Belief is both light and power. Indeed, a person who has attained to genuine belief can even challenge the entire universe and be saved from the pressures of world events and vicissitudes, in accordance with the degree of his faith. Saying, “I placed my trust in God,” he journeys with perfect ease and peace in the ship of life, sailing amidst the immense waves of events. He places all his burdens onto the powerful hand of the Absolute Powerful One and passes with ease from the world and rests in the Intermediate World (barzakh). Then, he flies into paradise to enjoy unending happiness. In contrast, if he does not trust in God, instead of flying, he gravitates down to the lowest of the low with the burdens of the world.
Indeed, genuine belief requires belief in the One, (tawḥid), which necessitates surrender (islam), and surrender requires trust (tawakkul), and trust, in turn, yields happiness in this world and in the next. Now, do not misunderstand putting trust in God. Trusting God does not mean giving up recourse to apparent causes. Rather, it means that you do work with apparent causes with the understanding that these causes are merely veils to God’s power. In other words, entrusting your affairs to God means that you have recourse to apparent causes as a form of prayer through action (du‘a fi‘liyya). As a result, you expect and acknowledge the results as coming from God only, and offer thanks to Him alone.
Let us offer a parable to clarify the difference between the one who puts his trust in God and the one who does not. Once upon a time, two men with heavy loads on their back purchased their tickets and got on a big ship. One of them released all his burdens on the deck as soon as he entered the ship, and sat on top of them to look after them. The other man, who was both foolish and arrogant, kept his loads on his back, and on his head, and refused to put them on the floor. People said to him, “Just put your heavy burden down, and be at ease.” He replied, “No way! I will not put it down! It may get damaged. I am strong; I will keep my belongings on me.” People said again: “Listen, this strong ship is carrying all of us and our loads, including you and your luggage. The ship is much stronger than you are, and can preserve your load. If you keep your burdens on, you will get tired and weak, and perhaps you will even get dizzy and fall into the sea. Your back is bending, and your head is getting heavy; you will not be able to continue with your burdens on you for long; you will collapse. And if the captain of the ship sees you, he will either think you are insane and disqualify you from being on the ship, or he will think you are viciously belittling the ship, and he will order punishment for you. And see how ridiculous you look in front of everyone. After all, any careful person can see the weakness within your pretension of strength, your neediness within your arrogance…Everyone can see it. Look, everyone is laughing at you…” When he heard all this, the man came to his senses. He put down his load, and said “Thank you so much! I am saved from all the trouble, as well as punishment and ridicule!”
O human being who does not put his trust in God! Come to your senses like this man in the story, and trust God! And, you will be saved from begging before the entire universe, trembling with fear before all events and challenges, and from conceitedness. You will be saved from ridicule, from the pressures of a constrained life in the world and from the pains of afterlife!