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Tawakkul upon Allaah : Kitaab at-Tawheed – Shaykh Abdur-Rahmaan Aal ash-Shaykh

January 8, 2014

Indeed all Praises are for Allaah, may His Salaah and Salaams be upon His Messenger, his Family, Companions, and those who follow their way in goodness. 

Below is a translation of the chapter concerning Tawakkul upon Allaah, from the book Kitaab at-Tawheed, by Imaam Muhammad bin ‘Abdil-Wahhaab (Rahimahullaah), with one of its explanations, Qurrah al-‘Uyyoon, by his grandson Shaykh Abdur-Rahmaan bin Hasan (Rahimahullaah). I have added some of the notes I heard from Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan (Hafidhahullaah) during the lessons I attended for two years on that book [chapters 18 to 67, the end of the book].

The Shaykh’s explanation was very beneficial, especially because he made some points that I did not find in some written explanations of Kitaab at-Tawheed – even in the Shaykh’s own written explanation (I’aanah al-Mustafeed).

Part 1/5

Imaam Muhammad bin ‘Abdil-Wahhaab (Rahimahullaah) said:

Chapter: The Saying of Allaah the Most High: ((و على الله فتوكّلوا اِن كنتم مؤمنين)) i.e. ((And upon Allaah[1] should you rely, if you are Mu-mins.)) [Al-Maa-idah (5): 23].[2]

Shaykh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan Aal ash-Shaykh (Rahimahullaah) said:

Concerning the Aayah which the Author uses for the chapter heading, Aboo as-Sa’aadaat said that it is said that a person does Tawakkul[3] (التوكّل) of a matter when he guarantees to act upon that matter. The Author intended this explanation of the Aayah, explaining that Tawakkul is an obligation that must be done purely for Allaah, because it is one of the many types of inward acts of worship. Indeed dedication in practicing something is beneficial in retaining that practice, and so complete Tawheed in its three categories, only occurs with complete Tawakkul upon Allaah, as occurs in this Aayah. Imaam Ahmad said: Tawakkul is an action of the heart.

Ibn al-Qayyim said, concerning this Aayah that is used for the chapter heading: So He made Tawakkul upon Allaah a precondition for Eemaan, and so He indicated that Eemaan is absent when it is absent. Shaykh al-Islaam said: Everyone who has placed hope in the creation or relied on it, has had his thought of it betrayed, for indeed that is Shirk. ((و من يشرك بالله فكأنّما خرّ من السماء فتخطفه الطير أو تهوي به الريح في مكان سحيق)) i.e. ((And whoever commits Shirk with Allaah, then it is as if he had fallen from the sky, and the birds have snatched him, or the wind had thrown him to a far place.)) [Hajj (22):31].

Tawakkul is of two kinds: The first is Tawakkul upon matters that only Allaah has power over, such as Tawakkul upon the dead, the absent and other Taaghoot-s. This is greater Shirk, which Allaah will only forgive once repentance is made. The second is Tawakkul upon the alive and the present and the one in authority, and their like. Allaah has given them some power concerning sustenance, repelling harm and the like, so this is a type of lesser Shirk. What is allowed is to entrust a person to be a representative (التوكيل) to act with respect to a worldly matter such as buying, selling, renting, releasing, and the like. This is permitted with all agreeing. However we do not say (توكّلت عليه) i.e. “I relied upon him” but instead we say (وكّلته) i.e. “I entrusted him” even though with this entrusting there certainly still is Tawakkul upon Allaah The Perfect concerning that matter.


[1]     Shaykh Saalih: And upon no one else.
[2]     Shaykh Saalih: Tawakkul is one the greatest acts of worship that is done by the heart. Whoever has Tawakkul upon other than Allaah, has committed Shirk in worship. Those who have Tawakkul upon Allaah, obey their prophet and do Hajr from the Kuffaar, and will be given Allaah’s victory.
[3]     Shaykh Saalih: Tawakkul means Tafweedh (التفويض) i.e. handing over trust, and I’timaad (الاعتماد) i.e. reliance and dependence.

Part 2/5

Imaam Muhammad bin ‘Abdil-Wahhaab (Rahimahullaah) said:

And His Saying: ((انما المؤمنون الذين اذا ذكر الله وجِلت قلوبهم و اذا تلِيت عليهم ءايآته زادتهم ايمانا وعلى ربّهم يتوكّلون)) i.e. ((Indeed the Mu-mins are those who when Allaah is mentioned, their hearts feel fear and when His Aayah-s are recited to them it increases them in Eemaan, and upon their Lord[4] do they have Tawakkul.))[5] [al-Anfaal (8): 2].

Shaykh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan Aal ash-Shaykh (Rahimahullaah) said:

Ibn Abbaas said concerning this Aayah: No aspect of remembrance of Allaah enters into the hearts of the Munaafiq-s when they do an obligatory action[6], nor do they have Eemaan in anything of Allaah’s Aayah-s, nor do they have Tawakkul upon Allaah, nor do they pray when they are away from the sight of the people, and they do not give Zakaah from their wealth. Hence the Most High informed that they are not Mu-min-s and then described the Mu-min-s by saying: ((انما المؤمنون الذين اذا ذكر الله وجِلت قلوبهم)) ((Indeed the Mu-mins are those who when Allaah is mentioned, their hearts feel fear)), and hence they do the obligatory actions. This is related by Ibn Jareer and Ibn Abee Haatim. As-Suddee said about ((الذين اذا ذكر الله وجلت قلوبهم)) i.e. ((those who when Allaah is mentioned, their hearts feel fear)), that it is the man who wants to do evil or he has the wrong idea of doing some sin, and then it is said to him: Fear Allaah; and so his heart becomes full of fear. This is related by Ibn Abee Shaybah and Ibn Jareer.

Concerning His Saying: ((و اذا تليت عليهم ءايآته زادتهم ايمانا)) i.e. ((and when His Aayah-s are recited to them it increases them in Eemaan)), then the Sahaabah, their students and those who followed them from Ahl as-Sunnah use this Aayah and its like, as a proof that Eemaan increases and decreases.

Concerning His Saying: ((و على ربّهم يتوكّلون)) i.e. ((and upon Allaah alone do they have Tawakkul)), then it means that they depend upon Him[7], entrust to Him their matters, only have hope in Him, and only have Him as their intention. He is the greatest of the causes for obtaining any desired object – whether it be in this world or the next. In this Aayah He described the true Mu-min-s with three ranks from the ranks of the stations of excellence that are necessary in obtaining obligatory and recommended actions of Eemaan.


[4]     Shaykh Saalih: And upon no one else. The order of the words in the phrase ((and upon their Lord do they have Tawakkul)) has more emphasis than “and they have Tawakkul upon their Lord.” This shows that the Ikhlaas is for Allaah and not others.
[5]     Shaykh Saalih: This Aayah is a proof that Eemaan increases and decreases.
[6]     Shaykh Saalih: i.e. they pray, fast, give Zakaah, fight Jihaad, but do not remember Allaah during this. They pray in public out of fear of the people, but do not do voluntary prayers.
[7]     Shaykh Saalih: To depend and rely upon created things that cause events is Shirk, while to abandon the created things that cause events is an idea that the Sharee’ah has declared to be defective.

Part 3/5

Imaam Muhammad bin ‘Abdil-Wahhaab (Rahimahullaah) said:

And He said: ((يا أيها النبيّ حسبك الله و من اتّبعك من المؤمنين)) i.e. ((O Prophet! Allaah is sufficient[8] for you and for the Mu-min-s who follow you.)) [al-Anfaal (8): 64].

Shaykh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan Aal ash-Shaykh (Rahimahullaah) said:

Concerning the above Aayah, Ibn al-Qayyim said: i.e. Allaah alone is sufficient for you and your followers, so none of you should be in need of anyone along side Allaah. This is also the chosen opinion of Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah.

Imaam Muhammad bin ‘Abdil-Wahhaab (Rahimahullaah) said:

And His Saying: ((و من يتوكّل على الله فهو حسبه)) i.e. ((And whosoever puts his trust in Allaah, then He will suffice him[9].)) [at-Talaaq (65): 3].

Shaykh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan Aal ash-Shaykh (Rahimahullaah) said:

Concerning this Aayah, Ibn al-Qayyim and others said it means that Allaah is the One who suffices him. Whoever has Allaah as the One who suffices him and protects him, then his enemy will have no hope against him, nor will he be harmed, except for that which comes from Allaah, such as heat, cold, hunger and thirst. As for his enemy harming him with what he really wants – i.e. his destruction – then this will never happen.

Some of the Salaf said: Allaah has made a reward from Himself for every action, while He has made the reward for Tawakkul upon Him, that He Himself will suffice that person. Hence He said: ((و من يتوكّل على الله فهو حسبه)) i.e. ((And whosoever puts his trust in Allaah, then He will his Hasb)) i.e. He will suffice him. He did not say that he will have such and such a reward, as He does for other good deeds, but Allaah the Perfect made Himself sufficient for His slave who has Tawakkul upon Him, and He is the One who safeguards him. So if the slave has Tawakkul upon Allaah as he should do, then even if the heavens, the earth and all that is contained in them plotted against him, He would provide a way out for him, sufficing him and granting him victory.


[8]     Shaykh Saalih: The word is (الحسب), which means the one who is sufficient (الكافي) and who protects (الواقي).
[9]     Shaykh Saalih: i.e. Allaah is Himself the reward for the one who has Tawakkul upon Him.

Part 4/5

Imaam Muhammad bin ‘Abdil-Wahhaab (Rahimahullaah) said:

From Ibn ‘Abbaas (رضي الله عنهما) who said: ((حسبنا الله و نعم الوكيل)) i.e. ((Allaah alone is sufficient for us and He is the best disposer of the affairs for us)) was said[10] by Ibraaheem (صلّى الله عليه و سلّم) when he was flung into the fire, and it was also said by Muhammad (صلّى الله عليه و سلّم) when they said to him: ((انّ الناس قد جمعوا لكم فاخشوهم فزادهم ايمانا و قالوا حسبنا الله و نعم الوكيل)) i.e. ((Those believers who when the people (the hypocrites) said: “Indeed the people have gathered against you (a great army) therefore fear them.” But this only increased them in Eemaan and they said: “Allaah alone is sufficient for us and He is the best disposer of the affairs.”)) [Aal ‘Imraan (3): 173][11]. Related by al-Bukhaaree and an-Nisaa-ee.

Shaykh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan Aal ash-Shaykh (Rahimahullaah) said:

Concerning the phrase ((حسبنا الله)), i.e. ((Allaah alone is sufficient for us)), then its meaning has preceded.

Concerning the phrase ((و نعم الوكيل)) i.e. ((and He is the best disposer of the affairs)), then it means that He is the best one for the people who have Tawakkul to rely upon. The sentence has a hidden subject i.e. Allaah. Hence the full meaning is “and the best disposer of affairs is Allaah”.

Concerning the incident when Ibraaheem was thrown into the fire, the Most High said: ((قالوا حرّقوه وانصروا آلهتكم ان كنتم فاعلين. قلنا يا نار كوني بردا و سلاما على ابراهيم)) i.e. ((They said: “Burn him and help your gods if you will be doing.” We said: “O fire! Be cool and safe for Ibraaheem.”)) [The rest of the Aayah in al-Anbiyaa (21): 68-69].

Concerning what the people said to the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه و سلّم), then this was after Quraysh and the confederate armies had left Uhud, when some riders from ‘Abdul-Qays past by and asked: “What do you want?” They said: “We want Madeenah.” They said: “Shall we send for you a message to Muhammad?” They said: “Yes. When you pass by him, tell him that we have gathered an army that is marching towards him and his companions, so that we may exterminate whatever remains of them. So the riders passed by Allaah’s Messenger (صلّى الله عليه و سلّم) while he was at Hamraa al-Asad, and so they gave Aboo Sufyaan’s message, upon which he (صلّى الله عليه و سلّم) said: “Allaah is sufficient for us and He is the best disposer of the affairs.”[12] And there occurs in a Hadeeth: “When you fall into a grave matter, say: ((حسبنا الله و نعم الوكيل)) i.e. ((Allaah is sufficient for us and He is the best disposer of the affairs.))”[13]


[10]     Shaykh Saalih: It is not enough to have Tawakkul in the heart, but the above Du’aa should also be said, following the example of Ibraaheem.
[11]     Related by al-Bukhaaree No. 4563 & 4564 in the Book of Tafseer, Chapter: The Explanation of Soorah Aal ‘Imraan.
[12]     Shaykh Saalih: Allaah gives victory and honour to those who have Tawakkul upon Him, and He throws fear into the hearts of the enemies.
[13]     Related by Ibn Mardawayh, and it is Da’eef – see Da’eef al-Jaami’ (829).

Part 5/5

Imaam Muhammad bin ‘Abdil-Wahhaab (Rahimahullaah) said:

This chapter contains a number of issues:

1.     Tawakkul is one of the obligatory duties.
2.     Tawakkul is one of the preconditions of Eemaan.[14]
3.     An explanation of the Aayah in al-Anfaal.
4.     An explanation of the Aayah at the end of al-Anfaal.
5.     An explanation of the Aayah in at-Talaaq.
6.     The great importance of this phrase that was said by Ibraaheem and Muhammad (صلّى الله عليه و سلّم) when they were in great difficulties.

[End of Chapter]


[14]      Shaykh Saalih [during another lesson on 22/9/01]: It is not even allowed to say “I do Tawakkul upon Allaah and then upon you” because Tawakkul is only to be done upon Allaah alone.

[End of Series]

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