OnIslam.net

How to Boost Our Trust in God?

Trusting Allah Almighty:
By Maria Zain
Freelance Writer- Malaysia
In God We Trust
There are many ways to achieve tawakkul. And even if one is certain of his or her trust in Allah, a booster shot would never hurt the heart or soul.

Every human being comes into this world by decree of Allah, and with him or her, carries a life journey that has been pre-ordained, written and endorsed by Allah Himself - a unique path, a journey throughout a temporary abode – one that is full of obstacles, challenges, punishments and plenty of rewards.

For Muslims la-ilaha-ill-Allah (the phrase that denotes that there is no deity, save for Allah), is more than just a saying of conviction, rather it embodies the entirety of being Muslim.

{And put your trust in Allah, if you are believers indeed.} (5:23)

When a Muslim says this first part of the shahadah, (the testimonial of faith for Muslims), he or she is submitting in totality to the will of Allah, for the simple reason, there is no deity worthy of worship, save for Allah.

This may sound simple for some: just eliminate, for example, statues of worship, or do not submit to any other religious structure.

Unfortunately, the human being is easily tempted and one can sometimes perceive other forms of worship, such as a career-path, money, power, a relationship even, or the coveting of a worldly prize.

When this happens, this person’s focus of worship changes into one that is geared towards worldly pleasures and instead of seeking Allah’s pleasures in life; he or she may become overly focused on his or her object of obsession.

{But sufficient is your Lord as a Guide and Helper.} (25: 31)

For a person who forgets the belief in one single God, it is easier for him or her to fall into sadness, and even clinical depression when the going gets tough.

But believers are reminded that: {Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us,} (9:51) and are often reminded that there will always be challenges in life that will force them to think and reflect and each challenge has actually been uniquely tailored to fit each person’s situation, surroundings, personality and physical /spiritual or mental strength.

Whether it is the short-change of a promotion, another failed IVF cycle, a difficult final year exam paper, a falling out with a friend, a horrible illness, an attack on a Masjid or the loss of a loved one, those who practice tawakkul – the complete trust in Allah – will be able to handle the situation in a more positive light, as compared to someone who did not have that trust.

There are many ways to achieve tawakkul. And even if one is certain of his or her trust in Allah, a booster shot would never hurt the heart or soul.

Spend Time to Reflect, Shed Tears if Need Be

Shedding tears allows negative emotions to be released rather than transforming into self-consuming anger

No human being can escape sadness. But in Islam, there is a way to feel less sorrow or grief, by invoking Allah to provide strength and patience. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) described his tears over the death of his son, Ibrahim, as part of his humanness.

{Verily with hardship, there is relief,} (96:6) the Quran reminds.

Tears that come from the eyes and the heart are from Allah, as with that come sincerity. Shedding tears allows negative emotions to be released rather than transforming into self-consuming anger or bitterness that could eventually destroy one’s tawakkul.

However, crying alone is not enough if it is not accompanied with reflective wisdom. Although Allah catches every tear of a true believer, an overdose of sadness can lead to depression, which is also dangerously self-consuming.

{Remember Me, by praying, glorifying, and I will remember you} (2:152)

Within the realm of sadness, Muslims need to remember that there are ways of remembering Allah – may it be through du’a (invocations), prayers such as istikarah (the prayer for guidance), and even zikr (constant remembrance of Allah). Allah promises: for those who are resolute, He will send down calmness and tranquility upon them.

Although some prayers are best done during certain times of the day or night, invocations and zikr have no time limits, and one can continue strengthening his or her relationship with God while carrying out the normal errands or chores.

It is said that Allah thinks about those who think about Him the most, so by constantly remembering Allah in times of difficulty, a Muslim solidifies the belief that with every adversity comes a reward.

Remember that what Allah takes away from a person, there is a plan behind it – most of the time, Allah rewards a Muslim, especially a patient one, with something better – because Allah knows best.

Get a Grip of the Situation and Plan for the Next Step of Action

Repentance is an important practice by those who practice tawakkul.

Although tawakkul denotes complete trust in Allah, every Muslim needs to plan for the next course of action when a challenge presents itself. Sitting back in anger or frustration is akin to giving up in many situations.

Allah loves those who help themselves, who better themselves and who are constantly striving to achieve their goals or overcome problems for His sake. Getting a grip of the situation allows a person to understand why he or she is facing a certain obstacle. Prophet Muhammad once said:

"He who Allah wishes for good, He will firstly inflict him with hardship."(At-Tirmidhi, 2396)

Thus a believing Muslim picks up from calamities and constructively embraces the situation in stride.

One could ask constructively: Why did this happen to me? If I have made any mistakes that may have angered Allah, how shall I repent? What could have I done to avoid this situation? What should I do now that would please Allah? What valuable lessons can I learn from this problem? How shall I make myself a better Muslim for the sake of Allah?

Repentance is an important practice by those who practice tawakkul. Repentance allows a Muslim to recognize his or her wrongdoings, weaknesses and the sheer magnitude of grace that Allah has bestowed upon him or her. Repenting cleans the heart and allows a believer to move on.

{Noah said to them: ‘Ask forgiveness from your Lord. He is Oft-Forgiving. He will send you rain in abundance, and give you increase in wealth and children; and bestow on you gardens; bestow on you rivers,} (71:10-2)

Some people find that writing their thoughts down puts the problem into perspective. They allow themselves to address their fears, their concerns and can even find solutions to their problems. Others may benefit from talking to supportive family or friends in order to overcome negative emotions and to plan for the future.

In all cases, Muslims need to remember that while they plan, only Allah can determine the outcome, and that outcome is the best for the person at that given moment.

{So when you have made your decision, then put your trust in Allah,} (3:159)

Instead of asking Allah for a certain plan to work, a believing Muslim - full of tawakkul - should ask for Allah to grant him or her an outcome that is best for him or her. And even if it may seem that the reward is meager, Allah has promised Paradise to those who are patient – and there really is nothing that can contend with the returns in Paradise.

Live for the Moment Because Each Moment Will Pass

There are many ways to live for the moment, fully believing that Allah will help a person who helps him or herself.

{So hold that which I have given you and be of the grateful,} (7:144).

Trusting in Allah also involves taking care of one’s self. A Muslim should surround him or herself with positive company, preferably those who have a strong personal relationship with Allah.

A Muslim in search of a higher level of tawakkul should also indulge in activities that he or she enjoys the most, as long as they do not contradict the teachings of Islam. This promotes happiness and positive energy in a person, providing a healthy distraction from the problem. It also encourages one to constantly remember and appreciate the blessings of Allah, and feel thankful at all times – even if it is a glass of water, because Allah was the One who provided the same glass of water - rather than nit-pick at the imminent problems in life.

This goes back to one of the fundamentals of the dunya (world): it is a place of passing, a journey that has a limited number of moments for each unique person. Why waste time feeling sad and depressed, when one can feel blessed, happy and positive for the sake of Allah?

The problem or obstacle will eventually pass, and time and patience will help a person heal – but with the right attitude and ultimately the feeling of tawakkul in tow – even the heaviest burden becomes lightweight and even challenging in a positive light.

{Indeed Allah has set a measure for all things} (66:3)

There are many ways to live for the moment, fully believing that Allah will help a person who helps him or herself.

One could spend time giving charity and appreciate those who are less fortunate. A believing Muslim could speak to an ustaz or an ustazah and learn how to strengthen his or her iman (faith). One could seek advice from those who have faced similar situations and learn from their mistakes. A good Muslim should smile aplenty to ward off sadness and doubt. And a believer could spend some time alone reflecting on how to become closer to Allah.

Complete Surrender to Allah

Without tawakkul, a person draws closer to committing shirk, often searching for answers elsewhere

{Whoever is in the heavens and on earth begs of Him. Every day He has a matter to bring forth (such as giving honor to some, disgrace to some, life to some, death to some} (55:29)

Every human being comes to earth by the decree of Allah with a pre-ordained plan that balances the nature of the temporary abode with good and evil, blessings and hardships, rewards and punishments and death and life.

Because this pre-ordainment is so important, tawakkul has been described as the head of human body, with the human body representing the entire religion. Without tawakkul, one does not embody the religion of Islam.

Without tawakkul, a person draws closer to committing shirk, often searching for answers elsewhere, imploring for the help of others, questioning his or her fate in anger, or subsiding into self-destructive behavior and emotions. With tawakkul comes humility, sadness with reflection, planning with wisdom and happiness for the sake of Allah.

Those with tawakkul are often reminded of the world being a temporary abode, one that is a paved path that will ultimately lead to the Hereafter. Thus how they reflect, react and respond to hardships presented by Allah will affect their goal of achieving Allah’s pleasure, and ultimately, Paradise.

{“And they think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): ‘O Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You!’} (3:191)

Without tawakkul, the kalimah of la-ilaha-ill-Allah will cease to carry meaning, and that is part of the shahadah that encompasses the fundamental belief of a Muslim.

First Published: October 2010
Related Links:
What Hinders Me from Believing?
A Well-Balanced Life After Conversion
Who Are the Strangers?
I Was Shown the Real Muslim Heart!
Living a Happy Life with a Strong Faith (Folder)
Maria Zain is a freelance editor and writer living in Malaysia. While her evenings and nights are spent supporting different Muslim communities through her work, she shares her life with her husband and three busy little children below the age of five, whom she homeschools during the day.

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