The blessed nights of Ramadan should appropriately be called ‘The Nights of Hope’
The days of Ramadan are a special time when the blessings and mercies of Allah (SWT) are bestowed abundantly. So let us hasten to acquire the gifts of our Lord in the mosques and look for them during the third part of the night. Purify yourselves physically and spiritually as you stand before Allah (SWT), The King, conversing with Him through reciting the Holy Quran and supplications.
The only means to receive His gifts is to be granted acceptance. So, cling to His door, pursue the means and beseech Him, for this leads to an eternal victory that cannot be compared to any worldly gain. Allah (SWT) Says “So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion”.[Quran 3:185]
The blessed nights of Ramadan should appropriately be called ‘The Nights of Hope’, because of the hoped-for forgiveness, mercy, being freed from Hell, witnessing the Night of Al-Qadr, praying through its night out of faith and seeking the reward of Allah (SWT). Hence, the worship of that one night is better than the worship of one thousand months.
It is the hope of the promise of Allah (SWT) that is revealed in the Quran and alluded to by the Prophet (SAW) in many Hadeeths (narrations) about the ten blessed nights and the Night of Al-Qadr. Allah (SWT) promised great rewards that cannot be imagined – only within those few days. These rewards are sought only by a believer and are missed only by those who are in a state of loss.
Hope overwhelms the hearts and souls, thus drawing them nearer to the beloved, enabling them to feel very close to Allah (SWT) and sense His Majesty. It is to receive glad tidings about the generosity of Allah (SWT). It is to have confidence in the promise of Allah (SWT); and there is no hope but it is accompanied by a righteous deed. Having hope while being lazy in worship and indulging in unlawful acts is only a false desire and wishful thinking. Allah (SWT) Says “wishful thinking deluded you until there came the Command of Allah. And the Deceiver deceived you concerning Allah”. (Quran 57:14). Saeed ibn Jubayr (RA) said, “It (hope) is to commit the sin and wish for forgiveness.”
The people of hope submit to their Lord and worship Him. They purify their hearts and souls with good deeds, abide by their Lord’s commands, and their hearts are delighted by hearing the Holy Quran, their bodies quiver out of fear of Allah (SWT), and their eyes shed tears out of apprehension. They see the blessings of Allah The Almighty (SWT). They are ever thankful to Allah (SWT) and remember Him frequently.
When Ahmad ibn Aasim Al-Antaaki (RA) was asked, “What is the sign of the slave’s true hope in Allah?” he replied, “To thank Allah The Almighty when they are encompassed by the benevolence of Allah, hoping for the perfection of the blessing in this worldly life and complete pardon in the Hereafter.” Shaah Al-Kirmaani (RA) said, “Perfect obedience is the sign of hope.”
When Allah (SWT) described the Companions who had true hope in their words and deeds, He Said “Indeed, those who have believed and those who have emigrated and fought in the cause of Allah - those expect the mercy of Allah. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful”(Quran 2:218).
Qataadah (RA) said, “Those were the best of this Ummah (Muslim nation), for Allah(SWT) made them the people of hope, as you hear. Whoever hopes for something asks for it. Whoever fears something flees away from it.”
In the context of the hope of those who perform Tahajjud (voluntary night prayer), Allah (SWT) says “Is one who is devoutly obedient during periods of the night, prostrating and standing [in prayer], fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord”, (like one who does not)? [Quran 39:9]
Allah (SWT) again Says in another verse “They arise from [their] beds; they supplicate their Lord in fear and aspiration, and from what We have provided them, they spend”. (Quran 32:16)
In their Tahajjud and supplication, they hope for Allah (SWT). They do not hope for Allah (SWT) forgiveness without performing good deeds, nor perform those deeds without having hope in Allah (SWT). People who have hope in Allah (SWT) attach their hearts to Him and rely on Him in achieving whatever they want, as well as warding off harm and driving away their concerns. They have hope in Allah (SWT) publicly and privately and in all their affairs of this world and the Hereafter.
Their staunch hope in Him fills their hearts, even if what they hope for is late in coming or if what they fear happens. Their trust in Allah (SWT)is greater than their trust in people. Their certainty in the promise of Allah (SWT) is far greater than what they see as being contradictory to what they hope.
Contemplate the story of Prophet Yaqoob (AS), may Allah (SWT) exalt his mention, when he hoped for the return of his lost son Prophet Yoosuf (AS), may Allah exalt his mention! Despite the fact that he had become blind crying out of sadness over the lost child, he never stopped having hope in Allah (SWT) but hope that he would meet Prophet Yoosuf (As), may Allah exalt his mention, again. When prophet Ya‘qoob's, may Allah exalt his mention, children blamed him for this his, may Allah exalt his mention, answer was his hope in Allah Th(SWT)that made him believe He could achieve for him what he knew humans could not. The blaming of prophet Yaqoob’s (AS), children and his reply for that mentioned in the Holy Quran as this. Allah Says ”They said, “By Allah, you will not cease remembering Yoosuf until you become fatally ill or become of those who perish.” He said, "I only complain of my suffering and my grief to Allah, and I know from Allah that which you do not know”. (Quran 12:85-86)
What did he know from Allah (SWT) that they did not? He knew that Allah (SWT) is the Most Kind and Merciful, and this knowledge strengthened his good expectations of Him and his hope in Him. Let us ponder over his advice to his children to shun despair and to fill their hearts with hope and good expectations of Allah (SWT) in the verse, “O my sons, go and find out about Yoosuf and his brother and despair not of relief from Allah. Indeed, no one despairs of relief from Allah except the disbelieving people." (Quran 12:87)
When Yaqoob, may Allah (SWT) exalt his mention, received the glad tidings that his son was found alive and unharmed, then he, may Allah (SWT) exalt his mention, said some words that Allah (SWT) in the Holy Quran, He said, “Did I not tell you that I know from Allah that which you do not know?”(Quran 12:96)
It is a great hope in Allah (SWT) that rewarded Prophet Yaqoob (AS), may Allah exalt his mention, for it in this worldly life by reuniting him with his beloved son, restoring his sight, removing hatred from the hearts of some of his children towards others, and raising his rank in this worldly life due to the esteem of Prophet Yoosuf (AS), may Allah exalt his mention. However, the reward of the Hereafter is greater and more enduring. We are in dire need to have hope like that of Prophet Yaqoob (AS), may Allah (SWT) exalt his mention, during these blessed nights of hope.