I sometimes think that the rope tying us to this dunya is made of solid gold. Why else would we hold on so strongly and persistently on it?
We make preparations for absolutely everything so worriedly, hardly allowing ourselves to place trust in Allah . Yet conversely, we often blindly place our trust in the unknown faces that manufacture our cars, and we so easily believe the promise of our pension funds and unit trusts…
When Anas asked The Prophet , “should I tie my camel and have Tawakkul (unwavering faith in Allah), or should I leave it untied and have Tawakkul?” The Prophet advised him to “tie your camel and have tawakkul.” [Tirmidhi]
The issue is that we have become so focused on tying our camel that we often forget what tawakkul means.
It means do your best in all of your affairs, be it work related, health, family and friends, or providing for your children etc, an know all the while, without an iota of doubt, that it is not your effort that will determine the result but only the will of Allah .
Your effort is there to ensure that you do not stagnate nor become complacent. Your effort provides you with goals that makes your life worth living.
Shift your faith in this world to faith in your Creator, Allah : know that it is not your superb exercise regime nor your wholesome diet that guarantees your good health; it is not your hard work nor your stringent savings that builds you that comfy pension plan. It is your effort, coupled with absolute faith in your qadr that awards you pleasures in this world and the pleasure of Allah .
What it really means to put your trust in Allah
Tawakkul means to rely upon and trust in Allah completely. In fact, it is one of the six articles of faith.
The hardest thing for human beings is to relinquish control and completely place our lives in the hands of another.
Here are some tips to help us have proper tawakkul.
Be productive in taking the means
Continue making all the effort you can. Being proactive strengthens your reliance in Allah because it solidifies the fact that you do simply because you know Allah is watching out for you. Begin to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Complacency becomes too comfortable and leads to stagnation. And stagnant water stinks! So get up and get doing. Ask Allah to protect you from laziness and actually make the effort to bring your goals and ideas to life.
Introduce the concept of ihsan in your daily doings
Begin to beautify whatever small or big acts you do during the day, thus turning a simple act of packing away laundry into an act of worship. Being conscious of doing things with ihsan – to the point of excellence – helps cement your absolute reliance in Allah . Because at the end of the day, you can rest easy, knowing that no matter how things turn out, you did your very best. The rest you leave to Allah . And your reliance upon Allah ensures that you will be okay, no matter how things actually do turn out.
Remember that it is never you
Know that whatever strengths and skills you possess come solely from Allah . Be grateful, thank Allah and use these blessings to the best of your ability. Use this month as a journey to self discovery and learn about what makes you, you. Define your skills and specialties, ponder on why you’re good at what you do and then understand that Allah has gifted you this specific skill set for a definite purpose in this dunya. How can you be of service and whom can you help with these tools at your fingertips?
Be like the bird
Make the effort and go in search of the fruit. The Prophet has taught us:
“If you trusted Allah with due tawakkul, He would provide you sustenance as He provides for the birds; they go out in the morning with empty stomachs and come back in the evening with full stomachs.” [at-Tirmidhi]
ٍSo, be like the bird that understands that it is not the means at its disposal that ensures a result. Rather, that its ability to soar and seek out food symbolizes its rooted belief that Allah has indeed placed its daily sustenance somewhere in its projected flight path.
Form the habit
Consciously practice tawakkul upon Allah whenever and wherever you can. Be aware of moments in your day, when you press the remote to lock your car, or when you double check your child’s seat belt; that these are the moments that present themselves for you to make your effort and consciously place your trust in Allah . Move away from absently trusting Allah and move toward it becoming an intended action on your behalf.
So yes, this Ramadan, make your effort and tie your camel (whatever it may be). And all the while, have such firm trust and reliance in your Rabb that should that rope that tethers your camel wither, rot and completely disintegrate, your camel will still stand rooted to the spot because that is what you have asked of Allah .
How can tawakkul boost our productivity? Share with us your opinions in the comments section.