Trust in Allah and Submission
Two important indicators of faith are trust in Allah and submission to Him. Between a believer and a non-believer, these draw the ultimate distinguishing line.
An unbeliever perceives the whole world as being in a state of chaos. He assumes that he owes his existence to pure “coincidence.” According to him, the happenings around him also take place by pure coincidence. Such a point of view is, however, detrimental to the mental well-being of a person; he feels insecure and never trusts anyone. Nothing eases his fears for the future. He spends long hours planning ahead. Hundreds, even thousands of independent factors work to turn his life into one of sheer disappointment. He feels feeble; he may at any time develop an incurable disease. Something unexpected may happen one day and he may lose his job or someone he loves. Believing these incidents to occur at random, he feels consternation at every such event. This means worshipping hundreds of independent factors as gods. In Qur’anic terms, the fearing or trusting of anything implies taking it as a god besides Allah. A believer, on the contrary, conceives the essence of this world; that Allah holds control over every living thing and nothing occurs without His permission and knowledge. This fact, enunciated in such verses as “...There is not a moving creature, but He has a grasp of its fore-lock...”(Hud,56) and “To Him belongs every being that is in the heavens and on earth: all are devoutly obedient to Him.”(Ar-Rum, 26)is only conceivable by “those who by tokens understand.” (Al-Hijr, 75)
A believer is fundamentally assured of the fact that “Allah regulates all affairs.” (Ar- Rad, 2). He is well aware that all the incidents which puncutuate his life are predestined. That is why he never reckons an incident to be an “unfortunate” one. Though it may seem to be “unfortunate” it essentially implies goodness. First of all, nothing is futile in Allah’s creation. Whatever the events affecting the life of a believer,they are definitely designed to bring goodness to him. Even if an event seems outwardly to be an unfortunate one, a believer should persevere and put his trust in Allah. Ultimately, Allah will turn it to the good.
In his arduous struggle, a believer finds relief and peace in this cast of mind. When we consult the Qur’an, we see that all messengers and their followers met with extremely adverse and seemingly “unfortunate” incidents. Almost all unbelievers were oppressed, threatened, assaulted, tortured, insulted, and some even were killed. Yet, nothing daunted them; not even the strongest tempest of adversity and the mightiest of armies. They stood firm and strong, never giving up in their resolution. The essence of such an attitude lies solely in the consciousness a believer builds; that everything is created by Allah and, accordingly, is destined to bring goodness. Believers are well aware of the fact that Allah always provides guidance to believers and surely places no burden on any soul that it cannot bear. In the Qur’an hundreds of verses call for trust and submission in Allah:
Say: “Nothing will happen to us except what Allah has decreed for us: He is our protector. In Allah let the believers put their trust.”(Al-Tawba, 51)
The word in Arabic used for “trust in Allah” is “tewekkul”, which means “taking as guardian and helper”. However, unlike its common usage, the word has a totally different connotation in the Qur’an. Ordinarily, its meaning is perceived as “doing one’s best about a situation and then putting the rest in the care of Allah”. But the concept of “taking as guardian and helper” conveys rather more than this. It means leaving the entire course of events and their consequences in Allah’s change.
At this point, we must avoid an essential misconception: putting the course of events in the care of Allah in no way means avoidance of becoming involved in daily affairs. On the contrary, a believer deals with every stage of a problem or event, shouldering all responsibilities. Indeed, the true meaning of “trust in Allah” lies in being totally aware that everything we experience and everything we do takes place under Allah’s control; that is why believers take the initiative in anything they undertake by “taking Him as a guardian and helper.”
The prayers of the prophets recounted in the Qur’an instruct us about the significance of this subject. In the Surat’Al-Naml, the Prophet Solomon says: “O my Lord! Order me, so that I may be grateful for Your favours, which you have bestowed on me and on my parents, and so that I may do the good works that will please You. And admit me, by Your Grace, to the ranks of Your righteous servants.” (Al-Naml, 19). This prayer explicitly reveals that Solomon is aware that he can perform his tasks only if Allah so wills and asks Him to give His approval when he becomes committed to action.
This is actually the rationale lying behind “trust in Allah.” A believer is well aware that both the external world and his soul are entities completely under the control of Allah. Accordingly, he submits himself—his soul—to His Almighty Creator. Consequently, a believer becomes exceedingly brave; so brave as to challenge the whole world all alone yet calm and confident as if there were no besetting dangers. The kind of attitude a believer shows in times of trouble and difficulty is described in many stories of the Qur’an. That of the Prophet Noah is one of them:
Relate to them the story of Noah. He said to his people: “O my people, if it offends you that I should stay with you and commemorate the signs of Allah, in Allah have I put my trust.So, muster all your idols and decide upon your course of action. Do not intrigue in secret.Then pass your sentence on me, and give me no respite.If you turn back, I asked of you no recompense; my reward is only with Allah, and I have been commanded to be of those who submit to Allah's will (in Islam). (Jonah, 71-72)
Shu’aib, too, assumed the same attitude towards his people:
He said: “O my people! If I have a clear sign from my Lord, and He has given me sustenance pure and good as from Himself should I not guide you? I do not wish, in opposition to you, to do that which I forbid you to do. I only desire (your) betterment to the best of my ability and my success (in my task) can come only from Allah. In Him I trust, and Him I turn in repentance.(Hud, 88)
In many other verses in the Qur’an, trust in Allah and the perseverance the believers display is likewise stressed:
But if they turn away, say: “Allah suffices to me: there is no god but He: in Him I put my trust. He the Supreme Lord of the throne of glory!” (Al-Tawba, 129)
The person who trusts in Allah and takes Him as guardian and protector should be well aware of the fact that there is nobody else to trust in and take as a guardian. Nothing troubles a believer as long as he prays to Allah, and trusts in Him. By the will of Allah, events will proceed and end in the best possible way for a believer. As it says in the Qur’an:“
Put your trust in Allah, and Allah is All-sufficient as a Disposer of affairs.” (Al-Ahzap, 3)
In another verse it is related as follows:
...And for those who fear Allah, He will always find a means of salvation, and will provide for them from sources they could never imagine. And if anyone puts his trust in Allah, He is all sufficient for him. For Allah will surely accomplish his purpose: indeed, for all things Allah has appointed a due proportion. (At-Talaq, 2-3)
Unless Allah permits, nobody can do harm to the believers. Nobody can kill a man unless Allah wills. It is only Allah who can take away life. Hence, it is pointless to feel fear for any being except Allah. The Qur’an repeatedly reminds believers of this fact:
Secret counsels are only inspired by the Evil One, in order that he may cause grief to the believers; but he cannot harm them in the least, except as Allah permits; in Allah let the believers put their trust. (Al-Mujadila, 10)
One who trusts in and submits to Allah, and who takes Allah as the true guardian and helper is saved from the temptations of satan. In the Qur’an this is expressed in the verse: “No authority has Satan over those who believe and put their trust in their Lord.” (An-Nahl, 99). Those attaining the benevolence of Allah in the hereafter will be the ones who put their trust in Allah and submit to Him.
Whatever you are given here is (but) a convenience of this life: but that which is with Allah is better and more lasting: it is for those who believe and put their trust in their Lord.(Ash-Shura, 36)
There is nobody but Allah to whom one can always turn for help, guidance and mercy. Jacob says “...None can command except Allah: in Him I put my trust: and let all who are faithful put their trust in Him.” (Joseph, 67) There is no god except Allah, so He is the only protector and guardian.
Allah! There is no god but He: and in Allah, therefore, let the believers put their trust.(At-Taghabun, 13)