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The Twenty Second Talk

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

إِنَّهُ لَيْسَ لَهُ سُلْطَانٌ عَلَى الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ

Verily, there is no authority for him over those who believe and rely on their Lord. (Sura an-Nahl, 16:99)

Tawakkul is the Concomitant of Faith

The Holy Verses of Qur’an are commensurate with the evidence of wisdom and intuition (Wajdaan), Tawakkul is an important condition and concomitant of Faith. Therefore, it is very lucidly said in the Holy Qur’an:

وَعَلَى اللّهِ فَتَوَكَّلُواْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ

…and on Allah should you rely if you are believers. (Sura al-Maidah, 5:23)

The other point is that as people are exhorted to adopt Faith, so are they required to have Tawakkul. Having Faith on Allah (S.w.T.) doesn't only mean that a person knows that there is only one God (Allah (S.w.T.)) but also the faith that there is only one Creator of the Universe who is Almighty and Has unfathomable Powers. Aaminu billah - have Faith on Allah - is indicative of the fact that acknowledging Him as the Most High and totally put your Trust in Him. Don't consider that the circumstances are independent of His Wish and focus all your hopes on Him. Therefore one who doesn't subjugate his circumstances and hopes to Allah (S.w.T.), he doesn't have faith on Him. A person who doesn't think that the worldly wealth, the healer, medicaments and other mundane matters are subservient to the Will of Allah (S.w.T.), he is committing infidelity.

Reason Versus Will

Kufr means 'to hide'. This hides the light of the Haqīqa (the Reality), that is Allah (S.w.T.), from the person's view. When a person succeeds in a matter because of the externally visible circumstances, then his vision doesn't see the Musabbib al-asbaab, the Causer of Causes, that is Allah (S.w.T.). He thinks that the cure is only because of the investigation and prescription of the physician. He starts believing in the doctor but doesn't get the thought of One that created him and imparted him with the knowledge and the skill. The person who has Faith in Tawhid understands all these intricacies. Therefore his Faith will never be shaky. Even if he has access to the worldly circumstances to achieve his ends, his trust is always in Allah (S.w.T.).

Thus, one who is always the slave of circumstances and the apparent causes, is a Kafir. Here, by Kufr I mean the Real Kufr and not the apparent Kufr that can be removed by saying the two phrases of witness - La ilaaha illallah and Muhammadur Rasoolullah. Such a person, although a Muslim through his profession, is so weak in his faith that it cannot take him to the level of salvation. The reason is that the person hasn't yet understood that the worldly circumstances have no element of permanence and they are absolutely under the Will and Wish of Allah (S.w.T.).

The Holy Qur’an mentions several such matters that are the cause of admonition. Just think of the River Nile parting from the middle With Allah (S.w.T.)'s wish and twelve dry passages appeared in the river, The bottom of the river became so dry that when people and their animals traversed the passages, dust came up there. Does this not demonstrate that the circumstance had lost its effect and everything therefore is under the control of the Almighty.

If Allah (S.w.T.) wishes, absolute thirst can be quenched without drinking water. But if His Wish is not there, then however much a person drinks water, his thirst will not be quenched. In certain ailments, a person is unable to gulp even a morsel of water. An example is the ailment of dropsy.

Abdul Malik and the Ailment of Dropsy

It is written that Abdul Malik Marwan al-Umawi was afflicted with the ailment of dropsy. His expert physician advised him that for a day or two no water should go down his throat. If he drank any water, it would prove fatal.

But thirst dominated the unfortunate fellow. He insisted that, in spite the strict instruction to the contrary, he should be given some water to drink. He cried, ”Give me some water, even if it takes my life out!” Despite knowing well, that intake of water would kill him he drank some and died!

Yes! The same water that is so essential for life, when consumed against the wish of Allah (S.w.T.), instead of supporting life, becomes the cause of its extinction.

It is written about Muawiya that, as said by the Prophet (S.), he was suffering from the disease of Jaw’u al-Baqr. The symptom of this disease is that the person becomes a veritable glutton and is not sated, however much he eats.

Ashab al-Fīl

In the Verse of Fīl (the Elephant) there is reference to some incredible happening. When Abraha, and his army of elephants, came to Mecca with the purpose of demolishing the Ka’aba, suddenly there appeared a swarm of swallows in the sky. Each of the bird carried three pebbles in its mouth and two each in every claw. The birds dropped these pebbles on the soldiers of Abraha’s army who were riding on the elephants. The pebbles pierced through the bodies of the men and their elephants. Thus the entire contingent of the elephants and the soldiers was routed. It was Allah (S.w.T.)'s wish that the invincible army of Abraha was subdued with the pebbles.

According to the history of the Jazeerat al-Arab, the birth of our Prophet (S) took place in the same year, which is popularly known as the Aaam al-Fīl. Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) was born in the year 30 Aaam al-Fīl. Till the Hijra (The Migration) calendar came into vogue, the Aam al-Fīl was the calendar in use.

You have also heard that the sharp knife did not do it's job on the throat of Hadrat Ismail (a.s.). Hadrat Ibrahim (a.s.) used the sharpened knife no less than seventy times on the tender throat of his son. But it could not inflict even a small cut on the throat. Because, what was wished by Allah (S.w.T.) was destined to happen! If Allah (S.w.T.) wishes otherwise, the entire hoard of the arsenal of the world will not cause harm even to the minutest of creatures.

We have therefore to understand that the most important aspect of the Faith is Tawakkul.

The Limit of Belief is Tawakkul

It is narrated that someone asked Hadrat Amir al-Mu’minin (a.s.) about the limit of Faith. He replied, “Yaqeen or firm belief!” They asked the Imam (a.s.), “What is the limit of belief?” The Imam (a.s.) said, “Tawakkul on Allah (S.w.T.)!”

All this is the result of the knowledge of the relationship between the sabab (cause) and the Musabbib (Causer). If someone has a firm conviction that the effectiveness of the causes depends on Allah (S.w.T.)'s Wish, then the belief is termed Tawakkul. Such a person relies on the Musabbib (Causer) rather than on the sabab (the cause). His total dependence is on the wish of the All Pervading Allah (S.w.T.). He trusts all his affairs to Allah (S.w.T.). When he frees himself from the clutches of the 'causes' or circumstances, then the existence, or otherwise, of the causes is immaterial for him.

It is narrated that Amir al-Mu’minin (a.s.) has said, “The Faith of a person is not perfect till Allah (S.w.T.)'s Wish prevails over his own thinking and intuition in his affairs.”

When his Faith has reached a stage that he considers Allah (S.w.T.)'s Wish must prevail over his own decisions, then even if he meets with an accident, his concern will not be for his material belongings, kith and kin, and he would resign to Allah (S.w.T.)'s Wish. But if a person cares only for circumstances and causes, then only the physician and the medicaments would be his saviours. The Entity who gives the vision to the physician for the correct line of treatment will not be in the consideration of the person.

Is it not time that we abstain from depending solely on circumstances and causes in our matters.

The Hawk and the Prey

Sayyid Jazairi writes in Anwar al-Nu’mania that a ruler got a lesson in the following manner. One day he went hunting in the jungle. During the hunt the time for Dhuhr prayer came. His retainers prepared the lunch. They roasted a chicken and served it on his table. Suddenly one hawk swooped from the sky and took away the chicken. The ruler got angry and ordered his men to hunt for the hawk and he too started on the same expedition. The hawk flew some distance, flew over a hill and went to the other side of it. The ruler's men too climbed the hill and went to the other side of it. They saw that a man, whose limbs were bound with ropes, was lying on the jungle floor and the hawk was feeding him small pieces of the roasted chicken. When the meat was finished, the hawk took some water in its beak and helped the man to drink.

The men came near the person and made inquiries about him. He said that he was a trader. He was on a business trip. At that place some thieves overpowered him. They took away all his merchandise and wanted to kill him. He appealed to them to spare his life. They expressed their fears that he might go to the city and report to the authorities against them. Somehow, they didn't kill him, but bound him firmly with ropes and abandoned him at the spot. The next day the hawk brought some bread for him and today it had fetched a chicken for him. It took care of the man twice a day. When the ruler heard the story, he had a sudden change of mind. He said that it was a matter of shame for them that they were oblivious of Allah (S.w.T.) who took care of His creature even through a wild bird. He left his crown and the throne and joined the ranks of the men of piety. This proves that man can draw lessons from many places, but they are few who get reformed.

Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.), was making a commentary on Verse 102 of Sura Yusuf (Chp. 12), And most of them do not believe in Allah without associating others (with Him).” someone asked the Imam (a.s.),”How is it that a person can believe (be a Mu’min) and associate partners with Allah (be a Mushrik) at the same time?”. The Imam (a.s.) replied at some length, the summary of which is that in this verse, Shirk al-Khafi or minor-shirk is meant. An example of this Shirk is that a person says that if so-and-so were not there, he would have perished. Or he says that if so-and-so were not there, he would have been deprived of the family and children. The questioner asked, “What should the person say, then?” The Imam (a.s.) replied, “The person should say that if Allah (S.w.T.) had not sent a particular person in His Mercy, he would have died!”

Therefore, Tawakkul doesn't require one to totally ignore the circumstances and causes, but acceptance from the depths of the heart that the cause to be effective depends absolutely on the wish of Allah (S.w.T.). The Power and Authority is absolutely with Allah (S.w.T.).

Shameful Act

Complete faith is necessary on this fact that one is not put to shame in the place of action. If this belief is there, then there will be no room for objection on the Divine Decree of Fate. (Qada wa Qadar). If, in fact, what the person desires doesn't happen, then grumbling and complaining is a sign of the weakness of his Faith.

Sometimes man thinks that he is firm in his faith, is a man of Tawakkul and trusts everything to Allah (S.w.T.)'s Wish. But in a small matter his claim is proved wrong. He even mistrusts his own self. We sincerely pray to Allah (S.w.T.) that He preserves us against facing shame in this world and the Hereafter. We pray that Allah (S.w.T.) endows us with true Tawakkul that our total trust is focused on Him throughout our lives.

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