The Levels Of Tawakkul: Trust and Reliance on Allah

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 The Levels Of Tawakkul: Trust and Reliance on Allah 




All praise is due to Allah and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon the Seal of the Prophets, Muhammad (Peace be upon him). The basis for this paper is the concept of Tawakkul, its levels and its benefits.


Tawakkul itself translates as ‘trust and reliance’ which means that in a way, it is quite dualistic and has two different facets which are not independent of each other, but are interlinked. The ayah which first comes to mind when we think of Tawakkul (or trust and reliance in Allah) is,



‘And He will provide him from (sources) he could never imagine. And whoever puts their trust in Allah, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Indeed, Allah has set a measure for all things.’ [1]



The root of Tawakkul is ‘reliance’ or ‘dependence’. We say that we depend on Allah (The Most High) for everything, and place reliance on Him. This is the reality of Tawakkul in that we place our trust and reliance on Allah (The Most High), in terms of both our worldly affairs, as well as our Deen. As well as using our visceral, or tangible means of attaining that which we want to attain.


Tawakkul therefore involves belief, dependence, and action. This is because in order to gain at least some level of Tawakkul, the slave needs to be aware of the fact that all the matters of this world and the Hereafter lie in the Hands of Allah (The Most High). Nothing occurs except by His Permission and His Leave. It is worth noting that depending upon Allah in attaining one’s provision is itself a form of worship, and is from the completion and perfection of one’s Iman.


It is a realization of the verse from Umm-ul-Quran, ‘You alone we worship, You alone we ask for help’ and is a requirement of one’s Iman because depending on other than Allah (Almighty) for that which Allah (The Most High) alone can provide, or (in the case of a tribulation, Allah alone can save a person from), is major Shirk. As Allah (The Most High) says



‘so worship (only) Him and put your trust in Him. And your Lord is not unaware of what you do’[2]


. We also know that He states in Surah Al-Anfal, referring to the qualities of Al-Mu’minoon (the believers):



‘The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses are recited to them, they increase their Faith; and they put their trust in their Lord.’[3]


Another such reference which we spend our nights reading, is contained in Surah Al-Mulk,



‘Say: “He is the Most Gracious (Allah) in Him we believe, and in Him we put our trust. So, you will come to know who it is that is in manifest error.’ [4]



We also have many, many examples from our Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) including examples of certain supplications which he made. In an authentic hadith contained in Bukhari and Muslim, Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) used to supplicate



‘O Allah! To You I have submitted, and in You do I believe, and in You I put my trust, to You do I turn, and for You I argued. O Allah, I seek refuge with You through Your Power; there is none worthy of worship except You Alone; that You safeguard me against going astray. You are the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists; the One Who never dies, whereas human beings and jinn will all die’.


What this demonstrates is just how necessary this trust and reliance on Allah is, whereby we make Allah the disposer of our affairs. As it becomes clear from the aforementioned hadith, Tawakkul is interlinked, interfused even, with submission to Allah, and belief in Allah.

This becomes apparent in the hadith, ‘O Allah! To You I have submitted, and in You do I believe, and in You I put my trust’. In a single breath the Prophet (Peace be upon him) refers to submission, Iman, and Tawakkul. In another hadith showing the importance of Tawakkul and its benefits in this world and the Hereafter, Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said,



‘A group of people (both men and women) whose hearts will be like the hearts of birds will enter Jannah’ (Muslim).


According to the renowned author of Riyadh As Saliheen, this Hadith has been interpreted to mean that it is those people who put their trust in Allah who will be in Jannah. Under this interpretation, there seems to be direct correlation between the way the people of Tawakkul lived their lives in this world, and their reward.

It is the people of Tawakkul who would never have worried about their provisions, food, and means of subsistence, and are like the birds who do not collect any food to keep in reserve but go out every morning in search of food, hoping for and believing in Allah’s provision, and then returning home to their nests fully satisfied.


Those who have Tawakkul do not abandon material resources, the ‘tying of the camel’, as it were. We all know the Hadith in which the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said to the Bedouin who had left his camel without tying it, to ‘tie your camel and place your trust in Allah’.


 The people of Tawakkul know the balance between action and trust in Allah (The Most High). Before we move onto the next section of this paper, it is worth noting what one of our famous scholars of the past has said about Tawakkul. In Madaarij us-Saalikeen, Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (may Allah have mercy upon him) notes:




‘The condition of the one who relies on Allah is like the condition of the one who is given a dirham by a King, then it gets stolen from him; so the King says to him: “I have many times as much as that, so don’t worry. When you come to me, I will give you from my treasures much more than that.” Thus if (this person) knows the truthfulness of the king’s statement, and trusts him, and knows that his treasures are full of that, then what he missed will not make him sad.’



[1] Quran, 65:3.

[2] Quran, 11:23.

[3] Quran, 8:2.

[4] Quran, 67:29.


by Aslom Ullah


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