The following is by no means exhaustive. However, it outlines and briefly touches on a few key reminders and practices one can use to nurture one’s tawakkul on a daily basis.
is the greatest act of worship and a significant component of tawakkul
so worship Him and rely upon Him. And your Lord is not unaware of that which you do.”28
Call upon Allah and when you do, pray with certainty that you will be heard and answered.29
Develop a meaningful connection with Allah, asking Him sincerely and with an understanding of the supplications in the Qur’an and Sunnah, along with your own heartfelt words. Internalize your duʿāʾ
the way you may have internalized your anxiety and fear, and trust that Allah will turn your duʿāʾ
into a means of relief and comfort. Duʿāʾ
is the weapon of the believer, but it is only as strong as the one who recognizes how to best use it to maximize its benefit. We often make the mistake of limiting our duʿāʾ
s to our own limited perception. Don’t be afraid to ask Allah—He moves mountains for those who ask. Hence, tawakkul
leads to a life of confidence and certainty. Tomorrow is not certain, but Allah surely is!
Among the numerous prescribed duʿāʾ
s taught by the Prophet ﷺ
is the duʿāʾ
, to ask Allah to guide one to the best action:
O Allah! I ask guidance from Your knowledge, And Power from Your Might and I ask for Your great blessings. You are capable and I am not. You know and I do not and You know the unseen. O Allah! If You know that this job is good for my religion and my subsistence and in my Hereafter (or said: If it is better for my present and later needs),Then You ordain it for me and make it easy for me to get and then bless me in it. And if You know that this job is harmful to me In my religion and subsistence and in the Hereafter (or said: If it is worse for my present and later needs), then keep it away from me and let me be away from it. And ordain for me whatever is good for me and make me satisfied with it). The Prophet ﷺ added that then the person should name (mention) his need.30
Ibn al-Qayyim reported from his Shaykh, Ibn Taymīyah that he said: “Predestined issues are enveloped by two things: reliance on Allah before it happens, and contentment with Allah afterwards; whoever relies on Allah before the action, and is content with that has been decreed after it, has completed servitude.”31
2. Firm resolve
The Prophet ﷺ was instructed by Allah, “And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah. Indeed, Allah loves those who rely upon Him.”32
This verse arms us with confidence to proceed with the tasks ahead. It allows one to remain focused on the goal, and to maintain stability, day after day. Imagine riding a jet-ski into open water. Keep moving at a steady speed, and the water will become a firm highway, but stop and go, and you will be rocked by the waves onto an unsteady and undefined path. Hence, tawakkul
closes the door to questions and doubts, to inaction, stress, and dissatisfaction with oneself and others. Drop the baggage that slows you down and busy yourself with good deeds to avoid wasting time and regret. Remember that tawakkul
has two actions—one is in the heart and the other involves seeking the means available.
Anas ibn Mālik reported: A man said, “O Messenger of Allah, should I tie my camel and trust in Allah, or should I leave her untied and trust in Allah?” The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Tie her and
trust in Allah.”33
3. Trust in Allah that you will be forgiven
Musa (as) struck a fatal blow to a man while trying to save the life of another. He turned to Allah and sought forgiveness—and Allah forgave him: “‘My Lord, indeed I have wronged myself, so forgive me,’ and He forgave him. Indeed, He is the Forgiving, the Merciful.”34
The door to repentance is open but it demands of us sincerity and that we place our complete trust in Allah that He will forgive us. It is one’s level of tawakkul
here that will generate hope and motivation toward good deeds. The prescribed daily duʿāʾ
embodies this trust in Allah.
The Prophet ﷺ said, “The best supplication for seeking forgiveness (Sayyid al-Istighfār) is to say: ‘O Allah! You are my Rabb. There is no true god except You. You have created me, and I am Your slave, and I hold to Your Covenant as far as I can. I seek refuge in You from the evil of what I have done. I acknowledge the favors that You have bestowed upon me, and I confess my sins. Pardon me, for none but You has the power to pardon.’ He who supplicates in these terms during the day with firm belief in it and dies on the same day (before the evening), he will be one of the dwellers of jannah; and if anyone supplicates in these terms during the night with firm belief in it and dies before the morning, he will be one of the dwellers of jannah.”35
The more one humbles himself as a servant of Allah, the more noble one becomes in the sight of Allah. Our repeated falling down and getting back up become badges of honor when we return to Allah sincerely with tawbah.
4. The five daily prayers are a reminder
Allah gives us the opportunity to converse with Him and to unburden our hearts and minds at least five times a day. Salah
contains praise of Allah, affirmations of His greatness, reminders from His Book, and an immense opportunity to make duʿāʾ
and strengthen tawakkul
. Reflect on the words we recite in every unit of prayer, “It is You we worship and You we ask for help”36
and even just the meaning of “Allāhu Akbar.
” Prayer is a means to stay on course, gain reward and forgiveness, and to increase one’s faith and tawakkul
5. The reality of the unseen
This is the very essence of belief in the unseen: “…
the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah, who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them.”37
We don’t always have the knowledge or the insight to make sense of a situation, such as the pandemic that has befallen us. We may feel trapped in the dense trees and thorny bushes with no end in sight but with tawakkul
, Allah will guide us out of the forest into the clear. Some things may seem unfair or counterintuitive, but Allah, in His infinite knowledge and wisdom, is steering us to good. It may be beyond our rational minds to comprehend. Reflect on the stories in Surah al-Kahf
. Each of the encounters of Mūsá (as) appeared to be the exact opposite of what was actually so.38
What comes from Allah is the truth, and that which contains the greatest wisdom and good. This aspect of tawakkul
gives us the confidence and the ability to accept His decree as the best outcome, no matter how things may appear at the time.
6. Yes, you can
and find comfort in that Allah will never burden you with more than you are capable of. “Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity.”39
Knowing this brings ease that we will get through what is ahead because our Master knows us like no other. He wants ease for us and will provide us ease even during the most challenging situations.
The topic of patience is a very comprehensive discussion, but for the purpose of this daily checklist, we remind ourselves that we are to exercise patience every day and in all situations of prosperity and adversity. Tawakkul helps one to remain patient, and to stay persistent, consistent, and engaged in action. It helps one develop and maintain self-control and to not complain or indulge in negative self-talk that might lead to one giving up.
Man is not weary of supplication for good [things], but if evil touches him, he is hopeless and despairing.40
As is the case with patience, much can be said about gratitude. There is ample and extensive discussion in the Qur’an and Sunnah urging the believers to develop this beautiful quality in their outlook on life, with gratitude to Allah for all that He has blessed His creation with. Gratitude can flourish and manifest from within when one places complete trust in Allah and has reliance on Him that He has blessed us and answered our call.
Allah's Messenger ﷺ said, “Strange are the ways of a believer for there is good in every affair of his and this is not the case with anyone else except in the case of a believer for if he has an occasion to feel delight, he thanks (God), thus there is a good for him in it, and if he gets into trouble and shows resignation (and endures it patiently), there is a good for him in it.”41
9. Stay optimistic
Pessimism is contradictory to tawakkul. It’s about changing our perception. We often see the world through a lens colored over time by our own experiences. What has not come our way today may await us in the future. Think of the positives we are experiencing today. Both gratitude and patience, with a strong level of tawakkul will help us to acknowledge and accept the blessings that come with all situations, good and bad, and to actively seek the best of what is yet to come.
Remember, that with every hardship, Allah has promised ease.42
Allah's Messenger ﷺ visited a sick Bedouin and said to him, “Don't worry, ṭahūr
(i.e., your illness will be a means of cleansing of your sins) if Allah wills.” The Bedouin said, “Ṭahūr
! No, but it is a fever that is burning in the body of an old man and it will make him visit his grave.” The Prophet ﷺ said, “Then it is so.”43
10. Have a good opinion of Allah
is to know Allah and to trust Him in every aspect of our journey through this life to our final return to Him. Allah's Messenger ﷺ said, “Allah said, ‘I am to my slave as he thinks of Me’ (i.e., I am able to do for him what he thinks I can do for him).”44
Learn, study, and reflect on the names and attributes of Allah to nurture your relationship with Him and tawakkul
11. Know that Allah loves you
At times, we erroneously interpret a test from Allah as an indication that He doesn’t love us, or that we have been abandoned. Tests come to all people, in all stations of life, whether by way of prosperity or adversity, and regardless of one’s level of faith. Every test is designed to bring us closer to Allah because He loves His servants and wants the best outcome for us. Tawakkul
involves using these tests to seek Allah and to be closer to Him. We have the beautiful verse: “Your Lord (O Muhammad (Peace be upon him)) has neither forsaken you nor hated you.”45
Did Allah not love His Messengers? Yet, they endured what seemed like unsurmountable losses, challenges, and setbacks, raising them to the greatest heights of nobility.
12. Daily adhkār
The Prophet ﷺ has taught us a number of duʿāʾ
s to make at prescribed times throughout a twenty-four hour period as well as on specific occasions. Developing a daily regimen that includes these serves as a frequent reminder to seek the protection of Allah and to help one entrust all affairs to Him. For example, when leaving home, one is to recite, “In the Name of Allah, I have placed my trust in Allah, there is no might and no power except by Allah.”46
13. Dhikr brings tranquility
The more we engage in the remembrance of Allah (dhikr
), the more awareness we have of Allah and His presence in our lives. Allah tells us to find tranquility in remembrance: “Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.”47
This reassurance is a sign of and a means of strengthening one’s tawakkul