Like the Heart of A Bird
Author: Husni Ridho (Student at Ma’had Ali Al-Imam Asy-Syafii Jember)
Narrated from Abu Huraira -may Allah be pleased with him-, from the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him-, he said, “A group of people will enter the Paradise, whose hearts are like the heart of a bird.” (Narrated by Muslim). He meant that it resembles the heart of a bird in realizing tawakkal (self-relience to Allah).
But what is the heart of a bird like? This parable is explained in a hadith from Umar Ibn Khattab -may Allah be pleased with him-, in which he heard the Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah said, ‘If you all put your trust in Allah with due reliance, He will certainly give you provision as He supplies provisions to birds who get up hungry in the morning and return with full belly at dusk.(In Shahih Tirmidhi, he commented about the hadith as “good and/or valid”).
Ibn Rajab -may Allah have mercy on him- commented about this hadith in his book “Jami’ul ‘Ulum wal Hikam”, “This hadith is one of the basic religious texts that deal with putting trust in Allah which is the greatest reason for attaining Allah’s provisions.”
Therefore, we never heard that there is a bird that is troubled in obtaining its provision tries to smack his head onto the power pole. It never happens to birds, but it does happen to humans, even becomes a common view in broadcasted news or mass media.
In fact, to realize the true reliance in Allah, putting trust in him, is not a easy deal, since it is a great worship by heart, and the source of goodness. It gives way to various kind of hearts worship. Furthermore, the core of this religion is to put your trust in Allah and return to Him. Allah the exalted declared, “You alone do we worship and You alone do we turn to for help.” (chapter Al Fatihah/The Opener:5). Putting trust in Allah is the turning for Allah’s help, and inabah or returning to Him is a worship.
Our loss of many kinds of goodnesses, our missing many great deeds, the low quality of our worship – due to its stripping of love, hope, and fear – is because of we’re still far away from realizing the essence of putting our trust in Allah. Moreover, fears and anxieties that befall upon some of the muslims are caused by their lacking of this trait inside their hearts.
Here are a few quotations from scholarly sayings regarding definition and essence of putting our trust in Allah. May this little writing – with Allah’s guidance – help us to realize it. Amin.
Definition of Tawakkal
Imam Ibn Rajab – may Allah have mercy on him- said, “Putting trust in Allah means that one devotes his heart to Allah in order to attain interests and protect him from evils as far as the affairs of this world and the Hereafter are concerned One should be quite sure that Allah Alone gives or abstains from giving and benefits or causes harm. .”
Sheikh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen -may Allah have mercy on him- said, “Putting trust in Allah is relying the solvency of every problems on Allah, in attaining what one seeks and rejecting anything he dislikes, together with a full trust in Allah the Exalted in carrying out the causes (it is an affort and activity done in order to achieve the intended goal) that is allowed in shari’a.
Putting your trust on Allah alone
Allah the Exalted ordered His slaves to put their trust and rely on Him alone, in many of His decrees. Among which are, “And put your trust in Allah if indeed you are people of faith.” (Chapter Al Maida/The Table Spread: 23). “Whoever puts his trust in Allah, He shall suffice him.” (Chapter Ath Tholaq/The Divorce :3).
The Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said, “Seventy thousands people among my followers will enter the paradise without reckoning…. ‘Those people are those who do not treat themselves with Ruqyah, nor do they believe in bad or good omen (from birds etc.), nor do they get themselves branded (cauterized), but they put their trust (only) in their Lord.'” (Narrated by Muslim).
Putting trust in Allah is required for someone’s claim of Islam and faith to be considered as valid. Allah the Exalted decreed, “Put your trust in Allah, if you truly are believers.” And in another verse, Allah the Exalted declared, ” Moses said: “My people! If you believe in Allah and are truly Muslims then place your reliance on Him alone.” (chapter Yunus/Jonah:84)
Thus, putting trust in Allah is a great kind of worship; it is purely the worship of a heart, and therefore, practicing monotheism in it is compulsory, and whoever devotes it to other than Allah has committed shirk. We seek Allah’s protection from it.
“Indeed, we couldn’t escape from Him even for a blink of an eye. If we rely on ourselves, it means that we’ve surrender ourselves to a lowly weakness that is defective from various sides, with mistakes and wrongdoings. And if we rely on other people, it means that we’ve entrusted ourselves to those who is totally unable to invoke harms nor benefits, and to kill or to revive, to resurrect and recollect.” That is the quote from Ibn al Qayyim’s words -may Allah have mercy on him- in his book, “al fawaid”. Hence, put your trust in Allah, O slaves of Allah, put your trust in He, Who has all affairs in His hand, and Who has everything.
Putting Trust in Anyone beside Allah
There are three conditions in which a person put his trust in anyone or anything beside Allah:
1). One that is considered as major shirk. It is when a person out his trust in anyone beside Allah the Exalted, in matters that only He alone is able to do, and no one or nothing else could. For example: a person put his trust in creatures/wali in attaining good or putting his trust on creature by heart, to have a child or a job, whereas the creature itself is unable to fulfill his wish.
2). One that is considered as minor shirk. That is when a person put his trust in other than Allah in matters that Allah the Exalted has given the ability to it to fulfill the wish. For example: when a wife puts her trust in her husband in fulfilling her daily needs (Warning; eventhough it is just a minor shirk, but one who commits it is still threatened with hell until he repent.)
3). The allowed one, that is when a person puts his trust in other than Allah, but in the context of delegating his affair to other without relying his heart on him. For example: handing over management of a company to a manager, such as when the Messenger of Allah – peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- deputed Ali -may Allah be pleased with him- to slaughter his offering animal and deputed Abu Huraira -may Allah be pleased with him- to manage the affair of alms.
How to Bring Tawakkal into Our Life
“Putting trust in Allah the Exalted is a kind of worship that is demanded from a believer. Its strength comes from the person’s understanding of rububiyya of Allah the Exalted and his deep faith of His Oneness in it. Hence, to bring it to life inside our hearts, we need to ponder more about the traces of the rububiyya of Allah the Exalted. The more a slave ponder and observe the traces of Allah’s power and His kingdom on skies and on earth, the deeper his knowledge of how Allah is the Sole Owner of the kingdom of heavens and earths, and that He alone Who rules and runs it, and that Allah’s aid to His slave is something much more easier than ruling this universe, the stronger his exaltation toward Him will be, and the stronger his trust in Allah the Exalted will be; thus, he’ll honor His order (by carrying it out) and honor His prohibition (by avoiding it), and he’ll also believe that nothing could weaken Him and nothing is difficult for Him. “”Whoever puts his trust in Allah, He shall suffice him.” (Chapter Ath Tholaq/The Divorce :3).” This is the explanation of Sheikh Shalih Alu Shaikh in his book, titled “at-tamhid syarah kitab tauhid.” And Allah knows best.
Because if a slave recognize the Oneness of Allah, in deflecting harms and in benefiting, in giving and preventing, in creating and bestowing provision, in reviving and taking away life (all is the property of rububiyya of Allah), that knowledge will result in him putting his trust in Allah alone – inwardly -, and consequently, the impact will be seen outwardly.
Putting your trust in Allah is not Surrendering!
Sometimes people mistaking the meaning of putting trust in Allah as total acceptance of his condition without any effort to change it. However, we ought to know that putting trust in Allah doesn’t mean abandoning attempt or seeking for causes, since doing it is a what perfecting that trust. But we are not allowed to rely solely on the cause. Sheikh al Islam Abul Abbas -may Allah have mercy on him- said, “Abandoning causes is a disgrace to shari’a and relying on it is shirk.” His student, Syamsuddin Abu Abdillah -may Allah have mercy on him- said, “The severest transgression of shari’a is abandoning causes, assuming that doing causes invalidate putting trust in Allah.”
The other scholar said, “Depending on causes is a disgrace to putting trust in Allah and His Oneness, whereas abandoning it is a disgrace to shari’a and Allah’s wisdom.” since Allah has created everything based on causes and result. Thus we say, “Putting trust in Allah must fulfill two requirements; first is to concede all matters to Allah the Exalted, Who has every matter in His hand. Second, it is not allowed to rely on causes.
The heart and soul totally rely on Allah the Exalted, whereas the body parts carry out the causes. Hence it is known that putting trust in Allah is purely the heart’s worship; whoever gives it to other than Allah, has committed shirk, although he believes that Allah the Exalted alone Who created everything and provided provision.
The following hadith further clarifies this meaning: From Umar Ibn Khattab -may Allah be pleased with him-, (he said that) the Messenger of Allah – peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said, “If you all put your trust in Allah with due reliance, He will certainly give you provision as He supplies provisions to birds who get up hungry in the morning and return with full belly at dusk.” (See: Shahih At Tirmidhi).
Birds put its trust in Allah by flying out of its nest, seeking for foods, thus Allah ensures its provision by giving it foods. Those birds are not just lying on its nest, waiting for foods to come, but fly far and away to find foods for itself and its chicks.
Know that the Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- is the person who trust Allah the most, but he still did some works. At the time of the battle of Uhud, he went out wearing two armors, when he emigrated to Medina, he hired a guide to show him the way, and he also took shelter from heat and cold, but those efforts do not lessen his trust in Allah the Exalted.
Thus, doing causes that is allowed in shari’a shows the perfection and strength of trust in Allah, and abandoning it shows foolishness regarding shari’a. Whoever reads the stories of the prophets, particularly our prophet Muhammad -peace snd prayer of Allah be upon him- and his companions will see that they were people who trust Allah the most, but they also carried out causes and believed that it is a part of a perfect trust in Allah.