Imam Dr Zijad’s Corner: At Tawakkul (Reliance on Allah): Its Proper Understanding

Imam Zijad’s Corner: At Tawakkul (Reliance on Allah): Its Proper Understanding

At Tawakkul stems from Tawhid, correct belief in Almighty Allah. The best role model in this regard is Muhammad (S). We find many incidents from the life of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (S) regarding the true nature of At Tawakkul.

For example, when the Messenger (S) made Hijrah, he did all the work to stay concealed from the Mushriks of Makkah. Even no many Muslims knew about the preparations of the Messenger (S) for Hijrah.

The Messenger did not simply sit inside his house and put his trust in Allah without doing any work.

He has chosen the companion of the best companions – Abu Bakr (radiyallahu ‘anhu) to accompany him on his trip to the house of his migration.

He prepared the provision of the travel of food and drink as well as the best riding camels to ride on it during this hard and long travel.

When Allah ordered him to migrate to Madinah, he left his house in the darkest part of the night not to be noticed easily.

He knew that he would be followed by the Quraysh, so he changed his course to Madinah, instead of going north, which is the route to Madinah, he went south towards the cave Ath Thawr.

Now, after all has been done and they are in the cave Ath Thawr and the Mushriks are approaching it, Abu Bakr radiyallahu ‘anhu started panicking and said to the Messenger (S) that they would be seen…and the Messenger of Allah told him then: “O Abu Bakr what do you think of two, Allah is the third with them.”

This example proves the true manifestation of the right belief in the Creator and the true trust in Him. The Messenger of Allah did not deny the reason, nor did he solely depend on it. The last of the resources in the life of a believer is to put trust in Allah, entrusting all his/her matters to Him in confidence and comfort.

It was reported that the Messenger of Allah said about At Tawakkul on Allah: “If you were to entrust Allah as its due, you will be provided with sustenance as the birds are provided with sustenance. They go in the morning hungry and come in the evening satisfied.”  {At Tirmithi, Ibn Majah)

As can be seen from Hadith, if we put our trust in Allah, as we should, Allah will provide for us as He provides for the birds who wake up in the morning with empty stomachs, go out in search of food and come back in the evening full. Did we notice something here? When birds wake up in the morning they do not stay at their nests, sleep or play, but go outside to find food and come back full.

In the same manner if we put our trust in Allah and leave our houses for work or school then surely Almighty Allah will grace us. We must realize that the birds, when they wake up in the morning, did not wait for their Rizq (provision) to come to them in their nests. They went outside their nests to search for what Allah has provided them with.

A believer does not practice At Tawaakul by only asking Allah without doing any work. To get good grades in school we have to study and at the same time ask Allah to help us be successful for us. If we do not go to the school, study or search for a job and relay on Allah then we are only fooling ourselves that we are doing At Tawaakul. We cannot sit inside our homes and complain that Allah did not provide us with a job, food or great marks.

Imam Gazali reminds us: “It is possible that some people would think that At Tawakkul is leaving everything to Allah and not doing anything within our ability/authority even to a point that we do not work, do not leave anything in our homes for tomorrow, do not run from a snake or do not take medicine when sick.”

At Tawakkul does not mean that we do not take any medicine when we are sick. Rather, we take medicine yet we do not rely on it as the only reason of getting better and healthy. We also acknowledge the intervention of Allah and that He is the One Who saves us and is the Real Helper.

Once again, birds’ example is an excellent example of how Allah’s creation puts their trust in Him. The wisest course for us, humans, therefore, is to follow their example. So let us use all lawful means and exert reasonable effort to secure our needs and let us remain faithful to Allah by putting all our affairs in His Hands and hope and expect for the best outcome. Let us say like the early generations of believers used to say, as recorded in the Qur’an: “Say: He is the Most Beneficent (Allah), in Him we believe, and in Him we put our trust.” (Al Mulk 29}