In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Beneficial
Tawakkul is a fundamental part of the Islamic Aqeedah. Tawakkul is translated here as either trust or dependence. Putting our trust in Allah (swt) is a matter of belief and contributes to our view regarding this life.
Tawakkul means to put in one’s best efforts to do what Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) expects one to do and then leave the results to Allah’s will. Tawakkul comes from conviction in qadha wa qadar, one of the six pillars of eeman: What Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has written for me must come to pass.
Tawakkul in Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) includes tawakkul in His provision of rizq. 50,000 years before the creation of the universe, what provisions would come to me were written down in Lawh Mahfudh (The Preserved Tablet). Our test in this world is of the means we choose to earn these provisions. Do we adopt halal means and work seeking the pleasure of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala); or do we resort to haraam, not trusting the rizq to come to us through halal means?
To make this point clear, some of the Ayahs are quoted as below. Allah (swt) says:
“If Allah helps you, none can overcome you: If He forsakes you, who is there after that, that can help you? In Allah then, let the Believers put their trust.” [EMQ 3: 160]
And Allah (swt) says:
“Say: Nothing will happen to us except what Allah has decreed for us: He is our Protector: And on Allah let the believers put their trust.” [EMQ 9:51]
And Allah (swt) says:
“And put they trust on the exalted in Might, the Merciful.” [EMQ 26:217]
Allah (swt) also says:
“…Then when thou hast taken a decision put they trust in Allah. For Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)” [EMQ 3:159]
All of the above Ayahs order Muslims to wholly and exclusively rely on Allah (swt) in their lives. It is only Allah who controls the Universe and both good and bad are His decree. The significant element that should always be kept in mind is the omnipotence of Allah (swt). Therefore our actions and the material resources available to us do not guarantee the outcome of any of our undertakings. For example our material and physical strength may deceive us into believing that victory in a battlefield is inevitable. The truth is that our strength or weakness has no bearing on the outcome of the battle, and it is only by the will of Allah that we become victorious or get defeated by the enemy. It was this firm belief that leads a handful of Muslims during and after the time of the Prophet (saw) to fight so valiantly against a formidable enemy over and over again.
One may ask, why then do we strive to accomplish any task if we cannot influence its outcome? The answer is rather simple. The actions that we take fall into three categories: They are either obligated upon us by Allah (swt), recommended by Him or we are simply allowed to do them. The obligatory actions are taken because Allah (swt) has ordered them as compulsory. The recommended actions are taken to be rewarded in addition to the rewards we get upon accomplishing the fardh. In both of these cases we seek to please Allah (swt), Actions falling under the third category are taken to achieve certain objectives we anticipate to fulfil. However, the certainty of accomplishing those objectives is not under our control. Therefore the cause of initiating any action is not whether we control its outcome. It is the anticipated goal we aim to achieve.
This brings us to an important misconception amongst the Muslims where some of the associate effort with having trust in Allah (swt). For example, it is a popular notion that earning provides rizq and Tawakkul in Allah (swt) should come after one has made a sincere effort to earn a living. Some of the Muslims who hold such a view often present the following Hadith in their defence:
Anas (radi Allahu anhu) reported that a person asked Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam), “Should I tie my camel and have Tawakkul (trust in Allah for her protection) or should I leave her untied and have Tawakkul.” Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) replied, “Tie her and have Tawakkul.” (Hasan) [Jami At-Tirmidhi]
This Hadith does not indicate any prerequisite for trusting Allah (swt). It does not, therefore suggest that somehow there is a link between people tying the camel (an action) and putting ones trust in Allah (swt). However, the Hadith conveys an important lesson to all of us: That while trust in Allah (swt) is absolute being independent of what we do it is our responsibility to act on what we intended to accomplish. In this case tying the camel was a right thing to do if the person feared that the camel would run away. Therefore he should have taken the precaution regardless of his trust in Allah (swt). Tying the camel does not take away from his trust in Allah (swt), irrespective of our efforts and the circumstances surrounding us.
This belief should help us to this life according to the commands of Allah (swt) even if we face hardships in doing so. Disappointment, hopelessness should not daunt us because we have put our trust in Allah (swt), our Creator and the only Sustainer. Many Muslims indulge in the prohibited actions arguing that it is the only alternative; otherwise they would face disastrous consequences. Avid example is giving riba when buying a house on a mortgage. They regard owning a house as a necessity and we are willing to sacrifice Islam in doing so.
They fail to realise that it is only Allah (swt) who provides security for them and their off springs and they need only to put their absolute trust in Him.
Unfortunately the materialistic thought that we have acquired from the Kuffar who depend on material gains for their very survival, has drastically influenced our view towards this life as well… we take pride in our wealth and what we do, and have displaced the trust in Allah (swt) by relying solely on material possessions… For only that which is ordained for us will come to us.
May Allah (swt) restore only trust in Him for only then can we truly succeed! Allahumma Ameen