Life is Qadar, and Qadar is of the unseen, and the unseen is only known by God. Our share of this life is part Tawakkul and part good outlook or optimism. Tawakkul is mainly utilizing materialistic means and the good outlook is utilizing the non-materialistic means. And after that, whatever God decides to bring to your door as an outcome, you should accept by submitting and surrendering to it.

Two verses in the Quran are the guide to such understanding. The first where Allah ﷻ said: {Say, “Lord, Owner of the Kingdom, You give authority to whomever You want and take it away from whomever You want. You give honor to whomever You want and humiliate whomever You want. In Your hands is all virtue and You have power over all things.} 3:26. In this verse Allah ﷻ concludes that regardless of how you see circumstances of people rising or falling, honored or humiliated, at the end it is all khair or good. For Allah ﷻ does not create something of pure evil.

In the other verse in the Quran, Allah ﷻ spoke about the prophet ﷺ while being with Abu Bakr in the cave of Thawr and Abu Bakr said: “If any of the pagans looked down by his feet he would see us!” The prophet ﷻ said: “What do you think of two people where Allah ﷻ is the third with them!” {Do not be sad, God is with us.} 9:40. In this verse we learn that anyone who can invite the companionship of Allah ﷻ to him, it shall ease hardship unto him for everything that occurs in this world is under the control of God.

One whose heart is only seeing the materialistic means and is unable to see God’s Hand controlling everything in this world will live in a state of constant worry and pain, for these means will fail him one after another. These means are all under the power of God, Allah ﷻ said: {And among His signs that heavens and earth are sustained by His command.} 30:25.

In Islam there is no place for pessimism. The prophet ﷺ said: “There is no place for pessimism, and I like the (Fa’le) righteous optimism.” They said: and what is the Fa’le, oh prophet of Allah? He said: “The nice word, the gentle word.”[1]

We owe each other good words and words of optimism in moments of ease and moments and hardship.

The prophet ﷺ said: “If you entered to an ill person, breathe (postpone) for him in (Ajal; appointed term of death); although it does not prevent matters (of fate) but it soothes the sick person’s soul.”[2]

Even when the prophet ﷺ visited Um Al-Sae’b and heard her heavy breathing he said: “What is this heavy breathing?” She said: It is fever, may God empty fever from any blessings! He ﷺ said: “Do not curse fever for it removes the person’s sins as a bellow clears bad metal.”

When the children of Israel were followed by Pharoah and got trapped by the sea they said {Indeed, we are, most surely [doomed to be] overtaken! Moses said: No, indeed! Most surely, my lord is with me. He will guide me.} 26:63. And we know that God brought the miracle of opening the sea and saving Moses with his people.

Being optimistic also helps you repent. Satan will always use sins that you have committed to drag you into more sins, and he tries to convince you to give up and to be hopeless. Allah ﷻ urged people to be optimistic and see Allah’s door open for mercy and forgiveness when they fall into sin. He said: {Say [O prophet: God declares to humanity.]: O my servants! Those [of you], who have committed [sins in great] excess against their own souls; never despond of the mercy of God! For, indeed, God forgives sins, one and all.} 39:53.

We should always rush to Dua when we feel pessimistic. The prophet said: “If someone saw what he hates let him say: O Allah no good deeds will be brought but by You and no harm will be prevented but by You and no power or strength but only through You.”

By Sh. Kifah Mustapha

[1] Bukhari

[2] Tirmizi