Loss of Hope in Allah’s Mercy [Question Answered]

Asalamoalaykum warahmatullah,

‘Inshaa’Allah The Good Times have Come’

This is in response to the question I got regarding fighting the whisperings of Shaytan in terms of despairing over past sins. And also how one can get rid of these thoughts that keep coming in. I apologize beforehand if I have been aggressive in my response.

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

Dearest Slave of Allah SWT,

We as Muslims alhamdolilah believe that whatever is in the ahadith is the Truth, right? So if the Prophet SAW said that a human is prone to sin, then why can’t we as humans accept it?

[Note:The key thing to remember is that one should remind oneself of this after they have committed a sin and not before committing it.]

He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Every son of Adam sins, and the best of those who sin are those who repent.” [Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2499; classed as hasan by al-Albaani.]

If Allah SWT guided you, made you hate the sin of your past…who are YOU to not forgive yourself? Fine you did what you did. It’s over and done for. From here on either you can (1) continue to sin or (2) repent or (3) lose hope and fall into other sins. Often times most of us fall in the third category. This is how things normally go for most of us:

We start becoming more practicing and our past misdeeds become abhorrent-which is excellent alhamdolilah. We repent and try hard to purify ourselves. Sometimes some of us never get to see their past again. And sometimes our past tracks us down and stands in our face…reminding us of our sins. We start hating ourselves for doing whatever we did and feel as if Allah SWT didn’t forgive us. I have told this to so many people…who ARE YOU to say that Allah SWT didn’t forgive you? Honestly, do you have foresight or hidden knowledge or something? Let me first set the record straight by reminding myself and all of us with the following hadith before I go on:

The hadeeth of Anas ibn Maalik (R) that is reported by, amongst others, at-Tirmidhee in his Sunan. He said,”Allaah’s Messenger SAW said: ‘Allaah, the Most High, said, ‘O son of Aadam! As long as you supplicate to Me, and hope in Me, I will forgive you what you have done and I do not care. O son of Aadam! If your sins were to reach the lofty regions of the sky, then you asked Me for forgiveness, I would forgive you. O son of Aadam! If you were to come to Me with enough sins to fill the earth, but you met Me not associating anything with Me – I would bring you the like of it of forgiveness.”

Tell me what that means? Take a deep breath and have a glass of water anddddddddd have mercy on yourself! Please don’t become self-destructive. Shaytan already knows that since you’re not going to commit that sin again , this is how he plans: how about if I distract this Muslim by making him/her lose hope in Allah SWT and make them :

a) Forget about Allah SWT’s Mercy

b) Forget about Allah SWT’s Might for He can forgive everyone

c) Decrease in their obligatory Ibadah and the quality of it (our energy/love tends to increase)

d) Decrease in their good behavior with their close ones leading them to become irritable and self-centered

e) Miss their Nawafil prayers and good deeds such as smiling and other types of Sadqah

f) Not be content with Allah SWT’s Decree

g) Decrease in duaa with sincerity and conviction (because obviously they’ve lost hope)

h) Decrease in Eeman and lead them to pits of depression

i) And ultimately decrease in repentance

Now tell me, wouldn’t that be the biggest accomplishment of Shaytan? To lead astray the one who initially loved Allah SWT…to make that person stop repenting and stop having the enthusiasm to do good deeds? Because frankly speaking, if you continue to have this mindset your interest in Islam is bound to go down if not completely disappear. Shaytan does all this and do you know why?

Because Allah SWT says in the Quraan out of kindness towards His Slaves:

“Will they not turn with repentance to Allaah and ask His forgiveness? For Allaah is Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful” [al-Maa’idah 5:74]

“And verily, I am indeed forgiving to him who repents, believes (in My Oneness, and associates none in worship with Me) and does righteous good deeds, and then remains constant in doing them (till his death)” [Ta-Ha 20:82]

What did you learn from this verse? In order for Allah SWT to forgive you , you have to do the following:

1. Repent

2. Believe in His Oneness

3. Do righteous deeds

4. Remain steadfast on Islam until death

Of course like I said before you won’t feel like doing more good deeds if you constantly think of Allah SWT as not forgiving you. So you need to come to a balance.

***

Islam Q and A:

  • And He opens the door of repentance to the hypocrites, who are worse than the kuffaar who openly show their kufr. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, the hypocrites will be in the lowest depth (grade) of the Fire; no helper will you find for them.

146. Except those who repent (from hypocrisy), do righteous good deeds, hold fast to Allaah, and purify their religion for Allaah (by worshipping none but Allaah, and do good for Allaah’s sake only, not to show off), then they will be with the believers. And Allaah will grant the believers a great reward” [Surah An-Nisaa]

  • Everyone who repents to Allaah, Allaah accepts his repentance. The caravan of those who have repented to Allaah will not  be interrupted until the sun rises from the west. 
  • One repented from banditry, another from adultery, and others from drinking alcohol, taking drugs, severing the ties of kinship, not praying or being too lazy to pray in congregation, disobeying parents, dealing in riba (usury) and bribes, stealing, shedding blood, consuming people’s wealth unlawfully, or smoking. Anyone who repents to Allaah from any sin is to be congratulated, because it is as if they have been born anew through their sincere repentance. 
  • It was narrated from Abu Sa’eed Sa’d ibn Maalik ibn Sinaan al-Khudri (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There was among the people who came before you a man who killed ninety-nine people. Then he asked about the most knowledgeable person on earth, and was directed to a hermit, so he went to him, told him that he had killed ninety-nine people, and asked if he could be forgiven. The hermit said, ‘No,’ so he killed him, thus completing one hundred. Then he asked about the most knowledgeable person on earth and was directed to a scholar. He told him that he had killed one hundred people, and asked whether he could be forgiven. The scholar said, ‘Yes, what could possibly come between you and repentance? Go to such-and-such a town, for in it there are people who worship Allaah. Go and worship with them, and do not go back to your own town, for it is a bad place.” So the man set off, but when he was halfway there, the angel of death came to him, and the angels of mercy and the angels of wrath began to argue over him. The angels of mercy said: ‘He had repented and was seeking Allaah.’ The angels of wrath said: ‘He never did any good thing.’ An angel in human form came to them, and they asked him to decide the matter. He said: ‘Measure the distance between the two lands (his home town and the town he was headed for), and whichever of the two he is closest to is the one to which he belongs.’ So they measured the distance, and found that he was closer to the town for which he had been headed, so the angels of mercy took him.” (Agreed upon). 
  • According to a report narrated by Muslim (2747): “Allaah rejoices more over the repentance of His slave than any one of you if he is on his camel in a desolate land, then it runs away from him and on it is his food and drink, and he despairs of finding it, so he goes to a tree and lies down in its shade, having despaired of finding his camel, then while he is like that, it suddenly appears in front of him and he takes hold of its reins and says, because of his intense joy, ‘O Allaah, You are my slave and I am your lord,’ making this mistake because of the intensity of his joy.”

***

Now that you understand how Allah SWT will accept your repentance, let’s further strengthen your belief in His Mercy:

The Messenger of Allah SAW  narrated from his Lord that He Said:

 “I am as my slave expects Me to be.” [al-Bukhari (7405) and Muslim (2675)]

What do you think this means? This is what the scholars of the past have to say(may Allah SWT have mercy on them all) about the hadith:

  • Ibn Hajar (R) said: “Meaning, I am able to do whatever he expects I will do.”
  • An-Nawawi (R) said: “The scholars say that expecting the best of Allah is to expect that He will have Mercy on him and relieve him of hardship.” an-Nawawi also said: “al-Qadi ‘Iyad said that this means He will Forgive him if he seeks such, will accept his repentance if he repents, will answer him if he supplicates, and will suffice him if he asks for something. It is also said that it refers to having hope and longing for relief, and this is more correct.”
  • Ahmad bin ‘Umar al-Qurtubi (R) said: “It is said that His Saying “I am as my slave expects Me to be” means if one expects an answer when he supplicates, his repentance to be accepted, something repugnant to be repelled from him, his deeds to be accepted that are performed with their proper conditions…And this is supported by his saying: “Call upon Allah while you are certain that you will be answered.” Likewise, it is incumbent upon the one who repents, seeks forgiveness, and does good deeds to exert himself in fulfilling his obligations while he is certain that Allah will accept his actions and forgive his sins, as Allah has promised that He will accept any truthful repentance and righteous deeds. So, whoever performs such a deed and believes and expects that Allah will not accept it and that it will not benefit him, this is despair from the Mercy of Allah, and is from greatest of the major sins. Whoever dies upon this will be delivered to that which he expected.”
  • “Most people – in fact, all of them except those protected by Allah – assume other than the truth, and assume the worst. Most people believe that they are deprived of their rights, have bad luck, deserve more than what Allah gave them, and it is as if they are saying: ‘My Lord has wronged me and deprived me of what I deserve,’ and his soul bears witness to this while his tongue denies it and refuses to openly state this. And whoever digs into his soul and comes to know its ins and outs will see this in it like fire in a triggered explosion…And if you dig into anyone’s soul, you will see that he blames fate and would rather have something else happen to him than what actually did, and that things should be this way or that…So, dig into your own self: are you protected from this? If you are safe from this, you have been protected from something great. Otherwise, I do not see that you have been saved.” “The more you have good expectations of your Lord and hope in Him, the more you will rely on and trust in Him. This is why some explained true reliance and trust to be having good expectations of Allah. In reality, having good expectations of Him leads to relying on and trusting in Him, as it is unthinkable that one can trust in someone that he has badexpectations of or no hope in, and Allah Knows best.”“The one who hopes in Allah should always be optimistic, cautious, and hopeful in Allah’s bounty, expecting the best from Him.”

  • Sayyid Qutb (R) said: “As for the believers whose hearts are connected to Allah, whose souls are close to Him,who experience His constant bounty – they do not despair of the Mercy of Allah even if they are surrounded on all sides by disaster and severe hardship. The believer is in the mercy of the shade of his faith, the pleasure of his connection to his Lord, and the tranquility of his confidence in his Guardian even when he is in the throes of hardship and disaster.” He also said:“The believing heart assumes the best of its Lord, and always expects the best from Him. It expects good from Him in times of ease and times of hardship, and it believes that Allah wants good for him in either situation. The secret of this is that his heart is connected to Allah, and the flow of good from Allah is never cut off. So, whenever the heart is connected to Him, it touches upon this fundamental reality and experiences it in a direct and sweet way.” [Reflections: Expecting the Best from Allah, pp. 1-2]
  •  

***

A famous example of repentance is that of Adam AS. He followed his desire but repented immediately and thus Allah SWT forgave him.

Just a reminder:

Repentance is essential from every sin, even if it is something between a person and Allaah and has nothing to do with the rights of another person. There are three conditions of repentance:

1- You should give up the sin

2- You should regret having done it

3- You should resolve never to go back to it.

If one of these three is missing, then your repentance is not sincere. If the sin has to do with the rights of another person, then there are four conditions: the three mentioned above and restoring the rights of that person. If it is money or property, etc, it must be returned to him; if it had to do with slandering him etc, then you should allow him to insult him in return, or ask for his forgiveness; if it had to do with backbiting about him, then you have to ask for his pardon. It is essential to repent from all sins; if a person repents from some, his repentance from the sins from which he repented is valid – according to the scholars who follow the right path – but he must still repent from the rest as well. [Islam Q and A]

 ***

How to convert the Pleasure of the Sin into something despicable?

  • Classical conditioning:
    • pair your sin with Allah’s Anger
      • Remind yourself of the HereAfter and the punishment of the grave. This is not an easy task because most of us are far away from the remembrance of death and just by reading a few verses won’t make us fear enough. Again, it depends from a person to person. I suggest that you listen to lectures or read books from speakers who have correct Aqeedah (correct belief in all articles of Eeman and don’t do innovation in the Prophetic teachings). You’ll have to give yourself a daily dose. There’s no shortcut to this.
    • pair the pleasurable feelings of sin with negative feelings
      • Remind yourself how terribly you hated yourself after you did it and how those negative emotions interfered with your activities. This is obviously for those who don’t have a dead conscience. And since you are upset about feeling this way, inshaa’Allah it means that your heart and conscience are alive.
  • Positive Reinforcement:
    • whenever you feel under control, reward yourself with a Sajda to Allah SWT and something halal
  • As soon as a thought comes, remember I shared with you a duaa from the Quraan that seeks refuge from the whisperings of Shaytan?
  • Making duaa to Allah SWT sincerely that He SWT doesn’t hold you accountable for your natural inclinations
  • Increase in Ibadah! I can’t stress this enough. Ibadah includes fasting so try to fast! I don’t know where you live but it has started to get dark earlier where I live (since winter’s approaching) and that works for those who can’t fast during long days of summer. It might be hard for the 1st 2 days but it’ll get easier.
  • Remain busy and that doesn’t mean that if you work 5 to 9 that’s what being ‘busy’ is all about. What I mean is being busy in your free time. Idle mind = Shaytan’s hub…take up a hobby that stimulates your intellect…something that’s challenging like memorizing a page of Quraan or understanding its linguistics. You can even try memorizing short ahadith. If you’re done that, try Suduko. It’s fun and it keeps your brain cells working. Stay away from things that might beautify/legitimize your past sins such as the TV/movies/locations with music!
  • Try to be more friendly and reach out to people. The more you find out what problems others have, the less time you’d have to revisit the past that results in despair

***

Resources that I used for this post and personally in my life and which you can return back to:

  1. Most Excellent Manner of Seeking Forgiveness
  2. Reflections: Expecting the Best from Allah
  3. Diseases of the Heart and their Cures
  4. Purification of the Soul
  5. Stories of Repentance

If you need audio resources, I can refer those as well. Please let me know if you do.

Hope that helps. If you need any help in terms of achieving any of the things above, you are free to remain in touch with me if you like through commenting and possibly let me know how you’re doing. I would be happy to be of any assistance. And that goes to everyone who’s reading this. Nobody should be a victim of hopelessness especially when there over a million Muslims who can support each other for the Sake of Allah SWT.

[And Allah SWT knows best]

O Allah SWT be a Witness that I tried. And for this very attempt, save me from the Punishment in the grave and HereAfter.Ameen.

Rabbana taqabal minna innaka antal samee’ul ‘aleem. Wa tubb ‘alayna innak antal Tawabur-Raheem. Ameen.

Forgive me for any mistake or missing out anything because I am doing this in a hurry. I appreciate your patience. May Allah SWT reward you with Jannatul Firdaus.Ameen. And may He forgive me for my shortcomings.Ameen.

Please remember me and the rest of the Ummah in your duaas.

Many duaas for your mental peace,

-UmmS.

 

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3 Responses to “Loss of Hope in Allah’s Mercy [Question Answered]”

  1. Salam.

    I was waiting earnestly for your reply. Thank you so much, I cannot thank you enough. For responding to my desperate plight. I have been tackling this on my own so far, I have reading and searching online looking for someone who is feeling the same as I. To get an idea of how to specifically tackle this. The remains of the sin bear heavy on my heart. I want to make all traces of them disappear. I exerted (with the help of allah swt) maximum effort throughout Ramadan allhamdillah. After which I felt exhausted, and yet the niggling feelings of pleasure of sin tugged at me throughout. I tried hard to ingore them.

    I feel like I am at the stage now where I am going through the list of a) to i)

    Yes I need to come to a balance.

    About the “postive reinforcement” would this be applicable when I have been able to perform an act of ibadah?

    Thank u for the lengthy, and concise comment. It is timely post considering the 10 “best days” are descending upon us. There could not be a better time. I need to make the most of it and shut everything else out.

    It is getting dark here as well, I intend to fast the 10 days. As for ‘Try to be more friendly and reach out to people’ I feel like such a wreck in myself I dont want to come across miserable. I try to keep a distant just to maintain an image that I am happy.

    I would much appreaciate the audio references, it will be difficult for me to sit down and read all the books due to travelling.

    May Allah swt place much barakah in your time. Ameen to your duas, and ameen to the plight of the those who are attempting to repent sincerely. We need to remember the feelings of repentance are a gift from Him. May He ignite this feeling in hearts, may He grants us the ability to reach out to him. For he is Al-Tawaab.

  2. Assalamu ‘alekyum,

    Hey sis, how ya been? I just wanna say I’m really proud of you and the great work you’re doing especially this post. Ma sha Allaah despite your own commitments, you’ve still managed to find the time to write these beneficial posts. Subhaan Allaah makes me feel ashamed. I pray Allaah blesses your life in every way and rewards you with Jannat Al Firdaws.

    You’ve finished your paper alot early than expected ma sha Allaah. Seems like you can finally start gaining some quality ‘Ilm now eh? Always a joy to visit.

    You take care.

    • Walaykum asalam,

      I’m OK inshaa’Allah.

      Aww. Thanks so much. You’re too kind.
      No it’s all from Allah SWT so need to feel ashamed. He SWT gives to whomsoever He Wills. He has given you a lot too, you just need to tap in your resources. I already feel you have major talents hidden deep within you.

      Ameen!
      Well I finished it an hour before it was due…which is pretty late. Alhamdolilah for His Help, otherwise my thesis statement had evaporated in the last few moments. I was that lost. SubhanAllah. He’s the Keeper of hearts and may He always keep them nice and safe…on the Right Path.Ameen.

      I wish! But for now…it’s me and my buddies, i.e. univ textbooks for another month. After that inshaa’Allah =]

      Likewise, joy to have. JazakAllahu khayran.
      You too,
      -UmmS.

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