Tawakkul- A Factor of Patience
Posted March 22, 2013on:
One of the various factors of patience is Tawakkul, or trust in God. Tawakkul is when one is certain that everything will be alright because God has a plan for everybody. One must have complete trust and faith in God, as nobody can plan their own destiny. Fate remains in the hands of God only, and it is silly when people think that they can shape their own fate by themselves. Of course, everybody must work hard in order to succeed, but people also must have faith and trust in God. People often lose hope for themselves because they forget that God has a plan for everybody. In this way, it is important for everybody to remember God all of the time. It is commonly said that success only comes from hard work and prayer. These days, it is not uncommon to hear the words, “Stay strong”, “Never give up”, or “Refuse to sink”. It is common to hear inspiring words in songs that promote patience. Not only is Tawakkul referenced by the Quran, but it is also referenced by songs. A variety of songs contain references of Tawakkul, even though several weren’t created by Muslims. Some examples of songs that mention patience, hope, and trust, are Livin’ on a Prayer by Bon Jovi, Float On by Modest Mouse, Hand in My Pocket by Alanis Morissette, Amsterdam by Imagine Dragons, Wavin’ Flag by K’Naan, and Don’t Stop Believing by Journey.
The well-known classic rock and roll song from 1986, Livin’ on a Prayer, by Bon Jovi, has inspired many. The chorus of the song goes, “Woah, we’re half-way there, livin’ (sic) on a prayer. Take my hand, and we’ll make it, I swear.” The song is about a hard-working couple who are struggling to persevere through the tough economy. The message of the song basically is to never give up because everybody will make it through and survive. One can deduct from the chorus of the song that the couple is strong in faith, since they are “livin’ on a prayer”. Therefore, this song is an example of a situation that involves Tawakkul because it is about having strong faith by knowing that everything will be okay.
The song, “Float On”, by the modern indie-rock band, Modest Mouse, is an example of a song which indirectly mentions having Tawakkul. The chorus of the song goes, “And we’ll all float on okay. And we’ll all float on alright; already we’ll all float on. Now don’t you worry we’ll all float on”. The song is about common mistakes that anybody is capable of making, but how it is okay to make them because everything will end fine. The message is that, no matter how bad everything seems to be, in the long run, everything will end up alright. The song is an example of Tawakkul because it states that everything will eventually be okay.
During the song, “Hand in My Pocket”, Alanis Morissette says, “And what it all comes down to is that everything’s gonna (sic) be fine, fine, fine”. During this song, she sings about her imperfections but how she’s still happy because she knows that everything is going to be okay. She sings about how she’s poor, small, lost, and tired, but at the same time she’s kind and happy. Her feelings in this song can be related to the Islamic teaching of being thankful for what you have, because situations can be a lot worse. In this way, “Hand in My Pocket” by Alanis Morissette is an indirect reference to Tawakkul since, in the song, she says that everything will be fine.
The song “Amsterdam” by the popular indie/alternative rock band, Imagine Dragons, is yet another song that is about patience. The chorus of the song goes, “Your time will come if you wait for it, if you wait for it. It’s hard, believe me, I’ve tried.” The message of the song is that if you aren’t happy right now, you eventually will find happiness if you wait for it. The wait will surely be worth it, since it takes difficulty. Nothing in life comes easy but if one prays and works hard, they are bound to find happiness. This song is an indirect reference to both Tawakkul and Jihad, or struggle, because it says that the wait for happiness to arise takes patience, perseverance, and faith.
Wavin’ Flag is a song by a Somalian Muslim by the stage name of K’naan. Several parts of the song make references to Tawakkul. The chorus is, “When I get older, I will be stronger, they’ll call me freedom, just like a waving flag”. In the first verse, he says, “And we’re struggling, fighting to eat. And we’re wondering when we’ll be free. So we patiently wait for that fateful day, it’s not far away, but for now we’ll say…”. The song is about how he used to be poor but because of his patience and faith he is not poor anymore. In this way, this song is a reference to Tawakkul.
Don’t Stop Believing, by Journey, is another classic rock song that conveys a message telling us to keep believing and having faith in ourselves. In order to have faith in ourselves, we have to have faith in God as well, because God gives us courage. Part of the chorus of the song is, “Don’t stop believing, and hold on to that feeling”. The song is saying to have faith and to not give up, therefore promoting Tawakkul.
Tawakkul is mentioned through various stories and quotes from the Quran. Tawakkul is mentioned in the following verse from Surah Baqarah, 2:216: “But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.” While things may seem awful, they actually might be good for us. For example, fruits and vegetables don’t please most children because they would rather eat sweets. Little do they know that fruits and vegetables are good for their bodies and sweets are not! Another example is studying; studying usually is not an enjoyable activity, but it is good for us. By means of events, if something bad happens, the misfortune may actually open doors for good things to happen. An example of Tawakkul during Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)’s life was when he experienced a dark stage, when he received no revelations from God until Surah Ad-Duha, or in English, The Morning Light, was revealed to him. This surah, or chapter, says that after every difficulty, there is rest, and to always work hard and to remember God. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) began to lose hope during his dark stage, but after surah Ad-Duha was revealed to him, he started to regain hope and trust in God.
It is impossible for faith to exist when there is no Tawakkul. It is almost impossible for patience to exist when there is no Tawakkul. A theory from Homer’s epic, The Odyssey, is that after adversity there is light. This proves that people of any faith can have Tawakkul. Success in the hereafter is better than success in this life, because this life is only temporary, while life in the hereafter is eternal. If one prays and remembers God but does not feel bliss and doesn’t succeed in this life, they might be rewarded during the Afterlife if they have pleased God. It is important to pray and remember God because it is possible to be rewarded in both this life and the next life. It is dangerous for those who do not pray and remember God because although they may succeed in this life, they may not succeed in the next. If life is tough now, we must be patient and remember God so that life can be pleasurable in the hereafter, for God’s punishment is dreadful. Possessions and success will not help us pass through the gates of Paradise; only good deeds will. So if any misfortunes occur, we should be patient and have Tawakkul that we will be okay because of God’s help. “God guides whom He will” is a popular quote by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). We should be patient and pray to God in order for Him to guide us on a straight path. A well-known quote is “Good things come to those who wait but better things come to those who are patient”. We must keep in mind to not only wait for good things, but to be patient for them too. We must remember that this life that we are currently living in is not our only life. We have the Hereafter. Anything that we earn in this life can be taken away, because God is omnipotent. However, the Afterlife is eternal and permanent, and therefore rewards in the Afterlife are more superior to awards in the current life. It is necessary for us to be patient and to have faith, and in order to do that, we must have Tawakkul.
As I opened my laptop and began brainstorming ideas of what to write for this essay, I thought back to a post about Tawakkul that a friend posted on Facebook that morning. I thought to myself, “Is this not the perfect topic or what?”. As I was reading my friend’s post about Tawakkul that morning, I didn’t even think about how it related to patience. However, as I researched more about Tawakkul, I realized that it would be the perfect topic for my essay.
My goal was for my essay to be a formal essay about how Tawakkul is referenced through songs. However, I found the formal essay as being too dry, so I tried to make it more personal by adding words such as “we”, and “us”. I also added some Quranic references and references to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)’s life. The inspirations for the songs that I mentioned came from my own music taste, which is mostly indie and classic rock. I tried to be specific while describing and analyzing the information in my essay.
Writing has been one of my passions since I was about eleven years old. I would say that my writing is different than others’ because I pay close attention to grammar, after being drilled for years in Latin class, and I try to expand my vocabulary by thinking about my Latin roots and by using my favorite iPhone app, the Dictionary.com app, which sends me updates every day! When I was younger, I tried to expand my vocabulary by throwing big words that I didn’t know the meanings of into my compositions in order to sound intelligent. However, somebody would always correct me and tell me that I used the word wrong, and he or she would tell me the definition of the word which I used incorrectly, but in the end, it helped me learn the meanings of more words. I have to admit that I sometimes even use that method today.
The main purpose of my essay was to convey the meaning and significance of Tawakkul and how it relates to patience and faith. I hope that after reading my essay, people will think differently (in a positive way) about patience and remembering God.