al-Tawakul ala’ Allah (Reliance upon Allah) & Change
The last year has witnessed a turbulent change in the Muslim World. Millions took to the streets and rooted out vicious rulers who had stamped their brutal, decades of reign over the people. Indeed it was a courageous effort and inspirational scenes of bravery and resistance.
In the process, hundreds and thousands were martyred in the Arab Spring and met their lord, inshallah, with a beautiful hereafter. It was during these difficult times many people, both inside and outside these regions at some moment in time during this change may have questioned whether they should go out and challenge the regimes with the masses or simply leave it at the status quo.
With recent events in Syria taking a bloody turn, the Muslim Ummah has seen children and women martyred brutally by the Syrian regime’s animalistic forces. Towns and cities have been pounded by bombs, women have been dishonoured, whilst our elderly’s respect has been violated and abused.
These scenes on Video circulating on Social networking sites and YouTube have shook even the most mentally strongest of us, creating a sense of despair and unsurety as to how ever will our brothers and sisters get out of this situation.
This feeling is not unnatural as fear is born from the survival instinct and can hit any one of us. But how do we resolve this when were faced with difficult scenes of death staring us in our faces?
The chants of Allahu Akbar (Allah is the greatest) reverberating from Tahrir Square to Homs by our brothers and Sisters has demonstrated clearly that our belief in Allah of Tawakkul –Trust, reliance and having confidence in Allah’s Plans, has been a cornerstone in keeping the masses motivated, focused and Spiritually uplifted. Allah Says in Surah Aal-e-Imran
The Scenes we have witnessed in Syria and other countries, are a match to many other Historic events where Tawakullah aided the believers in confronting situations where the odds were against them. Again in Surah Aal-e-Imran Allah says
“Those (i.e. believers) unto whom the people (hypocrites) said, “Verily, the people (pagans) have gathered against you (a great army), therefore, fear them.” But it (only) increased them in Faith, and they said: “Allah (Alone) is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs (for us).” [ [Aali ‘Imran: 173]
Absence of Tawakkul
Failure to do apply Tawakkul so would possibly take us into the grave territory of Shirk where Allah’s Sifaat of Al- Wakeel- The Trustee, The One who gives the satisfaction and is relied upon would come under question.
This can arise by searching for answers elsewhere, imploring for the help of others, questioning our fate in resentment, or falling into self-destructive behaviour by questioning Allah (Swt).
In the face of death and destruction that has shadowed Syria recently, slipping into murky waters of statements like “Why is this happening to us” or “Why are we being punished” make us easy prey for Shaytaan to distance us from our Deen and in some cases out of the fold of Islam if we are not careful.
Glad tidings for the Mutawakileen
Abdu’llah ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be well pleased with him) narrates that Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:
“I saw the religious communities [umam] at the gathering place [mawsim], and I noticed that my Ummah filled both the plain and the mountainside, so I was astonished at their number and their condition. I was asked: “Are you well pleased?” “Yes,” said I. Then I was told: “Together with these, seventy thousand will enter the Garden of Paradise without undergoing any reckoning. They do not play with fire. They do not look for bad omens. They do not practice subterfuge. They put all their trust in their Lord.”
On hearing this, ‘Ukasha ibn Mihsan al-Asadi (may Allah be well pleased with him) stood up and said: “O Messenger of Allah, appeal to Allah that He may include me among them!” So Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “O Allah, let him be included among them!” Then someone else jumped up and said: “Appeal to Allah that He may include me among them!” To this he responded (Allah bless him and give him peace) by saying: “‘Ukasha has arrived there ahead of you!”
How the Ulama Discussed it
The Famous Saint, Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jillani (Rahmatullah Alayh) in his book “Al-Ghunya li-Talibin” (Sufficient Provision for Seekers of the Path of Truth) says
“The real meaning [haqiqa] of absolute trust [tawakkul] is delegating all one’s affairs to Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), making a clean escape from the murky darkness and gloom of personal choice and self-management, and advancing to the arenas where the [divine] decrees [ahkam] and foreordainment [taqdir] are experienced directly.
The servant [of the Lord] must be convinced that there is no possibility of changing the allotment of destiny which means that whatever has been allotted to him cannot pass him by, and that he can never obtain what has not been allotted to him. His heart will then become reconciled to this, and he will feel confident in relying on the promise [wa'd] of his Master [Mawla]”
We have to be spiritually content with Allah’s decree. Our Ajal (life) and Rizq (means) have been ordained. So why worry? No force has the power to change these.
The Prophetic example
The best of creation, Al-Mustafa, our beloved Holy Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) clearly showed us how believers must place their complete trust in their Lord.
Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be well pleased with him) narrated that when the Holy Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) stood to pray tahajjud he said: “O Allah, to You I submit, in You I believe and on You I put my trust”
Despite the tribulations, sufferings and difficulties have we not seen our resilient brothers and sisters in Syria continue to seek help from Allah and have full confidence in his plan?
Action and Reliance
In another oft-quoted example, Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) showed us that reliance on its own is not enough. It must be followed by action. Many a time in such difficult situations like those faced in the Arab Spring, people restrict their actions of support to Dua by asking from Allah for his Divine help. However, the following tradition teaches us that after reliance action must follow.
Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be well pleased with him) is reported as having said “A man once rode into town on a fine she-camel of his, and he said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, shall I just leave her unattended, and put my trust in the Lord?’ So the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) told him: ‘Hobble her feet with a rope, and put your trust in the Lord”
A dua after Jumah prayer in congregation is simply not sufficient. A clear path and plan based on Islam needs to be walked on to turn the situation from destruction to peace and stability for our brothers and sister in Syria. Therefore, the action must be tread upon as well as relying upon Allah’s divine help.
Ahmad and At-Tirmidhi narrated that the Holy Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)said: “If you truly put your trust on Allah, he would provide you (sustenance) as He provides the birds; where they leave in the morning with empty stomach and return back with full stomach.”
Al-Bahaiqi (one of the major collectors of hadith) said about this hadith
“There is no support in this hadith for resigning from working to earn. On the contrary, it in fact supports working and seeking earnings. This is because the bird when it flies out in the morning does so in pursuit of its sustenance. And so the meaning – and Allah knows best – is: if they were to rely on Allah while setting out and while returning and when acting/interacting and believed during all of that that all good is in the hands of Allah and comes only from Him, they would never set out except in a state of health and success like the birds who set out hungry and return full. If, however, they rely on their own strengths and abilities and then engage in deception, lying and insincerity, this is opposite to reliance on Allah.”
Many Ayaats in the Quran make this distinction clear. Allah (swt) mentions in Surah Anfal
“And prepare against them all that you are capable of in forms of strength and ranks of horses” [Anfal: 60]
and in Surah jumah Allah (swt) says
“And when the [Friday] prayer is finished, go forth in the land and seek from the bounties of Allah and mention/remember Allah much that perhaps you may be successful” [Jumah:10]
Both ayats are explicit in their injunctions on making necessary preparations as well as seeking divine help and asking for the bounties of Allah.
The Holy Prophet (saw) faced difficulties
On the Journey for hijrah made by the Holy Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and Sayyidana Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (may Allah be well pleased with him), death loomed over them in the deserts as they made steps to establish Islamic authority in Medina. The Quraysh sent out search parties to find and kill the Beloved Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and Sayyidana Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (may Allah be well pleased with him). They found refuge in a cave. Whilst there, Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq (may Allah be well pleased with him) said: I saw the feet of the Mushriks while we were in the cave and they (the Kuffar) were above our heads. I said: “Messenger of Allah, they will see us if they just look down towards their feet.’ The Holy Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “O Abu Bakr, what do you think about the two with whom the third is Allah?” (Agreed Upon).
In this instance, we are shown how the material actions i.e. the necessary steps to establish Islam in Medina had been worked on and even when death was just a feet away, how Tawakullah was firmly settled in the breast of our Beloved Prophet.
In another incident Jabir bin Abdullah reported: We went along with Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) on an expedition towards Najd and Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) found us in a valley abounding in thorny trees. Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) stayed for rest under a tree and he suspended his sword by one of its branches under which he was taking rest. The persons scattered in the valley and they also began to take rest under the shade of trees, and Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: A person came to me while I was asleep and he took hold of the sword. I woke up and found him standing upon my head and I had hardly become alert (and saw) that the sword was in his hand. And he said: Who can protect you from me? I said: Allah. He again said: Who can protect you from me? I said: Allah. He put his sword in the sheath (and you can see) this man sitting here. Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) did not in any way touch him. (Muslim)
Many videos surfacing on YouTube have shown Syria’s Brutal Dictator’s henchmen forcing people to kiss Assad’s picture and even question “Where is your Allah now”.
The Holy Prophet (saw)’s Dua’s for Syria
The area of Ash-Sham was mentioned by name in many Hadith’s. Ash Shaam refers to the lands currently known as Jordan, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Parts of northern Egypt, and parts of western Iraq.
Zayd ibn Thabit Al-Ansari (may Allah be well pleased with him) said I heard Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) say: “O tooba (a tree in paradise/glad tidings) for the Shaam!, O tooba (a tree in paradise/glad tidings) for the Shaam!, O tooba (a tree in paradise/glad tidings) for the Shaam!” They said: “O Messenger of Allah! How did they get this?” He (Allah bless him and give him peace) replied “The angels of Allah have rested their wings upon the Shaam” (Tirmidhi)
In another narration from Mu’awiya ibn Qura (may Allah be well pleased with him) Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “If the people of Al-shaam are corrupted then there is no good in you. There will always be a group of my Ummah that will be victorious, and they will not be harmed by those who seek to humiliate them until the hour comes.
Do not lose hope
Tawakullah is part of the Islamic Aqeedah and must be followed in thought and deed. This means observing the Shariah rules and placing your trust in Allah’s plans.
We make dua for the Muslims of Syria that Allah (swt) showers his mercy on the Mu’mineen and destroys the evil plans of the Regime who wish to extinguish the light of Allah.
We need to firmly pace our faith in Allah. Who else can we place our faith in? Allah mentions in Surah Aal-e-Imran
“If Allah helps you, none can overcome you. If He forsakes you, who is there, after that, that can help you? In Allah, then, let believers put their trust.” [Aali ‘Imran: 160]
The Syrian regime is not our lord, neither are these rulers our deities that we must submit to. They have gone to lengths to subjugate Muslims in Syria to their will but how long will this last? Don’t they remember the fate of Saddam, Ben Ali, Mubarak and Ghadaffi?
We pray that our brothers and sisters in Syria remain strong in these dark days and have istiqamah (steadfastness) on Allah’s Qalaam.
“Say: ‘Nothing will happen to us except what Allah has decreed for us. He is our protector.’ And on Allah let the believers put their trust.” [At-Tawbah: 51]
Anas (may Allah be well pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “The one who leaves the world upon sincerity to Allah only without associating partners with Him, establishes the Salah, gives Zakah, then he will have left the world while Allah is pleased with him.” (Ibn Majah)