Said Samura, ‘The Emissary of God (may God bless him and grant him peace) said, “For every Prophet there is a Pool, and they shall boast with one another about which is reached by a greater number of people. It is my hope that I shall be the one with the greatest number of all.”’
Such was the hope of the God’s Emissary (may God bless him and grant him peace). Therefore let every bondsman aspire to be among those who come to it, and beware of all wistful thinking and beguilement in believing that it truly constitutes one’s hope. The man who hopes for a harvest is he that sows the seed, clears and irrigates the land, and then sits back with the hope that God will cause the crop to grow through His grace, and that He will ward off rainstorms until the time for harvesting has arrived. As for the man who renounces ploughing, solving and clearing and irrigating the land, and then takes to hoping that God in His grace will bring forth grain and fruit, he is a man of wishful thinking and beguilement, and is not truly hoping at all. Such are the hopes of the majority of mankind, and they constitute no more than the beguilement of fools. We seek refuge in God from beguilement and heedlessness, for being beguiled [by our virtue] from God is worse even than being beguiled by the things of this world. God (Exalted is He!) has said, Do not be beguiled by the life of this word, and let not the beguiler beguile you of God.
p. 29-30. – quoted in the The Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife – Book XL of the Revival of the Religious Science – Imam al-Ghazali, tr by T. J. Winters also known as Abdul-Hakeem Murad, 1989