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The Power of Optimism

By SALMAN RIZWAN
These days the single most important perspective that is needed is “Optimism”. In a world where we are surrounded by negativity and pessimism and face a constant bombardment of bad news on conventional and social media, it becomes even more critical to keep a positive attitude and optimism. This not only helps keep a healthy and sound lifestyle but also provides the strength to deal with hardships and tough times.
There are several sources available in terms of improving positive approach and optimism in the printed as well as electronic media
However, we take our guidance from the Quran and Sunnah and tap into these two authentic and original sources of wisdom.
The Prophet(SAW) is reported to have said, “And I like good omen”
This hadith needs to be learnt and internalized especially by those who find it difficult to deal with the widespread negativity and those who have lost hope of the Mercy of Allah(SWT)
Also, it’s an important reminder for those who are suffering from grief and overburdened by life’s concerns and hardships
From the noble Quran, we learn the following;
“For indeed, with hardship is ease. Indeed, with hardship is ease”
Ash-sharah, 94:5-6
And we also learn from the following ayah, with full conviction;
“Allah will bring about after hardship, ease”
At-talaaq, 65:7

The prevailing pessimism and discontent drag us down so we must speak of hope and good omens.
In the times of darkness, the light of hope and optimism must shine through
The hadith quoted above encourages Muslims to promote positivity and hope but based on faith and having good expectations of Allah(SWT)
We all know that the emotions one shows on his face on in his voice are contagious. If you smile and keep a happy face while meeting someone or keep a cheerful voice while on the phone, you will most likely get the same response from the other side.
Keeping company with good positive people and spending time in a positive environment makes a momentous effect on one well-being. Human behavior is significantly influenced by these external factors.
People thrive on hope, positivity and optimism and wither in a negative and pessimistic environment. Either way it affects
We learn from the life of the Prophet (SAW) that despite several instances of hardships and adversities in his life, he never gave in to negativity and had a remarkably positive perspective. He always had good expectations of Allah (SWT)
Even in the face of certain danger(like the time when he was hiding in a cave with his companion and dear friend, Abu Bakr, he reassured him;
“Fear not, O Abu Bakr, what adversity can befall two persons who have Allah as their third companion”
Even though everything suggested otherwise, the Prophet held on to the hope with Allah (SWT)
Developing a positive and optimistic outlook requires effort however, our religion teaches us some very fundamental lessons to adopt this attitude

First;
To have the conviction that everything that happens is decreed by Allah (SWT)
“No disaster strikes upon the earth or among yourselves, except that it is a register before We bring it into being. Indeed, that for Allah is easy”
Al-hadid, 57:22

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us whatever is decreed will occur.
“And know that if all the people were to gather together to do something to benefit you, you would only benefit as much as Allah (SWT) has decreed. And if they were to gather to harm you , you would only be harmed as much as He prescribed

Second;
To have the conviction that this life (along with its negativity) is temporary and short lived. While the life of eternal bliss in the Hereafter is everlasting. Enduring the burdens of this life is a test that must be passed to earn the life in the Hereafter
“……… do the people think that they will be left to say, “We believe” and they will not be tested?………..”
Al-ankabut, 29:1-3
Third;
To have the conviction that we as Muslims must demonstrate our servitude to Allah(SWT) in all matters and situations. In good time, we must express our gratitude to Him. In bad times, we must exercise patience and endurance.
The Prophet(SAW) is reported to have said, “Howwonderful is the case of a believer; there is good for him in everything. If prosperity comes to him, he expresses gratitude to Allah(SWT) and that brings good to him. And if calamity befalls him, he shows patience and that is also good for him”

Fourth;
To have the conviction that we must stay away from people and circumstances that promote pessimism. Keeping such company clouds our lives and increases negative energy.
As mentioned in the beginning of this article, these days we are surrounded by such negative energy and outlook
The Prophet (SAW) has said, “When you hear a man saying People are doomed, then he himself is the most doomed among them”
His (SAW) advice is, “Pursue that which benefits you and seek help from Allah (SWT). Don’t give up. And if anything afflicts you do not say, “if I had done such and such thing, such and such would have happened, but say, “Allah decrees what He wills and what He wills He does”

Fifth;
The conviction of having good expectations. This is based on the Hadith Qudsiyy; “I am as my servant expects me to be”
When a person has good expectation of Allah(SWT) his good expectations shall be fulfilled(provided he makes all possible efforts to make it happen.
Make your best effort to attain whatever you are seeking and have good expectation about Allah (SWT) believing that He will grant what is best for you.

Sixth;
The Prophet has taught us a supplication (Dua) whenever we are faced with affliction, assuring us that will be answered.
“O Allah, I am your servant, the son of your servant, the son of your maidservant. My forelock is in your Hand, your judgement concerning me will surely come to pass, and your decision concerning me is just. I call upon you by every name that you have given to Yourself, or have taught to any of your creation, or which you have revealed in your Book, or which you have chosen to keep with you among the knowledge of the unseen, to make the Quran the delight of my heart , the light of my chest, and to remove my sadness and dispel my anxiety”

In conclusion, this lesson from Quran and Hadith gives us the essentials to hold on to the optimism and spread it as well.

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