In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Allaah [The Most High] said:
وَقَالَ مُوسَىٰ يَـٰقَوۡمِ إِن كُنتُمۡ ءَامَنتُم بِٱللَّهِ فَعَلَيۡهِ تَوَكَّلُوٓاْ إِن كُنتُم مُّسۡلِمِينَ
فَقَالُواْ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ تَوَكَّلۡنَا رَبَّنَا لَا تَجۡعَلۡنَا فِتۡنَةً۬ لِّلۡقَوۡمِ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ
وَنَجِّنَا بِرَحۡمَتِكَ مِنَ ٱلۡقَوۡمِ ٱلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ
And Musa (Moses) said: “O my people! If you have believed in Allah, then put your trust in Him if you are Muslims (those who submit to Allah’s Will).” They said: “In Allah we put our trust. Our Lord! Make us not a trial for the folk who are Zalimun (polytheists and wrongdoing). And save us by Your Mercy from the disbelieving folk.”
[Surah Yunus. Aayah 84-86]
In these Aayaat, Allaah [Glorified be He and free is He from all imperfections] informed us about His Prophet Moosaa [alayhis salaam]- that he commanded his people – Bani Israaeel- to place their trust in Allaah whilst facing their enemies, Fir’awn and his people; so Moosaa’s people – the Believers- fulfilled the command and then they said: [عَلَى ٱللَّهِ تَوَكَّلۡنَا – In Allah we put our trust]- Meaning: We hold firmly to Allah, surrender to Him all our affairs and upon Him we depend. Then they supplicated, saying: [رَبَّنَا لَا تَجۡعَلۡنَا فِتۡنَةً۬ لِّلۡقَوۡمِ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ – Our Lord! Make us not a trial for the folk who are Zalimun (polytheists and wrongdoing)]. There are two statements of the Mufassiroon regarding the meaning of this Aayah, and the first one is that it means, “Neither allow them to defeat nor overcome us, and thus they think that they have the upper hand because they are upon truth and we are upon falsehood; so they become deceived and this increases them in transgression and disbelief”.
The other explanation is that this Aayah means, “Neither punish us Yourself [O Allaah] nor through the hands of Fir’awn and his people, lest they say, ‘Had it been that you [Bani Israaeel] were upon truth, then you would not have been punished’, and thus they think that they are better than us and are put to trial by way of that. [وَنَجِّنَا بِرَحۡمَتِكَ مِنَ ٱلۡقَوۡمِ ٱلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ – And save us by Your Mercy from the disbelieving folk]- Meaning: “Our Lord! Save us – by Your mercy – from unbelievers, so that we are safe from their evil, establish our religion properly, establish its acts of worship and manifest it without being opposed or challenged.
Some of the Mufassiroon indicated that the mention of At-Tawakkul before the mention of Ad-Du’aa [supplication] is a notification regarding the fact that it is obligated on the suppliant to place his trust in Allaah first and foremost, so that his supplication is answered. This is similar to that which Imaam Muslim [rahimahullaah] reported from Ibn Abbaas [radiyallaahu-anhumaa] that Allaah’s Messenger [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] used to say:
اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ أَسْلَمْتُ وَبِكَ آمَنْتُ وَعَلَيْكَ تَوَكَّلْتُ وَإِلَيْكَ أَنَبْتُ وَبِكَ خَاصَمْتُ اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِعِزَّتِكَ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ أَنْتَ أَنْ تُضِلَّنِي أَنْتَ الْحَىُّ الَّذِي لاَ يَمُوتُ وَالْجِنُّ وَالإِنْسُ يَمُوتُونَ
O Allaah! To You I submit; in You I believe; in You I place my trust and reliance; to You I turn in repentance and in obedience with true Faith (Islamic Monotheism), and to You I return for proof to deal with my enemies and Your enemies. O Allaah! I seek refuge in Your Might and Power, none has the right to be worshipped except You, lest You allow me to go astray [i.e. due to my own fault]. You are The Ever-Living that never die, while the Jinn and mankind die”.
[An Excerpt from ‘Fiqh al Ad’iyah Wal Adkaar vol 4. Pages 463-464’. Slightly paraphrased]- By Shaikh Abdur Razzaaq Al-Badr [hafidhahullaah]