Tawakkul is the belief that God is over all things competent, that He is the one upon whom we should rely. It is a deep trust that God has not abandoned you even in your darkest hour. It is not only trusting God but also thinking well of Him and believing that no matter how beautiful or bitter life can be, if we trust Him, the result will be good for us.
The Quran is full of advice to trust God:
And put your trust in Allah, if you are believers indeed. (Quran 5:23)
But sufficient is your Lord as a Guide and Helper. (Quran 25: 31)
Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us. (Quran 9:51)
Who can we trust more than God The Ever-living, The Creator, Sustainer, The All-capable? But how can we know if we truly trust God? Take the test.
1- Do you trust God when facing hardship?
Verily with hardship, there is relief. (Quran 96:6)
2- Do you remember God when things are going so well?
Remember Me, by praying, glorifying, and I will remember you. (Quran 2:152)
3- Do you remind yourself of God’s ultimate knowledge when you suffer loss?
[…] it may be that you hate something when it is good for you and it may be that you love something when it is bad for you. Allah knows and you do not know. (Quran 2:216)
4- Do you trust that your dua (supplication) will be answered in one way or another?
There is no human who prays to Allah and supplicate to Him, and doesn’t receive a response. Either it will be hastened for him in this world, or stored up for him in hereafter, as long as he doesn’t pray for something sinful, or cut the ties of kinship, or seek a speedy response.
The companions said:
“O Messenger of Allah, what does seeking a speedy response means?”
(by saying) I have prayed to my Lord but He didn’t reply it. (At-Tirmidhi)
5- When you make dua, are you patient with God’s timing?
The supplication of every one of you is granted if he does not grow impatient and says: I supplicated but it was not granted. (Muslim, 2735)
6- When things get tough, is your first thought to turn to God?
O you who believe! Seek help in patience and the Prayer. (Quran 2:153)
7- Do you have hope in Allah’s (SWT) forgiveness?
Allah is happier when a servant of His repents to Him than a man who was on his camel in a waterless desert and the camel escaped from him with his food and water. When he has lost hope of finding it, he retired to a tree and lied down under its shade. As he was there, the camel suddenly appeared in front of him. He took hold of its halter and said in his state of excessive joy: ‘O my Lord You are my servant and I am Your Lord.’ He uttered this erroneous statement as a result of his being overjoyed. (Muslim)
8- Do you believe that God has given you the tools to get through anything?
One of the great scholars of the 20th century said:
“Taking the means is necessary […] and denying that the […] means […] have intrinsic efficacy is necessary. […] So whoever leaves taking means is denying divine wisdom that there’s a relationship between cause and effect between means and what the means is a means to […] and whoever relies on the means has associated partners with Allah.” (Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Shaghouri)
If you answered “yes” to all the questions above, then you are doing better than most, MashaAllah. Keep up your great work. But if you answered “no” to some or all, don’t fear, God has made it very easy to get back on track:
I am as My servant thinks (expects) I am. I am with him when he mentions Me.
If he mentions Me to himself, I mention him to Myself; and if he mentions Me in an assembly, I mention him in an assembly greater than it. If he draws near to Me a hand’s length, I draw near to him an arm’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.’ (Al-Bukhari)
Just start walking toward God and He will come to you running. And the first step is to change your internal dialogue. If you lack trust in God, remind yourself that there is nothing and no one who is worthier of our utmost trust than Allah (SWT).
[…] Rely upon the Ever-Living who does not die […] (Quran 25: 58)
If you have a hard time with this kind of trust, fake it till you make it. Just go for it! Put your trust in God, be patient, and see the fruits of your trust bloom.
It always helps to look at the examples of those whose trust in God was so great, the outcome was miraculous.
Read Moses’ mother’s story. Read about Maryam, or about Hajar when she was left in the desert with her infant son. Look up the story of Abraham as he was being thrown in the fire by his own people. Study the story of Job.
Many real men and women before us have left us their example to follow. It was no easier for them than it is for us.
Look to these examples and see the outcome for these righteous men and women. Because with extraordinary trust comes extraordinary results.