Was reading through this thread: http://www.islamicboard.com/general/...pessimist.html
Wanted to share this article too :).
The Shari῾ah promotes positivity, optimism and having an upbeat attitude. We are encouraged to be optimists. Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah radiahllahu anhu narrates that the Messenger of Allah salallahu alaihi wasallam said,
“The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer although there is good in each. Desire that which will bring you benefit, and seek help from Allah 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, ‘The decree of Allah. He does what He will.’ Otherwise you will open yourself up to the action of Shaytān.” (Muslim hadith no.2664)[i]
What is optimism?
Optimism is looking at a more favourable side of events and simply anticipating the best possible outcome in any situation.[ii]
A famous saying states ‘A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.’ What do you see?
It’s also important to note that there are elements of hope expressed in optimism.
In no particular order, here are 45 benefits of optimism:
- It gives you a reason for living.
- It reduces the level of stress experienced.
- Research shows that it increases longevity.
- It enables you to handle and put your emotions in check.
- It promotes happiness.
- It promotes self respect and integrity
- It enhances various coping skills developed in order to combat life’s struggles.
- It forges persistence which is an essential trait required for achieving success.
- It creates a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.
- It promotes healthy living.
- It creates a positive anticipation of the future.
- It increases your level of productivity.
- It allows you to deal with failure constructively.
- It allows you to develop the attribute of patience.
- It makes you proactive.
- It improves your physiological and psychological well being.
- It enables you to take a balanced approach to life by dealing with the constant negative thoughts which spring up.
- It increases the likelihood of effective problem solving.
- It gives you peace of mind.
- It enables you to generate an alternative, more hopeful explanation for various difficulties experienced.
- It ensures you believe in your dream.
- It creates a positive attitude.
- It increases your tolerance levels because it lowers the risk of you being irritated by little things.
- It allows you to develop the habit of being thankful.
- It increases your level of motivation.
- It builds successful careers by promoting productivity.
- It promotes laughter.
- It doesn’t give any room for self denial.
- It welcomes any form of constructive change.
- It creates positive expectations.
- It sets your mood for the day.
- It promotes positive relationships.
- It builds resilience in the face of adversity.
- It promotes self confidence and boosts self esteem.
- It ensures you are focused.
- It promotes bonding between individuals.
- It reduces the level of your frustrations and worries.
- It promotes forgiveness.
- It enhances effective communication.
- It increases your spiritual development and awakening.
- It deals with your limiting beliefs which try to keep you from using your abilities.
- It gives room for self expression.
- It increases your mental flexibility.
- It is therapeutic.
- It improves your social life.
There are several ways optimism can be developed. They are as follows:
- Have realistic goals and expectations.
- Always remember you are human with a lot of imperfections.
- Acknowledge past events, but endeavour to manage the present with a view to creating a brighter future.
- Don’t fall into the trap of feeling hopeless.
- Be true to yourself.
- Network with people who show optimism in their daily lives.
- Believe in your dreams.
- Along with making dū῾ā, be proactive and make an effort to overcome your worries and grievances. Entertain high hopes in Allah Almighty. Allah Ta῾ālā states in a hadīth qudsī
“I deal with my servants according to their expectations of me.” (Sahīh al-Bukhārī hadith no.7505)[iii]
Do not be prey to your emotions. Allah Ta῾ālā has positioned the head over the heart for a reason. When there is a battle between your intellect and emotions, intellect should always be given preference. Never waver or become weak hearted by negative and undermining thoughts.
Dū῾ā is worship in itself. How can we be satisfied by making one dū῾ā? We have to constantly beseech and beg Allah Ta῾ālā for His mercy. If money is being distributed by a king, will we suffice for a couple of pounds and dollars? Or will be want more? Likewise, dū῾ā is the key to the treasures of Allah. There is no limit in what a person can ask for.
It is true that dū῾ā between the athān and iqāmah is accepted as mentioned by the Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam. The Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam said in another hadith,
“A man may do the deeds of the people of the Fire while in fact he is one of the people of Paradise, and he may do the deeds of the people of Paradise while in fact he belongs to the people of Fire, and verily, (the rewards of) the deeds are decided by the final actions carried out.” (Sahīh al-Bukhārī hadith no. 6607)[iv]
One can never be content with regards to his affair in the hereafter. Until we do not sight paradise at the time of death, we cannot rely on any action or dū῾ā. Aim high and yearn for the forgiveness of Allah. Everytime the hands are raised and tears are shed, one draws closer to Allah. Begging Allah Ta῾ālā is one of the shortest routes to Allah.
Benefit from your local ulamā’. Attend any gatherings in your local masjid. We also recommend you read a book titled ‘Don’t be sad’ by ῾Ā’idh al-Qarni.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Mufti Faraz Ibn Adam al-Mahmudi,