Consider two different people, two next-door neighbors, for instance, who live under the same conditions. Let's say that the same terrible event befalls both of them: A burglar has stolen their valuables. Let's assume that one of the homeowners has faith in Allah, and that the other has gotten carried away with the ambitions of this world and forgotten the hereafter…
The unbeliever has worked his whole life and so was able to buy a number of valuables. For him, nothing is more important than these valuables, for he or she has based his whole life, aspirations, and expectations upon them. But now, having lost all of them quite suddenly, he thinks that his life has been for nothing, that his efforts have been wasted. Becoming engulfed in a continual spiritual state of pessimism and complaint, he complains to everybody. In fact, some people in this situation may even cry for days and become sick, or display constant irritability and hurt those around them. Sometimes they will withdraw into themselves suddenly, trying to make those around them partners to their helplessness and sorrow. With the loss of a few valuables, their entire life has, in their own words, been "turned upside down."
But the believer does not experience any of this. In contrast to the screaming and wailing from next door, an utmost calm and peaceful atmosphere prevails in his or her house. He does not succumb to the slightest sadness or negativity, and manages to maintain his uninterrupted submission to Allah, as well as his balanced and happy state of mind.
He can do this because just as he knows that the One Who gave him these valuables is Allah, he also knows that it is Allah Who takes them back. Realizing that this event must contain some good, he is at peace. Never enslaved to his worldly passions only thus falling into despair, he remains hopeful that Allah will give him more beautiful and better things in both this world and the hereafter.
Such events do not cause Muslims to fall into a sense of hopelessness. On the contrary, such situations only cause their submission to Allah to increase, and they experience the happiness and peace of being thankful to Him regardless of their present circumstances. Since they know that Allah is testing them, they ask Him for that which benefits them.
Even if they have lost everything, believers can start fresh without the slightest feeling of hopelessness, and with patience and enthusiasm. Their enthusiasm arises from their faith, their trust in and love for Allah, their Qur'anic morals, and their certain realization of this world's transience. This optimistic attitude toward the future, this habit of always looking on the bright side, shows up in all of the events faced by believers throughout their lives.
No matter how difficult their situation, believers always display maturity, moderation, fortitude, and strength. They never compromise on matters affecting their dignity, integrity, or respect; nor do they display any of the unbelievers' attitudes or character disorders. Thus they are beautiful models for all people everywhere.
Their most distinctive characteristic in such situations is their continual hope. This is important, because Allah does not favor hopelessness, and because the Qur'an says that a lack of hope is a characteristic of unbelievers. Losing hope in Allah's help, mercy, and forgiveness is an ugly action, one that the Qur'an has forbidden.
As a result of their hopeful spiritual state, each believer lives a peaceful and happy life, whereas those who do not submit to Allah are forever hopeless, anxious, and worried. As a result, each unbeliever lives in dismay, sadness, and distress.
Most people fall into despair when they do not get what they want, lose something, or when some unexpected dreadful event befalls them. Moreover, it does not even occur to them to hope to be forgiven in the hereafter, to be freed from Hellfire, or to enter Paradise. In fact, because they do not have a sound and Qur'anic understanding of the afterlife, they do not even know what it means to hope for Paradise.
All of this is a result of being ignorant of the Qur'an and of following a different path from the straight one shown therein. Every negative event that befalls such people in their perpetually confused and turbulent lives causes them sadness and pessimism. Unaware of the Divine wisdom, advice, and counsel that the believers gain through the Qur'an, they listen to Satan's whisperings and so become enslaved by infinite anxiety, conjecture, and worry. They face the material and spiritual consequences, in both this world and the next, of turning their backs on the Qur'an that was sent to them.
This book provides an important opportunity for those who have lived far from the Qur'an to leave their familiar distorted attitudes and mindsets and be reunited with the happiness of this world and the next. As for those who already believe and follow the Qur'an, it is an advice, a reminder and an encouragement for them to understand it better.