Meaning of tawakkul


“Having faith in God Almighty does not imply that one should forgo taking measures (tadbir), but rather, it means that after taking all necessary measures, one should then entrust the outcome to God Almighty. This act of entrusting is known as ‘tawakkul’. If someone refrains from making efforts and solely relies on tawakkul, then such trust is empty (meaning it holds no substance). Likewise, if one exclusively depends on efforts and does not place his trust in God Almighty, then such effort, too, is hollow (lacking substance). Once, a man was mounted on a camel, and, upon seeing the Holy Prophetsa, he dismounted out of respect. Instead of using measures, he decided solely to trust [in God] and did not tether his camel. Upon returning from his meeting with the Holy Prophetsa, he found his camel missing. He approached the Holy Prophetsa and lamented, ‘I placed my trust [in Allah], but my camel has gone astray.’ The Holy Prophetsa responded, ‘You erred. You should have first tethered your camel and then placed your trust [in Allah].’”

(Al Badr, 1 March 1904; Malfuzat [1988], Vol. 3, p. 566)

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