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Hope through the realistic view towards life

By His Eminence, the late Religious Authority, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah (ra)

Islam does not settle for raising hope in man’s soul through faith only, for that can lose track, in certain cases, if it is not founded on a concrete realistic basis, for the soul is usually influenced by concrete reality more than it is affected by theoretical thought…

Thus, the Holy Quran tried to link man to belief in the unseen by contemplating about the secrets and sophistications of life that links man to the eternal fountain of faith… In the light of this, the Quran adopted a realistic method for raising hope in man’s soul, based on the natural law Allah has set to govern life, which signifies that after every hardship there is relief, and after every difficulty there comes facility, for life entails problems just as it entails solutions, it results in losses just as it results in gains and it draws smiles just as it makes one shed tears…

If there exists no permanent state in life, what does it mean to be imprisoned in this state and ignore the other states?!

By that, you would be deviating from the correct perception of life; thus, giving life a meaning unlike its true meaning and derailing it from its natural course…

If life’s suffocating circumstances corner you and tighten their grip on your neck, trying to suffocate you, do not ever imagine that these difficult circumstances will persist forever. Take a look at your past life or the life of others and you will come across many evidences which signify that the difficult circumstances have always turned into flexible easy ones that efface any trace of difficulty from the soul…

Therefore, what makes the difficult circumstances you are going through one of a kind?! And what can change the movement of life that settles not on a particular state?!

The Quran, as it displays to man the images of life going in several directions, tries to change your narrow view that is bound to the present moment to make you feel that the present time might change into a future that will carry all the good that you encountered in the past, whether in your own past experiences or in the experiences of the others who went through circumstances similar to yours and problems similar to yours, yet they eventually overcame them by the best solutions they found through intensive research and maintaining a state of aware and positive patience. They also rebelled against the circumstances armed by the resolve of the anticipator of relief. In the end, they set out with the new circumstances that saved them and transferred them from the suffocating reality into the reality that opens to life’s vastest aspects and horizons…

This idea is implied in the Quranic Ayah that talks about man who gets despaired when he is deprived of Allah’s mercy and blessings, not noticing that He Who deprived him of this mercy after granting it to him is capable of bestowing it once again upon him, just as He did in similar cases in the life of man…

Allah says: “And when We make people taste of mercy they rejoice in it, and if an evil befall them for what their hands have already wrought, lo! They are in despair” (30:36) and: “So, verily, with every difficulty, there is relief: Verily, with every difficulty there is relief.” (94:06).

These Ayahs denounce man’s despair and despondency before trials and call on him to take a realistic look at life, so that he would not be overwhelmed by the graces and conquered by the deprivation; but rather, he should be able to face both cases by the spirit of the aware believer who truly believes in relief after any hardship and who is aware that life will not remain on one state…

In conclusion, despair is not an Islamic attitude for it contradicts with the main principle of belief in Allah, on the one hand, and with the realistic view Islam outlined for life on the other hand…

Once man recognizes this verity, he will be able to deal with all the states of despair that inflict his soul when he neglects his faith and misperceives life by returning to the fountains of faith and to the wide horizons of life that swings open the doors of opportunities for man. In this way, he would retrieve his life as a positive human who faces life with full strength based on the right stand instead of the wrong one…

[Extracted from the book “General Islamic Concepts”]

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