“Muslims are constantly in the habit of asking God to help them with this, that and the other.
And that is as it should be.
For, without God’s help and guidance and without his command and will nothing happens, nothing ever gets done.
So, Muslims would say: “May God make me a good person,” which is absolutely great!
Because if God does not want to make us good people, there is no way any of us will ever get to be good.
But there is another side to this story, a very important one. And it is the need for everybody to take personal responsibility for their own actions.
But often, Muslims are not very good at that. In fact, there is a singular dearth of that quality in contemporary Muslim culture and psyche.
Muslims, therefore, need to teach themselves that skill: Doing the best they can, with regard to everything, and then trusting God to take care of that thing for them.
A man once came to Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, and asked:
“Should I tie my camel or should I leave him in God’s trust?”
The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, gave him the most amazing and the most perfect answer anyone could ever give. He said: Tie your camel first and then leave him in God’s trust.
That answer not only covers that particular situation from every angle, it also typifies the teachings as well as the spirit and approach of Islam to life and its responsibilities in this world: Work the hardest you can to do the best you can with regard to anything and everything and then ask God for help.
Let God then do what he would.
In other words, tie your camel first and then entrust him to God’s care.
Don’t run around pleading to God: “God Almighty, you are so kind, you are so merciful, won’t you please make me tie my camel for me, please?”
Or saying, “God Almighty, O kind and loving One, please tie my camel for me.”
Even though God is perfectly capable of tying and securing the camels of those he wants – and he does.
In other words, Islam isn’t praying all the time saying: “God, please start my car for me.”
Islam is acquiring the best car you can and maintaining it the best way you can.
And it is then filling the car with oil and gasoline as needed.
And then when the time comes to start that car, Islam is getting inside that car; inserting the key in the ignition; saying Bismillah; and then turning that key clockwise.
That is what it means to trust God with your car; with your camel; or with anything else in life.
And that is what Islam is all about.
And it strikes me as one of those basic lessons that many Muslims need to learn urgently.
May God, the Most Loving One, help and forgive the Muslims, his favorite people on earth.” (Dr. Pasha)