It’s No Secret
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You have to get the word out. You have to let everyone know about this formula for success.
Because I think I’ve found it. I’ve always known it; but for some reason, I never put it all together. Now that I have, this is my Eureka moment. I’ve found the secret to success.
It is a simple formula that has been spelt out to us in the Quran and Sunnah. Before I divulge the secret, let me tell you how I happened upon it.
Early this morning, I was sitting in my car outside the local Muslim Cemetery. There was going to be a funeral in my town and I was at the cemetery to make sure all of the arrangements were in order. The deceased was not related to me; this is just part of my job.
I was supposed to meet the man who digs the graves but I had arrived early and he was running late. Therefore, I had ample time to sit and ponder on things.
This is something I highly encourage you to do from time to time; really as often as possible. Try to take some quiet time for yourself and just meditate or reflect on how things are going in your life. Here are some things you should think about:
- Are things going good in your life? If so, what did you do right to get to this situation? If not, what did you do wrong to contribute to this situation?
- Are there things about your character that you would like to improve? If so (and there definitely should be) what can you do to about it?
- Are there things about your community that could be better? If so (once again, there definitely should be) what can you do to help the situation?
If you have any doubts about this suggestion, keep in mind that the Messenger of Allah used to go into the mountains around Mecca and meditate before the revelation came to him. In fact, it was during one of these instances that the Angel Jibril (peace be upon him) came to him with the first revelation.
The reason I was pondering was because so many things were not going the way I wanted them to go in my life. There were too many loose ends. Too many hiccups. Too many unresolved issues.
I tried to find out what had I done wrong to get myself into this situation. We all go through our trials at times, but it’s rare for everything in life to seem so…fragile.
As I thought about each issue in turn, something began to dawn on me. Each problem was CAUSED, or EXACERBATED, because I did not follow the FORMULA FOR SUCCESS.
Had I adhered to this simple formula, it is CERTAIN to have brought me SUCCESS.
Alhamdulillah, my mistake can be your OPPORTUNITY. Please, read this article, take it to heart, and apply it at ALL TIMES.
Remember this equation whenever you run into trouble or doubt or trials, and Inshallah, you will be SUCCESSFUL.
PATIENCE + TRUST IN ALLAH = SUCCESS
Are you thinking to yourself: “This is nothing new. I already knew this.”
Yeah, well I knew it too, in a subliminal, subconscious sort of way. But I wasn’t following it.
And if you’ve ever watched the movie “The Matrix” then you know there is a big difference between knowing the path and WALKING THE PATH.
Patience: The First Part of the Equation
How many times has Allah instructed us to be patient in His book? There are websites where you can do a search for the word “patient” and “patience” in the Quran, but I’m not going to go through all of that. I’ll just list a few instances I can remember off the top of my head.
And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient,
Chapter 2, verse 155.
And if there should be a group among you who has believed in that with which I have been sent and a group that has not believed, then be patient until Allah judges between us. And He is the best of judges.
Chapter 7, Verse 87
And be patient, for indeed, Allah does not allow to be lost the reward of those who do good.
Chapter 11, verse 115
And my favorite verse…
O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.
Chapter 2, verse 153
We can go on and on, but I think the message is clear. Allah wants us to be patient with the trials we encounter. In fact, patience (Sabr in Arabic) is a primary component of TAQWA (piety).
Without patience, you can never be truly pious. You can never attain the blessings and rewards that comes with being God-conscious. You can never be a true MUTTAQI (One Who Is Pious).
- Without patience, you will make hasty and foolish decisions.
- Without patience, you will lose your temper and fall prey to the whispers of Shaytan
- Without patience, you will blame your family, yourself, and perhaps even Allah, thereby committing the ultimate sin of SHIRK.
How important is patience? Patience is so important that without it, we are almost certainly doomed. Allah tells us in Surah Al-Asr:
By the Time. Verily, Mankind is Lost. Except those who believe and do righteous acts and encourage each other to be just and be patient.
In this Surah Allah explains that ALL of mankind is LOST.
Except those who:
- And do righteous deeds.
- And encourage others to be just.
- And encourage others to be PATIENT.
So when your troubles and trials come to you, be patient.
Don’t blame others. Don’t ask “Why me?” Don’t say “If only I had done this or that..”
Remember that Allah is with the Patient.
Remember that all who are not patient are lost.
Remember that patience is an essential element of PIETY.
And then, move on to the next part of the equation…
Tawakkul: Reliance (Trust) in Allah
In God We Trust.
This statement is printed on every coin and bill minted by the United States.
Unfortunately, for most people, this statement is worth little more than the paper it’s printed on.
Patience is an important factor to the FORMULA FOR SUCCESS, but it is just the external element. Having patience means that we control what we say and what we do.
These are things that people can see and witness.
Patience is EXTERNAL. Tawakkul is INTERNAL.
Even though you need patience to be a good Muslim, you don’t have to be Muslim to be patient. Even non-Muslims can exhibit patience when necessary.
Oftentimes, non-Muslims find themselves facing great hardships also. And they know that getting mad or going bezerk is not going to change anything. And so, they deal with it the best way they can, resign themselves to their fortunes, and resolve to be patient.
From a linguistic point of view, the word “Patience” is an almost exact translation for the Arabic word “Sabr.”
But there is NO single English word that perfectly translates to “Tawakkul.” Instead, we have to string several words together like “Trust in Allah,” or “Rely upon Allah.”
RELIANCE UPON ALLAH (TAWAKKUL) can only be achieved by the Muslim. Only the Muslim can truly rely upon Allah.
TAWAKKUL is proof of your dependence, submission, and subservience to Allah. And Allah loves those who rely upon Him as He says in His book:
…And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah . Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him].
Chapter 3, verse 159.
TAWAKKUL is so important that we implicitly affirm it 17 times a day in our prayers. For whenever you recite Surah Fatihah, you say:
You alone we worship, and You alone we seek help from.
When you turn to Allah for help, you are putting your trust in Him. Rather than give in to despair when a calamity befalls you, TURN TO ALLAH and PUT YOUR TRUST IN HIM.
Ask Him for help and know that relying upon Him pleases Him, brings you closer to Him, and strengthens your faith.
Your faith is dependent on your level of TRUST IN ALLAH. The more TAWAKKUL you have, the stronger and higher your faith. Look at all the verses in the Quran where Allah has tied BELIEF with TAWAKKUL:
When two parties among you were about to lose courage, but Allah was their ally; and UPON ALLAH THE BELIEVERS SHOULD RELY.
Chapter 3, verse 122.
If Allah should aid you, no one can overcome you; but if He should forsake you, who is there that can aid you after Him? And UPON ALLAH LET THE BELIEVERS RELY.
Chapter 3, verse 160.
The BELIEVERS are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, their hearts become fearful, and when His verses are recited to them, it increases them in faith; and UPON THEIR LORD THEY RELY.
Chapter 8, verse 2.
Allah – there is no deity except Him. And UPON ALLAH LET THE BELIEVERS RELY.
Chapter 64, verse 13.
You must have TAWAKKUL on Allah. You MUST put your trust in Allah. You MUST rely upon Allah.
I’m going to spend more time on TAWAKKUL than PATIENCE because Reliance upon Allah is more important and more difficult to achieve.
You may have patience without TAWAKKUL. As we’ve seen above, even non-Muslims can be patient during difficulty.
But you cannot have TAWAKKUL without PATIENCE.
The Messengers of Allah often had to remind their people to rely upon Allah also. Here are some examples:
Prophet Musa (pbuh)
And Moses said, “O my people, if you have believed in Allah , then RELY UPON HIM, if you should be Muslims.”
Chapter 10, verse 84.
…except for the saying of Ibrahim to his father, “I will surely ask forgiveness for you, but I have no [power to do] for you anything against Allah . Our Lord, UPON YOU WE HAVE RELIED, and to You we have returned, and to You is the destination.”
Chapter 60, verse 4.
Prophets Noah, Hud, and Salih (pbut)
Their messengers said to them, “We are only men like you, but Allah confers favor upon whom He wills of His servants. It has never been for us to bring you evidence except by permission of Allah . And UPON ALLAH LET THE BELIEVERS RELY.
Chapter 14, verse 11.
Prophet MUhammad (pbuh)
One day Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) noticed a Bedouin leaving his camel without tying it and he asked the Bedouin, “Why don’t you tie down your camel?” The Bedouin answered, “I put my trust in Allah.” The Prophet then said, “Tie your camel first, then PUT YOUR TRUST IN ALLAH.”
Having TAWAKKUL on Allah does not mean you give yourself up to random chance. This does not mean that you do not make use of the blessings that Allah has provided for you.
If you are sick, it is foolish to think “I will not take medicine because that is putting my trust in the medicine and not in Allah.”
Instead, take the medicine, and then RELY UPON ALLAH that the medicine will work. The medicine is a blessing from Allah and it will only work with HIS PERMISSION.
How To Use The Formula
So now that you’ve got the formula for success, what’s your next step?
Are you going to say “Nice article, Mashallah” and then go back to doing things the same way? If so, then you’ve just wasted a lot of time.
What purpose is reading something beneficial if you’re not going to use it? Remember: There’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.
Just like me, you may know that you should have PATIENCE and TAWAKKUL.
And just like me, you are probably not praticing PATIENCE and TAWAKKUL.
Now’s your chance to get it right. Remember the formula:
Patience + Trust in Allah = Success
Have patience. And rely upon Allah.
To have patience, means you control your outward, physical actions. You don’t get upset. You don’t whine and pout. You don’t blame others (or yourself). You don’t get angry.
And most importantly, YOU DO NOT COMPLAIN.
Patience may require you to suffer in silence, but only to a certain extent. That is because the next element will alleviate the suffering.
To rely on Allah means you turn your affairs over to Him. You let Him handle things. You don’t have to suffer in silence because you trust in Allah to take care of everything, and you know that no one can take care of things the way Allah takes care of things.
He is the best disposer of affairs. You may even recite a dua to help keep this in mind. I would suggest you memorize and recite the dua made by the Companions of the Cave when they had to flee their disbelieving people:
Our Lord, grant us from Yourself mercy and prepare for us from our affair right guidance.
Chapter 18, verse 10.
You now have the formula for success. Put it into practice and, Inshallah, you will be successful.