An Anecdote About Tawakkul I

Fearing poverty and belief in ill omen are casued by the Devil. As a matter of fact, it is stated in the sura [1] of Baqara, "Satan promises you that you will fall into a needy situation." It is a high ma'rifat (attainment) to trust in Allah's compassion. It has always been seen that He sends plenty of sustenance from unexpected places through means that could not be thought of. But one should not depend on the secret means, either; one should trust in the Creator of the means.

Once there was a man of tawakkul [2] who spent his time worshipping in a mosque every day. The imam [3] of the mosque said to him, "You are poor. You'd better find a job," to which the man answered, "One of my neighbors, who is a Jew, sends me what I need every day. Then, the imam said, "Then, you have secured your position. It will do you no harm not to work." Upon this he said to the imam, "Then, you better quit your job of being an imam for the people, for a person who holds a Jew's word superior to Allah's word is not worthy of being an imam." The imam of another mosque said to one of the assembly, "How do you make a living?" Upon this the man said, "Wait a minute! I will repeat the salat which I have performed behind you." That is, he meant to say, "You don't believe the fact that Allahu ta'ala will send the sustenance. Your salat will not be accepted."

Those who have had such complete tawakkul have always been sent their sustenance from unexpected places, and this has consolidated their iman [4] in the statement, "Allahu ta'ala will certainly send the sustenance of every living creature on the earth," which is declared in the sura of Hud.

[1] suura(t): a Qur'anic chapter [a chapter of the Qur'an].
[2] tawakkul: trusting in, expecting everything from Allahu ta'ala exclusively; expecting from Allahu ta'ala the effectiveness of the cause after working or holding on to the cause – before which tawakkul is unadvised. See Endless Bliss III, 35.
[3] imam: i) profound 'alim; founder of a madhhab; ii) leader in congregational salat; iii) caliph.
[4] iman: faith, belief, beliefs of Islam; kalam, i'tiqad.
[5] wara': (after avoiding harams) abstention from doubtful things (mushtabihat).