By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com
We all feel weary at times. We feel like we’re fighting on so many fronts and that we have no helpers. At times our passion drains away and we feel like we’re just going through the motions. This happens to me. I think it happens to everyone.
At those moments, Shaytan (Satan) tries to push us into despair. Despair is one of Shaytan’s greatest weapons. If we are in debt, Shaytan tries to get us to despair of getting out of debt. If we’re ill, he tries to convince us to despair of getting well. If we have committed sins, he whispers to us to despair of Allah’s mercy and the possibility of forgiveness. He tries to make us despair of our futures, despair of our salvation, and fail to see the beauty in our lives.
Believers must resist Shaytan’s whispers. Believers must be people of hope, and must see the world through eyes of hope. Believers make life choices that are rooted in hope.
“Shaytan threatens you with poverty and orders you to immorality, while Allah promises you forgiveness from Him and bounty. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.” – Quran, Al-Baqarah, 2:268
So we have two different calls echoing in our ears. Shaytan calls us to fear, and grasping attachment to this material world.
Allah the Almighty, on the other hand, offers us forgiveness and true blessings. Allah offers us hope. Hope is not wishing on a star, or daydreaming. Hope is a real thing, because it’s a part of trusting Allah. After all, prayer is all about hope.
The Quran tells us that with every difficulty comes ease. Hope is an acknowledgment of that reality, that things will get better, and a time of ease will come.
When life becomes hard, we need to see through eyes of hope, not eyes of despair.
Eyes of Hope
The morning spills out
yellow like a poppy field.
My street is emerald with life:
olives and spring fire,
Chinese fringe and apricot.
My six year old daughter
kneels to pet a cat
but it runs, bell jingling.
“That cat is complicated,” she says.
Later she grasps my hand
and says, “Baba,
you are number one.”
There’s a smell of rain in the air.
When Salma was near
to being born, the doctor said
that the umbilical cord
was looped around her neck.
She could suffocate, he said.
For a week of nights my thoughts raced
as I lay in bed, listening to the frogs
in the field behind the house.
I prayed much harder
than I’ve ever prayed for myself.
As we walk, Salma collects
acorns and red berries,
fallen leaves and dandelions.
“I’m making a nature salad,”
she says. “I’ll hand you the things,
and you put them in the bucket.
That’s the process.”
I want to laugh, but I only smile,
and I follow Salma down the street
humbly, and with eyes of hope.
– Wael Abdelgawad