Adopting different means while having Tawakkul

Q: Some students of Islamic theology came across the following Hadith in their studies: A Bedouin came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said, “Should I hobble my camel or just put my trust in Allah (have Tawakkul)?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to him, “Hobble your camel and put your trust in Allah.” However, some people say that this Hadith is not confirmed to be true. Please inform us whether or not this Hadith is Sahih (authentic).


A: It is recorded by Al-Tirmidhy in his Sunan (Hadith compilation classified by jurisprudential themes) on the authority of Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) who narrated: A man asked, “O Messenger of Allah! Should I hobble it (my mount) and put my trust in Allah? Or should I let it go and put my trust in Allah?” He (peace be upon him) said, “Hobble it and put your trust in Allah.” In his commentary on the Hadith Al-Tirmidhy reported that Yahya ibn Sa‘id Al-Qattan said, “In my opinion this Hadith is Munkar (rejected Hadith reported by a weak narrator whose narration conflicts with an authentic Hadith).” Al-Tirmidhy then said, “This Hadith of Anas is Gharib (a Hadith with a single narrator usually at the beginning of the chain of narration) which we only know through this narrator (Anas).” Al-Tirmidhy added, “Something of similar meaning is narrated on the authority of `Amr ibn Umayyah Al-Damry from the Prophet (peace be upon him). Furthermore, Al-Hafizh Al-Haythamy quoted in his book: “Majma‘-ul-Zawa’id wa Manba‘-ul-Fawa’id,” in the tenth volume under the chapter entitled, “Tie it and Rely on Allah!” - the Hadith that Al-Tirmidhy referred to. He said, "`Amr ibn Umayyah narrated: “O Messenger of Allah! Should I release my mount and put my trust in Allah?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Rather, tie it up and put your trust in Allah.” Reported by Al-Tabarany through two Isnads (chains of narrators). (Part No. 1; Page No. 375) One of them includes , `Amr ibn `Abdullah ibn Umayyah Al-Damry whom I do not know, but the other narrators are Thiqah (trustworthy). He stated also what follows in the tenth volume, under the explanation of the chapter of Tawakkul: “Tie it and Rely on Allah!”:`Amr ibn Umayyah Al-Damry narrated, “O Messenger of Allah! Should I release my mount and put my trust in Allah?” The Messenger of Allah (peace upon him) said, “Rather, tie it up and put your trust in Allah.” Reported by Al-Tabarany through different chains of narrators; one of them are Rijal Al-Sahih (Narrators of Hadith compiled by Al-Bukhari and/or Muslim), except for Ya‘qub ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn Umayyah, who is Thiqah. Al-Suyuty, mentioned in his book: “Al-Jami‘ Al-Saghir” under the letter "Hamzah", the Hadith reported by Al-Tirmidhy, and he marked it as Da‘if (weak). To summarize: There are different opinions about this Hadith, but its meaning is correct, as it is confirmed in both the Qur’an and the authentic Sunnah that urge using ways and means together with Tawakkul (putting one’s trust in Allah). Therefore, anyone who adopts worldly means and depends on them alone, without relying on Allah, will be a Mushrik (one who associates others with Allah in worship); whereas those who rely on Allah without adopting available means will be judged as excessively ignorant and erroneous. What Shari‘ah demands is a combination of the two.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

Tags: