Tawakul (Reliance): One of Our Provisions for striving to achieve Allah’s Pleasure


Once certainty is firmly rooted in the heart, it bears the fruit of true and sincere reliance on Allah. Therefore, none of those people with weak faith and those with diseased hearts would have the smallest share of reliance, for they have lost its direct source, namely firm belief in Allah and His promise.

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Such people always try to frustrate the believers and hold them back from moving forward. They do not believe that their heroic achievements are reached by mere human beings. They see them fight, despite their small number and meagre equipment, and say about them (which means),

  “These people are deceived by their religion. “[1]

They do not realise that they have in fact put their trust in Allah and relied completely on Him,

  “But whoever puts his trust in Allah, then surely, Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise. “[2]

They see their small number and say to them,

  “Verily, people have mustered against you, so fear them. “[3]

This discouraging remark serves only to increase the faith of the faithful and increase their level of certainty and confidence in Allah’s promise. This certainty enables them to rely more on Allah and march on to the very end,

  “…but this [only] increased their faith, and they said, ‘Sufficient for us is Allah, and an excellent Guardian is He. ‘”[4]

We therefore repeat with the true believers,

  “Sufficient for us is Allah.” “And whoever puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is [Allah] for him. “[5]

  “Is not Allah sufficient for His servant?”[6]

  “But if they turn away, say, ‘Allah is sufficient for me. There is no god but He. In Him do I put my trust, and He is the Lord of the Mighty Throne.”[7]

  “O Prophet! Allah is sufficient for you and for the believers who follow you .”[8]

  “So plot against me, all of you, and give me no respite. I put my trust in Allah, my Lord and your Lord! There is not a moving creature, but He has grasp of its forelock. Verily, my Lord is on the straight Path (the truth). “[9]

  “I put my trust in Allah. So devise your plot, you and your partners, and let not your plot be in doubt for you. Then pass your sentence on me and give me no respite. “[10]

  “In Allah do we put our trust. Our Lord! Make us not a trial for those who practise oppression; and deliver us by Your mercy from the disbelieving folk. “[11]

  “No reason have we why we should not put our trust in Allah. Indeed He has guided us our ways. We shall certainly bear with patience all the hurt you cause us, and in Allah [alone] let those who trust, put their trust. ”

Books of Seerah inform us that upon the Sahabah’s return from the Battle of Uhud, The Prophet ﷺ called them to arms. He instructed Bilal to tell the people that the Messenger of Allah instructed them to seek their enemies and that only those who had fought the previous day should join in the fight. Usaid bin Hudhair, who had sustained nine wounds the previous day, obeyed the orders promptly and without the slightest hesitation or rest to nurse his wounds. Forty injured fighters from the tribe of Banu Salamah joined the Prophet ﷺ, seeking the enemy who had only the previous day defeated them in Battle. They set forth, weaker and fewer than they had been the day before, armed only with faith in Allah and complete reliance on Him. The Qur’an records this incident thus (which means),

  “Those who answered [the call of] Allah and the Messenger, even after being wounded; for those of them who did good deeds and feared Allah, there is a great reward. Those unto whom the people said, ‘Verily, the people have mustered against you, so fear them.’ But this [only] increased their faith, and they said, ‘Sufficient is Allah for us, and an Excellent Guardian is He.’ So they returned with Grace and Bounty from Allah, while no evil had touched them; and they followed the good pleasure of Allah, and Allah is the Lord of great bounty. “[12]

This is the type of reliance we need as equipment for the Islamic movement. Allah (SWT) commands His Messenger ﷺ to put his trust in Him and entirely rely on him,

  “And put your trust in the Ever Living One who dies not. “[13]

  “And put your trust in the All-Mighty, the Most Merciful. “[14]

This divine instruction was directed to the Prophet ﷺ and to those in his Ummah who are on the path of manifest truth. Those who undertake to carry the message inherited from the Prophet ﷺ,

  “So put your trust in Allah; surely you are on manifest truth. “[15]

Muslims have entered many Battles with a small number of poorly equipped fighters, but they went forth with no hesitation, for they were certain that Allah (SWT) would carry His soldiers to victory and establish His religion. This certainty gave them a perfect reliance on Allah and true dependence upon Him. They entered those Battles with certainty of Allah’s promise of victory and carried the day. The following Qur’anic verse clearly shows that the reason behind the Muslims’ defeat in the first stage of the Battle of Hunain was due to their pride because of their great number and the absence of total reliance on Allah,

  “Surely, Allah had helped you on many a Battlefield, and on the Day of Hunain, when your great numbers made you proud, but they availed you naught; and the earth, with [all] its vastness, became straitened for you, [and] then you turned your backs retreating. “[16]

One of the Sahabah, realising the great number of Muslims, could not help giving vent to boastful utterance, “We will not be defeated today owing to a small number ” While expecting a sure victory, defeat struck and 1200 Muslim fighters fled the battlefield. Then, only eighty fighters gathered around the Prophet ﷺ and snatched victory from the tribe of Hawazin.

The Muslims learned a great lesson on the Day of Hunain, namely the importance of true reliance on Allah. They learned that only reliance on Allah, not on numbers and weapons, will carry them to victory. They learned that once reliance on Allah is lost, Muslims will abandon Jihad and will sit back and shy away from fighting for Allah, repeating what the Children of Israel said to Moses (AS) (which means),

  “O Moses! We shall never enter it (this Holy Land) as long as they are there. So go you and your Lord and fight you two, while we sit here. “[17]

They refused to fight, putting forward the following excuse (which means),

  “O Moses! In it (this Holy Land) are a people of great strength, and we shall never enter it until they leave it. “[18]

They declined to enter the Holy Land (Palestine) that Allah had assigned to them, but only two men of those who feared Allah and on whom Allah bestowed His Grace said (which means),

  “Assault them through the gate, for when you are in, victory will be yours, and put your trust in Allah if you are believers indeed. “[19]

They abandoned true reliance on Allah and were consequently denied victory and were apportioned humiliation in this life and punishment in the Hereafter,

  “[Allah] said, ‘Therefore it (the Holy Land) is forbidden to them for forty years; in distraction they will wander through the land. So be not sorrowful over these people who are Fasiqoon (rebellious and disobedient to Allah). “[20]

Indeed, when reliance upon Allah is lacking, everything else will be lacking, and nothing will remain but humiliation and lowliness in this life and the Hereafter. When reliance upon Allah is missing, we become overwhelmed by Satan who then subjugates us to his control,

  “When you recite the Qur’an, seek refuge with Allah from Satan the rejected. Surely he has no power over those who believe and who put their trust in their Lord. “[21]

Apart from those who believe and put their trust in Allah, all others are the awliyyaa’ of Satan (those who obey and follow him),

  “His (Satan’s) power is only over those who obey and follow him, and those who join partners with Allah. “[22]

  “It is only Satan who frightens his awliyyaa’ (those who obey and follow him); so fear them not but fear Me, if you are believers. “[23]

When reliance on Allah is lost, a servant’s resolve, will and courage become replaced with cowardice, weakness, despair and fear. He also loses the love for Allah ﷺ,

  “Allah loves those who put their trust in Him. “[24]

As a result of this the servant also loses true faith,

  “[True] believers are those whose hearts tremble when [the Name of] Allah is mentioned, and when His verses are recited to them it increases their faith, and who put their trust in their Lord. “[25]

  “And in Allah [alone] let the believers put their trust. “[26]

  “And put your trust in Allah if you are believers indeed. “[27]

Saeed bin Jubair said, “Reliance upon Allah is total faith.” Wahb bin Munabbih said, “Reliance upon Allah represents the utmost degree [of faith].”

Indeed, true worship cannot be undertaken without total reliance on Allah ﷺ. This is the reason why Allah (SWT) mentions them together in many a verse of the Qur’an,

  “And to Allah belongs the Ghaib (unseen) of the heavens and the earth, and to Him return all affairs [for decision]. So worship Him and put your trust in Him. “[28]

The Muslim Jama’ah will only be able to play its role with a sufficient degree of trust in Allah and reliance upon Him. The Jahiliyyah surrounding it today possesses more weapons, greater numbers and more material wealth. If the Muslim Jama ‘ah does not put its trust on Allah in the prescribed manner, then surely it will not have the courage to take one single step in the way of Allah. While, on the other hand, if it puts its trust in Allah, excels in this reliance upon Him with total sincerity, it will undoubtedly be able to defy the entire world, east and west and say what Prophet Hud (AS) said to his own people,

  “So plot against me, all of you, and give me no respite. I put my trust in Allah, my Lord and your Lord! There is not a moving creature, but He has grasp of its forelock. Verily, my Lord is on the straight Path (the truth). “[29]

How beautiful was the answer of Hud (AS)! “I put my trust in Allah, my Lord and your Lord!”

He is my Lord as well as yours. How could I not rely on Him when He is capable of protecting me from you and giving me victory over you, in spite of your superior numbers and strength, for “There is not a moving creature, but He has grasp of its forelock. ”

It is appropriate to note here however that employing permissible means and methods does not impinge on the excellence and acceptability of reliance on Allah and trust in Him. For putting one’s trust in Allah reflects the true reliance of the heart on Allah alone. When the servant’s heart is sincerely and totally reliant upon Allah alone, employing legally acceptable ways and means does not do any harm to the servant, as long as his heart is not completely attached to them to achieve his aims. Conversely, those who do not utilise the appropriate ways and means and claim that they put their trust in Allah are in fact sinners. Allah (SWT) says (which means),

  “And make ready against them all you can of power, including steeds of war… “[30]

Making preparations against the enemy is a legal means and a Divine command. Whoever abandons it and goes out to Jihad without it, claiming that he has put his trust upon Allah, has in fact committed a sin. Allah (SWT) commands the believers thus (which means),

  “O you who believe! Take your precautions. “[31]

Indeed, He commands them to carry weapons while praying on the Battlefield for fear of surprise attacks by the enemy. Ash-Shafi’ee deems carrying weapons in these circumstances compulsory (or wajib). No-one could possibly claim that they will succeed while abandoning the legal ways and means and depending solely on their reliance on Allah. In fact, we have a good example in the Prophet ﷺ, The Prophet ﷺ used to adopt the necessary means of precaution when the circumstances required. He used to protect himself behind shields during combat; he hid in the cave during his flight from Makkah; he said on the Day of Al-Ahzaab (the Confederates), “I need someone to [spy on the enemy] and bring us their news.” He also said to Nu’aim bin Mas’ood, ”Try to deceive them (the enemy) if you can, for war is, in fact, deception.”He also said, ” Who will stay up to guard us tonight [against the enemy]?” He once saw a Bedouin entering the mosque to perform Salah, saying, “ I put my trust in Allah,” after having left his camel untethered outside the mosque, “Tether it, then rely (on Allah).”Allah (SWT), says (which means),

  “Verily you have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent example to follow. “[32]

1 Surah Al-Anfal (8), Ayah 49.

2 ibid.

3 Surah Ale-Imran (3), Ayah 173.

4 Ibid.

5 Surah At-Talaq (65), Ayah 3.

6 Surah Az-Zumar (39), Ayah 36.

7 Surah At-Taubah (9), Ayah 129.

8 Surah Al-Anfal (8), Ayah 64.

9 Surah Hud (11), Ayat 55-56.

10 Surah Yunus (10). Ayah 71.

11 Surah Yunus (10), Ayat 85-86.

12 Surah Ale-Imran (3), Ayat 172-174.

13 Surah Al-Furqan (25), Ayah 58.

14 Surah Ash-Shu’ara’ (26), Ayah 217.

15 Surah An-Naml (27), Ayah 79

16 Surah At-Taubah (9), Ayah 25.

17 Surah AI-Ma’idah (5), Ayah 24.

18 Surah Al-Ma’idah (5), Ayah 22.

19 Surah Al-Ma’idah (5), Ayah 23.

20 Surah AI-Ma’idah (5), Ayah 26.

21 Surah An-Nahl (16), Ayat 98-99.

22 Surah An-Nahl (16), Ayah 100.

23 Surah Ale-Imran (3), Ayah 174.

24 Surah Ale-Imran (3), Ayah 159.

25 Surah Al-Anfal (8), Ayah 2,

26 Surah Ale-Imran (3), Ayah 160.

27 Surah Al-Ma’idah (5), Ayah 23.

28 Surah Hud (11), Ayah 123.

29 Surah Hud (11), Ayat 55-56.

30 Surah Al-Anfal (8), Ayah 60.

31 Surah An-Nisa (4), Ayah 71.

32 Surah AI-Ahzaab (33), Ayah 21.

Certainty: One of Our Provisions for striving to achieve Allah’s Pleasure

Extracted from “In Pursuit of Allah’s Pleasure” published by Al Firdous Publications, Distrubuted by Message of Islam

(NOTE: If you want to build a strong and powerful relationship with Allah, check out Islamia TV, where you can watch Islamic speakers from across the globe deliver inspiring and motivational courses. Learn more at www.islamia.tv.)

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