Have you ever met a sister or a Muslim brother who relies on Tawakkul (trust in God)?
It’s a beautiful quality to have, except that, you feel something is not right.
Their attitude shows laziness, carelessness, and belief in magical events.
Somehow, without doing any effort, they expect God to provide them with what they want.
Do you see what’s coming next?
Their life becomes unnecessarily harder. If they faced some difficulties, now they made it worst.
Such a belief is common. It equals shooting oneself on the foot.
Life can be much easier with the right understanding of Tawakkul.
In this post, we will cover:
- What is Not Tawakkul?
- What Tawakkul Really is and practical tips
- How Tawakkul makes your life better
What Is Not Tawakkul?
Trust in God Is Everything
Back in time, the people of Yemen used to come to Hajj (pilgrimage) without any provisions. Once in Mecca, they ask people for help.
This practice carries on even when Umar Ibn Al-Khattab was caliph. One day, he met a group of people from Yemen.
He asks them: Who are you?
They replied: we are al-mutawakkiloun (people who put trust in God)
Then the Caliph says: you are liars. People of tawakkul plant a seed in the field first, then they trust God.
Those people understood only one part of tawakkul. They relied on Allah for their nourishment. But they didn’t make any effort to cause it.
Trusting God is not enough. We also need to make efforts to be worthy of His help and Blessings.
Personal Effort Is Everything
Effort alone is not a guarantee of success.
12000 men composed the Muslim army for the battle of Hunain. That’s a huge number. The army of Badr was only 300 men!
So naturally, Muslims felt confident. The beginning of the battle will prove to them they’re wrong.
Allah recorded the event in Surat At-Tawbah:
“Allah has already given you victory in many regions and [even] on the day of Hunain, when your great number pleased you, but it did not avail you at all, and the earth was confining for you with its vastness; then you turned back, fleeing.”
The enemy ambushed the army in the valley of Hunain. The surprise was complete. Panicking, the Muslims turned their back to the enemy and run away.
“Then Allah sent down His tranquility upon His Messenger and upon the believers and sent down soldiers angels whom you did not see and punished those who disbelieved. And that is the recompense of the disbelievers.” [Quran 9:26]
Ultimately, the Muslims won. But the size of the army didn’t make the victory.
Preparation and effort alone are not a guarantee for success. We also need to rely on God.
What Tawakkul Really Is?
Tawakkul Is Easy to Understand
What can we learn from birds?
Prophet Muhammad (s) said:
“If only you relied on Allah a true reliance. He would provide sustenance for you just as He does the Birds: They fly out in the morning empty and return in the afternoon with a full stomach.” [Ahmad & Tirmidhi]
The birds don’t wait in their nest for sustenance. They have no guarantee to find it. And yet, they go out, seek for it, and trust Allah in the process. As a result, they come back with a full stomach.
If you want to reach your goals, be like birds. Easy, no?
Allah says in the Quran:
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. [Quran 65:3]
This is the essence of tawakkul:
Trust your efforts as if God doesn’t exist, and trust God as if your efforts worth nothing.
Practically, How Do We Do Tawakkul?
Tip #1: Aim for perfection
Even if it’s not attainable, seeking perfection should be the goal.
When we excel in our efforts, the outcomes don’t matter anymore.
Because we did our part. We worked on what we can control.
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
“Verily, Allah loves someone when he works, he does it perfectly.”
Tip #2: Don’t blame God
Sometimes, your plans and Allah’s plans will match. And sometimes, they won’t.
In this case, don’t blame God. You don’t know what is best for you. Allah knows better.
Tawakkul brings peace of mind. You don’t have to worry about the future.
Focus on what you can control. Do the best of what you are capable of and leave the rest to Allah.
Tip #3: build good habits
When things don’t go our way, we have a tendency to fall into laziness.
Having good habits in place helps to manage those down moments.
This is what successful people do. They set habits and stick to them. No matter what.
Examples of good habits are: praying, reciting Quran, exercising, reading books, setting goals, being productive…
Tip #4: make dua (supplication)
Supplications keep you connected to God outside the prayer times. Memorize some of them for daily usage.
There are many morning and evening supplications for tawakkul. Here’s one of them:
“Sufficient for me is Allah there is nothing worthy of worship except for Him, I place my trust in Him, He is the Lord of the mighty throne.”
In Arabic: Hasbiyallaahu laa ‘ilaaha ‘illaa Huwa ‘alayhi tawakkaltu wa Huwa Rabbul-‘Arshil-‘Adheem.
How Tawakkul makes your life better
#1: Stay Committed
Tawakkul is two parts:
- Our efforts
- Allah converting your efforts in what you want, or in what He wants.
Keep working on the first part, no matter what happens in the second one.
The connection between efforts and results doesn’t always happen. And the reasons are various.
Maybe you need to learn a new skill, change a strategy, work harder, or God has a better plan for you.
The bottom line is: if you don’t work, you have zero chance to succeed. If you do the work, you have one.
It took 20 years for the Prophet to conquer Makkah. Nelson Mandela was 76 when he became President.
Laziness doesn’t get results, long-term commitment does. It’s the way of successful people.
#2: Heal Anxiety
When you do your best, you gain peace of mind.
The outcomes are important. But If they don’t show up, it’s ok.
I know that God takes care of my needs anyway. Sometimes in unexpected ways.
Believing in destiny and predestination is part of our faith as Muslims.
“No amount of worrying can change the future”, as Umar Ibn Al-Khattab said.
What changes your future is the amount of your effort and your level of trust in God.
Didn’t Allah say ‘I am just as My servant thinks I am’?
If you think of Him as untrustworthy, guess what happens?
With tawakkul mindset, a Muslin is free of worry, anxiety, and depression. He can live a life of freedom, instead of a life of fear.
It is totally fine to worry. It’s in our human nature. But not to the level of paralysis and inaction.
#3: Develop Patience
Tawakkul supports you in times of hardship and gives you patience. It’s the key to bring ease into your life.
The Prophet (s) said:
“Be mindful of Allah, you will find Him in front of you. Become beloved to Allah during times of prosperity, He will know you in times of adversity. Know that what has passed you by was never to befall you. And (know that) what has befallen you was never to have passed you by. And know that victory accompanies perseverance, relief accompanies affliction and ease accompanies hardship”. [At-Tirmidhi]
Bonus Point: Closeness to Allah
Each one of us has a personal story with God. Tawakkul is one component that makes this story successful.
Tawakkul is an attitude of everyday life. It’s a form of worship. A bond that gets stronger over time.
Think about this dua for leaving the house. It’s about relying on Allah:
Messenger of Allah (s) said:
“Whoever says (upon leaving his house): ‘Bismillah, tawakkaltu ‘alallah, wa la hawla wa la quwwata illa billah [I begin with the Name of Allah; I trust in Allah; there is no altering of conditions but by the Power of Allah],’ it will be said to him: ‘You are guided, defended and protected.’ The devil will go far away from him”. [Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi].
When you trust Allah, He guides you to a better outcome. He defends you from harm and protects you from unknown dangers.
The Creator of the skies and the Earth is taking care of you. What an honor!
Knowing this makes you love Him more and brings you closer to Him.
Tawakkul is having the most powerful ally by your side- Allah Himself.
It’s a gift that many underuses. But not You.
Tawakkul is so easy to implement, free of charge, and generates rewards in this life and the hereafter.
Make relying on God a habit. It will change your life insha’Allah.
Your anxiety will decrease, confidence will increase, and your goals will come closer.
Give it a try 😊