Home>Posts>Community Issues, Religion & Culture>On Not Walking the Walk in Shia Communities | By Asghar Rizvi

On Not Walking the Walk in Shia Communities | By Asghar Rizvi

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29-January-2018

Tawakkul, or reliance on God is not just a belief, but it is a way of being in the world. It is not just an abstract idea, but it is an action verb.

Tawakkul, or reliance on God is not just a belief, but it is a way of being in the world. It is not just an abstract idea, but it is an action verb.

By Asghar Rizvi

Everyone who was raised as a Muslim has heard of the importance on relying on God (tawakkul). Many have interpreted this concept as meaning that one should not worry too much in life about money because God will provide. I feel that this approach has been rather simplistic and to a large extent, damaging to the community of the faithful.

Tawakkul is not just a belief that God will provide, it is a state of mind, a way of being in the world. It is also the underpinning source of courage for Muslims in the midst of fear. The lack of it has caused quite a number of problems in our community.

I have seen time and time again people claiming that something is right but not acting on it by not answering the call to do what is good when called to do so. They give words but no actions. Why? Because they are afraid to offend their friends, lose their jobs, ruin relationships and/or make people unhappy. The elephant in the room that they are ignoring is God. Is tawakkul supposed to be for the sake of people or for the sake of God?

In our community, some brave few have stood up for what was right and others knowing this chose to remain quiet because they did not want to offend people or lose respect. Is the good done for the sake of pleasing people, or pleasing God? Tawakkul is knowing that one should stand up for the truth but also know that in the struggles one may face in wanting to please God the heavens will come to one’s aid.

The take away message is this: everything we do comes at a price, but so do the things we do not do. The pain of doing what is right comes with temporary pain, but not doing anything leads to long term dissolution of the community and incurring the anger of God.

Syed Asghar Rizvi is a senior writer and blogger at the World Shia Forum. He lives with his family in the Los Angeles, United States.

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