Throughout the life of our beloved prophet ﷺ, he and his companions faced many trials and tribulations which led to moments of sorrow and pain. Allah ﷻ being the Most Merciful, wanted to comfort the Muslims and give them ease and peace in their lives. Allah ﷻ wanted the Muslims to live lives full of hope and optimism; so that no matter how tough life was, the Muslims would turn to and rely on Allah ﷻ alone. Therefore, Allah ﷻ sent down one of the greatest verses and stated: وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى ٱلْحَىِّ ٱلَّذِى لَا يَمُوتُ (and rely only on The Ever living, The One whom does not die.) We notice that the verse would have been sufficient if Allah ﷻ said “and rely on The Ever living” and stopped, but Allah ﷻ added “the One that does not die.” Why? The scholars talk about this verse and say that this is Allah ﷻ emphasizing the fact that every living thing will perish and Allah ﷻ alone will remain and He ﷻ will never perish. This allows us to really grasp the idea of Altawwkul or reliance on Allah ﷻ, because we may at times begin to put our hope in people, be it our family or friends, but Allah ﷻ reminds us that in the end, they won’t last. People do not have control over our affairs, therefore putting your trust in anyone besides Allah ﷻ is foolish. Allah ﷻ teaches us to put our trust in the One who will always remain.
When we talk about this Idea of Altawwakul or reliance on Allah ﷻ, we recognize that this worship is a major part of our faith. Because we are constantly neglecting this worship, we see the consequences in our everyday lives. Meaning because we place so much trust in people and things, we lose out on the concept of trusting Allah ﷻ. What happens when we don’t trust Allah ﷻ? We naturally become scared. Life becomes scary. The future and the unknown leaves us tossing and turning in our beds, the past anchors us down from pushing forward, and the present becomes a nightmare. We begin to get caught up in all the “what ifs.” What if I get sick? What if I don’t get the promotion at work? What if I don’t get married to him/her? What if my business fails? Life becomes a scary and dark place when we don’t trust the One who controls our affairs. Interesting enough, the scholars mention that these consequences or scary feelings are a wakeup call for us as servants. They should remind us to turn to Allah ﷻ. Every time we stray from Allah ﷻ, Allah ﷻ will remind us to come back to Him and remind us that relying on Him alone will allow us to live in serenity knowing we have Allah ﷻ to turn to.
Under the scope of tawwkul, we must recognize that Allah ﷻ commands us to do our part to the best of our ability. What we can’t control, we leave that in His hands ﷻ. We mustn’t think that we can sit back, relax, and food will magically appear on the table, rather the end goal requires actions to be taken and work to be done. We as humans can only do so much. The matters that are not in our control are controlled by the One who Controls all our affairs. The most relaxed people in this life are the ones who work the hardest and do their best and leave the rest in the hands of Allah ﷻ. Now Allah ﷻ at times can give and refrain from giving. He is the most wise. And when Allah ﷻ withholds something from a servant, it’s ultimately because Allah ﷻ knows what’s best for us. This then takes the servant out of the worship of reliance to a different form of worship, the worship of acceptance, accepting the divine plan of Allah ﷻ.
My brothers and sisters, one can only truly rely on Allah ﷻ if He/she knows Him ﷻ. We rely on people because through time our experiences with those certain individuals showed us that they are worthy of being relied upon, they are trustworthy. If that’s true for people, imagine if we really knew The Most trustworthy Himself ﷻ. Imagine if we took the time to get to know Allah through His attributes. Imagine the impact of our experiences in life knowing that the One who planned my life is the One I turn to when I’m lost. The more the slave of Allah ﷻ knows his Master, the more he will rely on Him and the easier his affairs in this life will be. And Allah ﷻ says: “وَمَن يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُ” (Whomsoever relies on Allah alone, then Allah ﷻ is sufficient for them.) If Allah ﷻ was sufficient for prophet Ibrahim (AS) when he was thrown in the fire, and for Yusuf (AS) when he was thrown in a well, and for Younus (AS) in the belly of the whale, what then my brother and sisters, makes us think Allah ﷻ is not sufficient for us when it comes to our affairs?
May Allah ﷻ allow us to be firm and steadfast in faith, and allow us to be amongst those who truly rely on Him and Him alone ﷻ.
By Sh Hassan Natour