بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْن،وَالصَّلاۃ وَالسَّلامُ عَلَی النَّبِیِّ الْکَرِيم وَعَلیٰ آله وَاَصْحَابه اَجْمَعِيْن۔

Trust in Almighty Allah is Prophets’ (AS) Motto of Life

Along with being the way of the prophets (AS), trust in Allah has been ordained by Almighty Allah Himself. In the verses of the Holy Quran and sayings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), we are repeatedly instructed to trust in Almighty Allah. In the Holy Quran, the believers have been reminded of the importance of trusting in Almighty Allah by mentioning Wa’alallaahi Fal Yatawakkalil Mutawakkiloon (And in Allah alone the believers must place their trust) as many as seven times. It means that as far as those who believe in Almighty Allah are concerned, they are to trust in none except Almighty Allah. First of all, let us try to understand the meaning of trust (Tawakkul). As far as the literal meaning of Tawakkul is concerned, it means trusting someone in relation to something. This informs us that Tawakkul is the acknowledgement of one’s own humility and trust and dependence on someone else. The meaning of Tawakkul in Shariah: Employing means with a belief that in matters related to both this world and Hereafter, benefit and loss are from none except Almighty Allah. Without His permission, even a leaf does not fall from the branch of a tree. For its existence and survival, everything, whether big or small, is subject to Almighty Allah’s will. Suffice it to say that Tawakkul is to be understood as the act of employing worldly means with a firm belief in the Creator of the universe. In case a person falls ill, he has to take medicines to recover but with the belief that unless Almighty Allah wills it that way for him, medicines will not be able to make him recover from his illness. It means that employing worldly means is not against the spirit of Tawakkul. In fact, this is the way Almighty Allah has designed the set up wherein the bondsman is supposed to employ worldly means with a firm belief that only when Allah wills, his work will get done; the person should have this concrete belief that unless Almighty Allah commands the medicine (to serve as a means of cure and treatment), even employing of means will not lead to recovery and health.

Anas bin Malik (RZA) says that a person asked Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), “Should I do Tawakkul after I have tied down my she-camel or without tying her down? Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Tie down your she-camel and then trust in Allah” (Tirmidhi). Abdullah bin Abbas (RZA) says that people of Yemen used to come for the annual pilgrimage (Hajj) without any essentials related to their stay (clothes and other items) and used to say “We trust in Almighty Allah”. However, as soon as they would reach the city of Makkah they would start asking people (in relation to their basic needs and requirements). As a result, Almighty Allah revealed verse no. 197 of Surah Al-Baqarah which says, “(While undertaking Hajj) take provisions along, for the merit of (having) provision is to abstain (from begging)” (Bukhari).

Whatever means are there at our disposal, we should employ them with the firm belief that it is only Almighty Allah who does everything. After his prolonged illness, when Prophet Ayyub (AS) prayed to Almighty Allah for his health, he (AS) was commanded by Almighty Allah to strongly hit the earth using his leg. Now what demands our attention is that how can a person’s decades’ long disease be cured by merely stomping the earth? No, however, Prophet Ayyub (AS) followed Almighty Allah’s commandment and employed this seemingly inconsequential means as a result of which, through the power of Almighty Allah, a water spring gushed out of the earth. The water of the spring was such that as soon as Prophet Ayyub (AS) bathed in it, all kinds of diseases that had inflicted his body for such a long duration were cured and he recovered fully. For details related to this particular incident of Prophet Ayyub’s (AS) life, refer to the commentary of Surah Al-Ambiya verses 83 & 84 and Surah Saad verses 41 to 44. There are various lessons for us in this incident from the life of Prophet Ayyub (AS) out of which two are the following:

  • The first lesson is that Almighty Allah had every power to cure Prophet Ayyub (AS) by His will but since this world is a place of means, Prophet Ayyub (AS) was ordered by Almighty Allah to do something; at least hit the floor by his foot.
  • The second lesson is that whatever means are at our disposal, we must employ them with a belief that when it is Almighty Allah’s will then even the weakest of means can contribute to (bring into existence) something remarkably substantial.

By the will of Almighty Allah, when Maryam (AS) gave birth to Prophet Eesaa (AS) without a father, she was commanded by Almighty Allah to shake the trunk of a date tree and eat the ripe dates that fall from the tree. Almighty Allah was well able to have Maryam (AS) eat the dates without any of this, however, since this world is a place where means are to be employed, she was asked to shake the tree in her direction. Thus, by obeying the commandment of Almighty Allah, Maryam (AS) shook the trunk of the date tree. The trunk of the date tree is so strong that even few strong men cannot shake it that easily, but the delicate lady took recourse to that seemingly inconsequential means and, by His will, Almighty Allah arranged for fresh dates from a dry date tree i.e. her dietary requirements. This incident informs us that whatever means are at our disposal, they ought to be employed only with Tawakkul in Almighty Allah.

We must employ means but, while employing any of the means, we must have this firm belief that Almighty Allah is capable of bringing things into existence even without the means (that we find necessary in that respect), and even with all the required means well in place, nothing can happen if Almighty Allah does not will so. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was thrown in fire, everything required to burn him (AS) alive was in place, however, since Almighty Allah directly commanded the fire to become pleasingly comfortable for him, fire did not harm him at all. Instead, the fire that would have burnt anyone else became blissful for Prophet Ibrahim (AS). Similarly, in the case of Prophet Isma’eel (AS), knife was forcefully used to cut his throat but the knife too is subject to Almighty Allah’s commandment to cut something. Almighty Allah commanded that knife to not cut Prophet Isma’eel’s (AS) throat which is why despite the required means being in place the knife could not cut Prophet Isma’eel’s (AS) throat.

To make use of means, sources, and resources is what the Shari’ah expects from us and it is something that is commanded by Almighty Allah too. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) himself employed means and resources and commanded believers to do the same, whether in war or in business. In every work that we do, we have to employ means as per our capability. Therefore, employing means and resources in accordance with what is permissible and Halaal in Islam, followed by absolute belief in Almighty Allah is the soul of Tawakkul. Had Tawakkul meant only believing in the power of Almighty Allah, waiting for help and assistance from His end and doing nothing on our own, before anyone else, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), prophet of each and every human being and jinn to walk on this earth till the Day of Judgement, would have acted like that. However, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) did nothing of that sort and in the Holy Quran too Almighty Allah has not commanded believers to do this. Instead, in relation to confronting the enemies, believers are clearly instructed to fully prepare themselves well in advance.

As already mentioned, in the Holy Quran, believers are repeatedly urged to have Tawakkul in Almighty Allah. For the sake of keeping it brief, I am presenting here translation of only few verses of the Holy Quran:

  • “And place your trust in the Ever-Living who cannot die” (Surah Al-Furqan, verse no. 58).
  • “Once you have taken a decision, place your trust in Allah” (Surah Aal-’Imraan, verse no. 159).
  • “And whoever places his trust in Allah, He is sufficient for him” (Surah Al-Talaaq, verse no. 3).
  • “Certainly, the believers are those whose hearts are filled with awe when (the name of) Allah is mentioned; and when His verses are recited to them, it makes them more strong in faith; and in their Lord they place their trust” (Surah Al-Anfaal, verse no. 3).

Our Prophet (PBUH) too has repeatedly instructed us to inculcate in us Tawakkul. As of now, I am mentioning just one saying of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Umar (RZA) says that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “If you were to have Tawakkul in Allah just the way it is desired, Almighty Allah would have provided sustenance for you exactly the way He provides for birds; they set out on an empty stomach in the morning and in the evening they return with their stomachs full” (Tirmidhi). We have observed it quite well that in order to find their sustenance, birds too have to leave their nests, but it is only Almighty Allah who can provide sustenance.

In the Battle of Ohud, when the infidels of Makkah returned from the battlefield they regretted the fact that despite decisively dominating the battle and being the victorious side they returned for no reason. They thought that had they stayed a little longer and demonstrated more power and force, they could have finished each and every Muslim then and there. As a result of this thought they decided to return to Madinah. On the other hand, informed of the decision and plans of infidels, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), in order to compensate for losses incurred by everyone in the Battle of Ohud, at early morning the very next day announced that they (the believers) will go in pursuit of the enemy. He (PBUH) clearly mentioned that only those companions will go who took part in the Battle of Ohud and no one else. Due to the battle, the companions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) were badly wounded and extremely tired yet they said yes to Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) call. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his (PBUH) companions left Madinah. When they reached Hamra-ul-Asad, a person from the tribe Khuza‘ah witnessed the spirit and courage of Muslims in person. Later, when that person met Abu Sufyan, the leader of the infidels of Makkah, he informed him about the spirit and courage of Muslims and recommended him to go back to Makkah. This created fear among the infidels and they returned to Makkah. However, through a messenger of his, Abu Sufyan spread wrong information among the Muslims that he has organised an extremely huge army and is all set to attack the Muslims to finish them for good. Informed of this, instead of getting scared or terrified, the companions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Allah is fully sufficient for us, and the best One in whom to trust” (Surah Aal-’Imraan, verse no. 173. This is what we call Tawakkul.

Jaabir (RZA) narrates, “We were with Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in one of the battles. When we reached an extremely dense tree that provided lot of shade, we left it for Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). One of the polytheists came, took Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) sword that was hanging by the tree, drew it and said, “Do you fear me?” Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “No.” He asked, “Who is going to save you from me?” Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Allah.” On this, the sword fell from his hands. Prophet Muhammad picked up the sword and said, “Now who is going to save you from me?” That person said, “You become the one who holds his sword better.” Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) asked him, “Do you give testimony to There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah?” The person said, “No, but I give you my word that neither will I fight against you nor will I ever side with those who fight against you.” Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) let him leave. That person met his friends and informed them, “I am coming after meeting a person who is the most compassionate of all the people” (Musnad Ahmad, this incident is recorded in Bukhari and Muslim as well but with different set of words). The first pious caliph Abu Bakr Siddique (RZA) said, “When we were in the cave of Thaur, I saw the footsteps of polytheists. They were standing right at our heads. I said, “O Messenger of Allah! If any one of these looks towards his feet, we can be easily seen.” Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “O Abu Bakr! What do you have to say about those two whose third is Almighty Allah?” (Bukhari and Muslim).

A prayer for attainment of Tawakkul in Almighty Allah: Anas (RZA) narrates that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “One who recites this prayer at the time of setting out from his or her house Bismillahi Tawakkaltu ’Alallaahi Walaa Haula Walaa Quwwata Illa Billaahi (I set out from my house with the name of Almighty Allah and in Him I trust, and there is neither any power nor any ability that can do anything without Allah’s will), he is informed, “You have received guidance, your needs are attended to and you are saved from every possible problem, and the devil stays clear of him” (Abu Dawood and Tirmidhi).

Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi (http://www.najeebqasmi.com/)