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Tawakkul: Holding the Handhold that Never Breaks

Part I | Part II

He was devastated.  His only source of nourishment had disappeared.  It was all he knew, and now it was gone.  Suddenly, the world grew cold, and only strangers surrounded him.  The newborn child screamed.  He thought his life was over.

What the child did not realize was that there was someone taking care of him.  There was a plan for him.  And in place of everything that had been taken away, his Protector would provide something better.  The nourishment he had once received only through blood would soon come through his mother’s milk.  And the lifeless walls of the womb—once thought to be his only protection—would soon be replaced by the comfort of his family’s arms.

And yet, to the newborn child, it would seem he had lost everything.

3244476512_25da3e2fb0_oMany of us find ourselves like this child.  There are times when we feel we have lost everything, or things look broken and nothing like how we wished they would be.  At times we even feel as though we’ve been abandoned and nothing is working out the way we planned.

But just like that newborn child, things are often not what they seem, and tawakkul (trusting and relying on Allah) is realizing that our Protector has a plan for us.  Tawakkul is having complete trust that Allah’s plan is the best plan.  Tawakkul is having full faith that Allah will take care of you—even when things look impossible.  Tawakkul is standing in front of the Red Sea—as Prophet Musa did—with an army behind you, and not even flinching, knowing that Allah will get you through.   It is having full faith that when Allah takes away the umbilical cord, He will replace it with milk.

There can be no faith without tawakkul; and if there is true faith, tawakkul must always follow.  Allah says in the Qur’an: “The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, their hearts become fearful, and when His verses are recited to them, it increases them in faith; and upon their Lord they rely (have tawakkul)” (8:2).

If one truly understands the Reality and the power of Allah, one will realize that it is in fact an infirmity of the human mind to not rely on Allah.  Nothing in the entire universe happens except by the permission of Allah.  Not even a leaf falls from a tree without His leave (hadith).  It is He who provides for everything in existence; He has power over all things, and in His hand is the dominion of the heavens and the earth (Qur’an, 67:1-2).

So how could we not but put our entire trust in Him?

Allah tells the believers in the Qur’an: “Say, “Never will we be struck except by what Allah has decreed for us; He is our protector.” And upon Allah let the believers rely” (9:51).

The Qur’an explains that, “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).

The Messenger of Allah (s) said: “If you trust Allah with the right kind of tawakkul, He will provide you sustenance as He provides for the birds – they go out in the morning with empty stomachs and come back in the evening with full stomachs” (Tirmidhi).

And just like He does for the birds and the newborn child, Allah provides for us from places we could never imagine.

About the author

Yasmin Mogahed

Yasmin Mogahed

Yasmin Mogahed received her B.S. Degree in Psychology and her Masters in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After completing her graduate work, she taught Islamic Studies and served as the Sisters’ Youth Director for the Islamic Society of Milwaukee. She also worked as a writing instructor for Cardinal Stritch University, and a staff columnist for the Islam section of InFocus News. Currently she’s an independent media consultant and a writer for the Huffington Post, where she focuses most of her work on spiritual and personal development. Her written works, including a book chapter on the portrayal of Islam post-911, have appeared in print and online publications worldwide.

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  • Thanks sister. I needed this reminder. Keeping a strong faith after witnessing so much chaos and sadness in the world is quite difficult. It’s a good reminder to know that it’s all in Allah’s plan. We can only try our best.

  • Mash’Allah mash’Allah mash’Allah! Sr. Yasmin, I love your articles 🙂

    We all have this notion that WE can control EVERYTHING in our lives, when in reality, we’re just being heedless and forgetful of Allah’s SWT plan for us.

    Jazaki Allah khayran Sr Yasmin for this reminder.

  • Assalamu Alaykum

    Love the example of Musa (AS). Reminds me of Nuh (AS). When Nuh asks Allah (SWT) to punish his people because they were swaying away what little followers he had amassed, Allah (SWT) responds by telling him to build an ark. Build an ark? What kind of crazy instruction is that? But we see later on why Allah (SWT) told him to build an ark: because he was going to drown the whole world of its disbelievers.

    Same thing with Musa (AS). Here Musa is being chased by an army, not 1, not 2, but an entire army of kuffar who wanted to totally wipe them out of the face of the Earth. And Allah (SWT) instructs him to tap the ground. Tap the ground? What exactly will tapping the ground do? Little did Musa (AS) know that tapping the ground would, by the will of Allah (SWT), split the sea in half, allowing the believers to go through and the disbelievers to go through as well, but only to drown.


  • Salam,

    Subhannallah, I am preparing for Khutbah tomorrow and this is the topic that I am preparing for. I was trying to come up with an introduction to the fact that we are “trust” driven creatures and that we seem to place it in all but Allah. I truly enjoyed how you made the connection in your introduction though.
    The major emphasis of what I would like to rely to myself and the brothers and sisters at Jumaah tomorrow is the true meaning of لا يكلف الله نفسا الا وسعها (Allah does not charge/burden a soul beyond its means) because the essence of trusting in Allah, in my humble opinion, is fully understanding the meaning behind this Ayah. The guarantee that Allah gives us in this ayah that whatever comes our way is something we can handle so trust in Him and know that you are going through what you are going through with the assurance from Allah that you can handle it.

    Thank you very much for the beautiful post.


  • Assalamualaikum………Thank you sister it was a good reminder for all of us, as we keep forgetting Allah is Able to do everything ,we only need to trust in Him .May Allah bless you for the good work. ameen

  • […] Tawakkul: Holding the Handhold that Never Breaks Suhaib …Allah is the only handhold that never breaks (Quran 2: 256) … 6 Comments to Tawakkul: Holding the […]

  • Salam sister,

    Great article! People now a days face things that people from the past could never think of as big, but we still grief and ask why why! We should never ask why, Allah azza-wa-jel has a PLAN for us. We can not tell the future, so we should never assume. If we only new the greatness off the “burden” that Allah has placed on us, we would never ask why. Sub-hanAllah

    –Allah will never burden us with something we can not handle. >>trust & believe this, you will be successful inshlahh.

  • Masha’Allaah, very well worded. May Allaah grant you all the good from this life and the Hereafter! Insha’Allaah I’ll retweet this so that more people can read this and Insha’Allaah realize the importance and benefits of relying upon Allaah Subhanna Waa Ta’Ala, Ghair Insha’Allaah.
    If you mind, tweet me Insha’Allaah and I’ll ‘untweet’ it Insha’Allaah.
    JazakkAllaahu khair, wasallaam

  • Sometimes, God does not replace the umblical cord with milk. Sometimes, that crying infant does not find itself embraced by loving arms to take care of it. Only Allah can supply those loving arms — in the form of parents, spouses, children of our own — and it is up to Him to give or to deny.

    I think we need to accept that not every crisis has a happy ending. Sometimes, we pray for years, and try for years, but nothing changes, even if we accept that Allah has a plan for us. We just keep marching on and hope for a better outcome in Jannah.

  • Insha Allah, Allah will also bring us closer to Him through our difficulties.

    I’m going through a difficult period in my life, and Alhamdhullilah, that is what I have found…

    May Allah give all of us ease with our difficulties, and bring us closer to Him…

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