Entrusting oneself completely to Allah
Tawakkal is a Quranic term which means to have complete faith and trust upon Allah. It is an inner state which rises from deep inward and unfolds in the form of actions.
Before I dive into the details, I cannot help but share a beautiful and precise meaning of Tawakkal explained by my spiritual guide Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman in a recent gathering. He said:
Tawakkal means to turn towards Allah entrusting yourself to him completely giving up all powers and authorities.
Trust upon Allah is the spirit of faith
Trust upon Allah is the spirit of faith and the foundation of Oneness of Allah (tawhid). It is the first lesson taught to those who accept faith. Those attributed with this trait are never discouraged or disappointed.
They are in fact true believers. Trust upon Allah grants His closeness, opens the door of His support, instills confidence, and strengthens courage. It eliminates disappointment and gives hope. Tawakkal takes the man from darkness to the light and instills in him firm belief in Allah.
Tawakkal is a blend of knowledge, state and action
Imam Ghazali explains trust upon Allah:
Trust upon Allah is a blend of three things: knowledge, state, and action. First one learns that Allah is the doer of all things. He alone is the Creator of life and death, poverty and opulence and everything that exists. Allah holds complete knowledge and authority to perfect the affairs of His men. His mercy and grace cover His men collectively as well as individually. No authority is above his authority and no one’s knowledge is above His knowledge. His favors and bounties are infinite.
Then as a result of this knowledge, one will attain such a state of firm belief, that he will trust only Allah and will not turn towards anyone else, not even towards himself or his authorities. This is because even the power to avoid sin and the power to do good comes from Allah alone.
Now the state that is achieved through this knowledge and belief, and the trust that is attained because of this state; is called trust upon Allah.
Levels of Tawakkal
Shah Syed Mohammad Zauqi quotes in his book Sirr-e-Dilbaran:
To have perfect belief in Allah and entrusting all your affairs to Him is known as Tawakkal. It also has different levels:
The righteous and those of lower status than them put their trust in Allah, but with the desire that Allah will carry out their affairs according to their wishes.
The trust of the benefactors is that they turn towards Allah in all their affairs and do not object to His decisions. Instead become grateful that Allah’s will was fulfilled.
The trust of the truthful is that they turn from theirselves to Allah. Their eyes are not theirs. Instead, they are immersed in His vision and are annihilated in His Essence. This is their Tawakkal.
Emphasis on trust upon Allah in Quran and Hadiths
There are numerous instances in the Holy Quran where Allah advises the true believers to have complete trust in Him.
تَوَکَّلُوۡۤا اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ مُّسۡلِمِیۡنَ (سورۃ یونس۔ 84)
Meaning: Put your trust in Him alone if you are (truly) believers. (10:84)
فَتَوَکَّلۡ عَلَی اللّٰہِ ؕ (سورۃ النمل۔79)
Meaning: So put your trust in Allah. (27:79)
وَّ تَوَکَّلۡ عَلَی اللّٰہِ ؕ وَ کَفٰی بِاللّٰہِ وَکِیۡلًا (سورۃالاحزاب۔3)
Meaning: And maintain your trust in Allah and Sufficient is Allah as a Guardian. (33:3)
اَللّٰہُ لَاۤ اِلٰہَ اِلَّا ہُوَ ؕ وَ عَلَی اللّٰہِ فَلۡیَتَوَکَّلِ الۡمُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ (سورۃ التغابن۔13)
Meaning: Allah (alone) is (God). There is no God but He. And the believers should put their trust in Allah alone. (64:13)
وَ مَنۡ یَّتَوَکَّلۡ عَلَی اللّٰہِ فَہُوَ حَسۡبُہٗ ؕ (سورۃالطلاق۔3)
Meaning: And whoever puts his trust in Allah, then He (Allah) is Sufficient for him. (65:3)
Imran ibn Husain reports that the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever puts his trust in Allah, Allah is sufficient for him and gives him abundant sustenance.”
What elevated Saints say about “Tawakkal”
The words of perfect Fakirs are always a source of inward purification and enlightenment of soul. Below we mention a few of the enlightening sayings of Saints.
- Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani says:
Do not trust your wealth as it would render you weak and deficient. Have trust upon Allah as it would make you powerful and also help you. He would grace you with success from unexpected places and favor you with such spiritual power that you would not have to worry about the world and its people. You would become the most powerful person but if you will trust upon your wealth, family, and property instead of Allah then you shall invite Allah’s wrath and will have to face the decline of these possessions. (Al-Fath ar-Rabbani Chapter 42)
- Sahl al-Tustari cites:
Tawakkul was the state of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and endeavoring is his Sunna. Whoever remains in alliance with the state of the Holy Prophet should not abandon his Sunna.”
He also states:
The first stage of Tawakkul is to submit oneself to Allah in a way as a corpse is before the washer. The washer turns it upside down as he wills.
- Abu Ali al-Daqqaq quotes:
Trust upon Allah is the attribute of true believers, submission and surrender is the characteristic of Saints and entrusting all powers and authorities completely to Allah is the attribute of the distinguished ones.
- Bayazid Bastami states:
If the earth and sky turn into iron, the sky stops pouring rain and the earth becomes barren even then I would not turn away from trusting Allah.
- The Sultan of Mystics, Sultan Bahoo says:
Have complete trust in Allah and remain content and happy. (Ain-ul-Faqr/The Soul of Faqr)
- Sultan-ul-Faqr VI Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali says:
Trust is the foundation of Faqr (Sufism). It is the essential requirement of Divine love that you hand over everything to Allah. Outwardly the seeker should make efforts but inwardly he should completely renounce his will keeping trust in Allah. (Shams-ul-Fuqara/Sufism the Soul of Islam)
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman says:
- It is a requirement of Divine love that you submit all your matters and even yourself to Allah. (Shams-ul-Fuqara)
- When one renunciates everything except Allah, only then trust in Him is achieved.
Sultan ul Ashiqeen Quotes “Tawakkal”
Trust upon Allah is the test of faith
Trust upon Allah is the asset of a true believer. When one puts his complete trust in Allah, then Allah’s favor and grace also covers him. Trust upon Allah is, in fact, tested during the times of trial. It is human nature to be grateful and happy in good times but in the times of trial he becomes impatient and protestant on Allah’s decisions. This results in disappointment and discouragement.
However, when one relies on Allah and keeps a firm belief that He is the Creator of the universe and everything happens by His will. When He decides upon a thing, He commands ‘Be! And it becomes’ (Kun Fayakun) immediately. What He decides for him is in his best interest. Then Allah will never leave him alone and will always help him.
Tawakkal of the Prophets
The book of guidance, the Holy Quran repeatedly advises believers to put their trust in Allah in all their matters. It tells us about the previous Prophets who solely trusted Allah.
Prophet Noah preached to his people for years, but they became hostile towards him. It is mentioned in the Holy Quran:
And (O Prophet!) relate to them the account of Nuh (Noah) when he said to his people: ‘O my people (the children of Qabil [Cain]), if my stay and my admonition to you by Allah’s Revelations annoy you, then (bear in mind that) I have put my trust in Allah alone (and I am not afraid of you). Therefore, mature your plot (against me) jointly, and (make) your (sculptured) partner-gods (join in and think hard so that no aspect of) your plot remains obscure to you; then do (whatever you like) against me and do not give me any respite. (10:71)
Similarly, when Prophet Hud was threatened by his people with the wrath of their gods, he responded to them saying:
‘Indeed, I call Allah to witness, and you too bear witness that I have no concern with those whom you associate as partners with Allah. Except for Him (Allah), join in to hatch (some) plot against me, all of you (including your false gods), then grant me no respite (as well). Surely, I have put my trust in Allah, Who is my Lord (as well as) your Lord. (11: 54-56)
Adopt means but rely only upon Allah
We should adopt the means but rely solely upon Allah for the outcome. He is the Cause of causes. He can bring things into existence even without causes, and despite the presence of causes, nothing can come into existence without His command. Take the example of Prophet Abraham. He was thrown into a burning fire. All means were there to burn him. But Allah commanded the fire to become security for him, so the fire did not harm him. The fire that burns others became a source of coolness and security for Prophet Abraham.
To use means and resources is in accordance with sharia and the commands of Allah. The Holy Prophet used them, whether it was a war or a business. Therefore, using means and resources in a legitimate way, then fully believing in Allah for the outcome is the spirit of trust upon Allah.
Today the reason for our decline is that we have turned away from Allah and rely on materialistic people and leaders. We have more belief in people who are just like us than the belief in our Creator. This has weakened our relationship with Allah. We lack peace despite all the blessings we have been granted and always wanting more. The only way out of this turmoil is to ask for forgiveness from Allah, remain content on His blessings, achieve complete trust in Him and strive for His closeness.
Is trust upon Allah easy?
If we ponder, handing over oneself completely to Allah requires the most amount of courage. How can a heart full of fears, desires and hopes can remain submissive on the death of the most loved one, or on losing a job when one needs it the most, or striving to achieve something the heart strongly urges for but not getting it and so on. Submission and surrender to Allah’s will is impossible without becoming indifferent to everything and everyone except Him. The inward becomes indifferent only when it is purified of the lusts and desires of this world. Only a purified inward achieves ardent love and closeness of Allah and His Prophet and all the attributes of true believers.
How to purify inward and achieve Tawakkal?
The answer is very straight. There is no other way to purify the inward and achieve such perfect belief or Tawakkal in Allah besides joining the company of a perfect spiritual guide. The Holy Quran and the Hadiths of our beloved Prophet are absolute source of guidance for human. However, for them to enlighten our inward, sanctification of soul is needed which is impossible without a perfect and accomplished spiritual guide. The Holy Prophet sanctified the inner self of the Companions with his company and perfect sight. That is why they became the ardent lovers of Allah and reached the highest levels of Tawakkal, submission and surrender. History is a witness that no amount of hurdles could shake their faith or prohibit them from sacrificing their wealth, loved ones or lives.
So, for us ordinary humans, thinking that sole worships and devotions would purify our souls and perfect our belief in Allah is out of question. A perfect spiritual guide also known as Universal Divine man is on the footsteps of Holy Prophet and his spiritual successor appointed by him for the guidance of humankind.
In the present time, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman is the Sarwari Qadri perfect spiritual guide. He grants invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat and purifies the souls of the seekers of Allah with his perfect sight. Thousands including my humble-self have witnessed people coming in the court of my spiritual guide and turning from the seekers of the world to the ardent lovers of Allah and strengthening their trust upon Him.
We urge you to come with sincere heart. Surely, Allah will not leave you empty handed.
What is Tawakkal in Islam?
Tawakkal is a Quranic term which means to have complete faith and trust upon Allah. That is, entrusting oneself to him completely giving up all powers and authorities.