Part I | Part II
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 over.
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.
Many 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)” (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, 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” (9:51).
The Qur’an explains that, “And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him” (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 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.