The Sixteenth Talk
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ
إِنَّهُ لَيْسَ لَهُ سُلْطَانٌ عَلَى الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ
The topic of Tawakkul is one of the most important of the aspects of the religion of Islam because the essential part of monotheism is absolute trust in Allah (S.w.T.). In other words a Muslim is one who seeks succor only from Allah (S.w.T.) for deriving benefits and warding off of losses. In fact this is the meaning and purport of la ilaaha illallah (S.w.T.) wa laa hawla wa laa quwwata illa billaahil ‘Alliyil Adheem. Hawqala or saying laa hawla wa laa quwwata illa billah is the key to the Heaven and the practical expression of monotheism by the believer. Thus it is the expression by the person that he is not an independent entity who has to depend on Allah (S.w.T.)’s wish in all matters. It is his duty to believe in the Musabbib al-asbaab (the Causer of causes), that is Allah (S.w.T.), the Creator of the Existence.
He should realize and believe in the fact that with the utterance of a single word, “Kun”, became the cause of creation of the creatures in the Universe. He should also have belief in the fact that the very existence of the universe is the miraculous phenomenon of the Musabbib al-Haqeeqi or the real doer of things and the absolute Creator, that is Allah (S.w.T.) and not something that evolved by itself.
Man must strive to achieve objectives but he must leave the success or failure of his efforts to Musabbib al-asbaab. The source of strength for the worldly gains or losses and the rewards in the Hereafter for the person should be the absolute trust in Allah (S.w.T.). His faith about the worldly affairs should be that if Allah (S.w.T.) wished he would certainly be successful in his efforts. About the rewards of the Hereafter, he should always remember that he has to abide by Allah (S.w.T.)’s commands implicitly and trust in His beneficence.
Allah (S.w.T.) commands that man must strive for his worldly affairs, but he should be away from greed and avarice. He should definitely make efforts to acquire the worldly comforts but he should not go near prohibited things. When a person’s attorney wants him to bring all his documents to the court, can he refuse to do that? When he has thought that he is incapable of handling his case himself, he has retained the attorney. Then he has to trust him and proceed according to the advice tendered by him.
O man! You are helpless and cannot be successful in this world nor in the hereafter on your own! If you have trust in a power, then in times of trouble you will not be shaky because your Wakil is there to help you.
Don’t you recite in a supplication after your daily prayers (Ta’qeeb) the following words: “Tawakkaltu ‘alal hayyil ladhi la yamoot” (I trust my affairs to the Ever Living and Undying Allah).
He is the Greatest Wakil and the best help - Ni’m al-Wakil, ni’m al-Mawla wa ni’m an-Naseer.
It has been narrated that when a person stirs out of his house in the morning, the satans will be waiting for him at the threshold. But when he steps out of the house and says, “Aamantu billahi tawakkaltu ‘alal laahi – I believe in Allah and I place my trust on Allah.” Then the satans will slink away.
These words can be said in any language, it doesn’t matter. The words are a support for the heart and surety for the life of the person. It is a fact that if you trust your Wakil, He is Omnipotent and can keep away from you all difficulties and hardships. He will help you get all the profits that He deems are legitimate. There is none more generous and powerful than Allah (S.w.T.).
At this juncture I remember a tradition quoted in the Usūl al-Kafi. Abdullah Bin Zubair, who was one of the sworn enemies of the Progeny of the Prophet (S), and even in the sermon of the Friday prayers he avoided saying the Durood (benediction) on the Prophet (S). When people protested against this practice, he said, “Benediction on the Prophet (S) is void without reference to his progeny. But if I refer to his progeny in the sermon, then many will lose their necks!”
Coming back to the main subject: after the event of Karbala, Abdullah bin Zubair rose in rebellion in Mecca al-Mukarrama and made a claim for the Caliphate. Some groups from Iraq joined him and slightly improved his strength.
The accursed Yazid, who was looking for an opportunity that some one raised his voice to give a justification for his harassing the people with an iron fist. Abdullah bin Zubair gave him this opportunity by claiming control over the Hijaz.
Yazid then sent Muslim bin Uqba and Haseen bin Namīr with a huge force towards Hijaz and asked them to go via Madina al-Munawwara and make a general massacre there to the maximum possible extent.
On one hand there was the scheming of Ibn Zubair and on the other Yazid’s hordes. It was only after a few days of the tragic events of Karbala that Sayyid as-Sajjad (a.s.) had returned home to Madina. He was very worried of the developments and expressed his fears to Abu Hamza on the matter in the following words: “I emerged out of my home and reclined on this wall (perhaps, by wall he means the ramparts of the city of Madina). Suddenly I noticed a person clad in two pieces of white cloth that stood in front of me and said:
“‘Ali bin al-Husayn! What is the reason that you look worried? Are you worried because of worldly difficulties? If such is the case, you should not worry because Allah is the sustainer and gives livelihood to all.”
I replied, “I don’t have any care for the world!”
The man asked, “Then, are you worried for the Hereafter? Then this matter too is not to worry about! Allah’s promise is true and He will support you!”
“I am not concerned about the Hereafter either!” I replied.
“Then why do you look worried?” the man asked.
I said, “I am worried about the intrigues of Ibn Zubair.”
The Imam (a.s.) was worried because of the machinations of that sworn enemy of the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.) and the attack of the hordes of Yazid. The third fear, which was not unfounded, was the attack by Hajjaj on the orders of Abdul Malik.
The person laughed and said, ‘Have you seen anyone who trusted Allah, and Allah has not helped him? Have you ever seen a person who has spread his hand to Allah for help and Allah has sent him disappointed?”
The Imam (a.s.) said, “No!”
And the person disappeared from the view!
About this event Allama Majlisi says, “It was either a saintly personality, an angel or Hadrat Khidr (a.s.)”
Allama Majlisi says that such conversations are in no way a remark on the high status of the Imams (a.s.) but are manifestations of Tadhakkur and spiritual reminder of Allah (S.w.T.)’s Wish to put the Imam (a.s.)’s heart at ease.
One example is that when an erudite scholar’s son expires, people tell him to be patient that Imam Husayn (a.s.) too lost his son in the prime of youth. This is Tadhakkur. Sermonizing or moralizing is done irrespective of the age of the person who is the subject of this. The person who moralizes can be raw and young and the person he talks to could be highly learned and old! Sometimes it does happen that a child says something and an old and learned person draws benefit from the Tadhakkur of the infant!
You must have heard that Hadrat Imam Husayn (a.s.), at one of the stages on the journey to Karbala woke up uneasily from his sleep. ‘Ali Akbar said, “O father! What is the reason that you are disturbed?” The Imam (a.s.) replied, “I heard a herald announce that this group is advancing towards their death! This journey is for martyrdom and killings.” ‘Ali Akbar asked, “O father! Are we on the side of righteousness?” The Imam (a.s.) replied, “Definitely! We are on the side of the right!”
‘Ali Akbar rejoined, “If we are the travelers on the path of righteousness, then how good it will be that we sacrifice our lives in the cause of Truth!”
Such words of wisdom from the mouth of the young son soothed the nerves of the Imam (a.s.) and he prayed to Allah (S.w.T.) to enable the youth to be Righteous!