Prof. Dr. Mahmud Es'ad COSAN

AKRA FM Friday Discourse

June 30, 2000


As-salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh!..

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

May Allah's peace, mercy and bounty be with you in this world and in the hereafter. May Allah exalt you and your beloved ones in both worlds and give you happiness.

a. Allah suffices for one who puts his trust in Him

I would like to start today's discourse with a hadith narrated by Imran RA and included in the collection of Daylamî:

RA 415/3 (Man tawakkala alallàhi kafâhullàhu maûnatahû wa razaqahû min haysu lâ yahtasib, wa man inqataa ilad-dunyâ wakalahullàhu ilayhâ.) Sadaqa rasûlullàh, fî mâ qàl, aw kamâ qàl.

This hadith is on tawakkul i.e., trusting in Allah, leaving matters to Him, choosing Him as a caretaker, an attorney, or a proxy.

As you are aware, in many verses of the Qur'an, Allah Almighty orders the servants to put their trust in Him. That is why one of our duties is to learn how to put our trust in Allah. Being aware of the existence, unity and power of Allah, and that everything belongs to him, a person would always turn to Him. He asks help from Allah and trusts in Him. He believes strongly that Allah will help him. In the end, Allah does not disappoint him. This is why we need to practice tawakkul.

Sometimes is misunderstood: It does not mean abandoning the work and trial, nor does it mean "laziness." One has to carry out all what needs to be done--the physical work, the planning, the precautions, and alike, and then trust in Allah. We may not name sitting idle, lack of motivation or lack of work as tawakkul. These are laziness and irresponsibility which are not liked by Allah. On the other hand, Allah likes tawakkul -- trusting in Allah with the awareness that all power belongs to Allah.

In the hadith above, the prophet said: (Man tawakkala alallàh) "If a person trusts in Allah, leaves the matters with Him, and expects help and support from Allah for his work and trials, (kafâhullàhu maûnatahû) Allah suffices for him when he is in need or in trouble and asks help from Allah." That is, Allah helps him rectify his problem and protects him because everything is subject to Allah's will. Lâ hawla wa la quwwata illâ billah There is no power except with the will of Allah. The true belief means acknowledging that all power belongs to Allah. We must realize the importance of this acknowledgement.

There are certain feelings or states of mind with them a person becomes a good Muslim. With these feelings a person earns the love, pleasure and blessings of Allah. One of such feelings is the state of tawakkul. It is trusting in Allah, leaving the matters with Him, asking for help from Him, and knowing that He will help a servant. With such a feeling, a sincere trust, if a person forwards his problems to Allah and asks for solutions from Him, Almighty Allah will send him help, solve his problems and give the person what he wants in many incredible ways.

The hadith continues, (wa razaqahû min haysu lâ yahtasib) "Allah sends him sustenance from unexpected sources through unimaginable means." He will provide them with the financial means and sustenance as well as other blessings.

Another feeling, a state of mind, is the acknowledgement of the existence and unity of of Allah declaring "Lâ ilâha il-lal-lah" i.e., "There is no deity but Allah; He has no partners or equals. He is unique." This state of mind earns a person the paradise in the hereafter.

Yet another state of mind is the acknowledgemnet and utterance of "Subhanallah"i.e., Allah is perfect; He has no imperfection or shortcomings whatsoever. Everything He does is perfect. This state of mind will earn a person high degrees in the paradise.

Still, another state of mind is the acknowledgement and utterance of "Alhamdu lillah" i.e., all blessings and sustenance coming to a person is from Allah, so all praise is to Allah. These words are uttered in sincere gratitude, and they will be rewarded generously in the hereafter.

The next state of mind is the acknowledgement and utterance of "Tawakkaltu 'alallah" i.e., "I attempt to undertake this task with my trust in Allah; I am sure He will help me and make it easier on me. The outcome of this work will be good for all." With this state of mind a person would enjoy the work and be full of energy.

While expecting the help from Allah, a person should not be hasty. You can imagine how a ship turns in the water. It takes time for the vessel to change direction. It changes direction while it moves over a distance. Although Allah is able to change things in an instant, yet He created a wisdom, a cause for every work. Events take place in time. That is why we should not be hasty while expecting help from Allah. Our beloved Prophet asks us to be patient.

We have to have perseverance in carrying out our tasks. We have to work patiently and persistently, for Allah loves those who are patient. This is also a good state of mind, an excellent feeling.

We must imagine a good deed or a charitable purpose. We will earn rewards just for intending to do such a deed. We must initiate the work for the purpose or goal. When we initiate the work we get rewards even if we fail to complete it. We have to continue work with patience and perseverance until the task is completed. Allah loves it and rewards us for that.

We all should have these good feelings and state of mind, and do good deeds. We must be aware that Allah will help us in carrying out good work when we trust in Him and ask for help. Allah Almighty answers to the prayers. You must have witnessed this in your own life. We have to practice tawakkul.

The opposite of the tawakkul is trusting in worldly things, such as wealth and money. The hadith continues (wa man inqataa ilad-dunyâ) "if a person trusts in worldly things," i.e., if he establishes his life on material belongings and has no trust in Allah, if all of his expectations are from this world, then (wakalahullàhu ilayhâ) "Allah turns this person to this world." That is, He leaves him alone in this material world with all kinds of problems. The person lives his life in vain.

When a person trusts in Allah and works, Allah rewards him with results that are beyond the physical power and capability of the person. There are numerous examples from the lives of the prophets and the righteous servants of Allah. They were few, at a disadvantageous position compared to their opponents, yet they had a perfect trust in Allah. Consequently, Allah granted them success in this world. Our beloved prophet is a good example for us. We must follow his path.

You are familiar with the story of Moses AS. He had his brother Aaron AS as his helper whereas the Pharaoh was the ruler of Egypt with a strong army. The material abilities were impossible to compare. Almighty Allah ordered Moses AS, (Idh-hab anta wa akhuka) "You and your brother, go to Pharaoh!" When they were commissioned by Allah, they obeyed the command despite the fact that their lives were in danger. In the end, Allah granted them the victory.

Our beloved Prophet, too, was one person with few supporters in the beginning. The early Muslims were subject to torture, injustice and oppression. In the end, they became victorious. The lives of the other prophets have similar developments.

We should plan good activities, undertake beneficial projects. We must work with all our might to complete the project, and trust in Allah and ask for help from Him. Then we must have patience and perseverance until the success arrives.

Perseverance and god-consciousness are the prerequisites of success. One has to be patient and god-fearing when expecting help from Allah. Allah does not send help to a person who is committing sin. Indulgence in sin could be a cause for the disruption of the help and sustenance from Allah. That is why we must learn how to trust in Allah.

b. Hiding Needs from People

The second hadith was narrated by Abu Hurayrah RA and included in the collection of Tayâlisi and others.

RA 415/13 (Man jâ'a aw ihtâja fakatamahun-nâsa hattâ afdà bihî ilallàhi azze wa jalla fatahallàhu lahû rizqa senetin min halâl.)

In this hadith, the Prophet said, (Man jâ'a) "When a person feels hungry (aw ihtâja) or in need..." Imagine a person in poverty, who has no food to eat and no means to satisfy other needs such as clothing and shelter for his family members, and (fakatamahun-nâsa) "he does not let other people know about it (hattâ afdà bihî ilallàhi azze wa jalla) because he wants to tell his state to Allah Almighty and ask from Him." He will turn to Allah and say, "My Lord! I am hungry; my wife and children are hungry, too. I turn to you for help, my Lord!" When he tells his condition to Allah and asks from Him, (fatahallàhu lahû rizqa senetin min halâl) "Almighty Allah opens ways for the lawful sustenance for him which would be sufficient for one whole year."

This is just because he turned to Allah for help; he did not go for begging for food. He asked from Allah and he patiently waited. Although the word is not mentionedhere, this is a form of tawakkul. The person turns to Allah and trusts in Him. Instead of turning to people for food, or for money, he prefers turning to Allah. Then Allah opens ways for him to make a lawful living for one year.

This hadith is an indication of the results of asking something from Allah. Then, we must turn to Allah for our needs sincerely. This is accomplished with prayers, supplications, and sincere talk. The proper way of supplications is taught by the Prophet. We must follow his path. First, one makes wudu because Allah favors those who make wudu. Also, with wudu, offensive deeds are washed away. Then, the person offers a formal prayer of two rak'at, for Allah favors those who offer prayers. Next, the person says prayers on the Prophet and performs some dhikr. He watches for the blessed times for the acceptance of the prayers. For instance, he gets up in the middle of the night and offer prayers. He does good deeds, and then turns to Allah with his whole heart, and asks what he needs with love and respect.

There are books of supplications. For instance, Sinan Pasha has a book of supplications: Tazarrûrât-i Sinan Pasha or Tazarrûnâma from the time of Fatih Sultan Muhammad, the Ottoman ruler. There is a three-volume collection of famous prayers, Majmu'atul Ahzab by Ahmed Ziyauddîn Gumush-khanawi. Countless people have already benefited from them. These and similar books may be consulted for the wording of the prayers.

There are special times during the day that Allah Almighty says, "Isn't there anybody who wants something from me? I will grant whatever he wants." The middle of the night, time before the dawn and before sunrise are such wonderful times. Naturally, a great deal of people would be sleeping at these times. While they are asleep, the "bazaar of rewards" will be set up and best of the items or goods will be selected by the "shoppers." Those who wake up later on will miss the best rewards in the "bazaar" and be content with the leftovers.

It is also possible to turn to Allah at any time. The doors for turning to Allah never closes. One can turn to Allah at any time at any place. One must practice tawakkul all the time every day. Nevertheless, opportunities for more rewards should not be missed.

c. Death While Seeking Knowledge

The third hadith was narrated by Abdullah ibni Abbas RA. This is, too, a motivating, encouraging, vitalizing hadith. The Prophet said:

RA 415/10 (Man jâahû ajaluhû wa huwa yatlubul-'ilma liyuhyiya bihil-islâma lam yafdulhun-nabiyyûna illâ bidarajatin.)

There are other ahadith on the same topic in other sources. They have a different wording. Here our beloved Prophet said, (Man jâahû ajaluhû) "If death comes to a person (wa huwa yatlubul-'ilma) while he seeks knowledge (liyuhyiya bihil-islâma) to enliven Islam..." Here Islam is already alive, practiced. However, in some ahadith, the knowledge is described as the life of Islam. Islam without the knowledge will be deceased, dead. That is, the religion a person practices without the proper knowledge will be dead; he will not benefit from it. By seeking knowledge, a person enlivens his own belief in his heart.

A person's faith gets stronger with knowledge. Also with knowledge, people and their country will prosper. With the increase in the number of good knowledgeable people, problems are solved. If the ignorance dominates a country, disasters will fall on the nation. The majority of the people would set the directions. If the majority is consisted of practicing Muslims, then the country will be alive and active.

Islam will stay until the day of Resurrection, and the Light of Allah will illuminate people till then. The Qur'an will remain intact. "If a person dies while seeking knowledge to vitalize Islam, to spread Islam, to strengthen his belief, and to increase his knowledge, then in the hereafter (lam yafdulhun-nabiyyûna) the Prophets of Allah will not be above him (illâ bidarajatin) except one degree."

The Prophets of Allah has the highest degrees in the hereafter. The scholars follow them. If a person dies while seeking knowledge, he will be treated as a scholar in the hereafter. His degree will be one degree below the prophets' degrees.

This hadith shows the importance of intentions in Islam. If the intention of the person is upholding and vitalizing Islam, helping Muslims, defending Islam, and serving people, he will receive great rewards. If the intention is making more money, buying more worldly goods, getting material benefits, show-off, or self satisfaction, then there will not be such great rewards. There is a fine line separating the intentions.

May Allah keep us on a path of seeking knowledge throughout our lives so that we improve our worship and servitude and serve Islam. May He place us among those who earned His blessings and pleasure. May He grant us abodes in the paradise in the proximity of our beloved Prophet.

May Allah be pleased with you all. May He guide you to the straight path. Do not feel sad for your needs; turn to Allah and trust in Him. Seek knowledge, vitalize your faith. Be patient and wait for the help from Allah.

As-salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

June 30, 2000 -- Australia