Seeing Through Eyes of Hope

Big Wet Meadow in Cloud Canyon, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

Big Wet Meadow in Cloud Canyon, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, California.

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.

Salma

Salma

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

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Article by Wael

Wael Abdelgawad is an Egyptian-American living in Fresno, California. He is the founder of several Islamic websites, including Zawaj.com and IslamicAnswers.com, and also of various technology and travel websites. He is a writer and poet, and has been a web developer since 1997. This project, IslamicSunrays.com, is very dear to his heart, as it has allowed him to express ideas that have growing inside him for many years. Wael is divorced and has one lovely young daughter. He practices and teaches martial arts (somewhat obsessively), and loves Islamic books, science fiction, and vanilla fudge ice cream. Wael is an advocate for human rights and blogs about these issues at AbolishTorture.com. He is also a volunteer with the MyDeen Muslim youth organization in Fresno. Wael tagged this post with: , , , Read 259 articles by
7 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Amy says:

    “Heart in front”…kind of like Iron Man. Very befitting of someone who is a true hero to many, not the least of which- his daughter!

    • Wael says:

      Iron Man, ha ha. He was one of my heroes when I was a kid, along with Spider Man and Daredevil. I think they were my favorites because they are basically ordinary guys with a few minor enhancements.

      We need some Muslim superheroes. Not counting Super Picnic Guy.

    • Wael says:

      Not that all those fighting for freedom around the world and working to support their families are not heroes. They are. But I do think we literally need some Muslim superhero comics and movies. Our kids are all watching these movies, we might as well give them some Muslim figures to admire. Imagine a superhero movie where the hero defeats the bad guy, then does salat…

  2. muslim says:

    Salam aleikum. Speaking about super heroes… There is a hadith that drawings are not allowed (of human and animals). Some say for educational reasons only.. But only Allah knows.

  3. nouha says:

    MashAllah, beautiful article Wael, as always
    Nice to hear your touching words once again 🙂

  4. Memoy says:

    can’t thanQ enough!!
    It truely made a difference to me .
    (readin this ) – luv it ,

    keep on posting these stuff.
    yestarday: i was askin ma friend ( what is prayer ? )

    so that answers my call,

    Allaah yebarek feek w fe bentak ya Wael.

    keep it up,
    ur making a difference ,

  5. Amy says:

    Salaams,

    When I read this for the first time last week, it was just a nice read. I came back on the site today looking for something specific, but decided to reread it. I saw you reworked the poem, and I like the expanded version (though I miss the “heart in front/iron man part lol).

    Anyway, after re-reading this article it had more meaning for me (maybe you edited it too, and I didn’t realize it?) These days it seems like more and more, all there IS is hope. Everything gets ripped away if Allah likes- children, lovers, homes, cars, dreams…nothing in this life we might otherwise find our comfort in lasts. All that’s left at the end is the reality that Allah pulls us -with hope- back to our eternities.

    I will not despair that I probably will never bear any more children, especially a daughter, because I hope to see the daughter I already gave birth to forever in Jannah.

    I will not despair at the loss of my marriage, because I hope that the loss will bring growth to both myself and the man I’ve loved which will please Allah most.

    I will not despair that my youngest son is having tremendous mental turmoil requiring his current hospitalization, because Allah can heal any hurt and I trust Him to help me be the mother he needs to find peace again.

    I will not despair that I lost my car for good yesterday due to an irreparable break-down, because never once has Allah left me in want at the time of my need.

    I will not despair at all the dreams I’ve given up, sacrificed toward the greater good or for the sake of another’s need, because Allah has a greater plan for my life than I could ever imagine, and He is bringing me closer to it each day.

    So, brothers and sisters, if I can hope despite these trials, so can all of us. I thank Allah for what He has NOT afflicted me with- for His blessings of health, strength, perseverence, and even stubbornness. I love You, Allah, because You know best what I need to make me who I was always supposed to be.

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