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Islam Calls for Optimism and Trust

By: Ayatullah Sayyid Mujtaba Musavi Lari
Islam has planted root in the believers by filling their hearts with faith. It is in this manner that our religion leads its adherents to comfort and stability. The Holy Qur`an states that the Honorable Messenger (S.A.W.) was so confident that the hypocrites criticized him for it.
Islam commands its followers to trust each other, and to assume that another’s intentions are good. Therefore, it is not permitted for anyone to judge a Muslim’s actions as corrupt without proper evidence for such a judgment.
The Prince of the Faithful (A.S.) said:
“Expect good from your brothers, unless something happen that makes you rule otherwise; and do not assume a word of his is evil when there is still the possibility of it being good”.
Jami’ as-Sa’adat v.2, p. 28
When people trust each other, it increases their love towards each other and brings harmony into their lives. The Muslims’ Imams expressed the importance of trust in many ways. Imam Ali (A.S.) once said:
“He who trusts others gains love from them.”
Ghurar al-Hikam.,
Dr. Mardin is quoted as saying:
“When you establish a friendship with someone, try to observe only his positive points: then try to appreciate in your consciences those good traits von have found in him. If you are able to center this advise in your mind, on will live a good and satisfactory life, and will discover that everyone presents his good and kind sides to you while trying to win your friendship for himself.”
Pirozi Fikr (Persian,)
It is even possible that optimism and trust affect the thinking and conduct of the misguided ones. In summary, they (trust and optimism) provide grounds for the salvation of such people.
Imam Ali (A.S.) once said:
“Trust rescues him who indulged in sin.”
Dr. Dale Carnegie states:
“Recently I met the manager of a franchise of restaurants. This particular chain of restaurant is called “The Honorable Deal”. In these restaurants, which were established in 1885, the employees never presented a bill to the customers; instead the customers order what they wish to eat and after the meal they calculate the charges and pay the cashier without any questions. “I said to the manager: ‘Of course you have a secret inspector?! You can’t trust all the customers of your restaurant?’ He answered: ‘No, we do not secretly watch our customers, yet, we do know that our method is appropriate, otherwise we would not have been able to advance during this last half century.’ The customers of this restaurant feel that they are dealt with honorably, it stems from the idea that the poor, rich, thief, and beggar all try to conform to the good conduct which is expected of them here.”
Mr. Louis, a social psychologist, has said:
“If you interact with an unstable, ill-natured man and are trying to lead him to goodness and stability, try to make him feel that you trust him, treat him like a respected and honorable man. You will find that he tries to keep the trust that you have placed in him. Consequently, in order for him to prove that he is worth your trust, he will try to do what makes him qualified for your trust.”

How to Win Friends
Dr. Gilbert Roben wrote:
“Trust children. What I mean is deal with them as if they have never made a mistake. In other words erase their past and forgive their wrong conduct. Try to assign important duties to those who do not behave well. With every new job that you give them make it appear as if they have improved their behavior, and that they have become qualified for the job you have given them. It is possible to remove the obstacles which stand in the way of correction by good conduct and trusting the ones to be corrected. From here we can say that most of the unwanted aare not but reactions to fill space in the lives of the individuals.”
Sir Yal Bint used to suggest to trust children who have a habit of stealing with some money, and give them jobs which conform to the ability of those who are lazy.
Trust guarantees comfort to the person.
Imam Ali (A.S.) said:
“Trust is a comfort to the heart and security in faith.”
Ghurar a/-Hikam p. 376
Trust also releases the pressure created by the miseries and misfortunes of life.
Imam Ali (A.S) stated:
“Trust reduces depression.”
Dr. Mardin said:
“There is not a thing that makes life more beautiful in our eyes, reduces our sufferings, and paves the way for success like optimism and trust do. Therefore, be careful of painful thoughts just as you are cautious of illnesses and their dangerous effects. Open your minds to optimistic thinking and you will see how easily you can rescue yourself from existing thoughts.”
Pirozi Fikr
It is essential for Muslims to behave with each other in such a way that does not leave room for ill expectations to penetrate their society. Imam Ali (A.S.), on this subjects, used to advise the Muslims to think positively about each other and not to act in a manner that would make others mistrust them. He (A.S.) also recommended that people should avoid places of suspicion. He is quoted as saying:
“He who holds hope in you has given you his trust, therefore do not disappoint him.
Ghurar al-H ikam p. 680
Imam Ali (A.S.) made the judging point for man’s reason his thinking about others when he said:
“Man’s expectation is the scale for his reason, and his conduct is the most truthful witness to his authenticity.”
Ghurar al- Hikam p. 474
Because an individual whose expectations of people is negative lacks the ability to reason logically, Imam Ali (A.S.) made the Muslim’s refusal of ill-thinking a sign of their spiritual power. He also said:
“One who refuses ill expectations of his brother, has healthy reason and his heart is at peace.”
Ghurar aI-Hikam p. 676
Samuel Smiles said:
“It has been proven that those who have strong natures and spirits, are naturally happy and hopeful in life. They look at everyone and everything with trust and ease. Wise men see beyond every cloud a shining sun, and realize that behind every misery and infliction, exists the happiness they long for. These people find new power every time they are inflicted with a new problem; and find hope with every depression or sadness. Such nature enjoys real happiness, and its advocates are lucky. The light of gladness shines in their eyes and they can always be seen smiling. The hearts of these individuals sparkle like stars and they see everything with an understanding eye and with the color they wish.”
Imam Sadiq (A.S.) considered good expectation to be one of the Muslim’s rights on each other.
“Among the rights of a believer to another believer.., is not to doubt him.”
Usul al-Kafi V 1. p. 394
Truly the element most capable of giving man optimism and trust is faith. Had all people been one nation who believed in Allah, His Messenger, and the Last Day, it would have been natural for everyone to truly trust each other. The lack of faith among people is the reason for the acute disease of mistrust in society. A believer, whose heart is comfortable with belief and trust in Allah, depends on that unlimited power whenever he is inflicted with weakness. He seeks refuge in Allah during hardships: this trains his souls and deeply affects his morals.

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