Optimism is our Prophet’s (sa) legacy. Allah (swt) states in the Quran:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ شَاهِدًا وَمُبَشِّرًا وَنَذِيرًا.
وَدَاعِيًا إِلَى اللَّهِ بِإِذْنِهِ وَسِرَاجًا مُّنِيرًا.
“O Prophet, indeed We have sent you as a witness (Shaheed) and a bringer of good tidings (Basheer) and a warner (Nazeer) and one who invites to Allah (Daee), by His permission, and an illuminating lamp (Sirajam-Munirah).” (Al-Ahzab 33:45-46)
The Prophet (sa) had a tough mission as a messenger of Allah (swt). He faced unthinkable challenges in his diverse roles. Yet, he was the most smiling one and an epitome of mercy, granting ease to every life he touched.
His words inspired positive action in people. Optimism is a legacy he left behind for us to follow. Below are some commands for us to be an optimist. Assess yourself if you are living by them:
- Are you a bearer of good news?
Or are you the grim reaper who spells doomsday? The Prophet (sa) commanded us: “Give glad tidings and do not scare people away. Make things easy and do not make things difficult.” (Abu Dawood)
- Do you worship Allah (swt) through optimism?
Or are you a pessimist, who can never see a silver lining in any cloud? Prophet Muhammad (sa) said: “Hoping for good is also an act of worship to Allah.” (Tirmidhi and Hakim)
- Are you positive about your Dua?
Or are you consumed by self-doubt that your invocation will not be responded? Our beloved Messenger (sa) instructed us: “Supplicate to Allah, the All Mighty, and be certain that He will answer your prayer.” (Tirmidhi)
- Are you a strong believer?
Or do you make excuses? The Prophet (sa) informed us: “The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah (swt) than the weak believer, although there is good in each. Desire what will bring you benefit and seek help from Allah (swt), and do not give way to incapacity. If something happens to you, do not say: ‘If only I had done such and such.’ Rather, say: ‘That is the decree of Allah (swt). He does what He Wills.’ Otherwise, you will open yourself up to the action of Shaitan.” (Muslim)
- Do you perform good even if others don’t?
Or do you follow the famous principle of tit for tat? The Messenger of Allah (sa) warned us: “Do not be people without minds of your own, saying that if others treat them well, you will also treat them well, and that if they do wrong, you will do wrong. But (instead) accustom yourselves to do good, if people do good. Do not do wrong to them, if they commit evil.” (Tirmidhi)
- Are you patient and positive in difficult times?
Or do you give up and fall apart? The Prophet (sa) promised us: “Whoever abstains from asking others, Allah (swt) will make him content, and whoever tries to make himself self-sufficient, Allah (swt) will make him self-sufficient. And whoever remains patient, Allah (swt) will make him patient. Nobody can be given a blessing better and greater than patience.” (Bukhari)
- Do you think positive about Allah (swt)?
Or do you fall a prey to whispers of Shaitan? The Prophet (sa) tells us: “Allah, the Most High, said: ‘I am as My servant thinks (expects) I am. I am with him when he mentions Me. If he mentions Me to himself, I mention him to Myself, and if he mentions Me in an assembly, I mention him in an assembly greater than it. If he draws near to Me a hand’s length, I draw near to him an arm’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.” (Bukhari)
- Do you avail the exit of Istaghfar?
Or do you carry the burden of your sins day in and day out? Our beloved Muhammad (sa) shared with us: “Whoever does a lot of Istaghfar (asking for forgiveness), Allah (swt) will provide him a way out of each concern he has and will solve all his troubles and will provide him with livelihood from sources that were not known to him.” (Ahmad)
- Do you harbour hope over fear concerning your death?
Or are you hopeless and expect a wretched end? Once, our Prophet (sa) went to a young man who was on his deathbed and asked him: “How do you feel?” The young man said: “I have much hope from Allah (swt), but I also fear for my sins.” The Prophet (sa) replied: “If a believer has these two ideas simultaneously at such time, Allah (swt) fulfills his hopes and grants him security from fear.” (Tirmidhi)
As believers, you and I make tall claims about our loyalty and love for the last Prophet (sa). But do we also follow in his footsteps, when our daily behaviour calls for submission to the Sunnah? Ask yourself today, so you are able to make the necessary changes right away, Insha’Allah.