Tawakkal is another noble value that we should incorporate into our lives especially when it comes to planning. And that is the virtue of tawakkal itself. Allah mentions in the Quran:
Which means: “And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out. And will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent.” [Surah al-Talaq verses 2-3]
The virtue of tawakkal is closely associated with the spirit of striving and working. Without tawakkal, our work is deprived of meaning. Likewise, if one does not put in the necessary time and effort to his work, his tawakkal is then pointless. It is a binary concept that requires both components in order to properly function. We strive and work hard to overcome challenges and simultaneously place our hopes on Allah s.w.t.
to bless us with a desirable outcome. That is the true essence of tawakkal.
Prophet Muhammad mentioned in a hadith (which means):
“If you were to rely on Allah as He should be relied on, He would provide for you as He provides for the birds. They go out early in the morning hungry and return in the evening full.” [Hadith reported by At-Tirmidhi].
The above-mentioned Quranic verse and hadith calls upon us take charge, improve and better our situation. We should strive to seek and spread knowledge, radiate mercy and compassion, enjoining ties of kinship and uniting humanity.
This proves to show that a Muslim is proactive and optimises his efforts towards achieving excellence with the guidance of Allah.
A Muslim is not one who is passive, disinterested and accepts his situation by mentioning tawakkal as an excuse to justify his lack of action. Whilst tawakkal in its actual form is to have faith in Allah for a preferred outcome only after one has exhausted all efforts.
A hadith of the Prophet in which he taught his companion, Abu Umamah, who was burdened by debts to supplicate to Allah. It is actually a subtle reminder to Abu Umamah to strive hard and abstain from slothfulness. Rasulullah mentioned:
If you make doa in the morning or in the evening, recite this: ‘O Allah, I seek refuge in you from worry and sadness. I seek refuge in you from inability and laziness. I seek refuge in you from cowardice and stinginess. And I seek refuge in you from being overwhelmed by debt and the force of men.’
Abu Umamah said: “I did all this recommendation of the prophet and Allah eased me of my anxieties and burden of debt.” [Hadith reported by Abu Dawud].
The pressing question that needs to be addressed now is: What then does it mean to us when we are handed with an undesirable outcome? Even after meticulous planning, clocking in hours of work and making constant doa to Allah.
At this point, we need to reflect on our situation. Does tawakkal not mean to rely fully on Allah to determine the outcome of our efforts? If we were to reflect deeply on the concept of tawakkal, we will find that everything which Allah has decreed on this earth revolves around His mercy. Allah as the Most Merciful, Most Compassionate and The Most Just will never impose hardship upon His servants without proper justification.
During the times when God delays the fulfilment of our wishes, it is done so that we are given more time to prepare, or that we would soon be blessed with a better alternative, without us realising it.
Tawakkal hence trains us to search for the hikmah or wisdom behind Allah’s decree. A person who has a sense of tawakkal will always be contented with Allah’s decree and have good assumptions on what Allah has planned for him.
A person who has a sense of tawakkal will always have a positive disposition because he believes that Allah’s decree for His servants, whether good or otherwise, is laden with wisdom. We pray for Allah s.w.t. to facilitate our affairs. May the year ahead bring us betterment in various aspects of our lives.
May we find blessings in His sustenance and enjoy a peaceful and enriching religious life. May we be guided to work hard and have tawakkal in Allah when faced with the various challenges in life.