الحمد لله، الحمد لله الذي جعل بحسن الظن به النصرَ والرحمة، وجعل بحسن الظن بخلقه الألفة والمحبة، نحمده تعالى ونستعينه، ونشكره تعالى ونستغفره ونستغيثه، نعوذ بالله من شرور أنفسنا ومن سيئات أعمالنا، من يهد الله فهو المهتد ومن يضلل فلن تجد له وليا مرشدا، ونشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له، له الملك و له الحمد، يحيي ويميت، بيده الخير، وهو على كل شيء قدير،  ونشهد أن سيدنا و مولانا محمداً عبده ورسوله، وحبيبه وصفيه، بلغ الرسالة وأدى الأمانة ونصح الأمة، النبي الأمي الذي أرسله الله بالهدى والدين الحق، بشيرا ونذيرا بين يدي الساعة، صلى الله عليه وسلم وعلى آله وأصحابه ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين. أما بعد! فيا عباد الله اتقوا الله حق تقاته ولا تموتن إلا وأنتم مسلمون. يأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله وقولوا قولا سديدا يصلح لكم أعمالكم ويغفر لكم ذنوبكم. ومن يطع الله ورسوله فقد فاز فوزا عظيما. اتقوا الله فيما أمر وانتهوا عما نها عنه وزجر.

 

Our Lord’s mercy and generosity is boundless – He gives without our asking, He gives to the undeserving and ungrateful, the unbelieving and resentful. He gives freely and requires nothing in return. He gives when we ask and when we do not ask, when we place our hope in Him and when we lose all hope. Allah says,

 

وَهُوَ الَّذِي يُنَزِّلُ الْغَيْثَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا قَنَطُوا وَيَنشُرُ رَحْمَتَهُ وَهُوَ الْوَلِيُّ الْحَمِيدُ

 

the translation of which is, “It is He who sends down abundant rain, after they have lost all hope, and unfolds His mercy. He is the Protector, the Praiseworthy.” His giving never stops, He is the Sustainer of the heavens and the earth, of all of creation. As He says in His Book,

كَتَبَ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ الرَّحْمَةَ

 

the translation of which is, “Allah has made mercy incumbent upon Himself.” And He says,

وَرَحْمَتِي وَسِعَتْ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ

 

the translation of which is, “My Mercy encompasses every thing.”And as He says in a hadith qudsi,

إِنَّ رَحْمَتِى سَبَقَتْ غَضَبِى

 

“My Mercy precedes My anger.” He is the Rahman and the Rahim, the Qayyum and the Karim. His Mercy is there at all times for all people, even the most inveterate of wrongdoers. Everything good that we have ever had or will ever have is from Him. His creation is magnificent, flawless, there are no defects. Allah says,

 

مَّا تَرَىٰ فِي خَلْقِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ مِن تَفَاوُتٍ ۖ

 

the translation of which is, “You will not find any flaw in the creation of the All-Merciful.” Whatever flaws and defects we encounter is down to us and down to how we perceive and view existence. Allah says,

 

مَّا أَصَابَكَ مِنْ حَسَنَةٍ فَمِنَ اللَّهِ ۖ وَمَا أَصَابَكَ مِن سَيِّئَةٍ فَمِن نَّفْسِكَ

 

the translation of which is, “Any good thing that happens to you comes from Allah. Any bad thing that happens to you comes from yourself.” With our Lord, there is only good, so all the bad that we see is down to us. It is down to the way we act and the way we see. Allah says,

ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِي النَّاسِ

 

the translation of which is, “Corruption has appeared in both land and sea because of what people’s own hands have wrought.” These trials and tribulations that appear to be our lot, the endless wars and atrocities, the crippling debt and poverty, the enslavement of whole populations, the staggering levels of pollution, the exploitation of the masses, the neverending Islamophobia and bad press, the ongoing victimisation, it is all down to us and our ascribing reality to it. But it has no reality for we have a generous Lord. Allah says,

 

وَمَا أَصَابَكُم مِّن مُّصِيبَةٍ فَبِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِيكُمْ وَيَعْفُو عَن كَثِيرٍ

 

the translation of which is, “Any disaster that strikes you is through what your own hands have earned and He pardons much.” In their tafsir of this ayat, the Mufassirun say that all this bad that we bring down on ourselves has no substance if we turn to our Lord and place our expectations in Him, for what He pardons much and what He has is good. He wipes away the negative consequences of what we have wrought and replaces it with what brings us benefit. The Prophet said,

 

والذي نفسي بيده، ما يصيب المؤمن من نصب ولا وصب ولا هم ولا حزن، إلا كفر الله عنه بها من خطاياه، حتى الشوكة يشاكها

 

“By the One who holds my soul in His hand, nothing afflicts the believer, no exhaustion, no illness or discomfort, no worry and no sorry or grief, except that Allah pardons some of his wrong actions on account of it. Even the merest pricking of a thorn.”

The believer must always be an optimist. No matter how bad things get, he must hope for the best from his Lord. Despair is worse than any wrong action, because it is tantamount to rejecting the Promise of Allah. Allah says,

إِنَّهُ لَا يَيْئَسُ مِنْ رَوْحِ اللَّهِ إِلَّا الْقَوْمُ الْكَافِرُونَ

 

the translation of which is, “No one despairs of solace from Allah except for people who are kafirun.” And Allah says,

وَمَن يَقْنَطُ مِن رَّحْمَةِ رَبِّهِ إِلَّا الضَّالُّونَ

 

the translation of which is, “’Who despairs of the mercy of his Lord except for misguided people.” Expect the worst and that is what you shall have, expect the best and that is what you shall have. The Prophet said that Allah says in a hadith qudsi,

 

أنا عند ظن عبدي بي إن ظن خيرا فله وإن ظن شرا فله

 

“I am according to My slave’s opinion of Me. If he thinks good then he will have it, and if he thinks bad then he will have it.” So cleanse your heart of despair and bad opinion, and place your hopes in Allah and nothing of this world will have any power over you. Expect only the best from Him and everything that comes your way will be good and bring you benefit. We will never be trapped, never humiliated and never defeated. No matter how bad things seem, success will be ours. And by that, I do not just mean success in the Next world – although that is the most meaningful success. No, the mumin asks for and gets the best of this world and the Next. The proof is there for any who care to look – in the Book of Allah, in the Sīra and in the historical records. Indeed, it is there in your own lives if you but look.

Look at the Banu Isrā’il in the time of Musa – were they not ostensibly downtrodden and oppressed, they were treated as slaves and then their male children were taken from them to be killed and their female children into bondage. So they fled with Musa with the army of Fir‘awn hot on their heels, and came to an impassible sea. What did those say who had low expectations of their Lord?

إِنَّا لَمُدْرَكُونَ

 

“We shall surely be overrun!” But Musa knew the truth of existence and maintained his high opinion of Allah, and so he said,

كَلَّا إِنَّ مَعِيَ رَبِّي سَيَهْدِينِ

 

“Never, my Lord is with me and He will guide me.” And with one inspired strike of his staff, the sea parted, the way before them opened up and they were saved, while their enemies were drowned. And not only were they saved, but the lands, orchards and springs where they had been living and its treasures, that had been Fir‘awn’s, became theirs. Allah says,

فَأَخْرَجْنَاهُم مِّن جَنَّاتٍ وَعُيُونٍ وَكُنُوزٍ وَمَقَامٍ كَرِيمٍ كَذَلِكَ وَأَوْرَثْنَاهَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ

 

the translation of which is, “We expelled them from gardens and springs, from treasures and a noble abode. So it was! And We bequeathed them to the tribe of Israel.” The high opinion of Musa transformed the situation of his people in this world, and everything that had been against them came to be for them. And the same with our Messenger – he had to flee to Madina, but that flight was the cause of his victory. Strength is very often cloaked in the garb of failure and weakness. If we look beyond the superficial and recognise the hand of our Lord and place our trust in Him completely, we will be victorious. He has promised us victory, an imminent victory, and He lā yukhlifu-l-mī‘ād – never breaks His promise. Allah says,

‫وَمَكَرُوا وَمَكَرَ اللَّهُ ۖ وَاللَّهُ خَيْرُ الْمَاكِرِينَ

 

the translation of which is, “They plotted and Allah plotted. But Allah is the best of plotters.” We must always remember this. Trust in Allah is our biggest strength and our greatest weapon. Ibn Masud said,

 

وَالَّذِي لَا إِلَهَ غَيْرُهُ مَا أُعْطِيَ عَبْدٌ مُؤْمِنٌ شَيْئًا خَيْرًا مِنْ حُسْنِ الظَّنِّ بِاللَّهِ، وَالَّذِي لَا إِلَهَ غَيْرُهُ لَا يُحْسِنُ عَبْدٌ بِاللَّهِ الظَّنَّ إِلَّا أَعْطَاهُ اللَّهُ ظَنُّهُ؛ ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّ الْخَيْرَ فِي يَدِهِ

 

“By the One whom there is no god by Him, no believing slave has been given a gift better than good opinion of Allah. By the One whom there is no god by Him, no slave has good opinion of Allah except that Allah brings about what he hopes for. And that is because all good is in His hands.” With trust in Allah and a high opinion of Him, nothing can stand in our way, for we are doing what Allah wants and what He wants always comes to pass. No way will be blocked, no enemy undefeatable, no situation hopeless. The deen will be uppermost and the power will be with us. Allah says,

وَلِلَّهِ الْعِزَّةُ وَلِرَسُولِهِ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ

 

the translation of which is, “The might belongs to Allah, His Messenger and the believers.” Trust completely in Allah and it will happen.

 

أقول قولي هذا وأستغفر الله لي ولكم ولسائر المسلمين من كل ذنب فاستغفروه إنه هو الغفور الرَّحيم.

 

الحمد لله الحمد لله رب العالمين، وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له وأشهد أن محمداً عبده ورسوله، صلى الله وسلم وبارك عليه وعلى آله وصحبه، والتابعين وتابعي التابعين ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.

أما بعد! فيأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله ما استطعتم واسمعوا وأطيعوا وأنفقوا خيرا لأنفسكم. يا عباد الله أوصيكم وإياي بتقوى الله وطاعته وأحذركم وإياي عن معصيته ومخالفته.

 

It is not truly possible to have good opinion of Allah if you are not following His deen – you are lying to yourself if you tell yourself that it is. How can you say you have a high opinion of Him, when you disregard all that He set up for you and asked from you. Where is the trust when you ignore the straight and illuminated path He has pointed out to you, and try and take some other twisted and treacherous path which leads you nowhere but further away from Him and from all that will bring you benefit? Where is the trust when He sets out before you the most delicious of feasts but you reject His offering and eat the poisonous and bitter berries from the bushes off the side of the road? Where is the trust when you do not do as the One who created you and your actions instructs but take refuge instead in actions suggested to you by your nafs which commands to wrong? Is that trust? Is that high opinion? It is not.

Good opinion of Allah implies having good opinion of everything relating to Him, for He is One, He is Indivisible. It implies complete good opinion of Him and all His Names and Attributes, all of His Commands and Prohibitions, all of His Revelations and Words. It implies absolute belief that His design and His plan for us is the one that best fits us and our needs. It implies the acceptance that all good lies upon the path towards which He has guided us and all bad lies outside its borders. True good opinion is only possible for those who combine belief and right action, otherwise it is simply false hope and wishful thinking. al-Hasan al-Basri said,

 

المؤمن أحسن الظن بربه فأحسن العمل وإنَّ الفاجر أساء الظن بربه فأساء العمل

 

“The believer has a good opinion of his Lord and so makes his action good, while the fājir has a bad opinion of his Lord and so makes his action bad.”

If you truly have good opinion of Allah, it comes out in your actions. And if you are sincere in your efforts to obey your Lord, then He will grant you the gift of good opinion. The more you obey Allah, the better your opinion of Him, and the better your opinion of Him, the more you obey Him. You are lifted ever upward, getting closer and closer to Him. This is Allah’s gift to His right acting slaves. Allah says,

 

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَالَّذِينَ هَاجَرُواْ وَجَاهَدُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ أُوْلَئِكَ يَرجُونَ رَحمَتَ اللَّه

 

the translation of which is, “Those who believe and make hijra and do jihad in the Way of Allah, it is those who expect and hope for the mercy of Allah.” He will remove all despair from our hearts and even though we are still human beings, and still prone to error and mistake, our trust in Him and high opinion will be our salvation, and He will protect us and continuously bring us back from the brink. When we walk to Him, He runs to us. Allah says,

 

قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنْفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِنْ رَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

 

the translation of which is, “Say, ‘My slaves, you who wrong yourselves, do not despair of the Mercy of Allah. Allah forgives all wrong actions. truly, He is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” We ask our Lord to give us good opinion of Him in every situation, and the realisation that all that is with him is good and that if we turn fully to Him, good is all that we will know. Our entire affair will be good. As the Messenger of Allah said,

 

عجبا لأمر المؤمن فإنه أمره كله خير

 

“How wondrous is the life of the believer – everything that happens to him is good.

 

إِنَّ اللهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ، يَا أَيُهَا الذِينَ آمَنُواْ صَلُّواْ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيماً.

اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ وَبَارِكْ عَلَيْهِ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ  أَجْمَعِينَ. وَارْضَ اللَّهُمَّ عَنِ الْخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ وَعُثْمَانَ وَعَلِيٍّ، وعن أم المومنين عائشة التي أمرنا الله في سورة النور أن ندافع عنها، وَعَنْ سَائِرِ الصَّحَابَةِ أَجْمَعِينَ، خُصُوصاً اِلأَنْصَارَ مِنْهُمْ وَالمُهَاجِرِينَ، وَعَنِ التَّابِعِينَ وَتَابِعِي التَّابِعِينَ وَمَنْ تَبِعَهُمْ بِإِحْسَانٍ إِلَى يَوْمِ الدِّينِ.

اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِ وُلَاةَ أُمُورِ المُسْلِمِينَ لِمَا يُرْضِيكَ وَلِاتِّبَاعِ سُنَّةِ نَبِيِّكَ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، وَثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَهُمْ عَلَى الصِّرَاطِ المُسْتَقِيمِ، وَأَصْلِحْهُمْ يَا رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ.

اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى شَيْخِنَا، وَعَلَى أَمِيرِنَا، وَعَلَى جَمِيعِ أُمَرَاءِ وَزُعَمَاءِ المُسْلِمِينَ.

اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى المُسْلِمِينَ فِي هَذِهِ المَدِينَةِ، وَوَفِّقْهُمْ لِمَا تُحِبُّهُ وَتَرْضَاهُ يَا أَكْرَمَ الأَكْرَمِينَ.

اللَّهُمَّ أَعِزَّ الإِسْلَامَ وَالمُسِْلمِينَ، وَاخْذُلِ الْكُفْرَ وَالْكَافِرِينَ، وَانْصُرِ المُجَاهِدِينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ. وَاجْعَلْ كَلِمََتَكَ هِيَ العُلْيَا وَكَلِمَةَ الْكُفْرِ هِيَ السُّفْلَى.

رَبَّنَا ءَاتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقَِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ.

إِنَّ اللهَ يَامُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى، وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ، يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَّكَّرُونَ، وَلَذِكْرُ اللهِ أَكْبَرُ وَاللهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ. وَقُومُواْ إِلَى صَلاتِكُمْ يَرْحَمُكُمُ اللهُ