Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) said as has been quoted by His Last Prophet, Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) and as reported by Hadhrat Waathilah Ibne Al-Asqaa):
أنا عند ظن عبدي بي؛ فليظن بي ما شاء
“I will be as my servant expects me to be, so let him expect in me what he wishes.” (Ahmad)
Those who expect the best from Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) in every circumstance have not only exercised an act of worship that is admirable, but one that forms a backbone of belief. As a result, they are never let down, as Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) has promised to fill their hands with goodness. Consider how Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) filled the hands of Haajar when she exercised this act of worship.
Hadhrat Ibne ‘Abbas narrated that Prophet Ibrahim took Haajar, the mother of his son Ismail, to Makkah al Mukarramah. Upon arrival, he left her with a bag of dates and a container of water and then turned around making his way back to al-Shaam. Haajar pleaded with him:
يَا إبْرَاهِيمُ ، أَيْنَ تَذْهَبُ وَتَتْرُكُنَا بِهذَا الوَادِي الَّذِي لَيْسَ فِيهِ أنِيسٌ وَلاَ شَيْءٌ ؟
“O Ibrahim! Where are you going, leaving us in this valley with no one here or anything?” She repeated this several times as he walked away without looking back. She then said:
آللهُ أَمَرَكَ بِهَذَا؟
“Did Allah instruct you to do this?”
Responding him she said:
إذاً لاَ يُضَيِّعُنَا
“Then, He shall not forsake us.” (Bukhari)
Haajar thought well of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), so what did He do for her?
1 – The water well of Zamzam was made to gush forth from beneath the feet of her baby. The blessed water is a source of life for millions of people who continue to drink from it today.
2 – Fruits would be delivered to her, despite being in the middle of a barren desert.
3 – Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) would “fill some hearts among men with love towards them”. (Ibrahim 14:37)
The tribes, hence, made their way to her. They inhabited the city, granting her much needed companionship, whilst respecting her ownership of the water.
4 – Her city would become the most beloved place to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) on earth, causing people to come to them religiously from every corner of the globe.
5 – The Ka’bah would be built next to her dwelling.
6 – Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) would decree that parts of Hajj would be made in tribute to Haajar. Presidents, kings, generals, scholars, warriors, and all Muslims are obligated to move from mounts Safaa and Marwah as part of their pilgrimage. They all follow the footsteps of a woman who desperately searched for water for her child in a desert. Yes, Haajar was a weak, lonely, and penniless woman, but since she was an example of great expectations in Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), the whole of humanity walks in her footsteps until the end of time.
7 – Her story would be eternalized through revelation.
None of the above should come as a surprise. This is simply the product of expecting the best of Him, and such people have been promised to not be disappointed.
When are we most expected to have the best of expectations in Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)?
(1) During times of financial stress
Every morning as you make your way to work, or send out your CVs or prepare for a particular transaction, ensure that as your body engages in the means and measures, your heart sees none but Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa).
Hadhrat Abdullah Ibne Mas’ood reported that the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said:
من نزلت به فاقة فأنزلها بالناس لم تُسَدَّ فاقتُه، ومن نزلت به فاقة فأنزلها بالله فيوشِكُ الله له برزق عاجل أو آجل
“Whoever experiences poverty and relies upon people for relief, he will not be relieved, but whoever experiences poverty and relies upon Allah for relief, then his provisions are on their way sooner or later.” (At-Tirmizi)
(2) During testing times in life
It has happened to us all in the past, and may happen again at some point in our lives. We will experience a challenge that is so intense, dark, fast paced, and suffocating that it becomes clear that no one can alleviate it but Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), and this is precisely where relief is found. Just look at how Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) describes the difficulty of those three companions who were boycotted by the Muslim community for 50 days for a mistake they had committed. In one Aayah (Verse), Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) describes their pain and what it was that saved them:
وَعَلَى الثَّلَاثَةِ الَّذِينَ خُلِّفُوا حَتَّى إِذَا ضَاقَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الْأَرْضُ بِمَا رَحُبَتْ وَضَاقَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ أَنْفُسُهُمْ وَظَنُّوا أَنْ لَا مَلْجَأَ مِنَ اللَّهِ إِلَّا إِلَيْهِ ثُمَّ تَابَ عَلَيْهِمْ لِيَتُوبُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ [التوبة: 118]
“And (He relented) towards the three whose matter was deferred until when the earth was straitened for them despite all its vastness, and even their own souls were straitened for them, and they realized that there is no refuge from Allah, except in Him, then He turned towards them, so that they may repent. Surely, Allah is the Most-Relenting, the Very Merciful” (At-Taubah 9:118)
(3) When you are oppressed
Whether your reputation that has been wrongly tarnished, your ex has deprived you from seeing your children, family members or close friends stole from you, you have been displaced from a land, or have been unjustly imprisoned, it is not a dead-end so long as your expectations in Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) are great. This is because the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said as reported by Hadhrat Khuzaimah bin Thaabit:
اتقوا دعوة المظلوم، فإنها تُحمل على الغمام؛ يقول الله: وعزتي وجلالي لأنصرنك ولو بعد حين
“Beware of the Du’aa of the oppressed, as it is carried into the clouds. Allah says to it: ‘I swear by my glory and honor! I will answer you even if after some time.’” (Al-Tabaraani)
The gates of the heavens are open for such a Du’aa and no barrier stands between it and Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), even if the oppressed is a rebellious sinner. The Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said as reported by Hadhrat Abu Hurairah:
دعوة المظلوم مستجابة وإن كان فاجرا، ففجوره على نفسه
“The Du’aa of the oppressed is answered even if he is a sinner, for his sins only affect him.” (At-Tayaalisi)
Rather, even if the oppressed a non-believer, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) will honor his cries. Hadhrat Anas reported that the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said:
اتقوا دعوة المظلوم وإن كان كافرا، فإنه ليس دونها حجاب
“Beware of the Du’aa of the oppressed even if he is a non-believer, for no barriers stand before it.” (Ahmad)
One poet said:
خَفْ دعوةَ المظلوم فهْي سريعةٌ
طلعَتْ فجاءتْ بالعذابِ النازلِ
“Fear the Du’aa of the oppressed as it is quick to ascend into the sky and bring back down with it a descending punishment.”