Shirk – Associating partner with Allah swt (One God)

Indeed Shirk is the greatest sin. {The Holy Quran, Surah Luqman}

 

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From Umar ibn Al-Khattab from the Prophet (saws) who said:

“If only you relied on Allah a true reliance, He would provide sustenance for you just as He does the birds: They fly out in the morning empty and return in the afternoon with full stomachs.”

Ahmad, An-Nasaa’I, Ibn Majah, Al-Hakim and At-Tirmidhi who said: “Hassan sahih”

Reliance on Allah is one of the most important causes of getting sustenance in this life. Allah said: {And whoever fears Allah, He will provide him a way out and will provide for him from an unforeseen direction. And whoever relies on Allah, He is sufficient for him.}

Reliance on Allah does NOT mean not working and striving for sustenance in this life. Al-Bahaiqiy (one of the major collectors of hadith) said:

“There is no support in this hadith for resigning from working to earn. On the contrary, it in fact supports working and seeking earnings. This is because the bird when it flies out in the morning does so in pursuit of its sustenance. And so the meaning – and Allah knows best – is: if they were to rely on Allah while setting out and while returning and when acting/interacting and believed during all of that that all good id in the hands of Allah and comes only from Him, they would never set out except in a state of health and success like the birds who set out hungry and return full. If, however, they rely on their own strengths and abilities and then engage in deception, lying and insincerity, this is opposite to reliance on Allah.”

Tawakkul (reliance) on Allah is: The true reliance of the heart on Allah in the pursuit of acquiring that which benefits and avoiding that which harms in this life and the hereafter and the leaving these issues up to Allah along with the true belief that no one gives, witholds, harms or benefits except Allah Most High.

Allah orders us to rely on Him AND to strive for our objectives. {And prepare against them all that you are capable of in forms of strength and ranks of horses…} and {…and, when the [Friday] prayer is finished, go forth in the land and seek from the bounties of Allah and mention/remember Allah much that perhaps you may be successful.}

One of the salaf said: “Whoever criticizes action and work for the sake of earning has criticized the sunnah and whoever criticizes reliance on Allah has criticized belief. Reliance on Allah was the STATE of the Prophet (saws) while working and earning was his sunnah. So whoever aspires to his state, let him not neglect his sunnah (saws).”

In this area, there are three kinds of actions.

a) The acts of obedience which Allah has commanded us. We must rely on Allah in the performance of these actions. That is why when the Mu’adhin mentions the commands to come to prayer, we respond with “Laa hawla wa laa quwwata illa billahi” – there is not motion nor any power except with Allah. Whatever Allah wills is and whatever He does not will is not. Whoever is negligent in these actions is deserving of punishment in this life and/or the hereafter. One of the salaf said: “Strive as the striving of one who can only save himself by his efforts and rely on Allah as one who will never find anything but that which was written for him.”

b) The basic needs which Allah has tied to our survival and well-being. These include eating when we are hungry and needs for clothing to protect us from the elements and shelter, etc. These are also obligatory on the Muslim to pursue the means to them. Whoever neglects them to the point of causing harm to himself or to those who depend on him though he was able to do otherwise is sinful in this negligence and deserving of punishment. The Prophet (saws) used to connect his fasting from one day to the next, but forbid the companions from doing that saying: “I am not in the same position as one of you, I am provided food and drink.” This means – and Allah knows best – that what Allah sent to Muhammad (saws) freed him from much of his needs for basic human necessities.

[That which Allah has connected to our benefit in many cases, but no always.]

That which Allah frequently frees some of his servants from the need for it such as medicines. The scholars differed about one who becomes sick: Is it better to take medicine or leave it and rely on Allah? Some took the opinion that reliance on Allah was better and used the hadith: “Seventy thousand from my nation will enter paradise without any account-taking… those who do not believe in omens, do not seek incantations for cure or use cauterization and who rely on their Lord.” Other countered by the fact that the Prophet (saws) used cures and his state is best. The hadith, then is referring to incantations which are makrooh (disliked) because of the fear of falling into shirk since it was mentioned along with cauterization which is makrooh.

That in which the pattern is rarely broken such as sustenance being provided to those who do not strive to seek it. This is not allowed except to those who have knowledge of such provision such as Maryam in the hose if Zakariya.

Ibn Abbas said: Some people from Yemen used to come to Hajj without bringing provisions and said: We are the reliers (on Allah). Then when they get to Makka, they ask the people for help. Allah then revealed about them: {…and take provisions and the best of provisions is piety.}

The important thing is to trust in the guarantee of sustenance from Allah, to struggle and strive with the causes of that and to be in acceptance of the share appointed by Allah. One Imam Ahmad’s companions said: “Don’t become so concerned with the guaranteed that you come to accuse the Guarantor and becoming unaccepting of His apportionment.”

The fruit of tawakkul is the acceptance of Allah’s decree. Whoever leaves his affairs to Allah and then is accepting of what he is given has truly relied on Allah. Al-Hassan and others among the salaf defined tawakkul as ridhaa (acceptance). —

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