By Sheima Salam Sumer
Many people only focus on the fear of God, when we should balance fear with hope in God’s mercy and goodness. God encourages us to think positively about Him. In a hadith Qudsi He says: “I am as my servant thinks of Me”¦” (Bukhari, Muslim).
Here are nine reasons to have a positive view of God:
God wants to come closer to us
In the same hadith quoted above, God says that when we make an effort to get close to Him, He comes much closer to us:
“I am as My servant thinks of Me. I am with him when he remembers Me. If he mentions Me within himself, I mention him within Myself. If he mentions me in an assembly, I mention him in a better assembly. If he comes near to Me a handspan, I come near to him the distance of a cubit. If he comes near to me the distance of a cubit, I come near to him the distance of two outspread arms. If he comes to me walking, I come to him running. (Bukhari, Muslim)
God wants us to succeed and He gives us extra credit for good deeds. God even rewards us for not doing a bad deed that we thought about doing
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “Whosoever intends to do a good deed but does not do it, Allah records it with Himself as a complete good deed; but if he intends it and does it, Allah records it with Himself as ten good deeds, up to seven hundred times, or more than that. But if he intends to do an evil deed and does not do it, Allah records it with Himself as a complete good deed; but if he intends it and does it, Allah records it down as one single evil deed.” (Bukhari, Muslim)
God says that He does not want difficulty for us; He wants to purify us
“Allah does not want difficulty for you, but He wants to purify you, and to complete His favor upon you, that you may be grateful.” (end of Quranic verse 5:6)
God does not want to punish us
“Why would Allah punish you if you are thankful and believe? And Allah is Appreciative (of good), All-Knowing.” (4:147)
God wants us to call on Him
And your Lord said, “Call on Me, I will respond to you.” (40:60)
Our Lord (glorified and exalted be He) descends each night to the earth’s sky when there remains the final third of the night, and He says: Who is saying a prayer to Me that I may answer it? Who is asking something of Me that I may give it him? Who is asking forgiveness of Me that I may forgive him?
(Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidthi and Abu Dawud)
God is the Most Forgiving
“¦And seek God’s forgiveness! Truly God is much Forgiving and Merciful. (2:199)
Whoso does evil or oppresses his own self and thereafter seeks God’s forgiveness shall find God Most Forgiving, Merciful. (4:110)
The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) reported that the devil said to God: “I shall continue to lead Thy servants astray as long as their spirits are in their bodies.” And God replied: “(Then) I shall continue to pardon them as long as they ask My forgiveness.” (Tirmidthi)
(Allah says) O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as it. (Tirmidthi)
God is the Most Merciful
When Allah decided (to create) a creation, He wrote a writing which is with Him upon His Throne, namely, “Verily, My mercy has overtaken My wrath.” (Bukhari, Muslim)
Umar ibn Al-Khattab reported: Some prisoners of war were brought in front of the Prophet (pbuh), and a woman was among them who was breast-feeding. Whenever she found a child among the prisoners, she would take it to her chest and nurse it. The Prophet said to us, “Do you think this woman could throw her child in the fire?” We said, “No, not if she is able to stop it.” He said, “Allah is more merciful to His servants than a mother is to her child” (Bukhari).
God is Al Barr, the Source of Goodness
The divine name of God Al-Barr means that God is Kind and Gentle. He is the Source of all kindness and goodness in the world. He is the source of every good deed. God continuously urges us in the Holy Quran to do good deeds, because He is Good and loves goodness.
Every chapter (except one) in the Quran begins with Bismillahirahmaniraheem, “In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.”
Allah chose to begin every surah (except for one) with His attributes Ar-Rahman, Ar-Raheem, the Most Compassionate and Most Merciful. He could have chosen attributes such as The Powerful, The Avenger, The Reckoner, The Debaser, etc. He didn’t. What does that tell us about our Lord?
(This is a modified version of an article that originally appeared on the blog www.Quranacademy.io)
Sheima Salam Sumer is author of How to be a Happy Muslim Insha’Allah and The Basic Values of Islam. For more details, see howtobeahappymuslim.com
By Sheima Salam Sumer