“And whoever places their reliance upon Allah, then He is sufficient for him”: Ibn Hajr

In his Saheeh, in the book of heart-softening narrations [baab al-Riqaaq], Imam al-Bukhari entitled one of his chapters:

باب ومن يتوكل على الله فهو حسبه قال الربيع بن خثيم من كل ما ضاق على الناس

The chapter of ‘And whoever places their tawakkal upon Allah, then He is sufficient for him.’ And al-Rabee’ ibn Khuthaim said, ‘[He is sufficient for him] concerning everything which constricts a man.’

This chapter was comprised of the single hadeeth in which ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbaas narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said,

يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّةَ مِنْ أُمَّتِي سَبْعُونَ أَلْفًا بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ هُمْ الَّذِينَ لَا يَسْتَرْقُونَ وَلَا يَتَطَيَّرُونَ وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ

Seventy thousand people from my ummah will enter into al-Jannah without question, and they are those who do not practice al-ruqya, nor do they consult omens and they place their tawakkal upon Allah [alone].

[Saheeh al-Bukhari #6107]

Commenting on this, ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalaani writes:

قوله باب ومن يتوكل على الله فهو حسبه استعمل لفظ الآية ترجمة لتضمنها الترغيب في التوكل وكأنه أشار إلى تقييد ما أطلق في حديث الباب قبله وأن كلا من الاستغناء والتصبر والتعفف إذا كان مقرونا بالتوكل على الله فهو الذي ينفع وينجع

His statement, “The chapter of ‘And whoever places their tawakkal upon Allah, then He is sufficient for him.’” – he is using the wording of the ayah [65:3] because it contains an exhortation for al-tawakkal. And it is as if he is indicating a specification of what he had generalized in the hadeeth of the previous chapter*, and that being independent/content from asking for the help of others, and sabr and abstaining are all connected to placing one’s al-tawakkal on Allah, for He is the one who benefits you and has a real effect [on your well-being].

وأصل التوكل الوكول يقال وكلت أمري إلى فلان أي ألجأته إليه واعتمدت فيه عليه ووكل فلان فلانا استكفاه أمره ثقة بكفايته والمراد بالتوكل اعتقاد ما دلت عليه هذه الآية وما من دابة في الأرض إلا على الله رزقها وليس المراد به ترك التسبب والاعتماد على ما يأتي من المخلوقين لأن ذلك قد يجر إلى ضد ما يراه من التوكل

And the root of al-tawakkal is al-wukool – i.e. entrusting. It is said, ‘I have entrusted my affair to so-and-so,’ – meaning I have entrusted it to him and I rely on him in this, and one person entrusts another, handing over his affair firmly and completely. And the intended meaning of al-tawakkal is firmly believing what this ayah indicates: “And there is no creature on the earth except that its provision is [entirely and solely] from Allah,” [11:56]. And its meaning is not to leave off the the causes [i.e. to expect for something to materialize without any efforts on one’s own part] and [therefore] relying upon what comes to him from the created beings [i.e. through charity and begging], for this goes against what is intended by al-tawakkal.

وقد سئل أحمد عن رجل جلس في بيته أو في المسجد وقال لا أعمل شيئا حتى يأتيني رزقي فقال هذا رجل جهل العلم فقد قال النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – إن الله جعل رزقي تحت ظل رمحي وقال لو توكلتم على الله حق توكله لرزقكم كما يرزق الطير تغدو خماصا وتروح بطانا فذكر أنها تغدو وتروح في طلب الرزق قال وكان الصحابة يتجرون ويعملون في نخيلهم والقدوة بهم . انتهى والحديث الأول سبق الكلام عليه في الجهاد والثاني أخرجه الترمذي والحاكم وصححاه

Ahmad [bin Hanbal] was asked about a man who sits in his house or in the masjid and says, ‘I will not do any work until my provision comes to me,’ so he said, ‘This man is ignorant of knowledge, for the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Verily Allah has made my provision under the shade of my spear,” and he said, ‘If you were to exercise al-tawakkal upon Allah with the reliance which He is due, then He would provide for you just as He provides for the birds: they go out hungry in the morning and return full in the evening.” So he mentioned that they go out in the morning and return in the evening in the pursuit of provision. And the sahaabah used to strive and work in the date-palm fields and we have an example in them.” End quote. And the first hadeeth has previously been mentioned concerning jihaad and the second is recorded by al-Tirmidhi and al-Haakim who declared it to be Saheeh.

قوله وقال الربيع بن خثيم ( قوله من كل ما ضاق على الناس ) وصله الطبراني وابن أبي حاتم من طريق الربيع بن منذر الثوري عن أبيه عن الربيع بن خثيم قال في قوله – تعالى – ومن يتق الله يجعل له مخرجا الآية قال من كل شيء ضاق على الناس والربيع المذكور من كبار التابعين صحب ابن مسعود وكان يقول له لو رآك رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – لأحبك أورد ذلك أحمد في ” الزهد ” بسند جيد وحديثه مخرج في الصحيحين وغيرهما والربيع بن منذر لم يخرجوا عنه لكن ذكره البخاري وابن أبي حاتم ولم يذكرا فيه جرحا وذكره ابن حبان في الثقات وأبوه متفق على توثيقه والتخريج عنه

His statement, “And al-Rabee’ ibn Khuthaim said, ‘[He is sufficient for him] concerning everything which constricts a man’” – it was transmitted by al-Tabaraani and ibn Abi Haatim via al-Rabee’ ibn Mundhir al-Thawri from his father that al-Rabee’ ibn Khuthaim said about Allah’s statement, “And whoever has taqwa of Allah, Allah will make for him a way out” [65:2] – he said, “from everything which constricts man.” And the al-Rabee’ in question is one of the senior taabi’oon, he accompanied ibn Mas’ood and it was said to him, ‘if only Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) had seen you, he would have loved you,” and Ahmad transmitted that in al-Zuhd with a good chain of narration, and his hadeeth are found in the saheehayn [i.e. Saheeh al-Bukhari and Saheeh Muslim] and elsewhere. …

قوله حدثني إسحاق هو ابن منصور كما أوضحته في المقدمة وغلط من قال إنه ابن إبراهيم وسيأتي شرح الحديث مستوفى في ” باب يدخل الجنة سبعون ألفا ” بعد ثمانية وعشرين بابا – إن شاء الله تعالى

And as for the explanation of the hadeeth, it is forthcoming in ‘The chapter of seventy thousand will enter Jannah‘ after 18 more chapters – inshaaAllaah.

[Fath al-Baari #9675]

*Translator’s note: Ibn Hajr seems to be referring to imam al-Bukhari’s decision to precede this hadeeth with a previous hadeeth wherein the Prophet (ﷺ) said,

وَإِنَّهُ مَنْ يَسْتَعِفَّ يُعِفُّهُ اللَّهُ

And (know) that he who refrains [from begging others], Allah will make him give him ‘aafiyah

[Saheeh al-Bukhari #6470]

See also: Whoever believes in Allah, He will guide his heart in times of trials: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

See also: “I entrust my affair to Allah”: Tafsir al-Shawkaani

See also: “People whose hearts are like the hearts of birds”: Sharh al-Nawawi

See also: The Tawakkal and Understanding of Ya’qub (‘alaihis salaam)

See also: The Qur’anic Ayaat on Love – Part 2: Those whom Allah Loves

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3 thoughts on ““And whoever places their reliance upon Allah, then He is sufficient for him”: Ibn Hajr

  1. Pingback: The Tawakkal and Understaning of Ya’qub (‘alaihis salaam) | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: “I entrust my affair to Allah”: Tafsir al-Shawkaani | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: The Qur’anic Ayaat on Love – Part 2: Those whom Allah Loves | Tulayhah

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