Tawakkul: Holding the Handhold that Never Breaks
By Yasmin Mogahed
He was devastated. His
only source of nourishment had disappeared. It was all he knew, and now
it was gone. Suddenly, the world grew cold, and only strangers
surrounded him. The newborn child screamed. He thought his life was
What the child did not realize was that there was someone taking care
of him. There was a plan for him. And in place of everything that had
been taken away, his Protector would provide something better. The
nourishment he had once received only through blood would soon come
through his mother’s milk. And the lifeless walls of the womb—once
thought to be his only protection—would soon be replaced by the comfort
of his family’s arms.
And yet, to the newborn child, it would seem he had lost everything.
of us find ourselves like this child. There are times when we feel we
have lost everything, or things look broken and nothing like how we
wished they would be. At times we even feel as though we’ve been
abandoned and nothing is working out the way we planned.
But just like that newborn child, things are often not what they seem, and tawakkul (trusting and relying on Allah) is realizing that our Protector has a plan for us. Tawakkul is having complete trust that Allah’s plan is the best plan. Tawakkul is having full faith that Allah will take care of you—even when things look impossible. Tawakkul
is standing in front of the Red Sea—as Prophet Musa did—with an army
behind you, and not even flinching, knowing that Allah will get you
through. It is having full faith that when Allah takes away the
umbilical cord, He will replace it with milk.
There can be no faith without tawakkul; and if there is true faith, tawakkul
must always follow. Allah says in the Qur’an: “The believers are only
those who, when Allah is mentioned, their hearts become fearful, and
when His verses are recited to them, it increases them in faith; and
upon their Lord they rely (have tawakkul)” ( http://quran.com/8/2 - 8:2 ).
If one truly understands the Reality and the power of Allah, one will
realize that it is in fact an infirmity of the human mind to not
rely on Allah. Nothing in the entire universe happens except by the
permission of Allah. Not even a leaf falls from a tree without His
leave (hadith). It is He who provides for everything in existence; He
has power over all things, and in His hand is the dominion of the
heavens and the earth (Qur’an, http://quran.com/67/1-2 - 67:1-2 ).
So how could we not but put our entire trust in Him?
Allah tells the believers in the Qur’an: “Say, “Never will we be
struck except by what Allah has decreed for us; He is our protector.”
And upon Allah let the believers rely” ( http://quran.com/9/51 - 9:51 ).
The Qur’an explains that, “And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him” ( http://quran.com/65/3 - 65:3 ).
And the Reality is that there is nothing and nowhere else that will be
sufficient. Allah is the only handhold that never breaks (Quran http://quran.com/2/256 - 2: 256 ).
The Messenger of Allah (s) said: “If you trust Allah with the right kind of tawakkul,
He will provide you sustenance as He provides for the birds – they go
out in the morning with empty stomachs and come back in the evening with
full stomachs” (Tirmidhi).
And just like He does for the birds and the newborn child, Allah provides for us from places we could never imagine.