What is tawakkul? What should it be like?

One of the issues related to qadar (destiny) is the issue of "tawakkul". Tawakkul (reliance on Allah) originates from Muslims' belief in qadar.

The word tawakkul lexically means to appoint someone as a deputy. The person who will appoint a deputy wants to rely on a person who is stronger, more compassionate, more knowledgeable and wiser than him and appoint him as a deputy.

Tawakkul means to fulfill all of one's duties and then to leave the result to Allah and to accept the result with reliance and consent. In short, it means to trust in Allah and not to worry about one's end.

A Muslim who relies on Allah thinks as follows;“Only He can give us the good things that can come to us and only He can prevent all of the evils and harms that can come to us.”

Allah created everything by attributing them to causes and He wants us to act in accordance with those causes. For instance, if we want to earn more money in our business, we should act accordingly. To say, "I trust in Allah and rely on Allah; He will give me whatever I will be given" does not mean tawakkul but to act lazily and not to know Allah.

A Muslim knows that he cannot earn money without working and he takes necessary measures for worldly affairs; similarly, he knows that one cannot enter Paradise without worshipping Allah, fulfilling His orders and avoiding His prohibitions; so, he fulfills his duties and relies on Allah.   

Tawakkul means to show consent to the decision that Allah Almighty makes after acting in accordance with the causes and taking necessary measures. Such a person lives in peace and does not give pain to his spirit by worrying about his livelihood; the following hadith of the Prophet (pbuh) becomes a great source of hope for him:

“If you rely on Allah as it is necessary, He will give you sustenance just as He gives sustenance to birds.”

Tawakkul never prevents man from working and acting in accordance with causes. Allah Almighty states the following in the Quran:

“That man can have nothing but what he strives for.”(an-Najm, 53/39)

Once a man came to the Prophet and asked him, “Shall I rely on Allah by releasing my camel or by tying it?” The Prophet (pbuh) said, “First tie your camel, then rely on Allah.” (Tirmidhi, Qiyamah, 60) Thus, he expressed the criterion for tawakkul in the best way.

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