Friday, April 13, 2007

Tawakkul (Reliance upon Allah) - In depth

The following is a translation from Arabic.

As regards the issue of putting trust on (at-tawakkul ‘ala) Allah (swt), the first Muslims understood that very well, and they put their full trust on Allah (swt). Therefore, they performed the great tasks, and plunged themselves in the severest difficulties. This is different to the Muslims who came after them, particularly when the material dominated the souls, and the Muslims were afflicted with the short vision and weak understanding. So, they became alienated from the true tawakkul, which became futile words that has no reality in their life and nor in their mind. What encouraged on that is that the thought of the scholars focused on explaining the tawakkul as being taking the means. So, once the word of tawakkul was mentioned it immediately meant the noble hadeeth: ‘tie it and make tawakkul’ (narrated by at-Tirmidhi). Thus, the hadeeth started to be used for weakening the meaning of tawakkul in the souls, and not for refuting what might be thought that tawakkul means neglecting the means. In other words, they made the hadeeth part of the tawakkul, and not a way detached from it. Consequently, the zeal waned, the will weakened, and the horizon of the outlook to life narrowed. So, they started to feel with inability, believe their power is limited, and they can’t achieve more than they did. Therefore, Muslims will not return to take the seat of glory, and plunge in life to achieve superiority unless they fully understood the meaning of tawakkul on Allah, and they fully made tawakkul on Allah. This is because men can’t realise the great missions if they limited their power with their human power only. If man looked at these human powers only, and he acted according to that outlook, he felt impotent from realising even the ordinary tasks, not to mention the extraordinary ones. However, if man believed there are powers beyond the human power that help him in realising his ambitions, then he would undoubtedly rush to what is more greater than his power, by depending on those powers.

If we look at the powers of man alone we find them limited; so man would restrict his actions according to that outlook. However, if he had wider view to his powers, he finds no limit to them. He would then be able to realise the great tasks, and undertake what he thought before he would not be able to do. Thus, the power of man has no limit if he believed there is a power beyond his power that helps him to achieve what he endeavours to do. Even those who do not believe in Allah, and nor have tawakkul on Him; they believe in a power beyond their power, which they call the nature or other names; and they undertake great tasks. How is the Muslim then, who believes in Allah (swt) with definite evidence, and has decisive trust in the existence of Allah (swt) that agrees with reality and based on evidence? Without doubt, he can realise, by his tawakkul on Allah, very much more than other than Muslims can achieve. Hence, tawakkul on Allah is one of the most important elements of the Islamic Ummah, and of the most important thoughts of Islam.

Tawakkul on Allah is proved by the definite (qat’ee) text of Quran. Allah (swt) says:

إِن يَنصُرْكُمُ اللّهُ فَلاَ غَالِبَ لَكُمْ وَإِن يَخْذُلْكُمْ فَمَن ذَا الَّذِي يَنصُرُكُم مِّن بَعْدِهِ وَعَلَى اللّهِ فَلْيَتَوَكِّلِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ

“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 believers put their trust.” [Aali ‘Imran: 160]

فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِّنَ اللّهِ لِنتَ لَهُمْ وَلَوْ كُنتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لاَنفَضُّواْ مِنْ حَوْلِكَ فَاعْفُ عَنْهُمْ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ وَشَاوِرْهُمْ فِي الأَمْرِ فَإِذَا عَزَمْتَ فَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللّهِ إِنَّ اللّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَوَكِّلِينَ

“Then, when you had taken a decision, put your trust in Allah. For Allah loves those who put their trust (on Him).” [Aali ‘Imran: 159]

قُل لَّن يُصِيبَنَا إِلاَّ مَا كَتَبَ اللّهُ لَنَا هُوَ مَوْلاَنَا وَعَلَى اللّهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ

“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.” [At-Tawbah: 51]

اللَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ وَعَلَى اللَّهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ

“Allah! There is no god but He, and on Allah, therefore, let the believers put their trust.” [At-Taghaabun: 13]

فَإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ فَقُلْ حَسْبِيَ اللّهُ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ وَهُوَ رَبُّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ

“But if they turn away, say: ‘Allah is sufficient to me. There is no god but He. On Him is my trust. He is the Lord of the Supreme Throne.’” [At-Tawbah: 129]

وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُم مَّنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّهُ قُلْ أَفَرَأَيْتُم مَّا تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ إِنْ أَرَادَنِيَ اللَّهُ بِضُرٍّ هَلْ هُنَّ كَاشِفَاتُ ضُرِّهِ أَوْ أَرَادَنِي بِرَحْمَةٍ هَلْ هُنَّ مُمْسِكَاتُ رَحْمَتِهِ قُلْ حَسْبِيَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ يَتَوَكَّلُ الْمُتَوَكِّلُونَ

“Say: ‘Sufficient is Allah for me. In Him trust those who put their trust’” [Az-Zumar: 38]

إِذْ يَقُولُ الْمُنَافِقُونَ وَالَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ غَرَّ هَـؤُلاء دِينُهُمْ وَمَن يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللّهِ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ

“But if any trust on Allah, behold! Allah is Exalted in might, Wise.” [Al-Anfaal: 49]

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ اللّهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَإِذَا تُلِيَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُهُ زَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَانًا وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ

“Indeed, the believers are those who, when Allah is mentioned, fell a tremor in their hearts; and when they hear His revelations rehearsed, find their faith strengthened, and they put (all) their trust on their Lord.” [Al-Anfaal: 2]

وَلِلّهِ غَيْبُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَإِلَيْهِ يُرْجَعُ الأَمْرُ كُلُّهُ فَاعْبُدْهُ وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَيْهِ وَمَا رَبُّكَ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ

“To Allah do belong the unseen (secrets) of the heavens and the earth, and to Him goes back every affair (for decision). So worship him, and put your trust on Him. And your lord is not unmindful of what you do.” [Hud: 123]

وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى الْحَيِّ الَّذِي لَا يَمُوتُ وَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِهِ وَكَفَى بِهِ بِذُنُوبِ عِبَادِهِ خَبِيرًا

“And put your trust on Him Who is alive and does not die; and celebrate His praise.” [Al-Furqaan: 58]

وَاخْفِضْ جَنَاحَكَ لِمَنِ اتَّبَعَكَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
فَإِنْ عَصَوْكَ فَقُلْ إِنِّي بَرِيءٌ مِّمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ

“And lower your wing to the believers who follow you. Then, if they disobey you, say: ‘I am free (of responsibility) from what you do.’ And put your trust on the Exalted in might, the Merciful.” [Ash-Shu’araa’: 215-217]

All of these aayaat are definite in their meaning that tawakkul on Allah is obligatory. They are explicit in commanding tawakkul on Allah; and the command has been linked with an indication of decisiveness (jazm), which is the praise of Allah (swt) to those who make tawakkul, by loving them.

There are also many ahaadeeth that are explicit in indicating tawakkul. Al-Bukhari narrated from Ibn Abbas that the prophet (saw) said: “Seventy thousands of my Ummah enter jannah without being accounted; they are those who do not use magic, do not see evil omen (in things) and put trust on their Lord.” In another narration to Al-Buhkari also: “They are those who do not use magic, do not see evil omen (in things), do not burn their skins and put their trust on their Lord.” Ahmad and At-Tirmidhi also narrated that the prophet (saw) said: “If you truly put your trust on Allah, he would provide you (sustenance) as He provides the birds; where they leave in the morning with empty stomach and return back with full stomach.” These evidences do not leave any space to a Muslim to be reluctant, for a moment, regarding the tawakkul, because they are explicit evidences, particularly the aayaat of the Quran are definite evidences, and the one who rejects them would be kafir. This makes the tawakkul on Allah one of the greatest obligations on Muslims.

Commanding the tawakkul on Allah in all these evidences is not linked with any condition, and nor any action of it came stipulated. Rather, the evidences came absolute (not restricted) in commanding the tawakkul. Thus, the obligation is the tawakkul on Allah without nay restriction, and in every matter. So, we must make tawakkul on Allah in every action.

The evidences indicate that, when we decide on a matter, or carry an action, we must make tawakkul on Allah; and they do not indicate anything else. There is no any evidence that restricts these evidences; they are rather absolute (unrestricted). Therefore, tawakkul on Allah is obligatory on every Muslim, without any constraint or condition. As for the hadeeth: “ Tie it and make tawakkul”, [At-Tirmidhi] it is not a constraint to these aayaat and ahaadeeth, and nor even elaboration to them, for they are not ambivalent (mujmal) that requires elaboration. It is rather in another subject, which is taking the means. It is education to the Bedouin, when he understood tawakkul meant neglecting the means. So, the messenger (saw) instructed him tawakkul does not mean neglecting the means. The hadeeth did not come to abrogate the evidences of taking the means; it is rather something else. Thus, the prophet ordered him to take the means together with the tawakkul. The hadeeth is from Anas bin Malik, who said: “A man said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, should I tie it and make tawakkul, or let it go free and make tawakkul?’ He (saw) said: “Tie it and make tawakkul.’” [At-Tirmidhi] Thus, the hadeeth is teaching to the Bedouin to tie his she-camel, i.e. to take the means, explaining to him that tawakkul does not negate taking the means, and commanding him to take the means and make tawakkul. Thus, the hadeeth is not, by any means, a constraint to the evidences of the tawakkul. Therefore, tawakkul on Allah is obligatory, regardless of the means. The means are not a constraint to the tawakkul, and nor an elaboration to its Hukm. This is because the evidences of the tawakkul came as absolute and not restricted by any text. Its evidences are also not ambivalent that requires elaboration. The issue of taking the means is different to the issue of tawakkul . It is another issue, and its evidences are different to the evidences of the tawakkul. So, it is not correct to squeeze it into the tawakkul, or make it a constraint to it. The Muslims are obliged to take the means, as the shar’ee evidences prove it. They are, similarly, obliged to make tawakkul on Allah (swt), as the shar’ee evidences established it. Any one of these two issues is not a constraint to the other, and nor a condition to it.

Therefore, Muslims must make absolute tawakkul on Allah. Whoever does not make tawakkul on Allah is sinful, and whoever denies tawakkul on Allah is kafir. This is because the definitely proved evidence proves tawakkul on Allah, which is of definite meaning. Though there are no Muslims who believe in Islam that deny tawakkul, however their masses understand tawakkul wrongly. They understand it as act and make tawakkul; but it is truly different to that. It is make trust and act. There is a great difference between the two meanings. The meaning of ‘act and make tawakkul’ makes the tawakkul just formal. Therefore, this understanding does not have an effect in the soul of the one who claims he made tawakkul. However, the meaning of ‘make tawakkul and act’ makes the tawakkul fundamental; so it would have great effect in the soul, and make in it outstanding power capable to assuming the great tasks.


Anonymous said...

Which book has this been translated from?

Anonymous said...

Alhamdulillah, its Awesome!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Jazaakallah brother..fantastic one...
Tawakkul means strong belief in Decree of Allah. Even the acting towards that means fails, Heart does not worry expecting reward from Him for the acts done. Sign of tawakkul makes a person increasing His eman upon Allah..

-- Moinudeen