Hobble your Camel – Hobble your Heart

Think about this for a moment insha’Allah: the Arabian peninsula – accessible by water from all sides, yet largely barren desert land that hasn’t been afforded much attention by others outside of the peninsula. The Arabian peninsula – central in the map of the world with a shape that resembles a ‘heart’ yet easily overlooked, ignored, and accessed mostly only by those from the peninsula itself or by those hardy enough to travel through it for a specific purpose, or out of sheer necessity. Now, within this mostly barren land sits the Kaabah – no matter what the plight of Muslims worldwide, no matter what their level of imaan, no matter what those outside of Islam say – just look at the Kaabah and the sheer numbers of Arabs and non-Arabs who flock to it yearly! SubhanAllah – despite physical desolation, something of greater importance is flourishing Alhamdulillah! Its Protector and Sustainer – as with all else – is solely Allah Ta’aala.

Now, whenever I recite Surah Al-Fil, I can’t help but think how our spiritual heart is like the Kaabah – like the Kaabah, its Protector and Sustainer is Allah Ta’aala. As we strive to protect the heart through our good actions and deeds, and through our ibaadah and dhikr – physical submission – Allah Ta’aala protects the spiritual. And collectively, as we strive to protect our imaan individually while submitting to the will of Allah Ta’aala, Allah Ta’aala strengthens our ummah.

Surah Al-Fil (surah 105)


    1. Hast thou not seen how thy Lord dealt with the owners of the Elephant ?
    2. Did He not bring their stratagem to naught,
    3. And send against them swarms of flying creatures,
    4. Which pelted them with stones of baked clay,
    5. And made them like green crops devoured (by cattle) ?

In Surah Al-Fil, Allah Ta’aala tells us about a time in our collective history that was of such significance that people in the region came to use the event as a time marker – e.g. 2 years after the year of the elephant etc. While the inhabitants of Mecca took care of their belongings when “the owners of the Elephant” marched on them to destroy the Kaabah, they left the Kaabah to its Owner – Allah Ta’aala – and Allah Ta’aala protected it, while the inhabitants of the sacred city remained safeguarded too. SubhanAllah!

This brings me to a hadeeth, noted below, that is often repeated but if we could think about its significance, especially with the above-noted in mind, then perhaps we can understand the simplicity of it all. It really is simply all about total submission (spiritual/faith) to the will of Allah Ta’aala while safeguarding our imaan through all kinds of prescribed and recommended (physical) ibaadah.

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The Hadith appears in Tirmizi, Ibn Hibban, Tabrani as well as many other Kitaabs.

The words in Tirmizi are as follows:

حدثىا عمرو به علي، قال: حدثىا يحيى به سعيد القطان، قال: حدثىا المغيرة بن أبي قرة السدوسي


 (That’s a chain of narrators)

سمعت انس بن مالك رضي الله عنه يقول :

 .. I heard Anas ibn maalik radhiyAllaahu anhu saying,

قال رجل: يا رسول الله أعقلها و أتوكل، أو أُطَلّقُها و أَتَوَكَّل ؟

 A man said, “O Rasoolullaah, should I hobble it (my camel) and practice tawakkul (rely on Allaah ta’aala), or should I let it loose and practice tawakkul?”

قال : إعْقِلْها و تَوَكَّلْ

 Rasoolullaah sallAllaahu Alaihi wa Sallam said, “hobble it, and practice tawakkul.”

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The sister who verified and shared the details of the above-noted hadeeth adds:

The meaning of the Hadith is that we are allowed to adopt necessary means, (of protection etc. [which is what we are supposed to do] ) however, we don’t place our trust solely in those means but rather in the Qudrat of Allaah ta’aala.

 والله عز و جل اعلم

 Surely Allaah ta’aala knows best.

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