The Eighteenth Talk
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ
إِنَّهُ لَيْسَ لَهُ سُلْطَانٌ عَلَى الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ
A Mu’min has trust on (Tawakkul) and faith only in Allah (S.w.T.).
وَعَلَى اللّهِ فَتَوَكَّلُواْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ
The importance of belief on the Unity of Allah (S.w.T.) is that Trust (Tawakkul) is required to be placed only on Allah (S.w.T.)! Besides Allah (S.w.T.) one should not depend on the help from any other human being or anything else.
If the faith on the Unity of Allah (S.w.T.) is absolute, then people will not have any feelings of false pride. Fears, doubts and pride are the traits of those who are weak in their Faith. Mu’min is never swayed in any circumstances because the reservoir of the strength of his heart is from Allah (S.w.T.).
The result of Practicing Faith on Tawhid, Unity of Allah (S.w.T.), is that in matters of fear, hope and on occasions of confusion, the Trust on Allah (S.w.T.) (Tawakkul) is redoubled and the faith of the Mu’min is further strengthened.
Mu’min trusting on Allah (S.w.T.) is doubtlessly justified. Even when matters are in his control, there should be implicit trust on Allah (S.w.T.). Only saying that one trusts Allah (S.w.T.) is not sufficient. Saying ‘alayhi tawakkaltu wa ilayhi uneeb’ or ‘Uffawidhu amri ilallah’, that is one leaves all his affairs to the trust of Allah (S.w.T.) is not sufficient. But for this there is necessity of Haal (rapture) and the state of dedication of the heart. One should remain steadfast on the three aspects of Tawakkul - ‘Ilm (knowledge), haal (rapture) and ‘amal (action). The foundation is no doubt laid on Ilm and the reality that is achieved through ‘Amal (action) is Haal or rapturously, and elatedly trusting on Allah (S.w.T.) in all the affairs.
What is the reality of Tawakkul and how to achieve that? The root of the word Tawakkul (Trust) is Wakala (counsel or representation). The person who appoints a counsel is called muwakkil and the counsel who is entrusted to take care of his affairs is the wakil.
Make Allah (S.w.T.) your wakil and Trust all your affairs to Him. This is the meaning of ‘Fattakhidhuhu wakila - make Him your Wakil’
We have already said that Tawakkul (Trust) depends on knowledge, rapture and action. But the foundation is the knowledge. Here knowledge means implicit practicing- faith in the Unity of Allah (S.w.T.) that every gain made or loss suffered by the person should be attributed to the Will of Allah (S.w.T.). For such a belief, there must be arguments in support that the foundation of the Faith is firm.
Is it possible to derive profits from others than Allah (S.w.T.)? No, never! Every profit accrued is either directly or through Allah (S.w.T.). Food, clothing and all the paraphernalia of marital life and all the gains of the spiritual life is at Allah (S.w.T.)’s Wish!
Someone gives you a tumbler of water. Where this water has come from? Whose property is it? Who has made it? Who has fetched it? Who has given him the strength to fetch the water? Who has given him the initiative to quench your thirst?
Therefore, if one thinks about a glass of water, he will know that the ultimate provider is none else than Allah (S.w.T.)!
Does the dress that we wear, from its rudimentary state to that when it is ready for use, has any initiator other than Allah (S.w.T.)? Just imagine who has created the cotton? Who made the hands that contribute during the stages of its conversion to fabric? Who gave wisdom to the weavers to develop skills at their trade? When we seriously think, we realize that:
أَلَا إِلَى اللَّهِ تَصِيرُ الأمُورُ
It is not possible for anyone, other than Allah (S.w.T.), to keep a person out of harms way. Imagine, who gives cure to a person suffering from an ailment? Do the medicaments and the physician give him the cure? Or the real cause of the cure is somewhere else to find? Who gave the knowledge to the physician? Who controls his faculties of diagnosis? In fact, the real diagnosis comes from Allah (S.w.T.) and the physician is only an instrument for this.
In Shiraz, during an epidemic of measles, a physician’s young son was afflicted with the disease. Since he was under the treatment of his own father, a successful practitioner, there was no possible flaw in the treatment. But the diagnosis went wrong and the medicines administered to the lad too were not effective. The result was that he died.
None can come in the way of Allah (S.w.T.)’s will. The knowledge acquired by a physician is effective only when Allah (S.w.T.) wishes the patient to recover. The medicine is effective only when Allah (S.w.T.) wishes it to be so.
As long as one doesn’t understand these things, it is not possible for a man to comprehend the reality of the ultimate control of things. If you connect the ways and means to self and forget the Cause of the Causes (Allah (S.w.T.)) then you are ignorant of la ilaaha ilallaah because the ultimate control over everything is His. Whatever is there, and whatever happens, is through Him.
Therefore, whatever benefits you derive from anyone, or the harm that comes to you, are all with the Will of Allah (S.w.T.). If someone clears his debt with you, it is Allah (S.w.T.) who has motivated him to keep his promise. Who has taken out love for wealth from people’s mind? It is Allah (S.w.T.). Allah (S.w.T.) has termed wealth as Maal. It is called Maal because the hearts are attracted (maa-el) towards it! “When the importance of Maal is in the heart, only Allah’s intervention compels him to clear your debt!”
The strength and reservoir of your heart is only Allah (S.w.T.) and your total trust should only be on Him. We shall talk about it later on. For the present we are discussing about knowledge. It is necessary to get a better understanding about it from the Qur’an and the Traditions. No power other than Allah (S.w.T.) has the capability to profit or harm anyone if Allah (S.w.T.) Wishes otherwise.
If the knowledge is correct, Tawakkul results. Allah (S.w.T.) has the same relation with men as of an attorney with his client.
If a person has to seek justice, he will be grossly incompetent to deal with the matter on his own. He feels the need of such an attorney who is well versed with the law and has expertise of handling such cases. For this purpose the person makes inquiries with friends to suggest names of the most suitable lawyers. He will then find out about the track record of the lawyer. It is quite possible that a lawyer might be having all the necessary qualifications but lacks the intelligence and tact to handle his case. Another important aspect to be considered while commissioning a lawyer is to know that he has sympathy for his clients that he gets the verdict in their favor and doesn’t become the cause of headaches in the future. If the lawyer is not kind and is a person who can sell his conscience, then it is quite possible that he extracts more fees from the client and might even turn the tables against him.
If one gets an attorney fitting all these requirements, it is fine and the client is now certain that his matter is in safe hands. The same is the matter of the Haal (rapture) and exhilaration for Tawakkul.
Is there anyone more befitting of the above-mentioned conditions than Allah (S.w.T.)? Besides Allah (S.w.T.), can anyone have a total comprehension of our expedience and problems confronting us and fully competent to tackle them that both our worldly lives and the Hereafter are taken care of.
Do we consider anyone, other than Allah (S.w.T.), empowered to derive benefit for or ward off harm from us. We know that the claim of ‘ala kulli shayyin Qadeer (having Power over all things) cannot be made by anyone other than Allah (S.w.T.)!
Is anyone kinder than Allah (S.w.T.) on His creatures?
No doubt Allah (S.w.T.) is the reservoir of all kindness. He is the fountainhead of love and affection. The love and affection of the parents or that of anyone else is like a drop when compared to the love that Allah (S.w.T.) has for his creatures.
Therefore it is quite natural that when I turn to Him for help in my matters, trust Him totally, and accept Him as the Most Excellent to Trust (N’im al-Wakil) then happiness will be generated in my heart. When I seek and depend only on Allah (S.w.T.)’s help to ward off some anticipated difficulty, then my worry will be removed because I know that my Omnipotent N’im al-Wakil is on my side! No power can cause harm to me.
Therefore: all troubles, fears and hopes are because of a person not having Tawakkul on Allah (S.w.T.). When there is no feeling of Tawakkul in a person, then what is the use of saying, “alayhi tawakkaltu wa ilayhi muneeb” (on Him I place my trust and to Him I turn!)
The people of Tawhid (monotheists) are those who, when they are threatened by saying that their enemies have united against them, their Faith in Allah (S.w.T.) enhances and they say, “Allah (S.w.T.) is our best support. He is the best of attorneys!
الَّذِينَ قَالَ لَهُمُ النَّاسُ إِنَّ النَّاسَ قَدْ جَمَعُواْ لَكُمْ فَاخْشَوْهُمْ فَزَادَهُمْ إِيمَاناً وَقَالُواْ حَسْبُنَا اللّهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيلُ
In fact these are the people who have truly accepted Allah (S.w.T.) as their wakil. They are not like us that we either uttered the words or read them in the Qur’an. Qur’an is not just to read but the purpose of its revelation is to read it correctly, to understand its contents and acting on them. If the ecstasy of Tawakkul and its understanding do not arise in the person then any amount o reading the Book will be futile. Is it not a pity that we read the Holy Qur’an our entire lives but don’t understand the three conditions prescribed by Allah (S.w.T.) for us. With our oral expressions we have accepted Him as N’im al-Wakil but in practice we have not deemed Him our wakil from the heart. If we had done it from the heart, we would not have the need to look around for smaller wakils!
In Umdat ad-Dayee and Usul al-Kafi it is recorded that Muhammad Bin Ajlan once was highly in debts. He thought of going to the administrator of Medina, Hasan Bin Zaid, to seek his help. On the way Hadrat Muhammad Bin Abdullah Bin Zayn al-’Abidin (a.s.) met him. He asked Ibn Ajlan about his problem. He replied he was on the way to the emir to find a way out of his debts. The reply was, “I have heard a long Hadith al-Qudsi from my cousin Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.).
In that there is a sentence about your problem: “By my Dignity and Majesty! I nullify the hopes of those persons who depend on the support of anyone other than Me!”
“Did you insist on Allah (S.w.T.) to give you eyes to see, give you ears to hear? When these things were necessary for your creation, Allah (S.w.T.) has given to you without asking for them. Will he not give you help if you ask for it now? “
Muhammad Ajlan said, “Narrate the Hadith once again!” He repeated it. Muhammad Ajlan wanted to hear it a third time, and so was it repeated!
Muhammad Ajlan was now convinced. He said, “I have understood! I entrust my affairs to Allah (S.w.T.)!”
At the end of the narration it is recorded that within a short span of time all the worries of Muhammad Bin Ajlan had vanished.
We have not reached the stage of Tawhid (monotheism) where one totally trusts Allah (S.w.T.).
It is said in Du’a Kumail, “O One who is my only support!” But do we really, in full senses, say the truth when we recite it? Do we really and truly consider Allah (S.w.T.) as our only support! The fact is that the circumstances and worldly matters do not allow us to directly communicate with Allah (S.w.T.) that we understand the real purport of La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah. You must have heard that saying these words is like having the key to Heaven in one’s hands. The one who repeats these words will earn great Rewards in the Hereafter. Does one really get the reward and the key to Heaven by mere repetition of these words?
No. It is not like that. But, if a person does it with total dedication of heart then the doors to the Heaven would certainly open for him. But the words coming from the heart’s tongue takes a lot of effort.
Generally a person thinks that he himself and the circumstances are the reasons for power and authority (Hawl and Quwwah). With the tongue he says. ‘La haula wa la quwwata illa billah’ (There is no power and authority except with Allah) but in reality he means, ‘la haula wa la quwwata illa bi wa bila asbab’ (There is power and authority except with cause and effect!)
If the aim is to achieve the state of Tawakkul then we shall do such acts that our hearts should get the feelings that we can follow the faith in its true spirit. Remember! The correct use of time at our disposal and the true purpose of our lives are to be conversant with the laws of the faith.
We have said that Tawakkul requires that one establish with Allah (S.w.T.) the relationship of the client with his attorney. This is the first stage of Tawakkul. To achieve the higher stages, keen efforts are required.
If you wish to study the natural Tawakkul, you must observe the dependence of a child on its mother. It rivets its attention on the mother for all the needs. It cries for its mother when hungry or it trips and falls down on the ground. When a child comes to a situation of getting beaten by his companions, he cries for the help of his mother. This is the natural stage of Tawakkul.
If we acquire Tawakkul of this intensity for Allah (S.w.T.), then we would have achieved a moderate level of Trust on Allah (S.w.T.)! The third type of Tawakkul is when a dead body is in the hands of the person who gives him the final bath. This is not the place to dwell in detail about this. The reference is only to remind us that if some of us achieve the capability of Tawakkul, then the instinct of pride will not touch our heart because of this achievement. We must remember that there are many stages of Tawakkul still to acquire.
Another important point is that the Tawakkul must be perpetual. It is not that sometimes one swears by Tawakkul and at others he acts otherwise. The true state of Tawakkul is that one trusts Allah (S.w.T.) at every step in his life. He should not depend on anyone other than Allah (S.w.T.) for his matters. This is possible with perpetual supplication, prayer and effort.
You have seen that the child looks at the mother with gratefulness. He doesn’t look at anyone else to ward away harm to him. Even if someone else helps him, he will be thankful only to the mother. Can we, at least, be as much grateful to our true Benefactor, Allah (S.w.T.), to the extent that a child is to his mother!