Question:

Please explain this Hadeeth so that we have a correct understanding of it: لو أنكم كنتم توكلون على الله حق توكله لرزقكم كما يرزق الطير تغدو خماصا وتروح بطانا “Were you to depend upon Allaah with true dependence, He would have provided for you like He provides for the bird; early in the morning he leaves hungry, but returns at the end of the day with a full stomach.”

Answer:

The Hadeeth from ‘Umar, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Prophet (sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) said:

لو أنكم كنتم توكلون على الله حق توكله لرزقكم كما يرزق الطير تغدو خماصا وتروح بطانا

“Were you to depend upon Allaah with true dependence, He would have provided for you like He provides for the bird; early in the morning he leaves hungry, but returns at the end of the day with a full stomach.” (At-Tirmithi no. 2344, Ibn Majah no.4I64, Ahmad 1/30,52, Ibn Hibban no. 2548 and Al-Hakim 4/318)

was recorded by Imam Ahmad, At-Tirmithi, An-Nisa’i, Ibn Majah, Ibn Hibban, and Al-Hakim, and At-Tirmithi said, “This Hadeeth is Hasan Sahih.”

The (Arabic) word (in the Hadeeth is) “Tawakkul,” means to depend sincerely in one’s heart upon Allaah Almighty, for bringing blessings and warding off harms, for this world and the Hereafter. If people were to sincerely trust and depend upon Allaah to bring them that which benefits them and to keep away that which harms them, and if they take reasonable, practical steps themselves, Allaah will send their provision to them by the simplest of means. Just as Allaah Almighty gives the bird provision when it simply leaves in the morning, seeking its sustenance, and returns at the end of the day. Yes, it does go out to search, but it is an easy effort. Tawakkul in reality does not deny actually working and striving for provision, for Allaah Almighty has decreed that we should work and it is from His ways that he gives people when they strive. In fact, Allaah Almighty ordered us to both depend upon Him and to work, to take the necessary steps needed to achieve our goals, and so the act of striving for our sustenance is an act of physical worship while trusting and depending upon Allaah is faith in Him. He said:

وَعلَى اللّهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ

“And in Allaah let believers put their Trust” [Ibrahim 14:11]

He made Tawakkul like Taqwa which is to establish the means that have been ordered, while depending upon Allaah. Dependence without working and striving is mere impotence, even though, when one does this, he may appear to depend on Allaah to a certain degree. No one, then, should transform his trust into mere impotence and weakness. One should rather deem his trust in Allaah to be like working and striving: it is one of the necessary steps one must take to achieve his goal.

And with Allaah is the facilitation to do what is right. May Allaah send peace and blessings upon Muhammad, his family, and his Companions

Permanent Committee for Research and Verdicts
Fatawa Islamiyah, Vol. 7, Pages 172-174, DARUSSALAM

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