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Tawakkul and Subsequent Actions

Q. I would like a detailed explanation so that I can correctly understand the following Hadith: If only you rely on Allah with due reliance, He will provide you with sustenance as He provides birds; they go forth hungry in the morning and return satisfied in the afternoon.

A. This Hadith was narrated by `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (peace be upon him) who said: If only you rely on Allah with due reliance, He will provide you with sustenance as He provides birds; they go forth hungry in the morning and return satisfied in the afternoon. (Related by Imam Ahmad, Al-Tirmidhy, Al-Nasa'y, Ibn Majah, Ibn Hibban and Al-Hakim) Al-Tirmidhy ranked it as Hasan Sahih (a Hadith that stands at a higher level than a mere Hasan Hadith, but at a bit lower level than Sahih).

The reality of Tawakkul (putting one's trust in Allah) is heartfelt, sincere reliance on Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) in bringing benefit and warding off harm, whether in the affairs of this life or the Hereafter.

The meaning of this Hadith is that if people, in their hearts, truly rely on Allah Alone and put all their trust in Him in bringing about benefit and warding off harm, while also adopting the helpful means, He will provide them with sustenance by the simplest of means, just as He provides birds with sustenance merely by their going out and coming back.

It is a kind of endeavor that shows its fruits with little effort put forth into the pursuit.

Thus, realizing Tawakkul does not contradict implementing the means that Allah (Exalted be He) has provided and the destiny, which He decreed, is based upon.

This is the Constant Law of Allah in the affairs of His Creation: He has commanded mankind to adopt the means along with His Command of putting total trust in Him. The physical effort in pursuit of means is obedience to Allah (Exalted be He), whereas reliance of the heart on Allah is Iman in Him. Allah (Exalted be He) says: So fear Allh. And in Allh let the believers put their trust.

Tawakkul is mentioned here together with Taqwa (fear of offending Allah), which in this context stands for the duty of acting according to the means enjoined by Allah (Exalted be He).

Tawakkul without making use of the means enjoined by Allah (Exalted be He) is total incapacity, even if it is mixed with a sort of Tawakkul. People should not transform their Tawakkul into non-action, or regard their non-action as Tawakkul; rather, they should make their Tawakkul a part of the means, remembering that no end can ever be achieved unless they are all utilized.

May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions.

Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta'
Member Deputy Chairman Chairman
`Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan `Abdul-Razzaq `Afify `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz

Reference: qsep.com