Expectation

Imam Ali (AS) said, ‘Your true brother is the one who forgives your lapse (slip), fulfills your need, accepts your excuse, hides your vices (immoral or evil habits or practices), removes your fear, and lives up to your expectation.


‘Give life to your act of courtesy by killing it [i.e. by killing your expectation of receiving anything in return].’

‘The yardstick [used to measure the goodness] of an act of courtesy is the absence of expectation accompanying it.’

‘Expectation is an amiable (kind) companion.’

‘Verily being under a delusion (illusion, false impression) about Allah is when the servant persists in committing acts of disobedience and expects Allah to forgive him.’

‘When a man has a pure and praiseworthy quality then expect him to have other such qualities.’

‘There is no end to expectation.’

‘Expectations never cease.’

‘Guard yourselves against false expectation, for many a person who begins the day does not live to see its end, and many a one is envied at the beginning of the night while his mourners have assembled by the end of it.’

‘Expectation is like the mirage (illusion, false impression) - it deceives those who view it and leaves behind those who place their hope on it.’

‘Wishes blind the eyes of insight.

‘Expectation is the sultan of the Satans over the hearts of the oblivious (ignorant).’

‘The fruit of expectation is the spoilage of deeds.’

‘Expectation causes the heart to forget, breaks promises, increases oblivion (nothingness), and brings about grief.’

‘Expectation drives reason away, breaks promises, encourages oblivion, and brings about grief. So distrust expectation, for it is deceitful and its addict is a sinner.’

‘If man were to see his death [approaching] and the speed at which it draws near to him, he would despise (hate) expectation.’

‘Expectation makes one forget death.’

‘A soul does not depart from his expectation until it enters the realm (area, kingdom) of death.’

‘Indeed you are in the days of expectation that is followed by death. So he who works in the days of his expectation before death arrives will benefit from his work and will not be hurt by death.’

‘A man who has high expectations is deficient in his action.’

‘As for high expectation, it causes you to forget the Hereafter.’

‘A man who is sure about leaving his loved ones, dwelling under the earth, facing the final Account, and that he will be needless of what he leaves behind, and needy of what he has sent forth [for the Hereafter] deserves to shorten his expectation and lengthen his action.’

‘He who places his expectation in a human is indeed fearful of him.’

‘The most foolish of people is the one who prevents goodness but expects thanks, and he commits evil and expects the reward of good.’

‘Listen O negligent and fickle (erratic) one to someone who exhorts  (urges) and expounds (explains). The Day of Resurrection has been made a day of exposition (show), questioning, bestowal (delivery) and exemplary punishment. It is the day when men’s deeds will be upturned (revival), and all sins will be computed, when people’s pupils (eyes) will melt with grief and expectant women will deliver what they carry in their wombs.’

‘How can one who is ignorant of his own self expect to know others?!’

‘Reduce your expectations and your actions will become sincere.’

Imam Ali (AS) said to a man soliciting advice from him, 'Do not be of those who hope for [bliss in] the life of the Hereafter without action, and delay repentance by having high expectations [of being forgiven], and who utter words like the ascetics (persons who practice severe self-discipline and abstention) with regard to this world, though in practice they behave like those who covet (yearn to possess or have) it.’

Imam al-Husayn (AS) said, ‘The most open-handed of people is he who gives without expectation.’

Imam al-Sadiq (AS) said, ‘How many a favor Allah grants His servant without his having expected them, and how many a hopeful one entertains high hopes when [Allah’s] choice favours others.’

‘Allah, Mighty and Exalted, said, ‘Let a man who harms a believing servant of Mine expect a war waged by Me’.’

‘The one who attaches his heart to the world has attached his heart to three things; endless worry, false expectation and an unattainable hope.’

Imam al-Kazim (AS) said, ‘If times of death were revealed, expectations would be debunked (discredited).’

Part of what Allah, the Exalted, told Prophet Moses (AS): ‘O Moses! Do not extend your expectation in this world’s life lest your heart become hard, for the hard-hearted is far from Me.’

It is narrated in TanbÐh al-KhawÁÔir: ‘While Jesus son of Mary (AS) was sitting, he saw a man working the land with a shovel. Jesus (AS) said, ‘O Allah, take his expectation away from him!’ The man put his shovel down and rested on the ground for an hour. Then Jesus (AS) said, ‘O Allah, give him back his expectation!’ The man stood up and returned to work.’ 

Imam al-Baqir (AS) said, 'The Prophet (SAWA) was once asked about the interpretation of Allah's words in the Qur'an: "So whoever expects to encounter his Lord, let him act righteously, and not associate anyone with the worship of Allah" [Qur'an 18:110]. He replied, 'He who performs prayer in order to show people is a polytheist … and he who performs any act commanded by Allah to show people is a polytheist.’

‘Equip yourself with low expectation for this world’s life.’

It has been narrated that the Prophet (SAWA) took three sticks and set one of them in front of him, another one next to it, and the third far away from the two. He then asked, ‘Do you know what this is?’ to which they replied, ‘Allah and His Messenger know better.’ He said, ‘This one is man, and this is death [next to it], while that one is expectation, which man entertains [about his long life], but death falls upon him prior to his expectation.’ Imam Ali (AS) said, ‘The closest thing is death, and the remotest thing is expectation.’

The Prophet (SAWA) asked, ‘Would you all love to enter Paradise?’ They replied, ‘Yes, O Prophet of Allah.’ He said, ‘Shorten your expectations, fix your eyes on death, and feel ashamed in front of Allah to the extent one ought to.’

The Prophet (SAWA) told Ibn MasÝÙd, ‘Lower your expectation such that when you wake up in the morning, you say, ‘I will not see the night’ and when you go to sleep at night, you say, ‘I will not see the morning.’ And be prepared to depart from this life and yearn to meet Allah.’

The Prophet (SAWA) said, ‘Allah, Mighty and Exalted says, ‘I will cut off the expectation of every believer who places it in someone other than Me [and replace it] with despair.’

‘A guest may expect to be honoured for two nights, then from the third night onwards he is considered to be one of the family and must eat whatever he gets.’

‘A man who expects to be alive tomorrow is a man who expects to be alive forever.’

‘Expectation is a mercy for my community; without expectation no mother would nurse her child, nor would anyone plant a tree.’



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