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Having Hope in a Better Tomorrow

One of the things that has always given me the most peace through Islam is knowing that the past is just that; it stays where it is in God’s eyes, and the future is another day.

We can make every day a new day through Du’a (supplication), through Tawbah (repentance) and by looking positively towards the future and working towards it.

This awesome combination ensures that we can always have hope in a better tomorrow, either this world or in the next.

So no matter how tough life gets, how many challenges Satan throws in our path, how many tests God sends us to get us to turn to Him, we have all the tools we need to be able to get through the rough spots, if we open our eyes and look for them in the right places.

Revert Challenges

I have been terribly saddened recently to see some sisters who converted to Islam, apparently full of hope that they had found the right path for themselves, a path that would give them a better future both in this world and the Hereafter, fall by the wayside and revert back to their old life and ways.

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One thing that echoes in my mind is the words of one of the sisters before she broke off contact; she said that she thought by saying her Shahadah that her life would get easier and the difficulties that she was facing would reduce. And maybe others had some of the same thoughts.

Many of us have felt that after we became Muslims that the tests got harder. Maybe it was Satan trying to pull us back, maybe it was God testing us to give us chance to strengthen our faith and realize that we need to turn to Him or maybe it was because we were having to learn a new way to react to life’s challenges by working out how to respond to them in a way that would please God, rather than our own desires.

So what tools can we use to develop hope in the future?

Developing Links with God

The main tool is to develop a closer relationship with God; to learn more about Him, develop and strengthen links with Him and turn to Him for support and guidance. This can be done through reading the Quran and reading good books about Aqeedah (the Creed). It can be done through listening to talks, attending Friday Prayers, and being in touch with people who will remind us of God and help us to get closer to Him.

But the main way to get closer to God is to develop a personal relationship with Him through Du’a and following His guidance.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

“Any Muslim who makes a supplication containing nothing which is sinful, or which involves breaking ties of relationship, will be given for it by Allah one of three things: He will give him swift answer, or store it up for him in the next world, or turn away from him an equivalent amount of evil.”  (At-Tirmidhi)

How amazing is that! So all we have to do is ask, and God will grant it to us at the time He sees fit. All we have to do is to open our hearts to the possibility of what may be; what we could have in our life (or that of others), ask God for it and then put our best efforts towards getting it.

{And that there is not for man except that [good] for which he strives, and that his effort is going to be seen – then he will be recompensed for it with the fullest recompense.} (Quran 53:39-40)

It’s simple, isn’t it? As long as we put the effort in and put our trust in God, He will grant us the best result. We just need to turn to Him. This doesn’t mean that God will grant us exactly what we ask for when we think we want it, but that He will answer our prayers in the best way for us:

{But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.} (Quran 2: 216)

So we know that whatever the result of our efforts – if they were done sincerely for the sake of Allah – it will be what was meant to be and it will serve us well for the future if we take the lessons from it.

Seeking Sincere Forgiveness

For reverts who are finding the tests difficult, try to hold onto your faith and be patient for a while longer. God promises that He will test us, but He also says that He does so because He wants us to turn to Him:

{And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient, who, when disaster strikes them, say, “Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return.} (Quran 2: 155-156)

In fact the tests that God sends us are blessings and His way of removing our past sins. Prophet Muhammad said:

“No calamity befalls a Muslim but that Allah expiates some of his sins because of it, even though it were the prick he receives from a thorn.” (Al-Bukhari)

So instead of complaining about the tests, we should welcome them, as not only are they giving us the opportunity to learn from them and become better, and they are another reason for us to turn to God, they are also erasing some of the sins we have committed!

God knows how much we can bear and He promises over and over again in the Quran that He will not burden us with more that we can bear. So we can take heart in this and know that we can get through any test that is sent to us, as long as we turn to God and hold onto our faith.

{Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity.} (Quran 2: 286)

But if we do slip and make a mistake, it’s not the end of the world; again all we have to do is to turn to God sincerely and to ask His forgiveness:

{Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.} (Quran 39: 53)

Islam gives us the tools to get through difficulties and hardships. It promises us that God is Merciful and wants the best for us. All we have to do is believe in this and we can get through anything and this gives us the hope that tomorrow will be a better day.

(From Discovering Islam archive)

About Amal Stapley
Amal Stapley After accepting Islam in 1992, Amal graduated from the International Islamic University of Malaysia with a degree in Psychology and Islamic studies. She then went on to work with several Islamic organizations in the USA, Egypt and more recently in her home country, the UK.