The Difference Between Confidence and Delusion
Confidence is tranquility, and it increases with time and intuition. The heart attaches itself to one whom it trusts, thus it becomes reliant upon him. Similarly, if the heart reaches Allaah, it becomes lovingly subservient to him. Consequently, he will be the only source of aid for this heart.
As for delusion, it is produced by Shaytaan and the soul, and it is to trust one who is not trustworthy, and to depend upon a source which yields nothing beneficial. The Most High said:
وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَعْمَالُهُمْ كَسَرَابٍ بِقِيعَةٍ يَحْسَبُهُ الظَّمْآنُ مَاء حَتَّى إِذَا جَاءهُ لَمْ يَجِدْهُ شَيْئًا وَوَجَدَ اللَّهَ عِندَهُ فَوَفَّاهُ حِسَابَهُ وَاللَّهُ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ
“The work of those who disbelieve is like a mirage which appears to be water to a thirsty man. Though once he reaches it, he finds nothing. Allaah finds him there and concludes his account, and he is expeditious in this regard.” (An-Nur 24:39)
قُلْ هَلْ نُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِالْأَخْسَرِينَ أَعْمَالًا
الَّذِينَ ضَلَّ سَعْيُهُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَهُمْ يَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّهُمْ يُحْسِنُونَ صُنْعًا
“Say: Shall we inform you of those who have suffered the greatest loss? They are those who have deviated on earth while thinking that they have done well.” (Al-Kahf 18:103-104)
Once the veil has been removed and reality becomes apparent, they will realize that they were lost.
It has appeared in a well known tradition that if you notice that Allaah the glorified is blessing you while you continue to sin, then beware. Rather, punishment has been delayed, and the Most High has said: “Once they forgot what they were reminded of, We gave them everything and they were delighted. We then overtook them while they were immersed in evil.” ( Al- Anaam, ayat 44)
It is an utter delusion for one to believe that he deserves the grace of Allaah and that the hour will not come. He is in a state of illusion concerning his lord, himseld, and the world in which he lives, and Shaytaan deceives him with his promises. The final outcome of this is destruction.
Transcribed from: The Soul, by Ibn Al-Qayyim