By Aliya Vaughn
“And in Allah do believers put their trust.”
Surah Al-Imran 3:160
The first time the words ‘trust in God’ resonated in my heart was many years ago when I was a student. I had an extraordinary experience when my house mate dragged me, reluctantly, to church one Sunday morning. The congregation were sitting in silent prayer, but every now and then, someone would feel moved to speak. As I wasn’t a religious person, this unnerved me a bit, but being polite I remained in my seat. Little did I know that the woman in front of me would change my life forever with just one word. She said: “The only One you can put your full trust in, is God.”
“The only One you can put your full trust in, is God.”
As soon as she said the word ‘trust,’ it was as if a bright, pure light illuminated from the core of my heart and spread throughout my body. It was powerful and quick and I reacted with a jolt, but I didn’t feel pain. Instead I felt comforted and cleansed by it. Until that day I never really understood what people meant when they said they’d ‘seen the light.’ I always dismissed it as a fantasy, but I literally experienced a spiritual light in my heart and within the whole of my being, and I have had a strong connection with the word ‘trust’ in relation to God ever since. As a Muslim, Allah has tested me with that trust during many times of uncertainty. And now in the spring of 2020, I’m being tested again during a global health pandemic, as we all are.
We are now witnessing an unprecedented time of uncertainty during the Coronavirus lockdown. Not only is there the threat of contracting this highly contagious disease, but our freedom of movement has been severely restricted causing us to become socially isolated and physically disconnected from our loved ones. Even our normal every day activities have been put on hold. Many of us have had our employment halted or lost our jobs altogether creating financial stress and economic uncertainty. Mass panic resulted in bulk buying with some items becoming scarce and in short supply. This in turn, created an unnecessary and opportunistic raising of prices by wholesale and retail shop owners. As boredom sets in and levels of uncertainty rise, conspiracy theories and fake news are becoming rampant. The more people share unverified information, the more alarm and panic spirals out of control. Shaytaan continues to sow turbulence and unrest with his whisperings and people are oblivious to how they are contributing to the destabilisation of the masses.
In all this chaos and madness, there is only One you can put your full trust in, and that is Allah. So, let us stop! Pause for a moment and just breathe…
We do not have control over all things – only Allah does. We do not know what the future holds – only Allah does. We do not have knowledge of the unseen – so let us put our full trust in the One Who does – Allah, alone.
“And if Allah should touch you with adversity, there is no remover of it except Him. And if He touches you with good – then He is over all things competent.”
Surah Al-An’am 6:17
Government guidelines on disease prevention and control are changing daily creating increasing paranoia, obsessions with hygiene and over anxiousness. We worry about droplets in the air, unclean surfaces, where our children and pets have been, what they have touched and what they are bringing back into the house as well as the items we purchase and who has touched them further down the production line. If we dwell and over think too much, we can make ourselves unwell. There is only so much we can do to limit the spread of a pandemic outbreak. So far, we have been advised to stay indoors, maintain social distancing, reduce social movement including unnecessary trips to the shops and ensure diligent hygiene practises. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Tie your camel then put your trust in Allah.” (At-Tirmidhi No. 2517).
We have to do the best we can within our control and then leave the outcome to Allah. Our fate (Qadar) is already written, but as long as we use our intellect, take the right actions and necessary precautions, we would have tied our camel with no need for regret.
“And rely upon Allah; and sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs.”
Surah Al-Ahzab 33:3
This is not the first time I have faced job loss and financial insecurity. Its normal to worry about sustenance, but Allah is Ar-Razzaq (The Provider) and Al-Muqeet (The Sustainer) and will provide for me in one way or another. I just need to take the necessary steps to create or find new employment and I can only do my best. My needs will be fulfilled by Allah and I have to trust in that.
“And He provides for him from (sources) he never could imagine. And if any one puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is (Allah) for him.”
Surah Al-Talaaq 65:3
Another question during this time of uncertainty may be: When are we going to come out of quarantine and what will the world look like? Only Allah Knows. There are times in our lives when we do not know what the future holds but we have to carry on regardless. How many times have you been through a period of uncertainty and instability? Maybe it was a break down in a relationship, a pregnancy, an exam, job loss or homelessness? Did you think you wouldn’t cope? Did you worry about the outcome? Did you get through it? Many of us have lived to tell the tale and thank Allah for carrying us through a period of difficulty. When Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) migrated from Mecca to Medina, his life was in danger, but he put his full trust in Allah who guided him to safety and security and into the welcoming arms of the people of Medina. He fled persecution but was blessed with protection and prosperity. Prophet Musa fled for his life from Pharoah and his army but was saved by Allah by the parting of the sea. These may be miracles but Allah only has to say ‘Be’ and it comes into being. (Surah Yasin 36:82). Allah doesn’t want us to needlessly worry or fear the unknown. He wants us to turn to Him with full reliance and trust. We must not doubt Allah’s Ability and Power. We must have good opinions and thoughts concerning Him. After all, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said in hadith Qudsi, that Allah says:
‘I am as my servant thinks of Me (or expects Me to be).’ (Buhkari, Muslim, at-Tirmidhi and Ibn-Majah).
“So do not lose hope or fall into despair.”
Surah Al-Imran 3:139
This is an excellent opportunity for us to focus on boosting our faith and increasing our reliance and trust upon Allah. The prophets often spent time in seclusion to contemplate, re-focus and re-charge their faith. We can do the same, especially now as Ramadhan is approaching. As worshippers, we remind ourselves seventeen times a day to trust in Allah in our prayers with the words, ‘ You alone we worship and You alone we seek help in.’
So, let us keep up our prayers. Let’s keep making dua (supplications) and adkhar (words of remembrance); keep repenting; keep giving in charity and keep up the good deeds. This pandemic may have brought out the worst in people but it has also brought out the very best in people. So, let us be among the best of people and make wise use of the quality time we have. But above all, let us increase our tawakkul (trust and reliance) upon Allah Who is ultimately in control.
“And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him.”
Surah At-Talaq 65:3
The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
“How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for his affairs are all good, and this applies to no one but the believer. If something good happens to him, he is thankful for it and that is good for him. If something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience and that is good for him.”
About the author:
Aliya Vaughan has been a Muslim for 25 years. She lives in the UK with her husband and children. She is a qualified life coach and author. She has recently published her award-winning children’s story ‘A Race to Prayer’ with Kube Publishing.