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Quran and Sunnah

Ramadan Reflection Juz 13

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 For all parts, up to and including this one, click “Ramadan Reflections: The Daily Journey

Ramadan Reflections – Juz 13

Juz 13 – Surat Yusuf

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Today we come to what has been aptly described in the Quran as the “We relate unto you the best of stories through Our Revelations unto you” in surat Yusuf. The lessons are so many as with every surah and it has been difficult to choose what to discuss. Yet there are two separate ayaat that have always caused me to reflect that I wished to share with you today. In the first, Allah says:

 

وَقَالَ يَـٰبَنِىَّ لَا تَدۡخُلُواْ مِنۢ بَابٍ۬ وَٲحِدٍ۬ وَٱدۡخُلُواْ مِنۡ أَبۡوَٲبٍ۬ مُّتَفَرِّقَةٍ۬‌ۖ وَمَآ أُغۡنِى عَنكُم مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ مِن شَىۡءٍ‌ۖ إِنِ ٱلۡحُكۡمُ إِلَّا لِلَّهِ‌ۖ عَلَيۡهِ تَوَكَّلۡتُ‌ۖ وَعَلَيۡهِ فَلۡيَتَوَكَّلِ ٱلۡمُتَوَڪِّلُونَ

 

And [Ya’qub] said: “O my sons! Go not in by one gate; but go in by different gates. I can not be of help to you against Allah. Indeed, the decision rests with Allah only. In Him do I put my trust, and in Him let all the trusting put their trust. [12:67]

 

In this beautiful ayah, we come to an important lesson about the true nature of putting your trust in Allah. This issue, tawakul, has been greatly misinterpreted by many in recent ages to be disconnected from any sort of effort. Many believe that putting your trust in Allah simply means to go and remain in the Masjid and asking Allah from His bounty and you will get it without any effort on your part, yet this is not at all the case.

 

In this ayah, as in many other parts of the Quran, trust is connected to, and comes only after, effort on the behalf of the person. This idea is encapsulated well in the authentic hadith of the Prophet (saas) wherein one day he (saas) noticed a Bedouin leaving his camel without tying it and asked him, “Don’t you tie down your camel?” The Bedouin answered, “I put my trust in Allah.” The Prophet (saas) then said, “Tie your camel first, then put your trust in Allah” (Tirmidhi)

 

This Sunnah was also evident in the Hijrah of the Prophet (saas). How many are the ayaat in the Quran that promise the Prophet the protection of Allah? Each Messenger is protected until he completes his mission and the Prophet Muhammad (saas) was well aware of this. So, he could have simply walked out in mid-day and mounted his ride and set off for Madinah knowing that whatever the disbelievers willed to do to him would be thwarted by Allah – but he did not. The scholars of Seerah have collected over fifteen different preparations that he made for this journey, and despite these careful preparations the disbelievers came right to the mouth of the cave wherein he and Abu Bakr were hiding. So what was the Prophet’s state of mind at this time? He was cool and relaxed and he said to Abu Bakr his famous statement recorded in the Sahih collections, “O Abu Bakr, what is your opinion of the two with Allah as their third?”

 

Why was he so relaxed with capture and death a mere inches away from him and his companion? Because he had made his effort and upon making his effort he (saas) left the matter to Allah – he put his trust in Allah.

 

And in this beautiful ayah from Surat Yusuf, we see the same theme. The Prophet Ya’qub (as) tells his sons to enter Egypt via separate gates; not to enter together as one group. He feared for them, as Ibn ‘Abbaas and others stated, the evil eye because they were extremely handsome. He feared that people might direct the evil eye at them, because the evil eye truly harms, by Allah’s decree as the Prophet (saas) has informed us.

 

Yet, even though he had made these plans he knew that these plans could not help them to avert the decree of Allah and this is why he said what means, “I can not be of help to you against Allah. Indeed, the decision rests with Allah only.” But this did not prevent him from planning and taking the means to an end, because this is the foundation of trust. And it is for that reason that his statement ends with, “In Him do I put my trust, and in Him let all the trusting put their trust”. And Allah knows best.

 

Help Us End Ramadan with 1000 Supporters!

Alhamdulillah, we're at 900 supporters. Help us get to 1000 supporters before Ramadan ends. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Dr. Ali Shehata is the author of Demystifying Islam: Your Guide to the Most Misunderstood Religion of the 21st Century. Dr. Ali is an Emergency and Family Medicine physician currently living in an area of central Florida. He was born in Maryland to parents who had immigrated to the US from Egypt. He has studied Islam mainly through traditional methods among various scholars, du'at and students of knowledge here in the US.

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