Understanding The Correct Meaning of Tawakkul, Trust in Allah?
1. The Islamic concept of perfect faith and complete trust in Allah Azzawajal and His plans is referred to by the Arabic word Tawakkul.
2. Tawakkul, however, does not entail sitting around doing anything, in the hopes that God will miraculously cure all of our problems.
3. Tawakkul means taking action and trusting Allah with the results of our actions.
By Kaniz Fatma, New Age Islam
23 May 2022
The Islamic concept of perfect faith and complete trust in Allah Azzawajal and His plans is referred to by the Arabic word Tawakkul. When we practise Tawakkul, we are expressing our complete faith and trust in Allah Azzawajal as our source of support and strength in order to accomplish our goals, overcome obstacles, and boldly face the trials of life.
Tawakkul, however, does not entail sitting around doing anything, in the hopes that God will miraculously cure all of our problems. Instead, it implies that we completely trust God and that this trust empowers us and helps us to take proper action, even when it seems hard to continue.
Our faith and belief in Allah must be unshakeable. We should be assured in asserting that our strength to cope with the challenges of life comes from the unlimited power of Allah Azzawajal. Hands, legs, eyes, mental faculties, and the Natural Laws that govern the Universe, such as the law of Cause and Effect, are all gifts from God. These blessings and gifts serve as a source of divine assistance and power, but we aren't always conscious of it.
Many people, however, misunderstand the concept of Tawakkul. They regard Tawakkul as a linguistic attribute that essentially comprises supplicating to Allah for our needs. This misunderstanding can be cleared up by reflecting on the following tradition, which explains Tawakkul clearly.
Why don't you tie down your camel?” said the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) when he noticed a "Bedouin" leaving his camel untied one day. The 'Bedouin' said, "I put my trust in Allah." Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “First tie your camel, then put your trust in Allah,” (Tirmidhi)
This is a brief hadith, yet it contains important information. If you have an animal, make sure to secure it so it does not escape while you are away. However, in this hadith, the man does not bind his camel before leaving it. When asked why he didn't do it, the man replied that he trusted Allah to keep his animal from running. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) replied that a man should first bind his camel and then place his trust in Allah.
It's clear from this hadith that this man didn't grasp what it meant to trust Allah. He misunderstood Tawakkul to mean expecting Allah to take care of everything without the individual exerting any effort. The Prophet's admonition illustrates that faith in Allah (Tawakkul) is not simply a verbal and passive attribute. Instead, Tawakkul is an active attribute, implying that we demonstrate our faith and trust in Allah by taking action toward our goals. We must do our part with our activities in addition to trusting in Allah's Divine assistance.
We must first do our part to exhibit true Tawakkul. Even if we believe that Allah is the one who gives us life, protects us, directs us, and helps us, we must also take the required health precautions to avoid becoming ill, such as washing our hands and exercising. We believe Allah provides us with the means of survival, but we must still go out and work to earn a living.
Thus, we are not manifesting genuine Tawakkul if we do not put forth effort toward our aims through our actions.
The life of the Prophet and his companions guides us well in this regard. Whenever they faced trials and challenges, they never sat back and passively trusted to take care of them. Instead, they actively exerted effort to make things good, putting their complete trust in Allah. They demonstrated the genuine Tawakkul.
The Battle of the Trench (Ghazwat al-Khandaq) is a fantastic illustration of the real Tawakkul. When the Muslims of Medina learned that an army of nearly 10,000 soldiers was on its way to annihilate the city, they did not sit back merely thinking that Allah would protect them. Instead, the Muslims and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) demonstrated their faith and Tawakkul in Allah by doing actions. They called a military council, and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) encouraged everyone to contribute their ideas for self-defence. Thereupon, Salman al-Farsi (may Allah be pleased with him) recommended building a trench around the city to keep the enemy away. For approximately thirty days, the Muslims fought and outwitted their opponents. After observing their Trust and resolve, Allah unleashed a rush of wind to smash the enemy camp and force them to retreat.
This illustration gives us the correct idea that Tawakkul means taking action and trusting Allah with the results of our actions. Allah Azzawajal says in the Quran,
“...and once you have taken a decision, place your trust in Allah. Surely, Allah loves those who place their trust in Him” (3:159)
This verse stresses that putting one's trust in Allah does not negate the need to work hard to provide resources and develop plans. The fact is that putting one's trust in Allah while leaving off means close at hand is contrary to the blessed practice of the Prophets and against the teachings of the Holy Quran. If, on the other hand, one sits idle daydreaming about distant means and irrelevant concerns, or if one relies solely on means and plans as effective agents, ignoring the Prime Causer of means and the Planner-par-excellence of all affairs and plans, one is clearly violating the Islamic concept of Tawakkul.
Kaniz Fatma is a classic Islamic scholar and a regular columnist for New Age Islam.
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