Tawakkul and Submission

Tawakkul means to rely upon another, to appoint a trustee and to put one’s trust in that trustee.

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One of the beautiful names of Allah is ‘Al-Wakeel’. This name has the meanings of ‘the one who takes care of matters which have been referred to Him, (in a most suitable way), and the One who takes care of affairs in the best way, the One who is relied upon, and the One who controls and who rules over everything’.

It is a must that the sole Source to be relied upon in all matters is the immortal, everlasting Absolute One of Power. It would be meaningless to trust somebody who is in fact the opposite.

􏰀Almighty Allah says in the Qur’an:

‘Put your trust in the Living who does not die and glorify Him with praise’ (Al-Furqan, 25:58)

Allah Most High desires that we, His servants, rely upon Him only. He says in the Qur’an:

‘So let the believers put their trust in Allah’. (Ibrahim, 14:11) ‘Whoever puts his trust in Allah – He will be enough for him’ (al-Talaq, 65:3)

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The Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace and blessings) has said:

“If you were able to rely on Allah properly, you would be pro- vided for just like birds who leave their nests hungry and return full” (Tirmidhi, Zuhd, 33/2344; Ibn Majah, Zuhd, 14).

When it comes to submission, this has the meaning of acquiescence and acceptance of whatever events befall one without objection and thus arriving at peace. Submission is an act of the heart, and it is to be free of any doubts that arise in matters that have come from Allah. It is to be free of carnal desires that are contrary to divine commands, desires that are not compatible with sincerity, and the curse of resisting divine decree and Islamic law. It is stated in a verse from the Qur’an:

‘No, by your Lord, they are not believers until they make you their judge in the disputes that break out between them, and then find no resistance within themselves to what you decide and submit themselves completely.’ (An-Nisa, 4:65)

The word ‘teslimiyet’ or submission has the same root as the word ‘islam’. This is why to truly live Islam and to be a true servant of Allah is only possible through submission. This is because Allah (exalted and glorified be He) is not pleased when His servant yields to any other than Him.

Submission is an act of obedience based on love. It was through the blessings of this obedience and submission that nothing – not his life, his property or his son- could hinder the Prophet Ibrahîm (Abraham) (upon whom be peace) from the path of his exalted Lord. Thus his act of worship, of which the pilgrimage is the best symbol for his reliance and submission to his Lord, will continue until the end of time. The tongue of Ibrahîm was an interpreter of what was in his heart and he would constantly pray:

‘I am a Muslim who has submitted to the Lord of all the worlds.’ (Al-Baqara, 2:131)

The aim of tasawwuf, which takes love as its foundation and which is the essence of Islam, is the establishment of feelings of submission and contentedness with Allah by allowing the servant to live under divine guidance and move closer to Allah with every breath. The effects and deceits of the soul that arise from the thousand and one worries, anxieties and pains that are rife in this fleeting world, will only begin to abate as a result of contentment and submission to Allah. How beautifully Ibrahim Hakki Erzurumi puts it:

Rely upon Allah
Submit and find peace
Be content with all His affairs
And let us see what Allah has in store; For whatever it is, it will be for the best


Scenes of Virtue

Once a Bedouin came to the Prophet (upon whom be peace and blessings) and asked him:

“O Messenger of Allah! Shall I tie my camel and then trust in Allah or should I trust in Allah without tying my camel?”

 

The Prophet  replied:

“Tie your camel first, and then trust in Allah”. (Tirmidhi, Qiyamah, 60/2517)

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According to reports by Ummu Seleme (May Allah be pleased with her), whenever the Messenger of Allah (upon whom be peace and blessings) would leave the house he would always make sure to turn his face to the heavens and say the following prayer:

“In the name of Allah! I put my trust in Allah. O Allah, I seek refuge in You that I should stray or be led astray, that I should slip, or be made to slip, that I should oppress or that I be oppressed, and that I should show ignorance or be subject to others ignorance” (Abu Dawud, Adab, 102-3/5094; Tirmidhi, Deavat 35).


 -An Excerpt from the book, “Civilizations of Virtues-II”

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Q – To what issues should young Muslim men and women pay particular attention in order to safeguard the soundness of their family?

We should know that a society rises on the shoulders of its male members, but that its female members also produce its ascension. Without the help of men and women alike, no development or ascent can be achieved. A man who is unhappy at home cannot be successful at work. Consequently we can say that a nation develops through the maturity and experience of its women. The opposite of this is also correct: a nation loses its power and value through the degradation of its female members. History teems with examples. That is why every community needs healthy families.

Although human beings are created with the most perfect of natures, the manifestation of our perfection in a developed personality can be achieved only in a healthy family environment. The family is the primary place where the human personality is educated. Only with a proper education can souls reach lofty spiritual states and stations. We can take lessons from the lives of the prophets and from the lives of the saints.

Felicity and joy in a family depend on mutual respect and understanding between the parties and on the observation of each other’s rights. It is also very important to comprehend the meaning of the verse ittaqu Allah – “be mindful of Allah!” (Qur’an 2: 194) – if happiness in the family is to be achieved.

Our world can become a paradise if the rights of women are observed; and it can also turn into a hell as a result of the violation of their rights. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) expressed the significance of women’s rights in his farewell sermon:

“O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah’s trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them, for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with anyone of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste.” (Bukhari, Mukhtasar, X, 398)

Preventing women from raising righteous generations by forcing them into unsuitable occupations is a great mistake. Happiness in a family can be achieved only by employing and protecting both men’s and women’s abilities in the occupations that best fulfill their natures.

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Islam affirms the importance of marriages undertaken for the sake of lofty ideals. Marriage has two dimensions, worldly and spiritual. We must be serious and careful in order to make our families functional in both dimensions. It is all too easy for marriage to become one-dimensional. Unfortunately, this kind of marriage often ends up in an unhappy divorce, or continues as a chain of agony until the end of life. Naturally these are not the results we desire when getting married!

Divorce is depicted in one of the sayings of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as an incident which shakes Allah’s throne:

“Marry and do not divorce, for verily divorce causes the throne of Allah to shake…” (`Ali al-Muttaqi, IX, 1161/27874)

For a man to divorce a woman merely for his own convenience and pleasure is oppression and great sin, which is certainly prohibited in Islam. It is violating another servant’s right, which will lead to eternal disappointment and destruction.

Divorce often follows from arbitrarily and carelessly performed marriages and it has countless pitiful results. The worst and the severest of these results befall the children. Children who see no warmth in their families and are exposed to frequent abuses from their parents, who are supposed to be their role models, live at the mercy of the streets. Sometimes they run away from their homes and start living in the streets; they shortly fall into the web of alcohol, narcotics, prostitution and crime. This prepares the ground for social destruction.

Of course, there are times when divorce is the only reasonable option. Catholic marriages can never be annulled and must be continued no matter how miserable the parties are. Islamic marriages, by contrast, are contracts and there are legal provisions for terminating contracts when necessary. Every agreement can be superseded by another agreement. If there were no way out of a failed marriage, the couple’s life would be torture. Family unity would be no better than slavery.

Spouses who cannot find solutions to their problems become desperate and may not see situations clearly. This is why Islam allows divorce, but in principle assigns the right of divorce to men, on the theory that they are likely to act more resolutely than women. However, if it has been previously stipulated in the marriage contract, there is no obstacle to giving the right of divorce to women as well. This is known in Islamic law as tafwid al-talaq. Even if the right of divorce has not been given to the wife in the marriage contract, under some circumstances she can still appeal to a court for divorce.

In order to avoid unnecessary divorce, men and women should appreciate each other’s significance and respect each other. Memories, happy moments, welfare, tranquility and all the pleasurable things in life can be achieved under the shadow of divine wisdom. Success will manifest itself through mutual fidelity and sincerity. It is stated in the sayings of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him):

“When a man wakes up at night, wakens his wife and they pray two cycles of formal prayer together, they are recorded among the men and women who make much mention of Allah.” (Abu Dawud, Tatawwu`, 18; Witr, 13)

“May Allah show mercy to a man who gets up during the night and prays, who wakens his wife and she prays; if she refuses, he sprinkles water on her face. May Allah show mercy to a woman who gets up during the night and prays, who wakens her husband and he prays; if he refuses she sprinkles water on his face.” (Abu Dawud, Tatawwu`, 17; Witr, 12)

According to the aforementioned Prophetic sayings we can conclude that happiness in a family depends on two great principles:
1. Sincerity of the both parties
2. Mutual encouragement to piety.

Dear Lord! Bestow upon us and upon our families a pious life with which You are content. Make our homes a Paradise of felicity and blessings. Protect our homes from being a scene from Hell. Amin!

 

-An Excerpt from “A Peaceful Home-Paradise on Earth”

1000 Dinars

Abu Huraira (radiAllahu anhu) relates the following hadith which is very telling:

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ told us of the beautiful state of a person from the sons of Israel. That person had asked for a loan of a thousand dinars from another person. The one who was asked for the loan said:

“Bring me your witnesses and I will give you the money in
front of them”.

The one who was asking for the loan replied:

“Allah is enough of a witness”. The lender then said:

“In that case bring me a guarantor”. The borrower said:

“Allah is enough of a guarantor”. The lender then said:

“You have spoken the truth” and gave him the money for a particular term.

The man then went on a sea trip and met his needs. Then, in order to return and pay the man back in the term that they had agreed upon, he searched for a boat to take him back, but he could not find one. In desperation, he found a wooden plank and carved out its centre. Into the hole he placed the thousand dinars together with a note addressed to the lender. Then he re-covered the hole and went to the seashore:

“O Allah! You know that I borrowed a thousand dinars from so and so. When he asked me for a witness I told him that “Allah was enough for a witness”. And he was content with You as a witness. And when he asked me for a guarantor, I told him: “Allah is enough as a guarantor”. And he was content with You as his guarantor. Now I have struggled to find a boat, but have not been able to find one. So I am entrusting this to You”. Then he threw the plank of wood into the sea. The wooden plank floated upon the sea and then disappeared from view.

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The man then parted from there and continued to search for a boat.

Meanwhile the lender was awaiting a boat to bring back his money. There was no boat but he found the wooden plank which contained his money. He took it to use it in his house. When he sawed it apart he came across the letter and the money.

A little while later, the borrower of the money found a boat and returned to his hometown. Thinking of the possibility that the man did not find the plank with the money, he went to the man, taking a thousand dinars with him.

“I searched continuously for a boat to bring back your money. However I could not find one before the boat that brought me back now”. The lender of the money said to him”

“Did you not send me anything”.

“I told you that I searched for a boat but could not find one”.

The lender said:
“Allah Most High paid me back that money in your place and brought it to me in a plank of wood as reward for your sincerity. Consequently the thousand dinars that you have brought now is yours. Now you can return in peace having been reunited with your thousand dinars”. (Bukhari, Kefalet I, Buyu 10).

When Allah is a guarantor of an affair, the seemingly impossible can take place easily. What befalls the servant is to trust in him sincerely and in truth…

Rely upon Allah
Submit and find peace

-An excerpt from “Civilizations of virtue 2”.

Trusting in Allah and Taking the Mean

Question: How does one join between putting one’s trust in Allah and taking the means? Can’t the former lead to lazy ‘reliance…’


As-Salamu `alaykum:

We should not confuse Tawakkul – reliance on Allah – with the acts we do in a period of deliberation, reflection, consultation, and special prayer before an important decision. Those acts and that period may come to an end, however, Tawakkul never ends. No matter what the decision, or when, we continue relying on Allah even for matters that seem granted and far less momentous. “Tie it [the camel] and rely [on Allah]” meaning go ahead and act – after due consideration – but always rely on Allah: before, during, and after.

Was-Salaam

-Shaykh Hajj Gibril