We’re always finding ourselves concerned about school, money, careers, safety, happiness, finding the “one”, etc. With true reliance and tawakkul (trust) in Allah, all these concerns are diminished.
“And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to him, He will grant them a way out, and will provide for them in ways unimagined. And whoever places their trust in Allah, then Allah is their sufficiency. Allah’s affair will surely come to pass–and Allah has made a clear decree for everything.” [Qur’an, Surat al-Talaq, 65: 2-3]
When the Quran states, “And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to him,” some may ultimately exclude themselves from this category because they assume they have not kept their “duty.” They feel they have done too many bad deeds or one really bad one, and they lose hope. However, one of our duties as Muslims is to ask Allah (SWT) for forgiveness.
One may think, “How can Allah forgive me? My bad actions are too vast.” Adam (SAW), one of our beloved prophets, received a command directly from Allah (SWT) Himself, yet Adam still disobeyed due to the inherited imperfection of a human being. But what was the difference between Allah’s treatment of the disobedience of Adam and the disobedience of Iblis (Shaytan)? The former had asked for forgiveness and the latter did not. If Allah can forgive Adam, what makes you believe He cannot forgive you?
This idea of forgiveness is key because a huge part of tawakkul in Allah is trusting that He will accept your plea for forgiveness; all you have to do is ask.
Remember, Allah is The Most Merciful, and if you do not believe Allah is capable of forgiving you, you are denying this true statement. Allah is also named Al-Wahhab (The Giver of All) and Al-Muhaymin (The Guardian), so when you believe that Allah cannot protect or provide for you; you are denying these statements as well.
“So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me.” [Quran, Surat Al-Baqara, 2:152]
No matter our age, our future is usually our biggest concern, so it is crucial to put our trust in Allah. Having this mindset will help relieve all your stresses and worries. When things don’t go your way, say “Alhamdulillah” because these occurrences are clear examples that we truly do not know what is best for ourselves. It’s even a reminder that Allah (SWT) is right there with you.
Rather than focusing on individual interests like becoming wealthy, gaining social power, etc. to fuel your actions, turn them to the sole purpose of pleasing your Lord. This is achieved by clearing your intentions. For example, if you strive for wealth, you do so with the intention of being capable of giving charity for the sake of Allah (SWT) or to easily provide for your family rather than for the indulgence of materialistic things. If you strive for social power and influence, do so to bring justice and awareness to issues that are being mistreated for the sake of Allah (SWT) rather than for gaining praise from your community. Ignore what society or your culture expects from you; only focus on what Allah (SWT) expects from you. That is how intentions are cleared. You might love to paint, that is the surface (your personal interest), the question is what can you do for the sake of Allah (SWT) with that love? Paint meaningful murals, spreading the message of Islam visually, the possibilities are endless. You might have a passion for teaching, but society is pushing you away because it “isn’t a good paying job” or “it’s undermined” etc. take those negative aspects and have your drive and purpose in the career to be counteracting them. For example, by fighting to raise teacher’s salary through legislation or simply focus on the love you have for guiding students to better futures so that they can make positive changes to the world for the sake of Allah (SWT). Those positive student outcomes could become a continuing add to your list of good deeds until the day of Judgment. Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “When the human being dies, his deeds come to an end except for three: ongoing charity, beneficial knowledge, or a righteous child who prays for him.” When one finds that purpose or intention where they are doing it all ultimately for Allah (SWT), there is no doubt that it can be achieved, because He gives what can be achieved. If it’s not “achieved,” it’s because He knows that something better is waiting for you.
Just keep praying to your Lord, keep asking for forgiveness, and keep going back to Him. Speak to Him; have a conversation with Him. You do not need to know Arabic, or specific duas (prayers)— Allah (SWT) understands everything and everyone. He is the closest One to you. So ask Him to solve calamities, give guidance, give ease, etc., because to His believers, “He will grant them a way out, and will provide for them in ways unimagined.” Just think about that- “in ways unimagined.” Knowing that Allah can provide for you in ways you, as a human, cannot even imagine just shows how infinite the possibilities are. Glory be to God.
This means you get up, you work hard, and you prove to your Creator that you’re willing to strive for what you want that will bring you closer to Him. As the Prophet (SAW) advised “Tie your camel and then put your trust in Allah.” In other words, always plan every plan you can from A to Z, but be content and trust that whatever plan you end up with, that is the plan in which Allah knows is best. This comes with having full reliance in Allah (SWT).
Often, the biggest roadblock of gaining full reliance on Allah (SWT) is the preconceived notion that one doesn’t have the physical means for what one desires, and that one must have that means for the desire to be fulfilled. True reliance is not caring whatsoever about whether the means are available or not, because of the knowledge that all matters are in the hands of Allah. All Allah (SWT) has to say is “Be” and it becomes.
We all know that Allah (SWT) is capable of everything, right? You don’t deny that in words, but you might not realize that you’re denying it with your thoughts and/or actions. Allah (SWT) is the reason your heart is beating at this moment and every moment thereafter. He is closer to you than your jugular vein. He knows, in every moment, the location of every fish in the sea. He created the universe. Just think about this droplet of an infinite sea of capabilities Allah (SWT) has and then ask yourself why you have ever worried.
When you have the most capable deity by your side, you shouldn’t be anything less than stress-free and worry-free. You can’t be anything less than happy and content with all that has occurred to you. You know everything happens for a reason! Even if you stub your toe in a corner you should thank God because just a prick of a finger is Allah forgiving you for sins: Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, “For any adversity a Muslim suffers, Allah erases some of his sins, even though it may be no more than a thorn pricking him.” (Related by Al-Bukhari). Or that occurrence possibly happened to delay you from being a split second away from an accident happening later that day. We don’t really know— but that’s okay. It’s okay to not know because we know that Allah knows. And that’s all we need to know.
There is another hadith presented by Bukhari and Muslim where the Prophet (SAW) mentioned seventy thousand people who will enter paradise without reckoning. He (SAW) said regarding their characteristics “.… they are those who do not ask for incantation, are not pessimistic (or perceive ill-omens), or use cauterisation; they rely totally on Allah (SWT).”
So as Muslims, we are Believers; therefore we are optimists. Let us be of those seventy thousand.