Trust & Reliance in God
‘Reliance on Allah’ is referred to in Arabic as ‘Tawakkul’. The word literally means to place one’s affairs in the hands of another.
Allah has many Beautiful Names. One of Allah’s personal Names associated with ‘trust’ is Al-Wakeel – the Disposer of Affairs. The Quran refers to Allah by Al-Wakeel fourteen times. For instance, “And they said: ‘Sufficient for us is Allah, and He is the best Disposer of Affairs’” (Quran 3:173). “Allah is sufficient as Disposer of Affairs” (Quran 4:81). “He is the Disposer of all Affairs” (Quran 6:102)
Allah commands us to place our trust in Him: “(He is) the Lord of the East and the West. There is no true deity but He. Take Him, therefore, as Disposer of your Affairs.” (Quran 73:9). Likewise, Allah forbids us to place our reliance on His creation: “We gave Moses the Book, and made it a guide to the Children of Israel, (commanding): ‘Take not other than Me as Disposer of (your) Affairs.’” (Quran 17:2)
Together, these two verses show us that reliance on Allah is an act of worship. Through our devoted trust and reliance, we express our monotheistic belief, and therefore these are things we should direct towards Allah alone.
How to Rely on Allah?
1. Do not confuse reliance with laziness:
Tawakkul sometimes is mistaken for being laid back and thinking your problems will be solved without your intervention. Tawakkul should not be mistaken with giving up your efforts thinking that somehow your challenges will get resolved. Rather striving and working with the attitude that Allah will take care of your affairs and will help you in getting through your trials is part of you relying on Allah. Once the Prophet asked a Bedouin, “Why don’t you tie down your camel?” He replied, “I put my trust in Allah!” The Prophet then said, “Tie your camel first, then put your trust in Allah” [Tirmidhi]
2. Do not become arrogant:
You should always plan and work based on what Allah has blessed you with. You should fully use those blessings by thanking Allah for them, without getting puffed up with arrogance about your personal strengths. All your strength and ability are from Allah and ultimately, it’s the favor of Allah that will determine your success.
3. Accept Allah’s Decisions:
After your best efforts, accept whatever happens. You should believe that Allah, out of His wisdom, may decide to supersede all your plans for reasons that only He knows. Remind yourself that believing in al-Qadr (divine decree) is one of the pillars of your faith. Know that whatever will happen will happen and all you can do is your best.
4. Take all precautions:
In the Quran Allah tells us the story of two prophets, Yaqub (Jacob) and his son Yusuf (Joseph). On one occasion, when sending his sons to Egypt, Yaqub instructs them to enter from different gates of the city to avoid suspicion, but Allah willed otherwise. The point is that Yaqub took all the measures he could to avoid any possible risk. We must avoid a common pitfall. We tend to either rely on our efforts and forget trusting Allah or we think we are relying on Allah by not adopting any practical measures to solve our problems.
Benefits of Reliance (Tawakkul):
We need to apply tawakkul in our daily lives. One of the major benefits of tawakkul is that it can relieve us from unnecessary anxiety, worry, and resulting depression from the daily challenges. By believing that all our affairs are in Allah’s hands and we can do only what is in our control, we leave the results to Allah and accept His decree whatever it may be. A sensible Muslim who understands tawakkul will not give up the effort but will also not become overly elated with success or depressed by failure.
For those who would like to know more about Islam: