What does reliance on or trust in God mean?
Such reliance upon God should not be misunderstood: it does not mean ignoring
cause and effect completely. It means, rather, that one should think of causes
as a veil to the hand of Power: in observance of them one seeks to act in compliance
with Divine Will, which is a sort of worship in action. That desire and seeking
is, however, not sufficient to secure a particular effect. The achievement,
we must understand, in accordance with right belief, is to be expected only
from God, the All-Mighty: we believe in Him as the sole producer of effects,
and therefore we should be always grateful to Him.
The likeness of one who trusts in God and of one who does not is in this
Once two men boarded a ship with heavy burdens on both their heads and backs.
One of them put his burden on the deck immediately after they boarded the ship,
and sat on it in order to watch over it. But the other, both stupid and arrogant,
did not put his burden down on the deck. He was told to unburden, to relieve
himself, of his heavy load but he answered: “No, I will not leave it, as it
may be lost. Anyway, I am strong enough to carry it.” He was told again: “But
this reliable royal ship which is carrying you and us is even stronger, and
can hold it better. You will most probably get tired, feel dizzy and fall into
the sea together with your burden. Your strength will fail. Then with your doubled
back and brainless head, you will no longer be able to bear that burden which
is getting heavier every moment. Besides, if the captain sees you in this state,
he will either say that you are insane and expel you from the ship or he will
think, “That man is an ingrate or even a traitor. He does not trust or suspects
our ship, and makes light of us,” and he will order you to be put in prison.
Also, you will be marked out and made fun of by everyone. To the perceptive,
your vanity reveals your weakness, your arrogance reveals your impotence, and
your pretension betrays your humiliation: as a result, you have become a laughing-stock—look,
how everybody is laughing at you!
These words were enough of a warning for that poor man. He put his load on
the deck, sat on it, and said to his companion: “May God be pleased with you!
I have obtained relief; more, I have been saved from imprisonment and becoming
Now, man, who does not put his trust in God! Come to your senses, as did
the man in the parable, and put your trust in God so that you may be delivered
from begging from the whole creation and trembling in fear in the face of each
happening. You will also be delivered from self-conceit, from being ridiculous,
from the pressures of this life and from the torments of the Hereafter.