Tawakkul as a substitute for supplication
Fatwa from Permanent Commitee
Q 2: does Tawakkul (putting one’s trust in Allah) negate du`a’ (supplication)? That is to say, “Can a Muslim slave put his trust in Allah without performing Du`a’ citing this Hadith Qudsy (Revelation from Allah in the Prophet’s words) which says “Whoever is occupied with My Dhikr rather than seeking My Grace, I shall give him/her the best I give to the seekers.” What is meant by “My Dhikr”? Does it mean the Holy Qur’an? And what is meant by “seeking My Grace”? The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, Whoever does not ask Allah,surely Allah will be angry with him.
That is what is meant by this Hadith. My question is, “Can we combine Du`a’ with Tawakkul? Actually, I have been confused between the Hadith Qudsy and the Prophetic Hadith mentioned above. What is deemed preferable, asking Allah or being busy with Dhikr rather than asking Him?
A: First of all, This Hadith is related by Al-Tirmidhy in His Jami`, on the authority of Muhammad ibn Al-Hasan ibn Abu Yazid Al-Hamadany from `Amr ibn Qays from `Atiyyah from Abu Sa`id Al-Khudry who reported Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) as saying, Allah (Glory be to Him) says, “Whoever is occupied with the Qur’an rather than remembering Me and seeking My Grace, I shall give him/her the best I give to the seekers. Indeed, the superiority of Allah’s Word over that of man is to equal to His superiority over His creation. This Hadith is Da`if (a Hadith that fails to reach the status of Hasan, due to a weakness in the chain of narration or one of the narrators) as the chain of its narrators includes `Atiyyah Al-`Awfy and Muhammad ibn Al-Hasan ibn Abu Yazid, who are considered as weak narrators.
Imam Abu Hatim Al-Razy said, “This is a Hadith Munkar (rejected Hadith reported by a weak narrator whose narration conflicts with an authentic Hadith).” Al-Hafizh Al-Dhahaby said, “Al-Tirmidhy tried to raise it to the rank of Hasan, but it is not considered as Hadith Hasan.” The Hadith was also related by Al-Darimy in his Sunan and Al-Tabarany in his book “The Du`a’ (supplication)” and Al-Bayhaqy in Al-Asma’ wa Al-Sifat (Allah’s Names and Attributes). It was also mentioned by Ibn Al-Jawzy in “Al Mawdu`at” (fabricated Hadith); Allah knows best.
Secondly, Many texts in the Qur’an and Sunnah have recommended Du`a’ urging its performance to the extent of describing it as the core of worship. Allah (may He be Exalted) said, Surah Al-Baqarah, 2: 186 And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright. Allah (may He be Praised) also said,Surah Ghafir, 40: 60 And your Lord said: “Invoke Me, [i.e. believe in My Oneness (Islâmic Monotheism) and ask Me for anything] I will respond to your (invocation). Verily, those who scorn My worship [i.e. do not invoke Me, and do not believe in My Oneness, (Islâmic Monotheism)] they will surely enter Hell in humiliation!” In addition, there are many other relevant Qur’anic verses. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, Du`a’ (Supplication) is itself the worship. Related by As-hab-ul-Sunan (authors of Hadith compilations classified by jurisprudential themes) through an authentic Sanad (chain of narration). Du`a’ is not in conflict with Tawakkul, as the former denotes application of the means. Whoever thinks that Tawakkul means deserting Du`a’ is fabricating lies against Shari`ah, the same as the one who thinks that Tawakkul can be a substitute for the application of the means, like selling, purchasing, cultivating in addition to other means. What is lawful for every Muslim is combining Tawwakul with pursuing the rightful and permissible means. In Allah Alone we seek help.
May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions!
Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’