to pray for a child as he had witnessed how the Lord could provide anything out of His Mercy and therefore indeed Allah SWT could out of His Mercy grant him a child even in his old age.
“So her Lord accepted her graciously and blessed her with a pleasant upbringing—entrusting her to the care of Zachariah. Whenever Zachariah visited her in the sanctuary, he found her supplied with provisions. He exclaimed, “O Mary! Where did this come from?” She replied, “It is from Allah. Surely Allah provides for whoever He wills without limit.”
Then and there Zachariah prayed to his Lord, saying, “My Lord! Grant me—by your grace—righteous offspring. You are certainly the Hearer of ˹all˺ prayers.”
So the angels called out to him while he stood praying in the sanctuary, “Allah gives you good news of ˹the birth of˺ John who will confirm the Word of Allah and will be a great leader, chaste, and a prophet among the righteous.””
Remember Allah’s Mercy in your life. Maybe write a list of all the beautiful and wonderful things that have happened in your life that you couldn’t imagine would have happened before. Remember all these miracles in your life. Maybe it’s getting a dream job, or getting married to the man or woman of your dreams or getting into a university you never thought you’d get into, or meeting a dear friend in the most unexpected way. Those beautiful and wonderful things have happened in your life and they are signs of His Mercy towards you personally. In Sha Allah there will be many more things like these that make you think “SubhanAllah, how Merciful and Kind is my Lord to me!” As we are moving into the final month of this Gregorian year with all it’s strange and unfortunate events our next theme in December is “Hope”. With the remembrance of Mercy we want to encourage you to stay hopeful and start the new year with hope and only the very best opinion of Allah SWT so you can make the most of this final month of the year and the new one In Sha Allah.
What is one mercy you have in your life that gives you hope?