The Promised: Reluctant or Reliant
What is reliance? What does it mean to rely on Allah?
A beggar came to the house of Ai’sha(ra), and her slave opened the door, Barira (ra). And the beggar said, “Oh family of the Messenger of Allah, give me something. And she said we have nothing. And Ai’sha (ra) listening to this, and Ai’sha said who is it? And Barira(ra) said it’s a beggar and all we have is a handful of barely for you to open your fast with. And it was at the time of Asr, and Ai’sha (ra) said give it, Allah will provide. And she gave it, come Maghrib time there was NO food. And Ai’sha(ra) opened her fast with some water and she began her Maghrib salaat. And Barir(ra) is sitting there, and she is sarcastically, she is saying, you know jokingly she is saying, “Oh Allah will provide. Oh Allah will provide.” And there is a knock on the door. And a man comes and he gives a goat as a gift. And Ai’sha(ra) finishes her salaat, she said, “oh Barira who is it?” And she said it is a man who lives in the area. “By Allah, he has never ever given us before, but today he bought us a goat!” And Ai’sha(ra) said, “Oh Barira, isn’t that goat better than the handful of wheat that you had? And then she said something which really signifies the iman of these people. She said, “I swear by Allah, none of you can be a true believer until his trust in Allah is stronger than that which he sees and has in the palm of his hands.” She didn’t say Muslim, she said “believer”, there are many Muslims, but how many of us our believers?
It is easy to say that we rely on Allah, we talk a lot but what is true? Do we really rely on Allah?
In the Quran it says,
“And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him” (65:3).
“And the Reality is that there is nothing and nowhere else that will be sufficient. Allah is the only handhold that never breaks (Quran 2: 256).
But who do we rely on?
When we try our hardest making the “best of grades” and we go and apply for mend school or dental school and we don’t get in, what happens? When we lose friends, family members or can’t seem to get that perfect match, what happens? When we lose our jobs, our house burns down, go through a divorce, what happens?
Most of us, want to ask, why? Why is this happening to me? Why me? Why me? I tried my hardest for that test, I did all I could in this relationship, I worked hard for this job, I worked and I did, why is this happening to me, why Allah? And some will question to the point that they will begin to lose their Iman or become faulty in their faith, but does not the one that created you know what’s best for you?
Allah is Al-Alim, Al-Sami, Al-Basir, Allah knows all things and Allah sees and hears all things. Allah knows what will benefit us and what will yield us.
There is a problem in thinking here, losing something is not necessarily bad and gaining something is not necessarily good. Today we think that if we do get everything we want or everything goes according to plan, alhamdulilah, if you lose anything in your life, “ahhh man, something is wrong, there is nothing good in this loss”. But let me tell you, it is not always so glamorous, we have to trust in Allah through thick and then, good or bad. We should not have the attitude, that if I trust in Allah, I will get this much money back or this and that, we need to trust in Allah because it is a necessity.
In the hadith of the Prophet (sws), he says
Tie first and then rely on Allah. So relying on Allah is not just standing there pleading for Allah to help you, in surah 13, Ar-Rad it says “Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” So true, tawwakul is not just relying on Allah but trying our hardest while rely on Allah. You can not study for a test and rely on Allah to give you an “A”, we must try. And amazing is the story of Asiya (R), she is such a supreme example of Asiyaa (R) was the wife of the most horrible man to have ever lived, a man who got hundreds of signs but still choose darkness over light, a man who killed thousands of babies and enslaved their much more. Imagine being in the house with a tyrant and you have become of the people he hates most.
Who was Asiyaa’ (R)
Asiya (R). Her name brings tears to my eyes, a smile to my face, and grows a profound love in my heart. She was a woman whose faith will ever be a source of inspiration and her trust in Allah will ever be a lesson for generations to come.
Asiya (R), the wife of Pharoh. Just as her name, radiAllahuanh, brings hope and inspiration, the man that she was married to, Pharoh elicits images of the complete opposite- blood, oppression, and an evil, arrogant character which earns him the title of the most evil human being to have ever lived, as some scholars say. He walked the earth with pride. He believed himself to be the maintainer, the creator, the ruler. His say was the only say. He could do away with you in an instant if he pleased and however he pleased. There was no escaping his clutches. His evil was worse than Hitler’s. Try to imagine the evil that Hitler was- the concentration camps, the wiping out of thousands of people- and now think of Pharoh, above and beyond that evil.
“[Pharaoh] said, “You believed him before I gave you permission. Indeed, he is your leader who has taught you magic. So I will surely cut off your hands and your feet on opposite sides, and I will crucify you on the trunks of palm trees, and you will surely know which of us is more severe in [giving] punishment and more enduring.” [20:71]
SubhanAllah. He boiled people alive if they believed in anything other than him, he would chop off their hands and feet of opposite sides and had a practice of killing the newborn sons every other year.
“Indeed, Pharaoh exalted himself in the land and made its people into factions, oppressing a sector among them, slaughtering their [newborn] sons and keeping their females alive. Indeed, he was of the corrupters.” [28:4]
This takes us to the household of Musa, alayhisalam who is not yet born. Musa’s (AS) brother, Aaron (AS) was born on the year that sons were not ordered to be killed, thus he lives and his mother brings him into the world without worry. But the year that Musa (as) is to be born, the newborn boys are ordered to be killed. But Allah had another plan for this baby. And thus Musa’s (AS) mother is given an order:
“And We had already conferred favor upon you another time, When We inspired to your mother what We inspired, [Saying], ‘Cast him into the chest and cast it into the river, and the river will throw it onto the bank; there will take him an enemy to Me and an enemy to him.’ And I bestowed upon you love from Me that you would be brought up under My eye.”
Most mothers when given such an order would immediately freak out, putting their own baby that they gave birth to into a river- it would almost seem like a death sentence. But the mother of Musa (AS) has tawakull, has trust in Allah that the most Merciful, the Most kind has a plan. And thus, you see that this baby lands in front of the household of Pharoh, the murderer himself whose wife Aasiyaa (R) picks up the child and says:
“…[He will be] a comfort of the eye for me and for you. Do not kill him; perhaps he may benefit us, or we may adopt him as a son.” And they perceived not.” [28:9]
The expression that is used in this ayah, ‘the comfort of the eyes’ is a very interesting expression. In the Arabic language, this expression is used to describe tears that are being shed out of happiness. For example, in a lecture by Nouman Ali Khan used a very good example to fully understand this expression and the difference between coolness of the eyes and eyes becoming warm. A mother greeting her son at the airport and a mother leaving her son at the airport are both crying but the mother who is greeting her son is shedding tears of joy, thus her eyes are becoming cool. But the mother who’s saying goodbye to her son- her eyes are becoming warm. In this ayah, Musa’s (AS) mother is the person whose eyes are becoming warm because she is being separated from her child but on the other hand, Asiyaa’s eyes are becoming cool, thus she says “[He will be] a comfort of the eye for me and for you…” [28:9] So Asiya is saying that this baby will be the coolness of her eyes. Why do you think her eyes will be cooled by this? She was already living a very stressful life in the household of Pharoh. The Qur’an indicates that there was psychological abuse and later we find out that there was physical torture as well. But at this point, this baby is becoming the coolness of her eyes from the stresses that she is living with. What’s really interesting here is that Asiyaa doesn’t just say that Musa, (AS) will be a coolness to her eyes but tells Pharoh that Musa (AS) will be a coolness to his eyes too. His eyes are warm from the anger that he has, from the arrogance that he has inside of him and thus Asiya’ separates herself from him and tells him that Musa will be a coolness of her eyes and to Pharoh’s eyes too.
One mother’s eyes are cooled but what about the mother of Musa, (as) ? SubhanAllah, amazingly Musa (AS) still goes back to his own mother too, so that her eyes are cooled too.
“And the heart of Moses’ mother became empty [of all else]. She was about to disclose [the matter concerning] him had We not bound fast her heart that she would be of the believers.” [28:10]
“And she said to his sister, “Follow him”; so she watched him from a distance while they perceived not. “ [28:11]
“And We had prevented from him [all] wet nurses before, so she said, “Shall I direct you to a household that will be responsible for him for you while they are to him [for his upbringing] sincere?” [28:12]
“So We restored him to his mother that she might be content and not grieve and that she would know that the promise of Allah is true. But most of the people do not know.” [28:13]
SubhanAllah, imagine the feeling that Musa (AS) mother must have felt when she was reunited with her son in such a beautiful way. Imagine the coolness of her eyes. This teaches us a lesson of tawakkul, of reliance in Allah- holding on to Allah and putting every trust in Allah knowing that Allah will take care of us. Allah’s plans are far greater than our own and this story is such a beautiful example of the blessing, wisdom, and mercy of Allah.
So, this baby grows up in the household of the Pharoh, and is raised by Asiyaa. Little does Pharoh know that this baby would grow and be his destruction, be his downfall through the help and will of Allah. To summarize the story, which can be found in detail in Surah Taha, Musa (AS) grows up and accidently commits a crime- he accidently kills someone and then flees the land. He leaves the land to the outskirts somewhere where he stays for several years. During this time he gets married, and while him and his family are travelling, Musa’s life is changed, completely- Allah speaks to him directly in the valley of Tuwa.
“And when he came to it (the fire), he was called, “O Moses, Indeed, I am your Lord, so remove your sandals. Indeed, you are in the sacred valley of Tuwa.” [20:11-12]
Musa (AS) is given the mission of delivering the message of the oneness of Allah to Pharoh. Pharoh’s reaction to this message is what would be expected out of an arrogant tyrant who believes himself to be the ruler of all things- anger, rage, and fury. But what got him even more furious, is that his own wife believed in the message of Musa (AS). She immediately believed in the oneness of Allah and that iman completely changed her. That faith that she found was so firm, so strong that she was willing to give everything!
As we see in her story, she holds on to her iman regardless of Pharoh does. She could have easily denied that she believed in Allah in front of him, but her inner iman matched the words that would come out of her mouth and she stood firm. She proclaimed her belief in Allah and despite the pain she felt, she trusted Allah that with Allah were things that were far better than this world. She chose her akhirah over her dunya. She could have easily continued her life the way it was. She was living in luxury, after all she was Pharoh’s wife- she had money and wealth and palaces. Yet, her iman was so strong that she didn’t care about any of it anymore. It just didn’t matter. That’s the beauty of iman. When faith enters the heart, it changes your life. And it definitely changed Asiya’s.
When we speak of trust in Allah of tawakkul, we all know that Rasulullah, salla Allahu alayhi wasalam teaches to not just sit and take no action but to take action, to “tie you camel”, and then rely on Allah, then leave all matters to Allah. In Asiya’s story we see that Asiya didn’t just believe and just stayed with Pharoh and let him do whatever he pleased to her. She actually took action, she actually tried to run away. But she really couldn’t escape his clutches because he was the police, he was the law, he was the government. He captures her and begins to torture her. He beats her, he hangs her, he places a boulder on her as she’s lying in the scorching sand. Yet no amount of physical pain was enough for Asiya to give up. She knew with Allah was happiness, and with Allah was peace. And subhanAllah as she is being tortured in such a brutal way, she calls out to Allah,
“My Lord, build for me near You a house in Paradise and save me from Pharaoh and his deeds and save me from the wrongdoing people.” [66:11]
Asiyaa’s luxuries in this life had no meaning to her. Her physical pain put no limit on her faith. Her circumstances could not hold her back from believing. And this unbreakable faith and this heart full of iman cries out to Allah and Allah opens up the heavens and shows her, her home in Jannah. And this woman smiles. She smiles as she’s being tortured. She smiles as she faces such immense physical pain. She smiles as her soul departs from this world and reunites with her Lord. Her home in Jannah was waiting for her- and no other strings of this dunya could hold her back. And this is the women than I want to be. This women who nothing could hold her back once faith entered in her heart. This women would fought such a difficult battle, yet all that mattered was going back to Allah.
Every hardship is a means of elevation. We just need to keep our goal in mind: Jannah. So that even in the most trying days, our homes in Jannah can be our motivation and reuniting with our Rabb can be the driving force to get through even the darkest of storms..
Are you reliant or reluctant?
We all have heard of the saying “Make dua do your best and leave the rest to Allah (swt).” But this is easier said than done. How many of us really follow this saying?
Tawwakul, reliance on Allah is an outcome that take place when you have yaqeen of certainty. Yaqueen is when you have firm belief, imam in the things that Allah and the Prophets have spoken about. It is things you don’t see. For example Allah is there but we cannot see him and we never saw the Prophet peace be upon him but we know he existed. We cannot see the Angels but we believe they are there. So once you have yaqueen it will give birth to tawakul reliance on Allah.
In surah At-Talaq Allah tells us,
“ And whoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to him, he will make a way for him to get out from every difficulty. And he will provide him from sources he never could imagine. And whoever puts his trust in Allah swt then he will suffice him” (65:2-3)
In surah Al-Imran verse 159 Allah says to his prophet peace be upon him:
”So by mercy from Allah , [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah . Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him]”
Putting your trust in Allah is the best decision you can ever make for yourself. We all have friends whom we turn to in the need of help or distress. But how many of us have had friends turn their backs on us? Betray us? Hurt us? Or even talk bad about us? We all have been pained in our lives most of the time it is by people. This is why the best aid to go to when in need of ANYTHING is Allah. Every person in your life will let you down, without a doubt, every person.
Allah says in the Quran,
“And We have already created man and know what his soul whispers to him, and We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein” 50:16
Allah will never leave us. But people will. Allah will never hurt us but people will. We put so much trust and reliance in people, but who was the one that created this people?
Ibn al qayyim may god have mercy on him says “Truly in the heart there is a void that cannot be removed except with the company of god. And in it there is a sadness that cannot be removed except with the happiness of knowing god and being true to him and in it there is and emptiness that cannot be filled except with the love for him and turning to him always remembering him. And if a person were given the entire world and what is in it, it would not fill that emptiness. This message is so powerful. For Allah swt has the power to do all he will. And no matter whom we turn to Allah swt is the ONLY one that can ease our pain, give us happiness and bring us out from the dark.
Never lose hope, stay close to Allah and when you mess up go back to him. Never ever stop going back to him. Repent often. Cry to Allah and hold on tight with your life, to his remembrance and inshallah never drown in this ocean of dunya. This world causes us sometimes to forget Allah. The dunya causes us to go astray from the right path and lose hope. Allah’s merciful door is always open for us. It never closes. This is why it is important to have that TRUE reliance on Allah because if you do you will never drown in this dunya,
Sometimes in life things happen to us that we don’t understand. So we loss hope and we stop making dua to Allah and we struggle with our prayers but at the end of our painful journey Allah reminds us in the Quran that perhaps we hate a thing and its good for us; and perhaps we love a thing and is bad for us. And Allah knows while we know not. (2:216). Everything happens because Allah wills It to happen. Sometimes we don’t know the reason but we have to accept it. If we rely on Allah then Allah will make everything easier for us inshallah. Because Allah knows what is best for us
So ask yourself, are you reliant or reluctant?