Thursday, 15 June 2017

‘Tawaqqal’ vs Effort

The two concepts i.e. ‘tawaqqul’ and effort’, presented by Islam are usually not understood with clarity and properly, and this lack of clarity lead many people adopt these two concepts in the wrong manner. Actually this lack of clarity emerges from the perception that these two concepts relate to the same conditions; whereas actually these two concepts relate to two different conditions. ‘Tawaqqal’ is related to one’s DESIRE; whereas ‘Effort’ is related to Objective.   There is a difference between ‘Desire’ and ‘Objective’. ‘Desire’ is nourished when there are no ‘conditions’ to achieve it; objective is such desire which is developed when there are conditions to achieve it.

We nourish many desires in our lives. ‘Tawaqqal’ is the name of surrendering our desires to Allah’s Will. In other words, ‘Tawaqqal’ is not to nourish any desire and to entrust himself to Allah’s Will. ‘Effort’ is to undertake action when conditions are available to achieve any objective. It may be appreciated ‘conditions’ are always formulated by Allah. When a person is put into some conditions, he is under obligation to take such conditions as Allah’s Will. If conditions presented to a person may lead him to achieve any objective, any action undertaken by such person to achieve such objective is completely in line with ‘tawaqqal’.  It may also be appreciated that ‘Conditions’ do not mean ‘Opportunity’; opportunity is such ‘conditions’ which may help in achieving objective, but ‘Conditions’ mean such resources with which one can act whether or not there are chances of success.
Quran states about Hazrat Shoaib (as): “ I only intend reform as much as I have power. And my success is not but through Allah. Upon him I have relied, and to Him I return (hud-88).  In this verse, Hazrat Shuaib (as) is stating about his tawakkal/ reliance on Allah along-with his effort  to achieve reforms/objective. Hazrat Shoaib’s (a.s) ‘tawaqqal’ is related to his Desire- he (a.s) had submitted his desires to Allah’s Will; whereas his ‘effort’ to reform is related to his objective, when he was put into the conditions to effectuate such reforms.  A person has to undertake action to achieve his objective- if he has been put into the conditions to undertake such action- whether or not he is likely to succeed in his objective (plz also see
In this article mentioned above, we have already seen   Allah determines every event to be faced by a person in life, sometimes on the basis of that person’s action/inaction, and sometimes NOT on the basis of that person’s action/inaction. In both cases, what should be the shape of event to be faced by a person is wholly solely Allah’s Will, but the concerned person is bound to utilize his intellect to formulate his action/inaction to shape that event according to his/her choice. A person is enforced by Allah to utilize his/her intellect in the face of any event he/she faces with; this is what has been determined by Allah; this is what is fate of every person whose intellectual faculties are working properly. Only mad people are exempted from this fate. In short, a person is not exempted from responsibility to shape events according to his own choice/intellect, whether or not, result occurs according to his choice. Barring a few exceptions, all events experienced by a person in his/her life fall under this category of events which the person has to shape according to his/her own choice/intellect through action/inaction; all such events relate to ‘Qadr’- in which Allah determines events but assigns responsibility to the person concerned to shape the events according to his/her own choice/intellect through action/inaction, and it is in the nature of every person to assume such responsibility.
There is another category of events which are determined by Allah without attaching any responsibility to the person concerned to shape the events according to his/her choice/intellect; such events are only a few in a person’s life, and relate to ‘Jabr’.  In such cases the person has no choice to shape the events, and is exempted from responsibility to shape events according to his/her choice/intellect”. 

We may conclude that 'tawaqqal' and 'effort' can be adopted simultaneously because these two concepts relate to two different things/situations a person may get into simultaneously. Tawaqqal is relating to 'Desire' which is developed when no conditions/ resources are available to actualize it- 'tawaqal' is to surrender our desires to Allah's Will ; 'effort' is relating to objective which is a type of desire developed when conditions/ resources to actualize the objective are available. In other words, 'tawaqqal' and 'effort' are not contradictory things; both may be adopted at the same time.


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