Islam lays a lot of importance on positive thinking and encourages hope and optimism. And on the contrary forbids despair no matter how bleak the circumstances may be. In fact despair is likened to disbelief in Allah.
The Arabic term for positive thinking ‘Husnul Zann’ apart from conveying the meaning of positive thinking also conveys the meaning of optimism and of holding good opinion and thinking well about others.
When it comes to thinking well, in Islam it has to begin with thinking well about Allah. From the Hadith Qudsi of Prophet Mohammad in which he ﷺ says that Allah says; “I treat my servant in accordance with his opinion of me.” (Bukhari & Muslim)
A person who always thinks about bad things in his mind and imagines that bad things will happen to him thinks unjustly and unfavorably about ALLAH and ends us getting bad things. A person, who has good thoughts, thinks favorably about Allah, because everything comes into existence through the creation of Allah, is bestowed with goodness.
Once we have a good opinion about Allah then it necessary that we must cultivate good opinion about our fellow men and not despise them for some fault that one may see in them.
We must realize that none of us is entirely good or entirely bad so it is not for us to focus on the bad side and be cynical about it rather it is for us to look at the good in others and have good opinion about them and always expect good and positive things from them.
Narrated Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Beware of suspicion, for suspicion is the falsest of speech. Do not seek out one another’s faults; do not spy on one another; do not compete with one another; do not envy one another; do not hate one another; do not turn away from one another. Be, O slaves of Allah, brothers.” [Al-Bukhaari (5144) and Muslim (2563, 4917)]
In ‘Awn al-Ma‘bood (9/2195-2196) it says:
“Beware of suspicion” means: beware of following suspicion or beware of negative thinking, for suspicion is an accusation that comes to mind without any evidence. End quote.
Al-Bayhaqi narrated in ash-Shu‘ab (8344) that Ja‘far ibn Muhammad said:
If you hear something about your brother that you dislike, then look for excuses for him, from one to seventy excuses; if you find an excuse for him (all well and good), otherwise say: Perhaps he has an excuse that I do not know of.
Al-‘Allaamah Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
What is prescribed for the believer is to respect his brother if he offers an excuse to him, to accept his apology if possible, and to think positively of him as much as possible, striving to keep hearts free of resentment and aiming to bring about unity and co-operation in doing good. It was narrated from ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: Do not think badly of any word uttered by your brother when you can find a good interpretation for it.
End quote from Majmoo‘ Fataawa Ibn Baaz, 26/365
At times we take all the good things we have for granted and focus on being pessimistic, we forget whatever emotion or experience we are going through is temporary and we will eventually have to face something different. Many people find it difficult to deal with emotions and let negativity overcome them, however as Muslims we should have a positive outlook all the time. The Prophet ﷺ said “How amazing is the case of the believer; there is good for him in everything, and this characteristic is exclusively for him alone. If he experiences something pleasant, he is thankful, and that is good for him; and if he comes across some diversity, he is patient, and that is good for him.” [Muslim]
We must go a step further and whenever we meet someone who is in trouble or sick or dejected, we should help him by making him see the brighter side of things and fill him with hope and optimism which will help him greatly to rise above his problems.
When we start doing this and make it as a regular practice in our lives we cease to live in a state of hopelessness and false imaginations and thoughts that make our lives miserable and demoralize us. Instead, we live in a constant state of optimism which not only transforms our lives but also touches everyone whom we come in contact with.
The mind can be directed towards positive thinking or negative thinking. The power of thought is a neutral power. The way one thinks determines whether the results are positive and beneficial or negative and harmful. It is the same of energy acting in different ways. Persistent inner work can change habits of thoughts. You must be willing to put energy and time to avoid negative thinking and pursue positive thinking, in order to change your mental attitude. Think of those things which are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, in other words, to fill your mind with noble, good thoughts, leaving no room for negative ones to take root.
We see that today most of our thoughts and time is spent on why this person did that, whether at work or in extended families this is something people are so stuck up with, what a Muslim should do is thinking positively, think of excuses and pray to Allah for a good outcome and for He has the power of turning things in your favor.
So don’t get involved in all the politics, as Muslims we just need to have a positive attitude and rely on Allah completely!
Generosity is one of the attributes that people like and it pleases Allaah.
Islam urges its followers to be generous and spend their money in the way of Allaah because this leads to fostering feelings of love and solidarity within the society and eliminating envy from people’s hearts. Thus, feelings such as cooperation, love, and forgiveness prevail among Muslims whether they are rich or poor. At the same time, the relations between Muslims are strengthened and they become just like one body or a well-structured building.
Allaah, Glorified be He, likes the generous people and dislikes those who are miserly. Allaah also blesses the money of the generous and increases His Bounties for them whether in this world or in the Hereafter. Allaah says (what means):
“The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.” [Quran 2:261]
Ibn al-Qayyim said, “Generosity is one of the attributes of the Lord, for He gives and does not take, He feeds and is not fed, He is the most generous of those who are generous. The most beloved of His creation to Him are those who seek to acquire the characteristics implied by His attributes. For He is Generous and loves those among His slaves who are generous; He is All-Knowing and loves those who have knowledge; He is All-Powerful and loves those who are courageous; He is Beautiful and loves beauty.”
A generous man will share what he has with others, thinking about other people as he thinks of himself. He benefits by helping others and solving their problems. He makes people happy and prevents them from doing wrong, which is often a direct result of poverty. This is a great service to society, and there are some people who spend their life in this service, establishing valuable foundations which remain after them such as hospitals, libraries etc.
Whatever is given for Allaah’s Sake will never decrease one’s wealth in the slightest; rather, it will bless, purify and increase it, as the Prophet, ﷺ, said: “Charity does not decrease wealth.” [Muslim]
Since noble characteristics are acquired in different ways, the Muslim works to develop virtuous traits according to Islamic guidelines. Allaah Says (what means): “And spend [in the way of Allaah] from what We have provided you before death approaches one of you and he says, ‘My Lord, if only You would delay me for a brief term so I would give charity and be among the righteous.’” [Quran 63: 10]
The Messenger of Allaah, ﷺ, said: “Protect yourself from the Hell-fire even by giving a piece of a date as charity.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]
The Prophet, ﷺ, said: “Everyday two angels descend and one of them says, `O Allaah! Compensate (more) to the person who gives (in charity)’; while the other one says, `O Allaah! Destroy the one who withholds (charity, etc).’” [Al-Bukhaari]
The Prophet, ﷺ, also said: “Allaah, the Exalted, Says, `Spend, O son of Aadam, you will also be spent upon.” [Al-Bukhaari & Muslim]
According to the narration, one who spends in the way of Allaah, will be duly paid. It means that Allaah will enhance the provision of such a man and grant him the best recompense.
Generosity is not expressed exclusively with wealth and money, but also with our time, good deeds, actions and kindness to all people. Allaah Says (what means): “Never will you attain the good [reward] until you spend [in the way of Allaah] from that which you love…”[Quran 3: 92]
The Prophet ﷺ said :
“None of you will believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.“
Related by Bukhari & Muslim
Jaabir, may Allaah be pleased with him, reported that the Messenger of Allaah, ﷺ, never said `no’ to anyone who asked him for something. [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]
We can show generosity by:
There are many other ways to be generous in life, one should have a positive mindset and a will to be of help to others in this world and more so in the hereafter so help people and pray for the Ummah, the minimum we can do for them is to pray.
Islam teaches the Muslims to be constructive, beneficial members of their societies; always helping those who are deprived and destitute to the best of their abilities. Every good deed is described as an act of charity, as the Prophet, ﷺ, said: “Every Muslim must give charity.” They said, “O Messenger of Allaah, what if he cannot do that?” He, ﷺ, said, “Then let him help one who is in desperate need.” He, ﷺ, said, “Then let him do good, and refrain from doing evil, and that will be an act of charity on his part.” [Al-Bukhaari & Muslim]