We often overlook the simplicities of religion, which often provide us with an aspect of understanding.
In engaging with Islam, lets return to the absolute basic.
Islam is a religion. The roots of the word religion are contested but generally agreed that the word originated from the Latin ‘re-lingo’ meaning, to ‘re-tie’ or ‘re-bind’.
The purpose of religion is to bond us with our creator, to provide the basis on which we can create a relationship with God. That in itself is important, emphasising that we must engage with God on a personal level the way we would a confident, friend, or family member, someone with which we have a relationship.
But, in order to truly love Allah, we must know him, for how can you love something you do not know?
From the love of Allah comes the trust of Allah, trust that he is all knowing, and what he decides for us is what is best. This provides us with solace when faced with the trials and tribulations of life.
How do we get to know Allah? There are many ways, but one we will start discussing is through his 99 names. Through knowing his characteristics we can learn more, and continue building a relationship with Allah.
Al- Wakeel is one of them.
Wakeel comes from the root waaw-kaaf-laam, which points to three main meanings. The first meaning is to appoint or entrust for the care or management of something. The second meaning is to be a guardian of one’s interests, and the third is to rely upon.
Who is that one person that gives you an internal tranquility, no matter what you entrust them with? It may be a parent, friend of spouse. That trust we have in them gives us confidence, conviction and peace.
Though in reality, we do not trust them in a fully comprehensive sense. We might trust them to be there for us, or trust them not to judge us harshly when we make a mistake. But our trust in them is in regards to certain things and is limited to what the person is capable of.
Allah (swt) however, is the Ultimate Trustee. He is capable of anything and everything so our trust in Him is unlike any other trust we may have in anyone else.
“And to Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs.” [Qur’an 4:132 ]
Allah is telling us that everything in this world is His and He has full control of it all, so it makes no sense to put our trust in anyone or anything else, because everything else will die, everything else will perish and Allah will remain. “And rely upon the Ever-Living who does not die, and exalt [Allah] with His praise.” [Qur’an, 25:58]
“[He is] the Lord of the East and the West; there is no deity except Him, so take Him as Disposer of [your] affairs.” [Qur’an, 73:9]
In these verses, Allah is reminding us of His power. To Allah belongs everything, and moreover, He doesn’t die. Even the human being you trust the most will pass away. Allah does not. So when you trust in Him, we mustn’t worry.
In practical terms, this means two things:
- We work as hard as we can with the means given to us.
- Have the conviction, confidence and internal tranquility as we strive, because we have already surrendered to Allah, and have absolutely no doubt that Allah will get us through to whatever is best, because indeed He is the Trustee.
The Signs of Tawakkul and how we can live by this name:
- The remembrance of Allah, even in easy circumstances:A person who has tawakkul is a person who is connected to His Lord. The remembrance of Allah is a constant, whether that person is in situations of ease or hardship.
- Your hope does not decrease when your means do: Tawakkul means that the conviction in our hearts does not falter even when our means do. It means that we remain hopeful, despite the odds.
- You do not use sin as your means:Your income has to be halaal. If you pursue haraam livelihood, you don’t truly have trust in Allah because you do not believe that He can provide for you from halaal means.
- You are not excessive in your fear of the future:All of us worry a little, and that is natural. Tawakkul requires training. We are human, and every now and then, we will feel this uncertainty. But it is about reminding ourselves to trust Allah at that precise moment. “Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.” [Qur’an, 13:28]
- Striving with the limbs, submitting with the heart: The Prophet (PBUH) planned and worked hard. He put Ali (ra) in his bed as decoy when he was going to migrate to Madina. He waited until the evening so that they could leave discreetly. They covered their tracks. This is the external effort that is required of all of us when we undertake a task. At the same time, he knew that only Allah could save them. This is where the internal component comes in.
- Train yourself to trust Al-wakeel:It may not come naturally to you to trust fully in Al-Wakeel, but it can be done. It requires practice. The first time you do it you may be apprehensive, but when you see the outcome is the best one for you, the next time you put your trust in Allah it will be even easier, because you know from previous experience that Allah truly has your back.
- Pray istakharah:One of the most beautiful examples of trusting in Al-Wakeel’s choice is the istakharah prayer. Ask Allah that if the matter is good for you to make it easy for you and if not, to take it away and then be content with the decree of Al-Wakeel. Make it a habit to practice this sunnah in your daily life, for big and small matters.
May Al-Wakeel make us of those who put all our trust in Him and find comfort and tranquility in doing so. May He grant us the best in this world and the next. And may He eliminate the uncertainty we may have in our hearts.
Part of this article is from the NWLP Sisters Circle. NWLP is a community-led weekly circle run every Sunday in North West London. Visit their blog for more information nwlpsisterscircleblog.wordpress.com