Allah SWT says:
“And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for Him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent.”
– Surah At-Talaq, Verse 3
Tawakkul is reliance on Allah, having complete faith in Him and expecting nothing but good from Him.
It is often easy to forget that ultimately, we are not in control of our lives, we are only in control of the effort we put in it- but not the outcomes. Allah being the All-Powerful and Almighty has complete control over everything! This is so uplifting because often we forget that the One Who Created us is always there, Watching, Listening and Helping us when we need it.
Examples of Tawakkul
- Allah tells Musa AS to go to Fir’awn (Pharaoh) of Egypt and spread the message of Islam so that he may be reminded of the message or fear Allah (20:43-44).Now there are a few things to consider here, Fir’awn was a powerful king who commanded an army, enslaved the people of Bani Isra’eel (Children of Israel), someone who was not to be taken lightly.
Musa AS confides in Allah that he fears Fir’awn will punish them or that he will transgress. Allah replies “Fear not, Indeed, I am with you both; I hear and I see.” (20:45-46)
This shows us that even Musa AS was fearful when set this huge task to do, he was concerned for his life and look at the beautiful reassurance Allah gave him!
- Another example of the journey of Tawakkul for Musa AS is when the magicians of Fir’awn were using magic and deception to show off whilst Musa AS was blessed with miracles from Allah. The magicians threw down staffs, like big sticks, upon which they began to move like snakes as if from magic.
This caused Musa AS some concern, he was worried at what he saw, but what did Allah do, He again comforted him and reassured him, making Musa AS know that Allah was with him (20:67-68). Look how even Musa AS, a man of such high caliber was fearful, apprehensive initially and was on a journey of increasing his trust and reliance in Allah.
This gives us an aim and shows us how having reliance in Allah is a journey, an area of growth, development and progress we can all make inshaAllah.
- The final example of Tawakkul in Allah is from surah Ash-Shu’ara. Allah commanded Musa AS to leave Egypt with the Bani Isra’eel. As they leave, Fir’awn plots to pursue them with his army. Whilst Musa AS and his people escape, they reach a point where they can travel no further: the ocean. Behind them is an army, and in front is the sea.
This was such a grave situation that the people of Musa AS lost hope and cried out “indeed, we are to be overtaken!” and Musa AS replied “No! Indeed, with me is My lord. He will guide me”. Then Allah inspired Musa AS to strike the sea with his staff and the sea parted (26:60-63).
Look how even when Musa AS was faced with an impossible situation with no way out, he didn’t trust what his eyes saw-but rather trusted the One who created Him, Allah and His infinite power and wisdom and that even in this dire situation, even when his companions had lost faith, he had faith that His Lord would guide him and make a way out for him. And that is exactly what Allah did.
Practical Tips in Developing Our Tawakkul
No doubt Tawakkul is a journey within itself. It is not a light switch that we can turn on all of a sudden. It is dependent on our relationship with Allah SWT and how much we are willing to develop it.
1. Knowing Allah
If you and I don’t know Allah, how will we put our trust in Him? To Allah is the highest and most perfect example, but if a random stranger told us to enter the room and told us to ‘trust me’ and you’ll be fine, how could we even begin to trust them when we don’t know who they are.
And so, to put our trust in Allah we must first know Him as best we can. Though we will never be able to comprehend His Magnificence and greatness, we can try our best to learn about Him through what He has revealed through His Prophet SAW, whether though His Divine Names and Attributes or through His speech. This can be done by reflecting over the Quran and pondering over its meanings.
A nice place to start is Surat Ash-Shu’ara. Do try and read and listen to that Surah, understand what Allah has revealed to us and insha’Allah we will better understand Allah and His Signs.
2. Do Your Bit
Whether it’s an exam we are working for, or we are trying to achieve a different goal, let’s put our effort in and do our bit, then after, take a step back and comprehend that ultimately nothing is in our control but rather in the Hands of Allah. At which point we then leave the matter in the Hands of the only One who can accomplish it or resolve it. As with intent comes action, for a man once said, “O Messenger of Allah, should I tie up [my camel] and rely on Allah, or should I leave it loose and rely on Him? He said: “Tie it up and rely [on Allah].” [Tirmidhi]
3. Make Dua’a
The power of dua’a is immense and if we truly want to be among those who trust Allah then let’s ask Him, for only He can grant us that wish. Even the most pious people made dua’a to Allah before undergoing any task, for example when Musa AS went to speak to Fir’awn he made a beautiful dua’a, “My Lord, expand for me my breast [with assurance], And ease for me my task, And untie the knot from my tongue, That they may understand my speech.” (20:25-28)
“I am as My servant thinks I am…”
– Sahih Bukhari
Know that how you expect Allah to be with you is how He will be, so if you put your trust in him and expect him to help you and support you no matter what situation you’re going through, then know that He will be with you inshaAllah.
And know that if you expect Allah to be harsh and don’t expect Him to help you then know that Allah is capable of All things, and He doesn’t need us but rather we need Him.
So during both our good times and difficult times rely on Allah and have faith that even though we may not understand why something is happening, we know it is the best for us as the Best of Planners, Allah the Almighty has planned it for us, and He is the Most Merciful, the Most High.