In God We Trust
“O My servants… do not despair of the mercy of Allah.” (Qur’an 39:53)
Hope, alongside faith, is fundamental to raising strong, God-conscious children. Raja’, the confident expectation of what Allah (SWT) has promised, is in one’s firm belief in His power and wisdom. Thus, we should instill in children that Allah (SWT) is always aware of what we are experiencing, and that difficulties are meant to bring us closer to Allah (SWT). We must remember that He is the Most Powerful, yet He is also the Most Merciful, more loving and forgiving of us than our own parents.
In secular terms, optimism is an important character value. Primary predictors of depression, anxiety, even suicide, are feelings of hopelessness, especially in the face of adversity. We must raise our children to understand hope as a powerful tool for prevention and intervention during times of struggle.
Our first lesson explains the importance of maintaining a balance between hope and fear. We should show our love for our Lord through hope in Allah (SWT) which motivates us to do that which is good, and fear from Allah (SWT) which helps us abstain from that which He has forbidden. The balance between hope and fear is what pushes us to consistently strive towards pleasing Allah (SWT), hopeful of His mercy and forgiveness, and fearful of His disappointment and accountability. In our first story, “Blue Jay Blues,” Shireen learns this when she accidentally breaks her mother’s camera and thinks that she will never be forgiven.
The second lesson reminds us that just like Prophet Musa (AS), we must also place our hope in Allah (SWT) in times of difficulty. Everything that happens is part of Allah’s (SWT) plan, and He never sends hardship without sending ease at the same time. Therefore, we must remain steadfast and hopeful. In our second story, “Hold On to Hope,” Amin and Asad learn this through a scary experience while hiking Mount Maple.