The Twenty Third Talk
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ
إِنَّهُ لَيْسَ لَهُ سُلْطَانٌ عَلَى الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ
Whenever there is mention of Tawakkul, the mind turns only to the trusting of the mundane affairs to the care of Allah (S.w.T.). But, as a matter of fact, the Tawakkul of a Mu’min encompasses both his worldly affairs and the Hereafter. He thinks that the life Hereafter is not transitory and therefore is more important. Therefore, all men must do Tawakkul on Allah (S.w.T.) during this life and trust his affairs to Him for the Hereafter as well.
As one seeks Allah (S.w.T.)'s help for supporting his efforts for profits and warding off the possible losses, he should also believe that the circumstances and the reasons for any action are subject to Allah (S.w.T.)'s Wish for fulfillment or failure of the task. Similarly in the spiritual matters too one should trust his affairs to Allah (S.w.T.)'s Pleasure.
The reasons for the moral and spiritual felicity that are related to training of the conscience, acquisition of learning, belief and good deeds that bring a person closer to the heaven and higher status there, also need Tawakkul on Allah (S.w.T.) to be possible of achievement. For example, hoping to achieve the heaven is not possible if a person doesn't perform good deeds. But praying regularly, or fasting, or going for the Hajj or giving alms to the needy cannot be termed as acceptable to Allah (S.w.T.) if the person thinks that He needs you to perform them.
To the contrary, these acts might make the person proud of his virtues. Therefore all the hopes should be on Allah (S.w.T.) and the virtuous acts should be for His pleasure and not to seek His rewards. Remember, the good actions that are not acceptable to Allah (S.w.T.), howsoever good they are, are no guarantee for one going to the heaven. Similarly expecting to be spared from the hell after committing sins too is also futile. However, it depends on Allah (S.w.T.)'s wish if the sins are to be pardoned by Him or not. Similarly a virtuous person going to the heaven or not is at the wish of Allah (S.w.T.). It is like the efficacy of a medicine. The patient only recovers from the ailment by the use of a medicament if Allah (S.w.T.) Wishes it to be so!
If man depends entirely on his actions for salvation, then he is exposing himself to destruction. If there is anyone who can give salvation to him, it is only Allah (S.w.T.). It is true that the person has done good deeds but only Allah (S.w.T.) can make them effective. That is possible if Allah (S.w.T.)'s wish and pleasure is for acceptance of the deeds.
As we have already said that one should not be proud of his intelligence, his physical strength, the might of his pen or his skill at oratory. Similarly in spiritual matters, one should not depend only on his prayer and fasting. He should know that relief from the hellfire is not possible even if he is pious and abstemious. The actual salvation depends on the wish of Allah (S.w.T.). Similarly, for the acceptance of the good deeds of a person to qualify for the heaven is at the will of Allah (S.w.T.) only.
Sometimes a person has good deeds in his account equal to the size of a mountain. But in reality the weight of these good deeds is not even equal to the size of a sliver of grass. Therefore, acceptance of the deeds is not dependent on their reasons, but in all circumstances it depends on the will of Allah (S.w.T.).
The Prophet of Allah (S.w.T.), in his last Sermon, that has been recorded in the sixth volume of Bihar al-Anwār says at one point, “No one should make a false claim nor should he have unfounded hopes. Deliverance is dependent on good deeds and Allah (S.w.T.)'s Wish.”
Therefore man should not think that if he has performed some good deed in the Way of Allah (S.w.T.), he becomes automatically eligible for heaven; or, if his actions were contrary, his destiny will be hell. This is faulty thinking. He should in fact have trust on the creator in a similar manner that a farmer who does all the operations in his farm and awaits Allah (S.w.T.)'s kindness for a good crop.
A seeker of knowledge too should focus his hopes on the wish of Allah (S.w.T.) that He gives him understanding. Mere reading of books will not give him understanding of the intricate contents therein. The learning that needs intensive efforts also cannot be acquired by mere hard work. There are some persons who show keen interest and hard work to acquire learning, but they remain raw and green. We don't say that one should not work hard at his studies, but what we mean to say is that only depending on memory, understanding and hard work is not sufficient. For success, one must have Tawakkul on Allah (S.w.T.) besides putting in hard and sincere efforts.
Around forty years ago, in this very place of learning, Musheer al-Mulk Shirazi too was living. A well-known teacher, whose name is not disclosed for some reason, used to teach Fiqh and Philosophy. He was very well known for his memory and his erudition. He slept well one night. But when he woke up in the morning, he had lost his complete memory. Even at the Fajr prayer he couldn't recite the Sura al-Fatiha. Anyway, the prayer was over. Later on when he opened the Holy Qur’an and tried to recite its verses, he couldn't do it. His memory was totally lost and he passed away in the same state.
O! Those people who are proud of their skills at oratory! The other day a person who came from Khorram Shehr has said that a person, whom incidentally I knew too, lost his power of speech since the last two months. With difficulty he is able to communicate with a lips like a small child. He is so worried with his condition that he abstains from communicating as far as possible. He went to Tehran to consult specialists about his condition. They have asked him to stay in the hospital for treatment that, hopefully his speech might be revived.
I am mentioning this because people should not be victims of complacency. They should remember Allah (S.w.T.) in all circumstances. Try to excel in any field of learning, but remember that they should rely only on Allah (S.w.T.) to give them understanding and the opportunity to utilize the knowledge acquired by them.
It is mentioned in the traditions, “Knowledge doesn't come with lot of reading and writing, but it is a light that Allah (S.w.T.) puts into the heart of a person whom He wishes to enlighten.” The station of firm belief, the knowledge of Allah (S.w.T.)'s Names and His Attributes and the treasury of the spiritual knowledge comes to a person only with Allah (S.w.T.)'s wish. However much a person strives to acquire these, he will not succeed if Allah (S.w.T.)'s Wish is not there.
All your activities should be such that you remember Allah (S.w.T.) all the way. You must have a firm belief that whatever you do will have effect and acceptance. What a beautiful phrase has been used in Du’a al-Iftitah, “He has endowed to us more than we asked for!”
You offer the congregational prayer in the hope of His blessings and with His Tawakkul in your hearts. You go for hajj also in the hope of His grace. But, by praying in congregation and performing the Hajj a few times, if you start thinking that the heaven is assured for you, then you might be under a misapprehension. Remember, what you have done is unlike the mundane work that the compensation is commensurate with the work that one puts in. Acceptance of your prayers depends on the wish of Allah (S.w.T.) only.
It is said that the value of a palm's length of the Heaven is equal to value of the rest of the universe. Heaven is not a thing that can be bought with some prayer and ignorant pride. It is also debatable whether Heaven can definitely achieved by much prayer and supplication. The truth is that all you possess, and all you do is wished by Him. One might expect compensation for what really and truly belongs to himself! Everything belongs to Allah (S.w.T.), and any compensation that is given is only at His Wish! Man can only hope with Tawakkul on Allah (S.w.T.).
O Allah (S.w.T.)! By the rights of Muhammad (a.s.) and his Holy Progeny, give us the strength of courage and help us at every stage and make us truly the people of Tawakkul!