Pearl of Wisdom
'The ignorant one rarely takes lesson [from experiences].'
Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib [as]
Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 7837
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"... and trust in Allah, and Allah suffices as Protector" (Quran, 4:81, 33:3).
"Al-Wakeel" is one of the Attributes of Allah, these Attributes which link whoever repeats them quite often, being aware of their meanings, to the gardens of Allah, the Truth, Who has all the beauty, perfection, and glory.
Al-Wakeel is the Sustainer, the One Who has taken upon Himself to provide sustenance for His servants. He, and only He, takes charge of all the affairs of those who are in His custody, under His care. According to linguists, "al-Wakeel" is the One to Whom all affairs are entrusted to manage, Who provides His servants with everything they need.
In other words, He takes charge of everything. Al-Wakeel benevolently looks after His pious servants. He is the One to Whom all affairs are referred, Who makes the truth manifest; so, whoever relies on Him will be self-sufficient, and whoever seeks sufficiency from Him will be independent and pleased.
The servants of Allah have entrusted their affairs to Him and relied on His benevolence due to their inability to attain what they wish to attain versus His own ability to do so: He takes charge of the conditions of His servants, Who manages them as He pleases.
Those who recognize Him will entrust Him to fare with their own affairs. He surely is the only One Who truly fares with His servants as He pleases. If one of His servants entrusts Him to fare with his own affairs, He will beautifully save him the hardship of any task and will grant him more than He grants others; He gives sufficiently to those who rely on Him. He takes care of the affairs of His servants.
He initiated the giving to man without the latter having asked Him, and He gave man everything he needed. Whenever man pleads to Him, He directs His attention to him and beautifully looks after him. If he remains on the straight path, He will seal his deeds with the beauty of His guardianship.
Linguistically, a wakeel is one upon whom one relies; so, this is why it is said that one who relies on Allah will come to know that Allah suffices him in as far as his sustenance and affairs are concerned, so he relies on Him and only Him and depends on none but Him. The wakeel of someone else is the person who efficiently represents him or does on his behalf what he is incapable of doing.
In Surat Hud, Allah addresses His Messenger Muhammed saying, "You are only a warner, and Allah is Custodian over all things" (Quran, 11:12), that is, "Your responsibility is simply to convey the Message, to warn against the dire consequences of rejecting it, to invite people to accept it, while Allah manages the affairs of His servants and watches over them, something which you do not have to do, since it is the responsibility of the Creator towards His creatures, and it is not a subject to be taught or conveyed."
Narrating the tale of Ya`qoob (Jacob) and his sons, the Almighty says in Surat Yousuf (Joseph), "And when they gave him their pledge, he said: Allah is the One in Whom trust is placed as regarding what we say" (Quran, 12:66). In Surat al-Ahzab, the Almighty addresses His Messenger Muhammed saying, "The Lord of the east and the west; there is no god but He; therefore, take Him for Protector" (Quran, 73:9).
The address here is repeated twice to the Messenger of Allah; therefore, the Messenger of Allah used to quite often remember his Lord, al-Wakeel al-Hafiz, reminding his companions and followers never to neglect mentioning this Gracious Attribute during the time of trouble, hardship and affliction. The Messenger of Allah once said, "How can I feel happy knowing that the one charged with blowing the horn (i.e. archangel Israfil) has picked the horn and bent his forehead listening to the order to blow it?" His companions asked him, "Then what are we supposed to say, O Messenger of Allah?" He said, "Say: `Hasbuna Allah wa ni`mal-Wakeel (Allah suffices us, and Great is the Guardian)!'"
The Messenger of Allah used to plead to his Lord, al-Wakeel, on every occasion, saying, "Lord! I implore You not to permit me to rely on my own self even for the twinkling of an eye else I should surely perish." According to one qudsi tradition, the Almighty, addressing His Messenger, says, "You are My servant and Messenger, and I have named you al-Mutawakkil [one who trusts in and relies on his Lord];" therefore, the Messenger of Allah was ordered by his Lord to do so; i.e. to always rely on Him. In Surat Ali-`Imran, He says, "... so once you have made up your mind, place your trust in Allah; surely Allah loves those who trust (in Him)" (Quran, 3:159), that is, "Having consulted your companions regarding a matter, you must rely on Allah in effecting it, and have confidence in His assistance and help, for He is al-Wakeel, and He is your Guardian." Allah loves His servants who turn to Him and rely on Him provided they exert some effort and exhaust the means available to them. Allah has made His Messenger a role model to emulate in the reliance upon his Lord, for Allah has ordered His believing servants to be among those who rely on Him.
In Surat Yousuf, He says, "Judgment is only Allah's; on Him do I rely, and on Him let those who are reliant rely" (Quran, 12:67). In another verse of the same chapter, He says, "And what reason do we have not to rely on Allah, and He has, indeed, guided us in our ways? And certainly we would bear with patience your persecution of us, and on Allah should the reliant rely" (Quran, 14:12). In 39:38 we read, "Say: Allah suffices me; on Him do the reliant rely" (Quran, 39:38).
One who chooses Allah as his Guardian is one who has also to guard Allah's interest in his own self by observing His rights and obligations and whatever He has required him to do, so he should be the opponent of his own evil-insinuating self day and night, without laxing for a moment, nor falling short even for the twinkling of an eye.