The brief journey we call life

Mohamedarif-Suleman The writer, Mohamedarif Mohamed Suleman (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) is a digital marketing specialist and an Educator-cum-Trainer. He has involved himself in community organisations and matters from a young age, and through his writings, continues to speak of social and cultural reform to this day. He is also the founding moderator of this forum.



aught up in our day-to-day chores, our ambitions and our aspirations, the zeal and pursuit of the fulfilment of needs, and to conform to social and political norms, we almost always forget that this life on which we are building so hard is not meant to last.  The arrival of the Holy month should usher in this awakening of our souls, for if we squander the opportunity, we may continue wandering in bemusement and bewilderment as we continue over-investing in this life.

From the time we are gaining maturity to the time we depart, it seems like a lot of time but measured by the clock of Me’raaj, it may just be as long as the blink of an eye after all.  Just as currency controls make one currency much less in value upon crossing geographic and national borders, so does time dilation change the understanding of time, in real terms.

This being the holy month of Allah (SWT) and the selected theme is about the holy month and the holy book, it would warrant picking some aspect or another from Al Qur’an that would potentially put much-needed emphasis on our worldview, for example.

Fundamental to our set of beliefs is to have trust in Allah, an easy thing to say and to preach but an awkwardly difficult protocol to follow. 

Allah states in Sura Al Furqaan: 56 “Put your trust in the everliving (Lord), who does not die, and celebrate His praise, and He is (adequately) well aware of the faults of His servants”

And whereas the context of this verse is attendant to the time of Prophet Musa and Harun and introduces the people of Nuh as a group of people who denied prophets and ultimately drowned in the flood, the verse also mentions the people of ‘?d, Tham?d, and Ras. The relation of the admonition to our lives is crystal clear.

Lip service trust is no trust and because of that each one of us suffers immensely at the hands of shattered dreams and broken hopes, whereas if we were trained to think in the right way, we probably would exercise greater acceptance of the realities that befall us – good or bad.

In his book Anecdotes of Reflection – Part 2, Sayyid Ali Akbar Sadaaqat writes:

Tawakkul (placing one’s trust in Allah) is a jar that has been sealed with Allah’s seal, and only that person who does not rely on Allah and place his trust in Him, shall break open the seal of the jar and consume its contents.

The lowest grade of tawakkul is when a person does not strive to act upon his own principles before the right time, and does not endeavour to acquire more than what has been ordained for him. The essence of tawakkul is entrusting one’s affairs to Allah, and if a person is heedless towards the actual ‘cause’, i.e. Allah, he shall not achieve the reality of tawakkul.

Tawakkul can never be realized by mere words and claims, rather, it is an internal and esoteric issue, which finds its roots in faith and belief, and it is by abandoning all hopes and aspirations that a person can arrive at the reality of tawakkul.

The writer then shares several short stories to illuminate the subject further, amongst which one is about a trader.

The Trader Who Placed His Trust In Allah

During the time of the Noble Prophet (S) there lived a trader who, in all affairs, always placed his trust in Allah. He used to travel from Syria to Madinah for trade and during one of his trips, he was confronted by a bandit who drew his sword and intended to kill him.

“If it is my wealth that you desire, come and take it and leave me alone,” pleaded the trader.

“Killing you is a must, for if I let you go free, you will identify me to the authorities,” said the bandit.

“In that case give me respite till I have offered a two rak’at prayer,” requested the trader.

The bandit agreed and the trader engaged himself in prayers. Having completed the prayers, he raised his hands and beseeched: ‘O’ Lord! I have heard from Your Prophet that whoever places his trust in You shall remain protected. I have no helper in this desert and Your grace is my only hope.’

Having placed all his trust in Allah, he had hardly completed his supplication when a rider on a white horse loomed in the distance. When he came close, the rider confronted the bandit and killed him with one stroke of his sword. Then, turning to the trader, he said: “O’ You, who places your trust in Allah! I have killed the enemy of Allah and He has delivered you from him.”

“Who are you that you have come to my assistance in this desert?” the trader asked.

“I am your tawakkul. Allah brought me out in the form of an Angel and I was in the heavens when Jibra`il called out to me and said: “Hasten to the assistance of your master and exterminate his enemy”, and here I have come and eliminated your enemy.” Having said thus, he disappeared out of sight.

The trader fell down in prostration of thanksgiving to Allah and acquired a stronger conviction with respect to the instructions of the Noble Prophet (S) regarding tawakkul. On arrival in Madinah, he approached the Noble Prophet (S) and narrated what had transpired.

“Indeed! Tawakkul raises a person to the pinnacle of success and the rank of a person who possesses it, is equivalent to the ranks of the Prophets, the friends of Allah, the righteous ones and the martyrs,” said the Prophet (S)

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