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Tawakkul on Allah (swt): Key to making change

Since December 2010, we have witnessed a turbulent change in the Muslim world. Millions have taken to the streets to oust the vicious tyrants who have ruled the Ummah with decades of brutality. In the process, thousands were martyred in what is now referred to as the “Arab Spring.” Such sacrifice has led the many shuhada to a glorious appointment with their Rabb, in the beautiful gardens of the Hereafter, insha'Allah. During these difficult times many people may have pondered on whether they should go out and challenge the regimes or simply conform to the status quo.

In Syria, the Muslim Ummah has witnessed children and women martyred by the Syrian regime’s forces. Towns and cities have been showered upon by bombs, women have been dishonoured, and the respect of the elderly has been violated. These scenes broadcasted over the internet have shaken even the strongest amongst us, creating a sense of desperation as to how our brothers and sisters will escape such a catastrophe. Given the gravity of this trial, it is a good time to reflect on the importance of having Tawakkul in Allah (swt).


The chants of Allahu Akbar reverberating from Tahrir Square to Homs by our brothers and sisters have clearly demonstrated that their belief in Allah (swt), Tawakkul in Him and confidence in His Plans has been a cornerstone in keeping the masses motivated to resist the regimes. Allah (swt) revealed:
“So when you have made your decision, then put your trust in Allah.” [TMQ 3:159]

The scenes we have witnessed in Syria and other countries remind us of how Tawakkul has aided the believers in the past in the midst of such bleak situations. Allah (swt) revealed:

Those (i.e. believers) unto whom the people (hypocrites) said, ‘Verily, the people (pagans) have gathered against you (a great army), therefore, fear them.’ But it (only) increased them in Faith, and they said: ‘Allah (Alone) is
“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.” [TMQ 9:51]

Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs (for us).’” [TMQ 3:173]

Absence of Tawakkul: Not an Option

It is not an option to let go of Tawakkul: failure to apply Tawakkul could take one into the grave territory of shirk. We simply have no right to ask questions like “Why us?” or “Why is this calamity happening to us?” Such questions may even take one out of Islam. The reality is that Allah (swt) is

Our Creator and we are His servants. We owe Allah Azza wa Jal everything and He owes us nothing.  Having Tawakkul in Him is part of us fulfilling our covenant with Him.

In addition, we must analyze whether our behaviour actually reflects this concept of Tawakkul. This includes the issue of politics; i.e. implementing shariah and re-establishing the Khilafah in the Muslim lands. We must not compromise on our deen out of fear that we may be harmed or killed by the enemies of Allah (swt). For example, the political parties that have been recently elected in Tunisia and Egypt claim that the reason they are not implementing the shariah is because they are fearful of reprisals from the Capitalist countries. Such a stance is completely opposite to how RasulAllah (saw) and the Sahabah (ra) approached Islam. We must have Tawakkul in Allah (swt) for precisely these situations where there is perceived danger for standing up for the deen of Allah (swt). Therefore, the sincere politician who takes power must not fear the US, just as the Sahabah (ra) did not fear the Romans – even though the Romans were greater in number and military might. In other words, what made the Sahabah (ra) brave was their Tawakkul in Allah (swt): they feared Him and realized that no one can harm them unless Allah (swt) Wills.   

Glad tidings for those who have Tawakkul

Abdu’llah ibn Mas’ud (ra) narrates that RasulAllah (saw) said:
“I saw the religious communities [umam] at the gathering place [mawsim], and I noticed that my Ummah filled both the plain and the mountainside, so I was astonished at their number and their condition. I was asked: “Are you well pleased?” “Yes,” said I. Then I was told: “Together with these, seventy thousand will enter the Garden of Paradise without undergoing any reckoning. They do not play with fire. They do not look for bad omens. They do not practice subterfuge. They put all their trust in their Lord.”

On hearing this, ‘Ukasha ibn Mihsan al-Asadi (ra) stood up and said: “O Messenger of Allah, appeal to Allah that He may include me among them!” So Allah’s Messenger (saw) said: “O Allah, let him be included among them!” Then someone else jumped up and said: “Appeal to Allah that He may include me among them!” To this he responded (saw) by saying: “‘Ukasha has arrived there ahead of you!” [Bukhari]
How the Ulama Discussed Tawakkul
Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jillani (rh) in his book “Al-Ghunya li-Talibin” (Sufficient Provision for Seekers of the Path of Truth) says: “The real meaning [haqiqa] of absolute trust [tawakkul] is delegating all one’s affairs to Allah (swt), making a clean escape from the murky darkness and gloom of personal choice and self-management, and advancing to the arenas where the [divine] decrees [ahkam] and foreordainment [taqdir] are experienced directly. The servant [of the Lord] must be convinced that there is no possibility of changing the allotment of destiny which means that whatever has been allotted to him cannot pass him by, and that he can never obtain what has not been allotted to him. His heart will then become reconciled to this, and he will feel confident in relying on the promise [wa'd] of his Master [Mawla]”.

This concept of tawakkul is also found in the stances taken by the leadership of some Islamic movements. For example, Hassan Al-Bana (rh), one of the leaders of the Islamic revival in Egypt, cautioned the Ummah that they should not be afraid to speak the truth out of fear of the Capitalist nations. He said: "It might be said that speaking publicly about going back to the system of Islam will scare the west, so they will unite against us, and we are no match to them. This is the ultimate weakness, a very corrupt assessment and short sightedness."

Consequently, we should draw strength from our trust in Allah (swt) and be confident when we stand for Islam – be it refusing a job that involves haram money or standing up to a tyrant ruler. In both of these situations, recognizing that Allah (swt) controls our rizq (provision) and our ajal (life span) will help us control our fear that refusing the job will deprive us or that standing up to the tyrant ruler will cause us to die. 

The Prophetic example

Our beloved Prophet (saw) clearly showed us how believers must place their complete trust in their Lord. Ibn ‘Abbas (ra) narrated that when the Messenger of Allah (saw) stood to pray tahajjud he said: “O Allah, to You I submit, in You I believe and on You I put my trust.” [Agreed Upon]

On the journey for hijrah made by the Prophet (saw) and Abu Bakr (ra), death loomed over them in the desert as they took steps to establish Islamic authority in Madinah. The Quraysh sent out patrols to find and kill our Beloved Prophet (saw) and Abu Bakr (ra). When they found refuge in a cave, Abu Bakr (ra) said, “I saw the feet of the Mushriks while we were in the cave and they (the Kuffar) were above our heads. I said, ‘Messenger of Allah, they will see us if they just look down towards their feet.’ The Prophet (saw) said, ‘O Abu Bakr, what do you think about the two with whom the third is Allah?’” [Agreed Upon]

This incident illustrates how RasulAllah (saw) had Tawakkul on Allah (swt) – even though the danger was immediately in front of him.

Today, we see many of our brothers and sisters on the streets of Syria continue to challenge the regime with only their voices and protests. In a video taken in Homs ( watch?v=y4STPzb2IDQ) we see our brothers and sisters, demonstrating their Tawakkul with the following chants:

"The Arab Leagues, the observers, the Syrian regime, America, Obama, Sarkozy...everyone is listening...Victory comes from whom? [Crowd responds] Allah!
O Youth, I just spoke with al-Jazeera...the whole world will see you...[tell them] is anyone waiting for victory from Obama? [Crowd responds] No!
Is anyone waiting for victory from Erdogan? [Response]  No!
If any of you is waiting for victory from any person or any council or the Arab league, he can leave...
Victory comes from where? [Crowd responds] From Allah!
Victory comes from where? [Crowd responds] From Allah!
Victory comes from where? [Crowd responds] From Allah!
[Crowd Recites Surat al-Nasr three times and proclaims three times:]
O Allah! We have none other than you...”

Glory to Allah (swt)! Glory to Him who has allowed us to witness such an amazing sight of Tawakkul and an example for us to follow! Indeed, the Muslim political parties that fear the might of the Capitalist countries should reflect on this firm stance that our brothers and sisters have taken in Homs. If the Muslims of Homs can proclaim the truth to a tyrant – in the face of death, torture and rape – then what is the excuse of other Muslims who compromise the deen out of fear of these things? By Allah (swt), there is no excuse.

Do not lose hope

Tawakkul on Allah (swt) is part of the Islamic Aqeedah and must be followed in thought and deed. This means observing the Shariah rules and placing our trust in Allah’s (swt) plans.

We make dua for the Muslims of Syria that Allah (swt) shower His Mercy on the Mu’mineen and destroy the evil plans of the Assad regime who wish to extinguish the light of Allah (swt). Indeed, it is only Allah (swt) Who can grant them an exit from their trial. Allah (swt) revealed:

“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.” [TMQ 3:160]

We pray that our brothers and sisters who are in trial remain strong in these dark days and have istiqamah (steadfastness) on Islam. Anas (ra) narrated that RasulAllah (saw) said:

“The one who leaves the world upon sincerity to Allah only without associating partners with Him, establishes the Salah, gives Zakah, then he will have left the world while Allah is pleased with him.” [
Ibn Majah]

May Allah (swt) plant our feet firmly in His Deen and make us among those who rely only upon Him (swt).


Onlin Quran said…
Allah Almighty created the entire universe. The most honorable and exalted creation of God are human beings. However, Human beings should have a strong belief on God with its features. How stronger our belief on God we will get inner satisfaction more.
Muhammad Ahmad said…
Well written article. Looking forward to read more from you.

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