Notes from Thalaathat –al-Usool: al-Rajāʾ [Hope]

Notes from Thalaathat –al-Usool: al-Rajāʾ [Hope]

by | Mar 2, 2015 | Aqīdah | 0 comments

Shaykh Muḥammad b. ʿAbd al-Wahhāb [Allāh have mercy upon him] said:

“The evidence for al-Rajāʾ is His saying the Most Exalted:

{So whoever hopes in meeting his Lord then let him perform righteous deeds and not associate anyone in the worship of his Lord}”  [18: 110]

What the Author Means

When the author says, “The evidence for al-Rajāʾ is…” he means: “The evidence that al-Rajāʾ is an act of worship which cannot be directed to other than Allāh is…”

Meaning of al-Rajāʾ

The al [origin] of al-Rajaʾ is al-amaʿ or the expectation and anticipation of something beloved. Furthermore, if it includes subservience and submissive obedience, it cannot be for anyone other than Allāh.


Attaching al-Rajaʾ, as defined above, to other than Allāh is either minor shirk or major shirk depending on the state of the heart of the rājī [the one expressing hope].

Al-Rajāʾ and Its Types

Praiseworthy Hope

It is for a man to express hope [al-rajāʾ] when he has done a deed in obedience to Allāh with a light from Allāh. Thus he is hoping for Allāh’s reward.

This type of hope also includes a man who committed a sin and then repented from it so he hopes for the forgiveness of Allāh, His Pardoning, Kindness, Tolerance and Generosity.

Blameworthy Hope

This refers to a man who indulges in sins and who is deliberately neglectful yet he hopes for the mercy of Allāh without performing the relevant good deeds. This is nothing short of delusion, false hope and self-deception.

Difference between al-Rajāʾ and al-Tamannī

The difference between al-Rajāʾ and al-Tamannī is that al-Rajāʾ is coupled with putting in an effort and relying positively on Allāh.

Al-Tamanni on the other hand is hope coupled with laziness. Thus it can be best described as wishful thinking.

The Meaning of the Āyah

The meaning of the āyah quoted by the author to prove that al-Rajāʾ is an act of worship is that whoever anticipates, seeks and looks forward to meeting Allāh, i.e. the meeting in which Allāh is pleased with him and blesses him, then let him perform deeds of righteousness and not associate any partners in the worship of Allāh. This is because; the one who hopes for the reward of Allāh and fears His punishment will perform righteous actions and not associate anything with Allāh in worshipping Him.


Al-Rajāʾ is to hope for Allāh’s Mercy, Pleasure and reward whilst performing righteous actions for His sake alone. It is an act of worship of the heart which cannot be directed to other than Allāh. If this hope is not coupled with righteous actions then it is considered to be nothing more than wishful thinking. If the person expresses hope in Allāh but deliberately continues to be disobedient whilst neglecting to take the necessary steps to obey Allāh; then this is nothing short of delusion and false hope.

Thus one who truly has hope in Allāh, he works towards pleasing Him.

And Allāh is more Knowledgeable.

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