Question: A questioner from Kirkuk in Al Iraq says in his question: ” There is an argument around the issue of At Tawakul [reliance on Allaah] that transpires amongst us . Should At Tawakul Come with seeking the means [taking the measure in achieving a particular objective] or without it? Because we know regarding At Tawakul of some of the pious people like the Tawakul of Maryam (the one that fruits of summer comes to her during winter and vise versa) and she didn’t seek any means, rather she devoted herself only to the worship [of Allaah].
Answer: At Tawakul [Total reliance on Allaah] gathers together two things.
From the first of them is Al Eetimaad [Total reliance] on Allaah and the strong belief that He is indeed the reason for all causes. And that His decree will surely come to past. And that Verily He indeed has decreed all affairs, enumerated it and has written it – Glorified and Exalted is He -.
The Second [affair] from what it [At Tawakul] gathers is : the pursuit of seeking a means [to provision]. So cessation [abeyance] of this means is not from At Tawakul.
At Tawakul gathers between the pursuit of seeking a means [to sustenance] and total reliance on Allaah and whoever ceases it [The pursuit of seeking a means to sustenance] , then verily he has opposed Ash Sharee [The legislation of Allaah] and the intellect. This is because Allaah -Azz wa Jaal- has commanded and exhorted us on seeking means [to sustenance] -Glorified is He- and He commanded His messenger ﷺ with it. And naturally, mankind is disposed towards taking means to seeking [sustenance].
It is not permissible for a believer to cease seeking means to attaining sustenance. Rather, he is in reality [not considered as] being reliant on Allaah except when he utilises seeking the means of attaining sustenance . And for this reason [for example], AnNikkah [Marriage] was legislated for the purpose of chastity and acquiring children so we were commanded to have sexual intercourse [with our legally married wives].
So if someone says, as for me, I will not marry and I hope to have a child [without this legal relationship] people will assume him to be from the lunatics. In addition, this is not from the affair of those with intellects. And [another example] also is if he sits back at home or at the masjid seeking for Sadaqaat [charity], then this is not legislated neither is it counted as total reliance on Allaah. Rather, it is obligatory upon him to strive in search of provision and that he works and strives [according to] his ability upon that. And Maryam -Allaah’s mercy be upon her – did not abandon the pursuit of seeking a means [to provision] and whoever says she abandoned it, then he has erred in his statement.
And Allaah said to her [Maryam] :
“وَهُزِّي إِلَيْكِ بِجِذْعِ النَّخْلَةِ تُسَاقِطْ عَلَيْكِ رُطَبًا جَنِيًّا فُكُلِي وَاشْرَبِي”
“And shake the trunk of date-palm towards you, it will let fall fresh ripe-dates upon you. So eat [Maryam] and drink” (Maryam:25)
And this is a command for her to seek means of provision. And she indeed shook the date palm thereby seeking a means to provision [by shaking it] until fresh fruits fell down. So to abandon seeking means to provision is not in her biography. As for the sustenance with her and being that Allaah was generous towards her and supplied her with some of these provision then this is not a proof that she ceased seeking means of provision. Rather she worshipped and [alongside this worship] sought means of provision. And if Allaah generously gives something to some of His elevated pious worshippers from the people of eeman then this is from His bounties -Glorified is He. However, that is not an evidence [for the people of falsehood] that these [elevated pious worshippers] cease the pursuit of seeking means to sustenance.
It has been established from our prophet ﷺ that he indeed said: “Strive to attain what will benefit you and seek Allaah’s aid and do not sit back without acting.” (Muslim: 2667)
And He -Glorified is He- said:
“إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ”
“You alone we worship and from you alone we seek assistance.” (Al-Fatihah: 4)
So He [Allaah] legislated for His worshippers His worship and to seek assistance from Him. And both of these actions are from the means of happiness in this world and in the hereafter. And aayaat that proves that [pursuit of seeking means to sustenance] are many.