The Meaning of Reliance (Tawakkul) on Allaah
Author: Shaikh Saalih bin Fawzaan Al-Fawzaan
All praise be to Allaah, Lord of the all that exists, and may Allaah send His peace and praises on His Messenger, our Prophet Muhammad, as well as on all of his family members and Companions, and those who follow his guidance, tread his methodology and adhere to his Sunnah until the Day of Recompense.
To Proceed: Relying on Allaah (tawakkul) is one of the greatest forms of worship. Allaah says: “So upon Allaah, put your trust if you are truly believers.” [Surah Al-Maa’idah: 23] So He made relying upon Allaah (tawakkul) a condition for Eemaan (Faith).
Allaah said to His Prophet: “So when you have made a decision, then put your trust in Allaah.” [Surah Aali ‘Imraan: 159]
So He ordered His Prophet to put his trust and reliance on Allaah.
Allaah says: “O Prophet! Allaah is sufficient for you and for the believers who follow you.” [Surah Al-Anfaal: 64]
And He says: “And whoever is dutiful to Allaah, He makes a way out for him (from every difficulty). And He will provide for him from places he never could imagine. And whoever puts his trust in Allaah, He will suffice him. Verily, Allaah will accomplish His purpose. Indeed, Allaah has set a measure for all things.” [Surah At-Talaaq: 2-3]
And He says: “And whoever is dutiful to Allaah, He will make his matter easy for him. That is the Command of Allaah, which He has sent down to you. And whoever fears Allaah and keeps his duty to Him, He will expiate from him his sins and enlarge his reward.” [Surah At-Talaaq: 4-5]
Furthermore, Allaah has linked this reliance (tawakkul) to worship ( ‘ibaadah), as occurs in His statement: “So worship Him and put your trust in Him.” [Surah Hood: 123]
Allaah orders us to put our trust in Him, and He praises those who do it. He also states in many verses of the Qur’aan that He loves those who put their reliance in Him. All of this indicates and shows the importance of putting one’s trust in Allaah.
Relying upon Allaah is from the actions of the heart – so it is an act of worship of the heart. Therefore, putting one’s trust in Allaah is not to be done with one’s limbs and body parts. Rather, it is found in the heart, just like fear (khawf), awe (khashyah), longing (raghbah), dreading (rahbah) and dutifulness (taqwaa) of Allaah – all of these are acts of worship of the heart.
The position of tawakkul (reliance on Allaah) is as some of the scholars have stated: “The position of tawakkul in the Religion is like that of the head on a body.”
So a person that does not have tawakkul does not have Religion, just like a body that has no head. It is well known that if a body is missing its head, it will cease to live. This is the same case with the Religion – if it lacks tawakkul, it lacks correctness – meaning that one will not have a correct religion.
Therefore, relying on Allaah has a great standing amongst the stations of servitude to Allaah. Allaah uses it to distinguish His believing servants from everyone else. So whoever doesn’t put his trust in Allaah at all is a disbeliever. And whoever puts his trust in Allaah and also on others besides Allaah (at the same time) is a polytheist. And as for the one who puts his trust in Allaah alone – he is a monotheistic believer whom Allaah loves and whose actions and statements He is pleased with. This is since he has established his actions and statements upon a correct foundation.
So what is the meaning of this tawakkul (reliance on Allaah), which holds such importance and high position in the Religion?
The Meaning of Reliance (Tawakkul) on Allaah
Tawakkul on Allaah means: Entrusting one’s affairs to Him and relying on Him in all matters. Entrusting one’s affairs to Allaah entails not turning to someone else for support.
So reliance (tawakkul) upon Allaah can be with regard to matters of Creed, such that the servant’s heart does not turn to anyone else besides Allaah. Therefore, he is always putting his reliance in Allaah, entrusting all of his affairs to Him.
The pagans did not fall into polytheism and disbelief except due to the fact that they put their reliance in other than Allaah, entrusted their affairs to other than Him, and believed in their hearts that someone besides Allaah was able to grant their requests, alleviate their worries and repel harms from them. So they relied on statues, idols, trees, stones, graves, shrines and the deceased. They put their trust in created beings to grant them things that only Allaah could do. So they began to ask them for help, offer sacrifices to them, make oaths to them, and direct various forms of worship to them. This is since they have relied on them apart from Allaah, thinking that they have the power to benefit them, harm them or grant their requests. Due to this, when they put their reliance in other than Allaah and directed their beliefs and worship to other than Him, they disbelieved in Him.
The foundation of Shirk is: Entrusting one’s affairs and putting one’s reliance on other than Allaah. This is why Allaah says: “So upon Allaah, put your trust if you are truly believers.” [Surah Al-Maa’idah: 23]
The scholars say: The object of the verb here “upon Allaah” denotes limitedness. Thus the ayah means: “Put your trust in Allaah alone and not anyone else.” So Allaah has restricted tawakkul to Himself alone apart from others. "Upon Allaah” means not upon anyone else. The ayah continues: “…put your trust if you are truly believers.” Allaah has made tawakkul (reliance on Allaah) here a sign of one’s Faith in Him and proof of one’s Tawheed.
As for the one who claims to be a believer and an adherent of Tawheed, but yet then goes on to put his trust in other than Allaah, such as stones, trees, statues, graves, the deceased, and so on, then this person’s claim is false. And he is not a believer since he has entrusted his affairs to someone besides Allaah.
Likewise, one can put his trust in Allaah in order to achieve his worldly needs, such as obtaining provision, preventing an enemy, and repelling harms and dangers from himself.
Therefore, relying upon Allaah can be in religious matters as well as worldly matters. So you should rely on Allaah in your Creed and your Tawheed. And put your trust in Allaah for fulfilling your needs even if your needs are of a worldly nature, such as eating, drinking, clothing and accomplishing some set goals. Put your reliance and trust in Allaah for all matters.
Reliance on Allaah is not limited to just matters of Creed and Tawheed. Rather, it even applies to worldly matters and seeking provision. When it comes to fulfilling any goal, do not rely on anyone besides Allaah. This is since all of the affairs are in the Hand of Allaah. The keys of the heavens and the earth are in His Hand, so we must put our trust and reliance in Him.
All of the needs and objectives of the servants lie in the Hand of Allaah. So how can a person put his trust and reliance in other than Allaah for his religious and worldly matters? No doubt this is from ignorance and turning away from Allaah. Therefore, relying on Allaah is one of the greatest stations of servitude.
Source: Talkhees Ahkaam-ul-Udhiyah wadh-Dhakaat (pg. 12-16)
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