TAWAKKUL, TESTS & TRIALS
Tawakkul is one of the duties of the believers. Entrusting one’s affairs to Allah, may He be exalted, and relying on Him is something that is required in all one’s affairs, both religious and worldly. This is enjoined in many texts, such as the following:
The Prophet ﷺ said,
Tawakkul is one of the acts of worships and obligations upon Muslims. It means entrusting all affairs with Allah (may he be Exalted) and depending upon Him in everything. Tawakkul is one of the powerful moral means helping to achieve goals and fulfill purposes. However, a Muslim should combine it with other means, whether they are acts of `Ibadah (worship) like Du`a’ (supplication), Salah (Prayer), Sadaqah (voluntary charity) or maintaining the ties of kinship, or other material means which Allah has predestined that their effects follow from their causes.
One should believe that Allah is the Causer of causes and the Disposer of all affairs and that everything rests in Allah’s Hands (Glorified and Exalted be He). One should also believe that no one can hinder what Allah gives and no one can give what Allah hinders and that Allah is the benefit Giver and the harm Inflicting, and the Supreme Giver and the Preventer.
So putting one’s trust in Allah involves two things:
Tawakkul does not negate taking means
It is not permissible for the believer to refrain from taking appropriate measures; in fact he is not truly putting his trust in Allah unless he takes appropriate measures. Hence it is prescribed to get married in order to have a child, and it is enjoined to have intercourse. If someone were to say: I shall not get married and I shall wait to have a child without getting married, he would be regarded as insane; this is not the way of those who are wise and rational. Similarly, he should not sit in his house or in the mosque seeking charity and waiting for provision to come to him; rather he should strive hard and work to seek to earn halaal provision.
A man told Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal(radhi Allaahu ‘anhu) : I intend to travel to Makkah without food, relying on Allah. At this Imam Ahmad said: Then you should travel alone without company. The man responded: No, I have to travel with company, so Ahmad responded: So you are going to base your tawakkul on the food that others have brought with them.
Benefits of Tawakkul
There are benefits of Tawakkul some of them we will discuss below:
Relying on Allah Almighty can impart full satisfaction and peace in a person. Muslims should never become disheartened and discouraged in difficult situations. Repose all your trust in Allah (SWT). Let’s seek to understand the concept of Tawakkul and to make it part of our belief systems. We will see that things will not only get resolved easier with His help, but Tawakkul will also relieve us from the day to day suffering and worries associated with the challenges of this life. May Allah help us in all difficult situations and give us the strength to overcome them.
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Tests & Trials from Allah
Qadr Allah, if we are afflicted with any of the evils (Jinns, Magic or Evil Eye) and if in it is a test from Allah for us, we understand the concept of Tests & Trials.
Al-Hamdulillaah (all praise is due to Allaah), the Most High, the One who said (translation of the meaning):” And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to the patient ones. Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: “Truly! To Allaah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.”They are those on whom are the Salawat (i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided-ones.” Surah al-Baqarah (2:155-157)
Calamities inflicted on man:
– Having little means of acquiring it
– Afflicted with an illness which prevents the person from eating due to loss of appetite, a blockage in the throat, ulcers in the stomach or a disease preventing absorption of nutrients.
It is clear that this life is filled with calamities, tests, and trials and that every believer will be subjected to many of these. Sometimes these trials are within himself, sometimes with his wealth and sometimes with his loved ones. These preordained trials and calamities, from the One who is All-Wise, will touch the believer in various ways and manners; if the believer does not have the correct view regarding the matter of testing, then he may err seriously, especially since some of the calamities are painful and profound.
Many people are negligent about the wisdoms behind trials and testing; they may not understand that Allaah (سبحانه و تعالى) does not test us as a punishment, but rather as a mercy. The believer should look at the matter of ibtilaa’ (testing and trials) through the textual proofs in the Qur’aan and authentic Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ so that he can stand on a firm ground regarding these matters.
Yes, life is a test and a trial; we are tested everyday in this life. Our wealth is a test; the spouse is a test; the children are tests; poverty and wealth are tests, and likewise health and illnesses are tests. We are tested in everything we possess and in that which we encounter in this life until we meet Allaah, the Most High.
Allaah (سبحانه و تعالى) said (in the translation of the meaning): Everyone is going to taste death, and We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good, and to Us you will be returned. (Surah al-Anbiyaa 21:35)
In addition, Allaah (سبحانه و تعالى) stated (in the translation of the meaning): Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested. And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allaah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allaah knows all that before putting them to test). – Surah al-‘Ankabut (29:2-3)
Even the one who is healthy is tested, and also, the one who is ill is tested. The one who is healthy may not know this until he is touched by a trial, and the one who is ill will may not feel that he is in a testing situation until he is cured. No one is safe from trials because of their prestige or status; such things do not safeguard us from the tests as proven by the hasan (good) hadith in which the Prophet ﷺ said: “The people who receive the severest trial are the Prophets, then those most like them and then those most like them.” (at-Tirmidhi and ibn Maajah)
Response of the Believer to Tests and Trials
al-Fudayl ibn ‘Iyaad (rahimahullaah) said: “As long as people are in a state of good welfare, then once they are tested, they will return to their reality. The believer will go to his faith, and the hypocrite will go to his hypocrisy.”
Calamities are good for the believer in the sense that reward is stored up for him the Hereafter thereby; how can it be otherwise when he is raised in status thereby and his bad deeds are expiated? The Prophet ﷺ said: “When Allaah wills good for His slave, He hastens the punishment for him in this world, and when Allaah wills ill for His slave, he withholds the punishment for his sins from him until he comes with all his sins on the Day of Resurrection.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (2396).
Al-Hasan al-Basri (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “Do not resent the calamities that come and the disasters that occur, for perhaps in something that you dislike will be your salvation, and perhaps in something that you prefer will be your doom.”
Al-Fadl ibn Sahl said: “There is a blessing in calamity that the wise man should not ignore, for it erases sins, gives one the opportunity to attain the reward for patience, dispels negligence, reminds one of blessings at the time of health, calls one to repent and encourages one to give charity.
Through calamity the believer seeks reward, and there is no way to attain it but patience, and there is no way to be patient except with resolute faith and strong will.
So if calamity befalls a Muslim, he must say Inna Lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon (Verily to Allah we belong and unto Him is our return), and say the du’aa’s that have been narrated from the Prophet ﷺ.
Shaykh al-Islam [Ibn Taymiyah] (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: A calamity that makes you turn to Allaah is better for you than a blessing which makes you forget the remembrance of Allaah.”
Sufyaan said: What a person dislikes may be better for him than what he likes, because what he dislikes causes him to call upon Allaah, whereas what he likes may make him heedless.
REWARDS ASSOCIATED WITH TESTS AND TRIALS
Sins are Removed
The Prophet ﷺ said:
Raise one to a higher degree in Paradise
The Prophet ﷺ said:
“Allaah (سبحانه و تعالى) says to His angels when they take the soul of a person’s child, ‘You took the fruit of his heart.’ They (the angels) say, ‘Yes.’ So Allaah says, ‘What did My slave say (upon that)?’
They say, ‘He praised you and made istirjaa’ (meaning he said, Innaa lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon’ – verily to Allaah we belong and to Him we shall return).
So Allaah (سبحانه و تعالى) says, ‘Build for My slave a house in Paradise and name it the house of praise.’” (Imaam Ahmad).
Furthermore, the Prophet ﷺ said in the authentic hadith: “No Muslim is hurt by a thorn or something greater than a thorn except that Allaah elevates him in rank or effaces his sins because of that.” (Muslim)
It is a sign of Love of Allah
Calamities, trials, and tests are signs of Allaah’s love for the believer. Indeed, they are like a cure; although it may be bitter, we accept them since they are from the One whom we love, and to Allaah belongs the best example. The Prophet ﷺ said: “The greatest reward comes with the greatest trial. When Allaah loves a people, He tests them. Whoever accepts that wins His pleasure, but whoever is discontent with that earns His wrath.” [at-Tirmidhi (2396) and ibn Maajah (4031)]
Saved from the Punishment in the Hereafter
Certainly, the affliction by test and trials is better to the believer than punishment in the Hereafter, and in that, there is an elevation of his rank and expiation for his sins. Therefore, it is better for him. The Prophet ﷺ said: “When Allaah wills good for His slave, He hastens the punishment for him in this world, and when Allaah wills ill for His slave, he withholds the punishment for his sins from him until he comes with all his sins on the Day of Resurrection.” (at-Tirmidhi 2396)
Lessons of the Tests and Trials
I ask Allaah (سبحانه و تعالى) to make us from those who when afflicted with a calamity, truly remember and manifest the saying of Allaah, “Innaa lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon,” asking Him to help us with the calamities, testing, and trials, to persevere patiently, to overcome, to ask Him for reward, to anticipate the reward from Him (سبحانه و تعالى), and to compensate us with that which is better.
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The difference between being patient and being content:
The patient person feels pain in his heart but does not express it in his sayings and actions and does not do what displeases Allaah.
The content person does not go in pain, meaning that the presence or absence of the calamity, knowing it is from Allaah, does not make him feel in his heart the pain and (or) sorrow.
Contentment is higher than Patience. And the best is As Shukr (reaction of gratitude for the calamity):
How is a person thankful for a calamity which touches him and affects him? First, these calamities could be hastened punishments for sins which he has done so he thanks Allaah that He hastened the punishment of these sins in this life.
Secondly, he thanks Allah for not making his calamities more severe. Thirdly, he thanks Allaah by anticipating the reward because the more severe the calamity, the more is he rewarded. Therefore, he thanks Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala for the reward which will be much more than what he can expect.
WASWAS (SATANIC WHISPERS)
It is not permissible for a Muslim to listen to the shaytan and let him fill his life with doubts, waswas and paranoia, for if he does that he will lose out in this world and will not gain anything in the Hereafter. Such whispers are merely tricks of the accursed shaytan who wants to cause grief for those who believe. And Allah is the best of protectors and the most merciful of those who show mercy.
What one must do is put a stop to all the whispers of shaitaan, and not pay any attention to bad thoughts. It is sufficient for you to say the dhikr (words of remembrance) that is prescribed in sharee’ah when you see something good, and Allah will protect it against all evil.
The Muslim should not let doubts, illusions, suspicion and excessive fear of the unseen overwhelm him so much that he becomes afflicted with psychological illness and the like. He should think positively of Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, and understand that whatever befalls him only happens by the will of Allah, may He be blessed and exalted. So let him turn to Allah, because He alone is able to ward off harm and relieve distress.
The imaginations and misconceptions [whisperings] have increased in people in recent times, so they consider [if anything occurs] it must be evil eye, magic or jinn, to the extent if some of them catch a cold they will say “it is evil eye, magic or jinn”. Turn and shun away from all this [such thoughts] and instead trust and depend in Allah. Do not entertain such whispers so they may depart from you, for indeed whenever a person allows a thought to enter his mind he becomes preoccupied by it, and if only he were to ignore it so it would depart from him and he would not be afflicted by harm. This is like if a person is afflicted by an injury, if he was to ignore it and preoccupy himself with other affairs he would forget the injury and not be focussed on the pain, however if he focuses on it he feels the pain.”
May Allah give us the Hidayah to have proper Tawakkul, protect us from the evil and give us strength to stay steadfast if & when tested and forgive our any of our shortcomings. May Allah make things easy for all Muslims.
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TIPS OF TEST
There will be an Assignment Question asked in the Test. Marks will be given based on the following: –
Please take this assignment as a motivation to implement and to start talking about Islam and make it part of your regular day (even if you do not know too much, spread the little that you know, as the Prophet ﷺ said “Convey from me, even if it is one verse”), most of us are too shy to talk about Islam but are ok to talk about anything under the sky.
May Allah make us all amongst those who call others to good by spreading the Deen of Allah and help each other in this noble path.