La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah

“Whatever of Mercy (i.e. of good), Allah may grant to mankind, none can withhold it, and whatever He may withhold, none can grant it thereafter. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” (Qur’an, 35:2)

The Qur’an states that if God wills something for you, no one can withhold it, and if God chooses to withhold something from you, no one and no thing can grant it.

It makes sense, no? Without God we don’t even have existence, how then can we pretend to have any power or ability unless it comes from him? We acknowledge that because He is the Source, it is foolish to seek from anywhere else. Creations have no power over the Creator.

There is no power nor strength except with God, so why then, do we put our faith and our hopes in people and things other than Him? Why do we feel that certain objects will possibly entice (or coerce?) God to grant a prayer that we feel hadn’t been answered so far? If nothing and no one in the world can withhold what Allah chooses to grant you, then why are we waving around holy chapattis and tying black strings around our childrens’ necks?

That black string, btw, is called a tavees, and people take verses of the Qur’an or write Allah’s name on a piece of paper, sew it into a black piece of cloth (because black is holier than other colors?) and tie it around the necks of their children to protect them from harm. The power of this tavees is apparently stronger than that of God, because is this not a better, more surefire measure than simply asking God to protect your children? I mean, maybe God had intended to let your child get a cold, but then you tied a tavees around the kid’s neck and now God has been enticed/coerced into changing His mind? Astaghfirullah.

Or hey, maybe you’ve had a bad fiscal year and someone tells you that you need to burn some chili peppers in your house while reciting verses from the Qur’an. So you’ve already been making dua and you feel it’s not working? Chili peppers also have the power to change your fate. God may have been testing you with a tough year, as He said he would, but chili peppers can change that because chili peppers are yet another way of making God reconsider His will. You thought they were just hot? Oh no, they’re also Powerful and Mighty.

We know it’s wrong to lend divine power to people, it’s easier to say that the dirty man in the green satin has no power to either change or thwart God’s will. But why is it not wrong to try ‘curing’ things with burnt peppers and chapattis? Or a black goat sacrificed in the moonlight on a Friday facing East and reciting Surah Fatiha?

“If Allah touches you with hurt, there is none can remove it but He; and if He intends any good for you, there is none who can repel His favor which He causes it to reach whomsoever of His slaves He will, and He is the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Qur’an, 10:117)

We are all linked to God through our hearts, our thoughts, and our prayers, and there is nothing more direct, more “powerful” than asking Him for help. If you’ve been asking for something you haven’t gotten yet and you feel it’s time to take stronger, holier measures and break out the green peppers, what are you basing your actions on? Do you feel that God owes you something and that perhaps you should take stronger measures so that He grants it? Do we know something that God doesn’t, or are we just hoping to get our way with the Creator?

“If Allah helps you none can overcome you, and if He forsakes you, who is there, after Him, that can help you. And in Allah (alone) let believers put their trust.” (Qur’an, 3:160)

We must not let impatience with our trials lead us to the bizarre cultural form of shirk of associating foodstuff with our worship of God. We must also be wary of the shirk of drinks (make a prayer, blow on a glass of water and drink it, your prayer will be answered?), both hot and cold (try with an espresso?) Beware also of associating a certain location in your worship, because there are people who tell you that a prayer at such and such a grave will be answered, guaranteed. What guarantee are they talking about? Whose guarantee is it? The guarantee of the curator of the shrine, whose word supercedes God’s?

“And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him. He will make a way for him to get out (from) every (difficulty), and He will provide him from (sources) he could never imagine.” (Qur’an, 65:2-3)

There is no power nor might except with God. Beware the outrageous belief that man can, with the power of worldly objects, change God’s mind about what’s been willed for him.


Abez is a 50% white, 50% Pakistani, and 100% Muslim. She is also chronically ill and terminally awesome. She is the ever-lovin Momma of: - Khalid, a special little boy with autism - Iman, a special little girl with especially big hair -Musfira, an especially devious baby Spoiler, Abez is also Zeba Khan on

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