Tawakkul comes from the root word (و ك ل)
Literal meaning is to authorize, empower
Reliance or Trust upon Allah means to have full trust upon the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, at the same time not failing to take all possible means. However, rely upon Allah for success and not upon the means.
Reliance and trust upon Allah is an obligation for all Muslims. We see example of tawakkul in the life of the Prophet (PBUH) when hemigrated to Madinah from Makkah with his companion Abu Bakr (RA). The Prophet prepared for the journey well – instead of going north which was the direction of Madinah he went south to deceive the Quraish tribes who he knew would set out looking for him. He took a guide who knew the path very well. He prepared two camels. The Quraysh announced a bounty of one hundred camels for anybody who could seize the Prophet (PBUH) and Abu Bakr (RA), either one of them or both of them.
When they hid in the cave (known as Thour) the enemies came close by and Abu Bakr (RA) said, “‘O Messenger of Allah, if any of them looks down at their feet, they will see us.’ The Prophet, (PBUH), replied, assuring: “What do you think about two companions, of whom Allah is the third? (i.e. in terms of assistance)”. This is mentioned in Sura At Tawbah verse 40, i.e. Muḥammad (PBUH) said to his companion, “Do not grieve; indeed Allāh is with us.”
RELIANCE UPON ALLAH IS AN OBLIGATION
“Say, “Never will we be struck except by what Allāh has decreed for us; He is our protector.” And upon Allāh let the believers rely.” Sura At-Tawbah 51
Quoting from Tafsir Ma’ariful Qur’an by Mufti Muhammad Shafi, “In the ninth verse (51), Allah Ta` ala has instructed the Holy Prophet (صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم) and Muslims, that they should not allow themselves to be affected by things like that said by the hypocrites and that they must always keep reality as it is before them. The words of the Holy Qur’an are:. قُل لَّن يُصِيبَنَا إِلَّا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّـهُ لَنَا هُوَ مَوْلَانَا ۚ وَعَلَى اللَّـهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ ﴿٥١﴾ (Say, |”Nothing , can ever reach us except what Allah has written for us. He is our Master. And in Allah alone the believers must place their trust|” ). In other words, the Holy Prophet (صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم) is being asked that he should tell those, who worship material causes such as these, that they were in a serious deception. These material causes were no more than a curtain. The power that moves inside them belongs to none but Allah. Whatever happens to us is exactly whatever Allah has written for us – and He, is our Master, Guardian and Helper. And Muslims must place their real trust in Him alone. Consequently, they must see material causes as no more than effective agents and signs while never taking them to be the real dispensers of any good or evil.
The Prophet of Islam, may the blessing of Allah and peace be upon him, made full preparation for Jihad, after which, the revelation of this verse put an end to this cycle of excess and deficiency and showed the right way – as put in the lively Persian saying: بر توکل زانوے اشتربہ بند (With Tawakkul [ trust ], do tie the knees of the camel). To sum up, means which you have the option to utilize, are nothing but blessings given by Allah Ta` ala. Not taking advantage of these means is ingratitude, even stupidity. Of course, do not give means the status they do not have and believe that results and outcomes are not subservient to these means – instead of all that, they obey the command of Allah Almighty.”
This is an excellent interpretation of the above verse by Mufti Md. Shafi and explains the perfect balance between taking the means and tawakkul.
ALLAH LOVES THOSE WHO RELY UPON HIM. TRUST IN ALLAH AFTER TAKING THE DECISION
Allah our Creator loves that we put our trust in Him even though we prepare all the means.
“So by mercy from Allāh, [O Muḥammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allāh. Indeed, Allāh loves those who rely [upon Him].
If Allah helps you, none can defeat you. But if He denies you help, then who else can help you? So in Allah let the believers put their trust.”
Sura Ali ‘Imran 3:159-160
ALLAH IS SUFFICIENT MOST POWERFUL FOR THOSE WHO PUT THEIR TRUST IN HIM. HE IS ALL HEARING, ALL KNOWING
Allah (SWT) assures those who put their trust in Him that he is sufficient for them and most powerful – He has power over everything. They do not need to fear anything other than Allah (SWT) once trust has been placed upon Allah (SWT) on any matter for He will protect them without doubt. He is the Almighty and Wise.
“And when they have [nearly] fulfilled their term, either retain them according to acceptable terms or part with them according to acceptable terms. And bring to witness two just men from among you and establish the testimony for [the acceptance of] Allah. That is instructed to whoever should believe in Allah and the Last Day. And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out.
And will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent.”
Sura At Talaq 65:2-3
“Say, “Never will we be struck except by what Allāh has decreed for us; He is our protector.” And upon Allāh let the believers rely.”
Sura Tauba 9:51
“Remember when the hypocrites and those with sickness in their hearts said, “These ˹believers˺ are deluded by their faith.” But whoever puts their trust in Allah, surely Allah is Almighty, All-Wise.”
Sura Al-Anfal 49
“Put your trust in the Ever-Living, Who never dies, and glorify His praises. Sufficient is He as All-Aware of the sins of His servants.
He is the One Who created the heavens and the earth and everything in between in six Days, then established Himself on the Throne. He is the Most Compassionate! Ask none other than the All-Knowledgeable about Himself.”
Sura Al-Furqan 58-59
“But if they disobey you, say, “I am certainly free of what you do.”
Put your trust in the Almighty, Most Merciful,
Who sees you when you rise for prayer at night,
as well as your movements in prayer along with fellow worshippers.
He alone is indeed the All-Hearing, All-Knowing.”
Sura Ash-Shu’ara 216-220
“And they say, “We obey,” but when they leave you, a group of them would spend the night contradicting what they said. Allah records all their schemes. So turn away from them, and put your trust in Allah. And Allah is sufficient as a Trustee of Affairs.”
Sura An Nisaa 81
“If the enemy is inclined towards peace, make peace with them. And put your trust in Allah. Indeed, He alone is the All-Hearing, All-Knowing.”
Sura Al-Anfal 61
“But if they turn away, then say, O Prophet, “Allah is sufficient for me. There is no god worthy of worship except Him. In Him I put my trust. And He is the Lord of the Mighty Throne.”
Sura At-Tawbah 129
TAWAKKUL IS A QUALITY OF A BELIEVER AND OBLIGATORY UPON BELIEVERS WHICH WILL EVENTUALLY LEAD THEM TO JANNAH
“The believers are only those who, when Allāh 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 –“
Sura Al Anfal 2
“O you who have believed, remember the favor of Allāh upon you when a people determined to extend their hands [in aggression] against you, but He withheld their hands from you; and fear Allāh. And upon Allāh let the believers rely.”
Sura Al Maidah 11
“Said two men from those who feared [to disobey] upon whom Allāh had bestowed favor, “Enter upon them through the gate, for when you have entered it, you will be predominant.1 And upon Allāh rely, if you should be believers.””
Sura Al Maidah 23
“And those who have believed and done righteous deeds – We will surely assign to them of Paradise [elevated] chambers beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide eternally. Excellent is the reward of the [righteous] workers
Who have been patient and upon their Lord rely.
And how many a creature carries not its [own] provision. Allāh provides for it and for you. And He is the Hearing, the Knowing.”
Sura Al Ankabut 58-60
“Allāh – there is no deity except Him. And upon Allāh let the believers rely.”
Sura At Taghabun 13
Private conversation is only from Satan that he may grieve those who have believed, but he will not harm them at all except by permission of Allāh. And upon Allāh let the believers rely.
Sura Al Mujadala 10
“And why should we not rely upon Allāh while He has guided us to our [good] ways. And we will surely be patient against whatever harm you should cause us. And upon Allāh let those who would rely [indeed] rely.”” Sura Ibrahim 14:12
“And rely upon the Ever-Living who does not die, and exalt [Allāh] with His praise. And sufficient is He to be, with the sins of His servants, [fully] Aware” – Sura Furqan 25:58
“But if they turn away, [O Muḥammad], say, “Sufficient for me is Allāh; there is no deity except Him. On Him I have relied, and He is the Lord of the Great Throne.”” Sura At-Tawbah 9:129
“Said two men from those who feared [to disobey] upon whom Allāh had bestowed favor, “Enter upon them through the gate, for when you have entered it, you will be predominant.1 And upon Allāh rely, if you should be believers.”” Sura Al-Ma’idah 5:23
“And do not obey the disbelievers and the hypocrites and disregard their annoyance, and rely upon Allāh. And sufficient is Allāh as Disposer of affairs.” Sura Ahzab 33:48
“So whatever thing you have been given – it is but [for] enjoyment of the worldly life. But what is with Allāh is better and more lasting for those who have believed and upon their Lord rely”
Sura Ash Shuraa 42:36
“When two parties among you were about to lose courage, but Allāh was their ally; and upon Allāh the believers should rely.”
Sura Ali ‘Imran 3:122
“We would have invented against Allāh a lie if we returned to your religion after Allāh had saved us from it. And it is not for us to return to it except that Allāh, our Lord, should will. Our Lord has encompassed all things in knowledge. Upon Allāh we have relied. Our Lord, decide between us and our people in truth, and You are the best of those who give decision.””
From Tafsir Ibn Kathir of the above ayah, “(In Allah (Alone) we put our trust. ), concerning all our affairs, what we practice of them and what we ignore,”
Sura Al-A’raf 7:89
INSTRUCTION FROM PROPHET TO PUT TRUST IN ALLAH, BELIEVERS PUT THEIR TRUST IN HIM
“Moses said, “O my people! If you do believe in Allah and submit ˹to His Will˺, then put your trust in Him.””
“They replied, “In Allah we trust. Our Lord! Do not subject us to the persecution of the oppressive people,”
Sura Yunus 84-85
From Tafhimul Qur’an (Syed Abul Ala Moududi) for the tafsir of the above ayah, “He meant to urge them to be brave, saying: If you are true Muslims, as you profess to be, do not fear the might of Pharaoh but put your trust in the might of Allah.”
SATAN HAS NO POWER OVER A PERSON IF THEY PUT THEIR TRUST IN HIM
“When you recite the Quran, seek refuge with Allah from Satan, the accursed.”
“He certainly has no authority over those who believe and put their trust in their Lord.”
“His authority is only over those who take him as a patron and who—under his influence—associate ˹others˺ with Allah ˹in worship˺.”
In Ma’ariful Qur’an, Mufti Muhammad Shafi explains, “The way of Faith and Trust in Allah is the way of freedom from the power and control of the Shaitan. Verses 99 and 100 make it clear that Allah (SWT) has not given the Shaitan the kind of power which would disarm any human being and compel him to become helpless and take to evil. So, should one opt for not using his capability of choice and control because of sheer carelessness or some selfish motive, then, this would be his own fault. Therefore, it was said that people who have faith in Allah and who, rather than trust their will power in their states and actions, place their ultimate trust in Allah Ta’ ala for He is the One who gives us the ability to do everything good and also the One who shields us from everything evil.”
Sura An-Nahl 98-100
THE PROPHETS PUT THEIR TRUST IN HIM
“I have put my trust in Allah—my Lord and your Lord. There is no living creature that is not completely under His control. Surely my Lord’s Way is perfect justice.”
“But if you turn away, I have already delivered to you what I have been sent with. My Lord will replace you with others. You are not harming Him in the least. Indeed, my Lord is a ˹vigilant˺ Keeper over all things.””
Sura Hud 56-57
“Our Lord, upon You we have relied, and to You we have returned, and to You is the destination.”
Sura Al Mumtahanah 4
TRUE MEANING OF TAWAKKUL
Anas ibn Malik reported: A man said, “O Messenger of Allah, should I tie my camel and trust in Allah, or should I leave her untied and trust in Allah?” The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Tie her and trust in Allah.” Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2517 Grade: Hasan (fair) according to Al-Albani
DO TAWAKKUL UPON ALLAH, HE WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU
Umar ibn al-Khattab reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “If you were to rely upon Allah with reliance due to Him, He would provide for you just as He provides for the birds. They go out in the morning with empty stomachs and return full.” Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2344 Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Tirmidhi
SCHOLARS SAYING ABOUT TAWAKKUL
“Reliance [on Allah] without the presence of the necessary [material] means in complete futility [in other words, we should not expect Allah to do miracles for us. Rather, we should expend our energies toward our objectives, then rely on Allah to take care of the things we cannot control and the flaws in our work that we cannot recognize or correct.]
The Sayings of Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah p.248
DU’A FOR TAWAKKUL
- HASBUNALLAH WA NI’MAL WAKEEL
Those to whom people [i.e., hypocrites] said, “Indeed, the people have gathered against you, so fear them.” But it [merely] increased them in faith, and they said, “Sufficient for us is Allāh, and [He is] the best Disposer of affairs.”
Sura Ali ‘Imran 173
- ALLAH IS SUFFICIENT FOR ME
حَسْبِيَ اللَّهُ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ وَهُوَ رَبُّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ
“Sufficient for me is Allah there is nothing worthy of worship except for Him, I place my trust in Him, He is the Lord of the mighty throne.” Sunan Abi Dawud 5081
- DUA FOR TAWAKKUL WHEN LEAVING THE HOUSE
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ تَوَكَّلْـتُ عَلَى اللَّهِ، وَلاَ حَوْلَ وَلاَ قُـوَّةَ إِلاَّ بِاللَّهِ.
In the name of Allah, I place my trust in Allah, and there is no might nor power except with Allah.
Abu Dawud 4:325, At-Tirmidhi 5:490
When a man leaves his house and says the above du’a ‘In the name of Allah, I put my trust in Allah, and there is no power and not strength except with Allah’, it is said: ‘You have been guided, taken care of and protected,’ and the devils turn away from him. And another devil says to him: ‘What you can do with a man who has been guided, taken care of and protected?’” At-Tirmidhi 3423
- DU’A AT TAHAJJUD TIME: I RELY UPON ALLAH
The Tahajjud Prayer at night
Narrated Ibn `Abbas:
When the Prophet (ﷺ) got up at night to offer the Tahajjud prayer, he used to say: (O Allah! All the praises are for you, You are the Holder of the Heavens and the Earth, And whatever is in them. All the praises are for You; You have the possession of the Heavens and the Earth And whatever is in them. All the praises are for You; You are the Light of the Heavens and the Earth And all the praises are for You; You are the King of the Heavens and the Earth; And all the praises are for You; You are the Truth and Your Promise is the truth, And to meet You is true, Your Word is the truth And Paradise is true And Hell is true And all the Prophets (Peace be upon them) are true; And Muhammad is true, And the Day of Resurrection is true. O Allah ! I surrender (my will) to You; I believe in You and depend on You. And repent to You, And with Your help I argue (with my opponents, the non-believers) And I take You as a judge (to judge between us). Please forgive me my previous And future sins; And whatever I concealed or revealed And You are the One who make (some people) forward And (some) backward. There is none to be worshipped but you . Sufyan said that `Abdul Karim Abu Umaiya added to the above, ‘Wala haula Wala quwata illa billah’ (There is neither might nor power except with Allah).
Reference : Sahih al-Bukhari 1120
And Allah knows best.