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February 25, 2004
Blind Tawakkul

by Gillette aka Hassan[uddin] Khaja

The same chorus is repeated over and over again, particularly with regards to marriage. This chorus is of the blind tawakkul school of thought, the school of thought that argues that since everything is willed, there's no point in putting any effort into doing good. Apparently, in "Islam," we believe that Allah (SWT) has already written for us who we are to get married to, so there's no reason to worry about who we marry.

Why marriage in particular? Last time I checked, Allah (SWT) willed everything.

To marry a pious spouse is obviously a good deed. So, all good deeds being equal, what if we saw the blind tawakkulites' logic through to completion? Any smart Muslim knows that good deeds require effort, though the effort might be large or small. So if tawakkulites reason that there is no point in putting effort into finding a spouse, why not apply their logic to prayer? According to their logic, it makes perfect sense, Islamically speaking, to sit down through the whole Super Bowl, miss however many salawaat would be missed, and say, "Allah (SWT) never willed for me to pray."

What about people in failed marriages? Would we tell a divorced woman who was battered in her previous marriage that she shouldn't put effort into looking for the right husband because everything is "willed" anyway?

What about the age-old custom of arranged marriages by parents? Blind tawakkulites overlook the many instances where someone actually looks for a spouse for their son or daughter. This doesn't keep with the tawakkulites' reasoning that a spouse will just fall in our laps.

This school of thought has spilled over into other instances as well - namely political activism. Obviously, if someone isn't praying, fasting, or giving in charity, then there are indeed other things to worry about aside from the oppression of the Palestinians. And, of course, our misdeeds and sins are more hurtful to the Chechens than Russia's bombs.

The blind tawakkulites, however, would have us believe that the success from Allah (SWT) will only come from our ibaadaat. As much as I would like for this to be true, as it might be seem to be the best way to get people to the masaajid, I think we all know that this is wrong.

The tawakkul line of thinking comes completely in line with efforts to separate Islam from all aspects of our life, to the point where Islam becomes Christianity.

of and relating to...
Blind Tawakkuler said

As-salamu ‘Alaikum,

Lol – I may be wrong but this might be in response to the comment I made in the previous edition of “Fire”

Clarification of my comment:

I mentioned some people annoyed with the partition because it ruins their chances of getting married. My comment was for them in particular that they should not worry too much about it- such that it leads them to sinning. Rather they spend that time listening to the lecture and getting closer to Allah(swt)…

In general, I agree that efforts should be made. For eg explaining your mother/grandma what kind of person “they”(not you) should look for or hoping to meet someone “on campus” lol. But both these examples again have the concept of tawakkul, since your mom, not you, will be finding someone and arrange the marriage –you can only hope that they find someone good. As far as “on campus” its extremely easy to cross the line and enter a prohibited relationship... Allah o Alam. These actions are different from studying for an exam or praying during super bowl. You don’t hope that you will study or pray – you just do it.
I hope I’m making sense. If not then I’m sure Hassan will be posting a list of things we can do which will require less Tawakkul and more action :)
Allah Knows best

on February 25, 2004 7:52 PM
Gillette said

"...But both these examples again have the concept of tawakkul..."

tawakkul in who? your parents? tawakkul in allah (SWT) means doing everything islamic that is in YOUR means to get results. under the logic of the blind tawakkulite, this means putting full trust in one's parents' choice, assuming that this is what allah (SWT) "willed," and accept it, good or bad.

"...I hope I’m making sense."

You're not.

"If not then I’m sure Hassan will be posting a list of things we can do which will require less Tawakkul and more action :)..."

Here's one:

"...explaining [to] your mother/grandma what kind of person 'they'(not you) should look for..."

on February 26, 2004 7:19 AM
Tanweer said

As-salamu 'Alaikum,

This is going no where. I just wanna say that Br Hassan is much more knowledgable and pious than I am, and so is probably right. Inshallah I will ask the imam and get a better understanding on this...

on February 26, 2004 10:37 AM
Wajahat Gilani said

Trusting in Allah and Taking the Means

Answered byShaykh Gibril Haddad

How does on join between putting one’s trust in Allah and taking the means? Can’t the former lead to lazy ‘reliance…’

As-Salamu `alaykum:

We should not confuse Tawakkul - reliance on Allah - with the acts we do in a period of deliberation, reflection, consultation, and special prayer before an important decision. Those acts and that period may come to an end, however, Tawakkul never ends. No matter what the decision, or when, we continue relying on Allah even for matters that seem granted and far less momentous. "Tie it [the camel] and rely [on Allah]" meaning go ahead and act - after due consideration - but always rely on Allah: before, during, and after.


on February 26, 2004 11:21 AM
student said

I just wanted to understand - WHY, of all the times and places, would you find the 2 hours of Thursday evenings during ISRU the time and place to look for a marriage partner?

Action's important, but so is Tawakkul Hasan. You need belief, before you act on it. And you need both to get to heaven. So I don't see much wrong in believing that a partition doesn't hinder my chances at finding a marriage partner because God's planned that out. Having said that, however, I agree that just because God's planned that out, just like everything else, doesn't mean we sit around and twiddle our thumbs, waiting for the plan to carry out. In this particular case (seeking during ISRU) I would only reiterate Talal's and Blind Tawakkulli's point, that ISRU isn't the forum for that.

on February 26, 2004 11:23 AM
Gillette said

To Tanweer,

1) You're implying that I was only seeking to be right. I just wanted to tell you that I picked up on your sarcasm.

2) The timing for this article was off. I had this topic in mind for a while, but the fact that it came up on hidaya - and that I didn't have anything else to write about :P - compelled me to finally write it. I'm sorry if it came off as a personal attack on you.

To Wajahat,

Where's that quote from: "Tie it..."?

To student,

1) ISRU is more than 2-hour meetings. go to muslims.rutgers.edu and click on the link "committees" if you want to know what more they have to offer. Do it because you love Allah (SWT), not because you love marriage.

2) I think the bottom line is that tawakkul and action can't be separated. I apologize if I didn't make that clear in my article.

on February 26, 2004 12:17 PM
Wajahat Gilani said


Hassan www.sunnipath.com.

Student, Isru is a good place to meet good girls. Most brothers don't party, club, or hang out with girls. Isru, therefore, serves as a good source to actually interact with "practicing" or at the very least "trying to practice" sisters.

Wajahat Gilani

on February 27, 2004 9:42 AM
student said


Much as I respect the board members, the concept, the roadmap and efforts of ISRU, among other things, I wanted to point out that you're gravely mistaken if you think all, or even most, females at ISRU are 'practicing' or 'trying to practice'.

I don't intend to open a can of worms, but being female and having been to quite a few ISRU gatherings, meetings, etc. I can speak from experience. Granted, the environment, setting, and _some_ attendees compell you to go down the practicing path, but the attendees are a different story, now. 5 - 6 yrs ago your stmt might have been fitting.

And plz, all females who'll get offended, don't. You know it's true (if this was an all female forum, I could point out a few examples). And this point's been brought up before (by Arif and Talal I believe, can't seem to recall teh article though).

on February 27, 2004 11:29 AM
Gillette said

assalamu 'alaikum,

To Wajahat,

"Student, Isru is a good place to meet good girls... Isru, therefore, serves as a good source to actually interact with 'practicing' or at the very least 'trying to practice' sisters."

we interact with the opposite gender out of necessity, since interacting with them is part of running the muslim organization. BUT, if someone goes to interact with them with the intent of finding a spouse, as you imply, then that person negates the necessity.

we can't say that we can compromise for the sake of finding a spouse because there are halaal means to do this without ever engaging in unnecessary conversation.

to student,

"...you're gravely mistaken if you think all, or even most, females at ISRU are 'practicing' or 'trying to practice'."

you can't make the call that the sisters at ISRU are not "trying," because you don't know what goes on in their heads. Even if they actually "tell" you why they have shortcomings, no one can or will explain the whole situation, for the sake of privacy. we can, however, say that they're not trying hard enough, with examples of people who are trying.

"And plz, all females who'll get offended, don't. You know it's true (if this was an all female forum, I could point out a few examples). And this point's been brought up before (by Arif and Talal I believe, can't seem to recall teh [sic] article though)."

If you'd like to write for hidaya, e-mail "info@hidayaonline.com" with:

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If you want to write weekly or bi-weekly
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on February 27, 2004 12:07 PM
Wajahat Gilani said


hassan, I'm talking about in a halal manner, like previous brothers and sisters have done.

Student, actions can be judged but not people, try to take your frustrations and channel them in a more constructive manner. my freshman year, Isru was a welcoming environment that overlooked my faults and gave me support to improve myself. it didn't force things upon people with a heavy hand (although the older brothers had no problem doing that).

Wajahat Gilani

on February 27, 2004 2:46 PM
Gillette said

To Wajahat,

"hassan, I'm talking about in a halal manner, like previous brothers and sisters have done."

define "halal manner." you said ISRU is a good place to meet girls. what i'm trying to say is that if one goes to ISRU for the sake of meeting girls, there's something wrong with the interaction. at ISRU, we only interact with sisters because that interaction is necessary for the well-being of an Islamic organization, the existence of which can be considered a necessity. if someone is involved in ISRU for any reason other than the necessity of a good islamic organization on-campus, then that factor of necessity in dealing with sisters for the well-being of the Islamic organization is not there. when the necessity goes, the permissibility goes as well.

on February 27, 2004 5:11 PM
Wajahat Gilani said


I'm talking about brothers, when it came time to marriage, chose among girls they know and worked with in Isru. They interacted with them on a formal level, but when it came time to bring up the topic of marriage, they went about it through proper channels. That is what your talking about.

Also, I'm talking about someone who wants to know who a particular sister is. After an Isru meeting or at an Isru function he can find out, and go through the proper channels once again.

I'm not talking about casual talking to Isru girls, although that does happen.

Wajahat Gilani

on February 28, 2004 11:02 AM
saima said

a story i'd like to share with all of you...

Freshman year: a bright and energetic 18-yr old muslim girl wanted to start a new beginning at college. She was a t-shirt and jeans type of girl; however she never missed any of her daily prayers that she had started a few years back. There was a spark within her heart that she couldn't describe. She decided to go to the activities fair and join all of the organizations that reflected her identity. She came across the ISRU table. Two brothers in seemingly modest and muslim attire were sitting at the table. Across the table were leaflets and pamphlets on various topic. Thirsty for knowledge, she picked up some. Since she had come to college that weekend, she wanted to make sure about the qibla direction in her dorm; she want to know if anyone had any information on the specific degrees on the little compass that was on her prayer mat. She asked the brothers and the first question they asked was "Are you muslim ?". She nodded yes and she felt them look at her attire. They went on explaining that it was such and such off from the direction of route 18. They also pointed at and explained that a group of sisters were going for dhur prayers at that time. She looked in their direction and was dismayed. They asked if she was a freshman; she replied yes. They gave her a freshman packet and without really answering her question.

She thought to herself, if only they knew what was in her heart. And Allah knows best.

She went to the ISRU meetings. Met a few girls; she got the feeling that most looked down at her for being a non-hijaabi. She went to gain knowledge. She loved the speakers. She came in 10 minutes late for the meetings and left exactly when they ended. Left no room to be uncomfortable around others. She felt she wasn't religious enough. There were many cliques.

She took hijaab that following Ramadan against the wishes of her family.

Two years later: she was a long-skirts and hijaab type of girl. She had stopped going to ISRU.

That following year, after a spiritual change within her heart only by the way of Allah the Almighty, she went for prayers at Paul Robeson. She then started to go back to the ISRU meetings. The group had changed since then and the atmosphere was more inviting. Or maybe it was just her. A sister said salaam, and so on another. Others approached her after meetings saying they'd seen her before. It was a good feeling. She saw a non-hijaabi sister sitting alone, and decided to go up to her and talk to her. She saw in her herself.

And that was the beginning.

on March 2, 2004 2:18 PM
Gillette said

If anyone would like to stop posting long comments and start posting weekly articles,Send in:
Column title
Column sample
Some idea of what you want to write about.
If you want to write weekly or bi-weekly
Email address
Whether or not you're an RU student/alumni
to info@hidayaonline.com

on March 2, 2004 2:52 PM
Rami said

Masha Allah sister, very beautiful. I think Gillette is right on that one...it definitely deserves to be posted front page as an article on Hidaya.

If you havent read it already, I'd like you to read this, and let me know what you think.

"Harry Potter & the American muslims, part2"

on March 2, 2004 4:05 PM
saima said

i'm working on it :)

on March 2, 2004 6:11 PM
saima said

Br. Rami you've hit the nail on that article. It also seems that a lot of these "misunderstandings" are based on insecurities on both sides. If you notice some people will have both hijaabi and non-hijaabi friends because they look beyond many things in a person and they are comfortable and confident as to where they are with themselves.

we had a very big "smile" movement a couple of years back with the ISRU sisters where SMILE stood for "sisters make islamic life easier". and our basis was that every friendship begins with a smile and friendship amongst muslim "Sisters Makes Islamic Life Easier". it's purpose was to serve EVERY sister (hijaabi or non-hijaabi).

Insha'Allah, a change within ourselves will result in a change within our community.

on March 2, 2004 7:24 PM
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