Is it necessary to rely on causes?
Question: The following is written in the book Endless Bliss, “If a person thinks that someone other than Allahu ta’âlâ affects actions and deeds, his tawhîd will be defective. If he says there is no need for any causes, he will have deviated from Sharî’at [Islam]. If he says that it is unnecessary to put the causes in between, he will have been unreasonable. If he says that they are necessary, he will have put his tawakkul (trust) in the one who has prepared the causes, a case which shows a defect in tawhîd.” I cannot understand this passage. Whether we place our trust in causes or not, both cases are blameworthy. Then what form should our tawakkul take?
Yes, the subject tawakkul is difficult to understand. Let us explain the passage above in three principles:
1. We have to believe in the fact that everything, good or evil, advantage or harm, is created by Allahu ta’âlâ. Our belief will not be correct if we say that some things affect some things, for it is Allahu ta’âlâ who creates all things. The purport of an âyah (verse) is as follows:
(It is Allah who creates you and your deeds.) [Sûrat-us-Saffât, 96]
2. If we say that there is no need for any causes in order for deeds to be done, then we will have denied the causes set by Allahu ta’âlâ. For example, it would be very wrong to say, “I will have a child even if I do not marry.” Such causes as a father and a mother are necessary for having a child.
3. If we say that causes are necessary and indispensable, we will have relied on causes, a case which again shows a defect in tawhîd. In other words, just as it is wrong to say a person can have a child without there being a man and a wife, so it is very wrong to consider a man and a wife absolutely necessary for a child’s coming into the world and to say that Allahu ta’âlâ does not have a role in a child’s being created. There may be parents, but they may not have a child. In the same way, Allahu ta’âlâ can create a child without there being parents at all. As a matter of fact, He created Hadrat Âdam and Hadrat Hawwa without parents and Hadrat ‘Îsâ without a father. We must not repose our reliance in causes and means. We must know that it is Allahu ta’âlâ, too, who creates the causes and means.
We live in the world of causes. The Divine Habit of Allahu ta’âlâ is to create something through causes. If something is created without a cause, then it is mu’jiza or karamah. The Creator of magic is Allahu ta’âlâ. He is the Creator of everything.
Let us summarize these three principles:
If we want to do a deed, we will hold fast to its causes, but at the same time, we will not say that causes certainly will do this deed. For instance, we should marry in order to have a child, but we must not say that we will definitely have a child because we have married. If we are ill, we should go to doctors, take medicine, or undergo an operation. But we must not say that these causes have made us healthy. Maybe we will exhale our last breath on the operation table. We must not rely on causes and agencies. We must know that the One who creates the causes and who gives them effectivity is Allahu ta’âlâ.
The sustenance of every creature on earth
Question: Today some people, maybe out of the struggle to make a living, do not care about the halâl and harâm. There are also those who cannot make ends meet even though all the individuals in their families work. People tell lies, cheat others, and are heedless of human rights. Is it true to worry about sustenance to such an extent?
It is not appropriate to be heedless of the halâl and harâm. Islamic scholars state, “People should expect the help from the person or thing they have put their trust in.”
Once a scholar was asked, “You are always busy with acts of worship. What do you eat and drink?” He showed his teeth in answer. That is, “He who makes the mill will send its water,” he meant to say. For his belief in Allahu ta’âlâ’s sending the sustenance was firm. The purport of a verse is as follows:
(Allah certainly provides sustenance for each creature on earth.)[Sûrat-u Hûd, 6]
Hadrat Waysal Qarânî told a person who asked advice, “Settle in Damascus.” That person inquired, “I wonder how the life standard in Damascus is?” Hadrat Waysal Qarânî answered, “Shame upon those who doubt about their sustenance. Advice will do them no good.”
The Qur’ân al-karîm purports:
(If you have îmân, put your tawakkul in Allah.) [Sûrat-ul-Mâ’ida, 23]
It is declared in ahâdîth:
(If you put your tawakkul in Allahu ta’âlâ thoroughly, He would provide sustenance for you as He provides it for birds, which go out with empty, hungry stomachs in the morning and come back with their stomachs filled, satiated in the evening.) [Tirmudhî]
(If a person trusts himself to Allahu ta’âlâ, Allahu ta’âlâ will come to his help in his every deed. He will send him sustenance from places which he does not expect at all.) [Bayhaqî]