HOPE: Another name of LIFE

Whether we think about it or not, hope is a part of everyone’s life.

The definition of hope can differ depending on the person doing the talking. In this article we will try to understand hope according to Qur'an and Psychology. It was found that both psychology and the Quran view hope as a rewarded patience along with action to achieve one's goal, and both fields concur that knowing one's goal and obstacles can preserve hope in man.

Some differences were also found. In contrast to psychology, hope in the Quran is based on the goal behind human creation and in line with its perfection, whose sole basis would be faith in Allah. Also, in psychology the techniques proposed for hope improvement are individual for the most part, whereas the Quran aims at proposing behavioural approaches in societal scale in addition to individual solutions.

Literal meaning of Hope: A feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen or simply hope is a feeling of trust.

Islamic meaning of Hope: Attachment of the heart to the attainment of something loved in the future. And it was said: It is rejoicing in Allah’s bounty and grace, and covetousness in His benevolence and giving, while making effort and good reliance.

Whatever the details, hope in general means a desire for things to change for the better, and to want that better situation very much.

To have hope is to want an outcome that makes your life better in some way. It not only can help make a tough present situation more bearable but also can eventually improve our lives because envisioning a better future motivates you to take the steps to make it happen.

Whether we think about it or not, hope is a part of everyone’s life. Everyone hopes for something. It’s an inherent part of being a human being. Hope helps us define what we want in our futures and is part of the self-narrative about our lives we all have running inside our minds.

Most people associate hope with a dire situation. People hope to get out of difficult circumstances. That is often when people do find themselves hoping fervently! But hope also can provide the key to making everyday life better.

That’s because just envisioning something hopeful – the child seeing herself riding her new bike, for example – gives a person a moment of happiness, according to Psychology Today. It can make present difficulties much easier to bear.

An example of that is reported by the American Psychology Association. Children who grew up in poverty but had success later in life all had one thing in common – hope. Dr. Valerie Maholmes, who worked on the research, said hope involves “planning and motivation and determination” to get what one hopes for.

In a way, having hope links your past and present to the future. You have a vision for what you hope will happen. Whether it does not, just envisioning it can make you feel better.

Dr. Neel Burton, a book author who writes about emotions, writes that he always asks patients for what they hope for, because if they say “nothing” then that is a sign of depression or worse.

Having hope is important to the very act of being a human being. As Dr. Judith Rich writes, “Hope is a match in a dark tunnel, a moment of light, just enough to reveal the path ahead and ultimately the way out.”

Hope in Quran can be understood through keyword such as Rajah which means aspiration - waiting for something that is a loved.

"O 'Ibadi (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

[Quran,39:53]

Or Shall man have what he wishes.

[Quran,53:24).

Hope is one of the essential elements of the educational system of the Quran and is considered a comprehensive theory. This theory has two cognitive and behavioural dimensions. In the Quran, Allah has expressed the concepts of belief, such as monotheism (Tawhid) and resurrection (Yawm al-qiyāmah)), and has proposed other Islamic teachings to be a specific program of belief and behaviour for human beings. Due to these components and their application in life, human spiritual training arises and there is an increase in hope and motivation for mankind, and then, psychologically, they will have a better life.

The life of this world is filled with tests, trials and tribulations but these must be faced with patience and hope.

We should expect things to turn out for the best and we can look forward to tomorrow with confidence. Allah has promised us that following His guidance will lead us to the best outcome.

One of the reasons believers feel anxious and despairing is due to the fact that they have sinned. Sinning makes us feel bad, we are often ashamed and disappointed in ourselves, and when we feel like that over and over, it can easily become hopelessness.

People feel terrible when they think that Allah will not forgive them or is angry with them. It is dark and heavy feeling, and it is also one of Satan’s most useful weapons. Satan uses our despair to push us further away from Allah.

When a person thinks that they will not be forgiven, they may respond by turning away from Allah. That would be a grave mistake because turning towards Allah is the one thing that can restore hope.

Almighty Allah says in Hadees e Qudsi:

I treat my slave according to his expectations from Me, and I am with him when he remembers Me. If he remembers Me in his heart, I remember him in My heart; if he remembers Me in a gathering, I remember him in a better and nobler gathering (i.e. of angels), if he comes closer to Me by one span, I go towards him a cubit’s length, if he comes toward Me by a cubit’s length, I go towards him an arm’s length, and if he walks towards Me, I run unto him.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

In psychology, hope is an emotion characterized by positive feelings about the immediate or long-term future.

According to Snyder’s Hope Theory (Snyder, Irving, & Anderson, 1991), hopefulness is a life-sustaining human strength comprised of three distinct but related components:

1. Goals Thinking – the clear conceptualization of valuable goals.

2. Pathways Thinking – the capacity to develop specific strategies to reach those goals.

3. Agency Thinking – the ability to initiate and sustain the motivation for using those strategies.

Hope does not necessarily fade in the face of adversity; in fact hope often endures despite poverty, war and famine. While no one is exempt from experiencing challenging life events, hope fosters an orientation to life that allows a grounded and optimistic outlook even in the most challenging of circumstances.

When people feel hopeful, they tend to face fewer mental health concerns. Conversely, people experiencing despair are often more likely to be challenged by depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and other problems. Depression in particular can contribute to feelings of despair and hopelessness.

Trust me,when you think positively, you feel good and see good in everything and eventually builds a good behavior.

Negativity and unrealistic thoughts can cause us distress and result in problems only.

So, the choice is yours what do you want - to feel good or distressed?

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