Feb 3, 2012

Tie Your Camel

by Amatullah Aminah


One day Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) noticed a Bedouin leaving his camel without tying it and he asked the Bedouin, “Why don’t you tie down your camel?” The Bedouin answered, “I put my trust in Allah.” The Prophet then said, “Tie your camel first, then put your trust in Allah” (At-Tirmidhi).
Innumerable times I encounter people who rant about putting trust in Allah, without taking the responsibility of delivering their part, taking efforts and making endeavours. When I quietly remind them of analysing the situation pragmatically, I sometimes get blank faces screaming “don’t you trust Allah?” raised eyebrows questioning my level of emaan and sometimes a candid advice of having faith and putting my trust in Allah! Usually that is how most discussions conclude.

Why is it, I wonder, that people hesitate in using these terms together- trust in Allah and pragmatism. We must not fail to realise that these are two realities running parallel. Thinking practically and being prepared for the journey does not, in any way, hints that you don’t trust Allah. The prophet of Allah, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, was a living demonstration of the above mentioned hadith. He made preparations, by Allah’s will and help, he planned his course of action, he endeavoured and analysed the situations and what a perfect leader he was! He just did not sit around; assuming things will fall into places since his faith in Allah was exemplary! He planned his escape from Mecca to Medinah, dint he put Hazrat Ali in his bed to fool the Quraysh? Dint he hide in the cave with Hazrat Abu bakr, on his way to hijrah? Dint he collect finances, and prepared for the battles? Who can possibly have more faith than him? He planned, he held discussions in shuras, he took advice from his companions then he proceeded with the name of Allah subhaana wa ta'aala, putting his trust in Him, that all his efforts will reap fruits.

Bear in mind that all planning, calculative measures, and precautions will fetch you nothing if Allah wills otherwise. I have seen my best laid plans going astray, plans which had no flaws submitting to the will of Allah, and it only strengthen my belief that Allah’s will prevails. Nevertheless you should not stop making efforts and being practical about things, because that in itself is part of faith, a way shown by the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam. When done with the intention of fulfilling a sunnah, your efforts will be a source of reward inshaAllah. Do not worry about the end, it is always in the hands of Allah subhaana wa ta'aala, but how you pave the path and how much you struggle with the shovel is your choice. If you do, remember it is a blessing from Allah subhaana wa ta'aala, you do it with His help alone. However if you choose to run in the line of fire, and you get hit...it is not your faith being put to test, it is your wit.

Our time, health, money, intellect are gifts from Allah subhaana wa ta'aala. They should be cherished and used responsibly, we cannot abuse them, we will be held accountable for each one of our blessings. When I see a diabetic indulging in sweets, when I see someone smoking, when people live by the ideology of spending the money and having fun today, rather than saving some for tomorrow, When a student does not prepares sufficiently well for an exam, I am tempted to tell them to tie their camel. Through places and time I have listened to one excuse they all share: “What will happen, will surely happen- its qadr... Trust Allah”. Sure! What I see is not exactly trust in Allah, its exploitation of the His blessings (If I may most humbly add, without the fear of being branded ‘judgemental’) and incomplete understanding of deen.

Allah subhaana wa ta'aala says in His book:
And that there is not for man except that [good] for which he strives [Surah An Najm:39]

This verse is an answer to all those who cheerfully delusion themselves by blaming matters on qadr and console themselves with the thought that their trust in Allah will bail them out, without the adequate efforts and struggle the situation expects from them. Man gets what he strives for...a labourer gets his wages paid according to his labour, the harder and longer he works, the more he earns. So work hard for yourself and your families, plan, look ahead the road, save for your future, study hard, take care of your health, do not squander your time, practice various forms of ibaadaat, be ready for unpredictable challenges, lock your doors and tie your camel!

And after you have done your best, put your trust in Allah, get down on your knees and make a habit of praying daily, beseech your Rabb that He sees you through this journey, because your endeavours will be useless until Allah wills otherwise. Strive, simply because Allah wants you to strive!


MashaAllah.. very well put sister! Jazakallahu Khair.. it served as a really good reminder for me! May Allah bless your work!:)

jazakAllah kahir sis... and ameen to your dua! 

JazakAllah Khair Sister for this post. So many of us forget that we have responsibility too! SubhanAllah

Aminah - good post. so proud of you!

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