Question: I have difficulty in understanding the poem “Tafwiznâma” by Hadrat Ibrâhîm Haqqi of Erzurum. Could you explain it?
It is difficult to explain poetry. This poem deals with tafwîz. Tafwîz is to believe that all things come about through the will and decree of Allah, to commit all your affairs to Allahu ta’âlâ, to take Him as your wakîl, to have reliance on and confidence in Him, and to endure with a beautiful patience in the face of whatever comes from Him. This degree is highly valuable, arduous as it is. Ibrâhîm ‘alaihis-salâm, who reached the summit of tawakkul, did not mar his tawakkul even when he was about to be hurled into the fire.
[ wakîl: protector, observer, caretaker, helper]
This poem begins as follows:
Allah turns into good all evils
Do not think He does otherwise
Knower of Him watches His deeds
Let us see what Allah does
He does well whatever He does.
It finishes as follows:
I swear by Allah He did well.
I swear by Allah He did well.
I swear by Allah He did well.
Let us see what Allah did.
He did well whatever He did.
Now let us explain it in order one by one:
1. It has been seen many times that Allahu ta’âlâ changes the outcome of an unfavorable event into good. The one gifted with the knowledge of Allahu ta’âlâ realizes it easily. The Qur’ân al-karîm purports:
(It may be that you dislike something which, in fact, is good for you, and it may be that you like something which, in fact, is bad for you. You do not know, but Allah knows.) [Sûrat-ul-Baqara, 216]
Let us give an example:
According to the terms of the Treaty of Hudaibiya, if a disbeliever converted to Islam, Muslims were not to accept him to their side. But if a Muslim abjured Islam and became a disbeliever [renegade], then polytheists were to accept him to their side. Prima facie, this treaty was disadvantageous to Muslims. Our master the Prophet foresaw the outcome of the pact with the light of prophethood and signed it. When the pact worked in Muslims’ favor in the end, polytheists had no choice but to rescind the pact. (M. Ladunniyya)
Failing at university and missing a year put someone at a disadvantage in a few respects: One enters working life a year later; one retires a year later; one is deprived of salaries for a year; and one has lost a year.
A friend I know well felt sad when he failed at university. However, in that year he met new friends. This youth, who had been a timeserver before, became a good Muslim thanks to his friends. His failing at university turned out to be a great blessing for him.
A handsome youth became paralyzed. After his illness, he read the books of Ahl as-Sunnat scholars. Thus, he learnt Islam correctly and began to live by it. Truly, he had been living oblivious of religion and faith before, and advice was of no help. Now he is constantly giving thanks to Allahu ta’âlâ for his paralysis that has led him to attain this blessing.
As it is seen, it is possible that something we dislike may work to our advantage. Humans cannot foreknow whether the outcome of an affair will be good or bad. Many things they initially consider to be good may turn out badly, and vice versa. Therefore, one should not demand firmly and repeatedly that something should happen.
2. Those Muslims who hand all their matters over to Allah by putting their trust in Him and who expect the result with patience feel at ease. In the second tercet, tawakkul, tafwîz, sabr (patience), and ridhâ (contentment) are touched on.
Tawakkul is to accept as being predestined in the eternal past and not to be reduced to sorrow in the face of sad events that cannot be changed by human power. It is to welcome them with open arms in the knowledge that they come from Allah.
When a sad incidence befalls us, if we put up with it patiently, we get rewards for it. If we do not show patience, we will be sinful and also suffer trouble. Patience is a mount that does not stumble. Although patience is bitter, its fruit is sweet.
Patience is of three kinds: (1) showing patience in the face of hardships and calamities; (2) showing patience when one is learning Islamic knowledge; and (3) showing patience in resisting committing sins. The Holy Qur’an purports:
(Vie with others in showing patience!) [Sûrat-u Âl-i ‘Imrân, 200]
(Allah is with the patient.) [Sûrat-ul-Baqara, 153]
(The patient will be rewarded without measure.) [Sûrat-uz-Zumar, 10]
The purport of a hadîth-i sharîf is as follows:
(The place of patience in îmân is like the place of the head in the body.) [Daylamî]
3. Attach your heart to Allah. Everything comes about through His decree. Taking measures cannot alter His decree. Take measures, but do not repose your reliance on them.
4. Haqq ta’âlâ, who creates mercifully and who gives sustenance abundantly, dispenses in the best way all affairs of those who put their trust in Him.
5. Pray to Allah, who fulfills the needs. Do not flee from Him! Following your nafs, do not beg anything from others.
6. Do not insist that something should happen! When it happens in a way contrary to your wish, do not be upset about it at all. Be content with Allah’s decree.
7. Do not become downhearted in vain because all things are brought about by Allah. And there are countless hidden ultimate divine causes and useful reasons in its occurrence that way.
8. Allahu ta’âlâ administer all things in an orderly fashion. All of them are proper even if we fail to understand.
9. Commit your matters to Him. He makes faraway places very close and nearby ones distant.
10. There are not any errors in His actions. Those who do not obey His commandments will burn. What devolves upon you is to endure patiently.
11. Do not question why events are so, for they have always been so. What is important is the result.
12. Following your nafs, do not look down on anyone. Do not hurt anyone’s feelings. Do not vociferate.
13. A Believer does not deceive anybody, does not instigate fitna, and does not cause anyone harm. It is unnecessary to explain something to a person who already knows it.
14. It is good to make Him your wakîl and to display forbearance, being pleased with qadar. All that is other than these are meaningless.
15. Allahu ta’âlâ helps a person who remembers Him and who seeks His aid.
16. If you find no way out, He makes a firman written. Thus, you find a solution to your problem. When you are a slave, you become a sultan.
17. Sometimes He makes you cry, and sometimes He makes you laugh. He makes some people live, and He makes some others die. He does not become weary of creating. Nobody can question Him.
18. He grants blessings and gets them back. He does harm and good. He elevates or degrades whomever He wishes.
19. He changes the hearts. He deprives some people of water while He makes some others drink Kawsar. He tests each person in a different manner.
20. He makes some people bad-tempered while He bestows good moral qualities upon some others. He loves some people and makes other people love them, too.
21. He creates some things to be multicolored and some other things to be colorless. He makes some people sorrowful and some others carefree.
22. Those who eat and drink less will sleep less, get rid of unwieldiness, and feel mentally alert. Compassion will shower upon them.
23. Do not stroll with everyone. Do not sadden your friends. Listen to the truth. Do not be an idiot like your nafs.
24. Put the past aside, and do not engross yourself in the thought of future. Do not think about the present day, either.
25. Extirpate laziness, and always remember Allah. The real purpose is to earn His good pleasure.
26. Unawareness is bad. Therefore, be fully vigilant. One who looks for Allah will find Him.
27. Take a warning from every statement. See the beauty in everything. These are to your advantage.
28. As a favor from Allah, there are many signs that herald the endless salvation.
29. Do not look at the sayer, but look at the One who makes him or her say. Benefit from every statement by taking a lesson from it.
30. It is necessary to have good morals and modesty in order to attain Allah’s pleasure.
In the last verses, it is declared emphatically by swearing to Allah three times that Allahu ta’âlâ creates everything in the best form, that there are many ultimate divine causes and useful reasons in His creating such harmful animals as scorpions, snakes, and mice, and He does not create anything useless on earth and in the heavens.