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IslamQA: The meaning of relying on God in Islam (tawakkul)

Salaam. Is it wrong if I depend on myself on so many things? I still pray my prayers and do Islamic deeds, but I was taught to depend on Allah about almost everything. I'm nore of a person of effort and will step back if things doesn't go the way I wanted it to, then question what's wrong and reflect in my prayers.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

Relying on God (tawakkul) means to recognize that most things in this world are outside our control, so we acknowledge that God is in charge and that He can make things go smoothly for us if He wants, and if He does not want then even the simplest things (making it to your job on time) can be very difficult.

It is natural for us to rely on ourselves for the things that are easily within our power (such as making a cup of coffee). But the more pious we are and the closer we are to God, the more we recognize the importance of His help and blessings. God’s help can make the difference between having a nice, productive day and a complete waste of a day. So ideally we should seek God’s help and guidance with every one of our five daily prayers (at least). We already do that when we recite Surat al-Fatiha where we say “You we worship and You we ask for help.”

Relying on God does not mean that we expect Him to do miracles for us. It is a good thing to always do the most intelligent and rational thing and if you fail to step back and try to work out what you did wrong. But even in this God’s help is needed; God can make the difference between finding the right solution immediately or running around in circles for days and months without getting out of your difficulty. The more you read the Quran and understand God the more you realize your utter dependence on His help and support.

And God knows best.
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