Do you have a problem that you’re worried about? Have you done the best you possibly could to solve it? But even then, do you still find yourself to be nervous, you heart agitated and anxious? If you have answered all these questions in the affirmative (especially the last one), there’s only one solution available – you need to know Al Wakeel!
But first, let me tell you a story…
Once upon a time, there was a young boy named Ibrahim who lived in a village of idol worshippers. He realized that something created by the people themselves – something that could neither speak nor hear nor think – could never benefit or harm them in any way and therefore, was not deserving of worship. So he rejected the faith of his fellow clansmen and believed in the existence of One God Who is in control of the heavens and the earth and everything in between them. To get his point across to the others, one day, when he was alone and the people had gone away to a festival, he destroyed the idols. Upon return, the villagers realized who the perpetrator was and became enraged on behalf of their gods. So they shunned him and ordered for a furnace to be built to burn him in a fire so fierce that it becomes a lesson for anyone who would dare to defy their gods for all generations to come!
And so the building of the furnace began, with the toil of hundreds of villagers as months flew by. The result was a mighty fire, so hot that it was said that if a bird flew by over it, it would die of the heat of the steam rising from it. And through it all, Ibrahim stayed calm and unwavering in his faith in God’s plans. A trebuchet was built from where young Ibrahim would be catapulted into the fire. Once he was shackled to it and ready to be thrown, the chief of angels called Jibril (as) descended from the heavens to help him! “O Ibrahim, do you have any need?” he asked. Ibrahim’s response, however, was: “Yes, but not from you.” As the villagers gathered around to witness the spectacle and he was flung towards the fire, he said:
حَسْبُنَا اللَّهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيلُ – “Allah (Alone) is Sufficient for us, and He is the best Disposer of affairs (al Wakeel)!”
So the command of God came: يَا نَارُ كُونِي بَرْدًا وَسَلَامًا عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ – “O fire! Be cool and peaceful for Ibrahim!” And Ibrahim (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) emerged from the fire safe and completely unharmed…
Who is al Wakeel?
Al Wakeel, derived from the root وكل which means “to entrust” or “to appoint” or “to rely upon”. So linguistically, a wakeel is someone who you have entrusted *something* of your affairs with, or appointed to be a guardian over something, or relied upon to take care of something on your behalf.
Among the Divine Names that Allah has attributed to Himself in the Qur’an is Al Wakeel. Al Wakeel is The Ultimate Trustee, *The* One who takes care of *all* matters regarding His creations from bringing them into existence by creating them, to guiding them and controlling their affairs and providing for them.
Al Wakeel is also the one who does all of the above with absolute Ihsaan – Perfection, i.e. no one else could do a better job of bringing about the best end result than Al Wakeel, be it in terms of timing or quality or quantity. This means that the one who entrusts Al Wakeel with his affairs, called a mutawakkil, will *never* be let down or disappointed by the end result. Al Wakeel also captures the essence that when He is appointed as Wakeel by someone, He will never delegate the job; rather, He will have absolute control of the affair and will never let go of the mutawakkil.
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Living with Al Wakeel
Suppose you have a critical science project due tomorrow you could use some help with. You might not want to ask your mum to help even though you know she loves you – because she doesn’t have the knowledge needed to help. Your elder brother however has the knowledge but he is busy with his office work: no time. Your neighbor, who’s also a classmate, has both the knowledge and the time but even then, you can’t ask for her help because she is a rival in the competition and at best, doesn’t care if you do well in it or not – you can’t trust her.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala loves you, has your best interests in mind, has the time, and has all the knowledge and capability required to help you – why don’t you take *Him* as your Wakeel? In fact, Allah *urges* the believers in the Qur’an:
“[He is] the Lord of the East and the West; there is no deity except Him, so take Him as your Wakeel (Disposer of affairs).” [Qur’an, 73:9]
“And to Allah belong the unseen [aspects] of the heavens and the earth and to Him will be returned the matter, all of it, so worship Him and rely upon Him.” [Quran, 11:123]
“And put your trust in the Ever-Living One who does not die, and exalt [Allah] with His praise.” [Quran, 25:58]
Notice the fact that Allah ‘azza wa jal associates power and capability prior to mentioning this Name – is your problem greater than the distance between the East and the West? Does any of your other helpers know or control the unseen influences that affect your affair? Can any of your issues outlast Allah – the Ever Living?
Living with the Name Al Wakeel means recognizing in your heart and your actions that Allah is al Muheet (The One who encompasses all things), al Qadeer (the All Powerful), al Hafeedh (the Protector), al Kaafi wal Haseeb (The One who Suffices *completely*). He is the Sustainer Who guarantees provision for His slaves and protects his interests. When a person puts his trust in Him regarding his affairs, He deals with it on his behalf in the most suitable manner as His knowledge and wisdom and power encompasses everything in the Heavens and the Earth.
On one condition, though…
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala promises to each and every single one of His slaves that if you entrust all your affairs to Him, make him your wakeel, He will manage and take care of your affairs so perfectly that you will never have to worry about anything else ever again. Got an exam? You smile through it like you’ve already been graded an A. Got a marriage prospect worrying you? Eh, no big deal at all, as you already know that everything will work out perfectly. Don’t you worry about your children getting mixed up in bad company? No way, al Wakeel is the One who looks over them, of course they are in the best environment possible!
Does this attitude toward life’s struggles sound impossible, perhaps too good to be true? As a matter of fact, when you appoint Allah as your wakeel, your issues will disappear exactly like that and you’ll enjoy a permanent refuge no matter how strong the storms in your life rage. And Allah will make everything work out… but on one condition: You have to do YOUR part.
Anas ibn Malik reported: A man said, “O Messenger of Allah, should I tie my camel and trust in Allah, or should I leave her untied and trust in Allah?” The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Tie her and trust in Allah.” (Tirmidhi)
Do you know the story of the type of people who doesn’t study before exam but the next day before sitting for it, they claim to put their trust in Allah? What happens to them? Obviously, they fail. Scholars say that to claim to trust Allah *before* you have done the best you could about your affair is a massive form of *disrespect*. Why? Because tawakkul on Allah by definition means that you leave your affairs to Allah *after* you have done everything you possibly could, made the best of the abilities gifted to you by God to bring about the result you want and exhausted all the available means. Then Allah will see your task to completion in the way that is *best* for *you*. So you give up all worries knowing that you tried your best and put your trust and hope in the fact that Allah is Ar Rahmaan (The Most Merciful) wal Wadood (The Most Loving), He will inshaaaAllah cover up your deficiencies and give you the results you’ve been praying for. That means before an exam, you make sure to attend all the required classes, gather all the necessary knowledge and then happily take it believing that you’ll ace it, bi idhniAllah!
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Al Mutawakkil – The One Who Relies on Al Wakeel
Al Jurjani rahimahullah defined “trust in Allah” as: you trust everything that happens to you – the good and the bad – being best for you since it is decreed by Allah and you are only hopeful of what Allah has with Him for you and you’re absolutely hopeless of what people has. Al Mutawakkil is the one who has full and firm belief in Allah that He is the One in Control of everything and so he doesn’t depend on anything or anyone other than Allah – that is, the clear belief that everything else is a *means* while Allah is the *Source*. So the body toils to do its part while the heart rests in peace and doesn’t get agitated in the face of trials, knowing that Allah will make everything work out.
One of the names of our beloved Prophet ﷺ is Al Mutawakkil.
Narrated by Ata bin Yasa (ra): I met Abdullah bin Amr bin Al-As and asked him, “Tell me about the description of Allah’s Apostle which is mentioned in Torah. He replied, ‘Yes. By Allah, he is described in Torah with some of the qualities attributed to him in the Quran as follows: “O Prophet! We have sent you as a witness (for Allah’s True religion) and a giver of glad tidings (to the faithful believers), and a warner (to the disbelievers), and guardian of the illiterates. You are My slave and My messenger (i.e. Apostle). I have named you “Al-Mutawakkil”. You are neither discourteous, harsh nor a noise-maker in the markets and you do not do evil to those who do evil to you, but you deal with them with forgiveness and kindness. Allah will not let him (the Prophet) die till he makes straight the crooked people by making them say: “None has the right to be worshipped but Allah,” with which will be opened blind eyes and deaf ears and enveloped hearts.” [Bukhari]
How can you be a Mutawakkil?
Here is a checklist you could tick off on your spiritual journey to becoming a mutawakkil.
As you strive to exhaust every available means, remember that Allah is Al Wakeel through all the ups and downs of your journey until the very end.
Ibn Qayyim, (rahimahullah) said: “The degree to which a person is helped and aided by Allaah depends on the degree of his intention, drive, aim and hopes. Help from Allah comes to people in proportion to their drive, intention, hopes and fears, and failure comes to them in like manner.”
- “…and upon Allah the believers should rely.” [Quran, 3:122]
But what if there are *no* means?
- Sometimes Allah cuts off the means you are counting on the most as a trial of your faith in Him. For a mutawakkil, though, that is the moment his trust Allah increases even more and peace and contentment engulfs him, knowing that Allah is now completely in charge and He has something amazing planned for him. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says about the response of the mutawakkileen when tested:
“Those to whom hypocrites said, “Indeed, the people have gathered against you, so fear them.” But it [merely] increased them in faith, and they said, “Sufficient for us is Allah, and [He is] the best Disposer of affairs!”” [Quran, 3:173]
Don’t be overly anxious about the future.
e.g. How will the rent be paid?! How will I find this job?! Where will the money come from?! How will I get married with this deformity?! How will I pass this exam?! Who will take care of my children when I’m gone?! Who will protect me from them?! How will I feed my family?! Etc.
- Umar (ra) said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say, ‘If you were to rely on Allah as He should be relied on, He would provide for you as He provides for the birds. They go out early in the morning hungry and return in the evening full.’” [Tirmidhi]
When you come across road blocks, you don’t accept impermissible (haram) means.
- “…and whoever is mindful of God – He will make for him a way out. And will provide for him from [a source] unexpected to him. And whoever puts their trust in Allah – then He is sufficient for them. God will definitely accomplish His purpose; God has already set for everything a due measure.” [Qur’an, 65: 2-3]
- In Madārij us-Sālikīn, Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (raḥimahuAllāh) notes: ‘The condition of the one who relies on Allāh is like the condition of the one who is given a dirham by a King, then it gets stolen from him; so the King says to him: “I have many times as much as that, so don’t worry. When you come to me, I will give you from my treasures much more than that.” Thus if (this person) knows the truthfulness of the king’s statement, and trusts him, and knows that his treasures are full of that, then what he missed will not make him sad.’
When in doubt or struggling to choose the right course of action, you consult Al Wakeel.
- Make it a habit to pray Istikhaara prayer in your daily life for every matter, big or small. Through this prayer and the supplication that follows, ask Allah to make the matter easy for you if it is good for you, and to take it away from you and make you content with His decree if it is bad for you. “And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah.” [Qur’an, 3:159]
You ascend the tawakkul ladder by training yourself to rely solely on Al Wakeel in the face of trials.
- When Musa (as) witnessed his stick turn into a snake for the first time, his fear was so great and overwhelming that he ran away, even though he was standing right before Allah ‘azza wa jal and logically knew that the snake wouldn’t be able to harm him without His permission. When he was confronted by the other sorcerers, however, he felt slightly anxious of the outcome of the competition – but he reminded himself that Allah is in charge and threw his stick, thus ruining the magicians’ optical illusions as one of Allah’s signs to Bani Israel became manifested.
- By the time the appointed end of Pharaoh and his armies arrived, his tawakkul was so strong that even when he and followers were being chased by the enemies and they reached the bank of the Red Sea, he was firm in his stance, his heart entirely at peace. The physical eyes could see that they were completely trapped and his followers exclaimed, “Indeed, we are going to be overtaken!” But his spiritual vision extended beyond the physical realm, and he said, “By no means! Verily my Lord is with me, He will guide me through!” So God inspired him to strike his stick at the sea i.e. the means he needed to pursue. Then once he did, Allah made the sea part so that they could cross to the other side, while their enemies were drowned when they tried to follow.
Be someone who can be trusted and relied upon.
- The Prophet ﷺ said: Allah will aid a servant (of His) so long as the servant aids his brother. [Muslim]
Remember al Wakeel often.
Make al Wakeel a part of your daily life by consciously holding on to Him through the following dhikr:
- HasbiAllahu laa ilaaha illa huwa, ‘alaihi tawakkaltu wa huwa rabbul ‘Arshi-l ‘Adheem – “Allah is sufficient for me. There is no God but Him. I have placed my trust in Him, He is Lord of the Majestic Throne.” Whoever says this seven times in the morning after fajr, and seven times after Asr, Allah will take care of whatever worries him of the matter of this world and the hereafter. [Abu Dawood, Muslim]
- The Prophet said: Whoever says (when he leaving his home) – Bismillaah, tawakkaltu ‘alaa Allaah, wa laa hawla wa la quwwata illaa billaah – “In the name of Allah, I put my trust in Allah and there is no power and no strength except with Allah” – it will be said to him: You are taken care of and you are protected and guided, and the devils will move away from him. Abu Dawud reported it with this addition: “One devil will say to another: ‘How can you deal with a man who has been guided, defended and protected?”. [Abu Dawood, At-Tirmidhi]
The Station of the Mutawakkileen
Can you love someone you don’t know? In a relatively superficial sense, yes, but it can never compare to the bond you’ll share with someone you know and love. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala wants us to know Him through His beautiful names and beseech Him using them: “And to Allah belong the best names, so invoke Him by them.” [Qur’an, 7:180] When you know Allah ‘azza wa jal and ponder on the perfection of His Divine Attributes, you can’t help but love Him; and when you love Him, obeying Him becomes easy, bi idhnillah. When you obey Allah, He becomes pleased with you – and that is our ultimate purpose in life. If you live with al Wakeel, Allah promises you two invaluable gifts that will set you for life.
Allah will be enough for you!
And you will never need to depend or expect from anyone else ever again.
“…Wa man yatawakkal ‘alaa Allah, fa huwa Hasbuhu” – Whoever puts his tawakkul in Allah, He will suffice him. [Qur’an, 65: 3]
Allah will *love* YOU!
And as the the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “When Allah loves a slave, calls out Jibril and says: ‘I love so-and-so; so love him’. Then Jibril loves him. After that he (Jibril) announces to the inhabitants of heavens that Allah loves so- and-so; so love him; and the inhabitants of the heavens (the angels) also love him and then make people on earth love him”. [Bukhari]
“…Innallaha yuhibbul mutawakkileen” – Indeed Allah loves those who rely upon Him. [Qur’an, 3:159]
May Allah ‘azza wa jal protect us from the anxiety instilled within us by our affairs, the worry induced by our nafs and the fear fueled by the Shayateen. May Allah grant us the clarity of vision to see beyond the physical realm through the lens of our heart. May Al Wakeel grant our hearts refuge with Him and settle it in peace through the storms and stillness, darkness and disappointments, highs and lows of our lives. May Allah grant us the honor of being counted as among the mutawakkileen and cocoon us in His Love and Mercy… Ameen!
‘If Allāh helps you, none can overcome you; and if He forsakes you, who is there after Him that can help you? And in Allāh (Alone) let the believers put their trust’ [Quran, 3:160
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