As a child I did go to Arabic school, I would be the first to admit that at that point in time, it wasn't my favorite place to be. And what we were taught basically went in one ear and out the other but the one thing I never forgot (for reasons unknown to me) was the following hadith. One day Prophet Muhammad (SAW) noticed a Bedouin leaving his camel without tying it and he asked the Bedouin, “Why don’t you tie down your camel?” The Bedouin answered, “I put my trust in Allah.” The Prophet then said, “Tie your camel first, then put your trust in Allah” (At-Tirmidhi).
Back then it struck me as nothing more than a really cool story. Even though I never understood the moral lesson behind it, I never forgot it either. Years have passed since those days of Arabic classes in the central mosque of the University of Lagos. And today I do have a better understanding of the hadith. Sometimes we easily forget that we have to do our bit as well; effort and struggle is required from us if we truly want to achieve or attain something. In as much as we can before we leave to the will of Allah (SWT). Yes, we should put our trust in Allah but at the same time we need to play our part as well. We must do everything in our power that we can do and once we have done our part than we put our trust in Allah and leave the rest to Allah. And this brings us to a the topic of discussion.
Tawakkul is also know as trusting Allah's plan. The Qur'an speaks of the fact that success in only achieved when trust is in God and the believer is steadfast and obeys God's commands.
Steps to attaining Tawakkul
Know Allah by His qualities and attributes, such as the fact that He is all capable and sufficient to rely on; that He is the sustainer; that He is all–knowing and that things can only happen with His will and decree. The more we know about Allah the more sound and firm is our reliance on Him.
Believe that every matter has a cause or a means. Some people give up utilizing these means due to their ignorance and think that this is reliance on Allah. They wait for Allah to send down their provisions, feed them and take care of their concerns and affairs while they do nothing.
Remain firm in relying on Allah alone. A person’s reliance on Allah cannot be fulfilled until one relies on him alone.
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. Q3V160
Depend on Allah whole-heartedly and feel tranquility when doing so, to the extent that one does not feel anxious or confused regarding the status of means with which objectives are accomplished. Some people do not feel secure until they utilize these means, and if Allah decrees that these means are not available they feel overwrought. Such people’s reliance on Allah is incomplete, because true reliance
is when a person does not care if means are available or not, because they know that all matters are in the hand of Allah, all He has to do for a matter to occur is say ‘Be and it becomes’. But remember, you’ll have to utilize all the means available to you first.
“Be keen to do that which would benefit you, rely on Allah and do not be lazy (by not exerting effort) and do not say, when a problem befalls you: ‘If I would have done such and such, then the result would have been such and such’ rather you should say: ‘This was decreed by Allah and Allah does what he wills. Saying ‘If” opens the gate for “Satan.” (muslim)
Realize that the essence of reliance on Allah is to entrust all matters to Him willingly, without feeling forced to do so.
Knowing that our responsibility for what happens is limited is very comforting. Those who do not realize the limits of human responsibility normally transgress on others’ rights by forcing their will on them. So it is one of the numerous Mercies of Allah that He has told us that our responsibility is limited. And that is the meaning of Q2V286 as well as helping understand individual responsibility.
“On no soul does Allah place a burden greater than it can bear” (Q2: V286)
Tawakkul invites us to connect to a powerful Ally Who is no one but the Lord Himself. The more we rely on Him, the greater the chances that we will try to please Him by following the guidance He has given us, which in turn will lead to goodness in this world and success in the Hereafter. By fully trusting in Allah and relying on Him, we are not depressed by what we have lost or intoxicated by our success. We know that all things are in Allah’s hands. And that makes us not only humbler but more submissive to God, thus better believers.
“The believers are only those who when Allah is mentioned feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses are recited unto them, they increase their faith, and they put their trust in their Lord. Who perform prayer and spend out of what We have provided for them. It is they who are the believers in truth. For them are grades of dignity with their Lord, and Forgiveness and a generous provision.” (Q8:V2-4)
The one who entrusts Allah does so in the certainty that what Allah decrees is best for them, even if it is apparently the opposite of what they believe to be good. Such a person is content with the decrees of Allah. Relying on Allah can instill an enormous amount of peace and contentment. But remember Allah helps whom He wills, so it is our duty to ask Him for help often.
“…And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out – And will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allaah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed Allaah will accomplish His purpose. Allaah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent.” [At-Talaaq: 2-3]
”No amount of guilt can change the past and no amount of worrying can change the future. Go easy on yourself for the outcome of all affairs is determined by Allah’s Decree. If something is meant to go elsewhere, it will never come on your way, but if it is yours by destiny, from you it cannot flee.” - Umar Ibn al-Khattab