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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Selected Verses from Quran: Rabbana Series - 1


Each and every verse of the Quran is special for the Muslims for every word contains the Divine Wisdom and commandments from Allah.  There are verses, which are in fact prayers / dua which believers should recite much to often so that their sins and errors could be forgiven.

However, there are some verses, that begin with the word Rabbana " رَبَّنَا ". The placement of this word in the beginning is to add a pleading cry by the believer to invoke the many blessings of Allah so that He in all His Mercy, forgives His servants. Not that ordinary believers invoke Allah's Mercy, the prophets too have been calling upon Allah to forgive them, their families and descendants. 

With this post, we are sharing some of the verses starting from the opener "Rabbana -  رَبَّنَا  " which believers should try to remember by heart and recite much too often so that they should be forgiven. The following verse if from Surah 2 Al Baqarah and is attributed to Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham, peace be upon him). While we are sharing only this verse, it would be appropriate that a reader may read verses before this so as to be able to reconnect the theme and reference to the context in which this pleading prayer (dua) was made by the revered prophet. In this case, this prayer was made by Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him), when he had just finished laying the foundations of the Ka'abah at Makkah:

رَبَّنَا وَاجْعَلْنَا مُسْلِمَيْنِ لَكَ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِنَا أُمَّةً مُّسْلِمَةً لَّكَ وَأَرِنَا مَنَاسِكَنَا وَتُبْ عَلَيْنَآ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ

[Rabbana wa-j'alna Muslimayni laka wa min Dhurriyatina 'Ummatan Muslimatan laka wa 'Arina Manasikana wa tub 'alayna 'innaka 'antat-Tawwabu-Raheem]

"Our Lord! Make of us Muslims, bowing to Thy (Will), and of our progeny a people Muslim, bowing to Thy (will); and show us our place for the celebration of (due) rites; and turn unto us (in Mercy); for Thou art the Oft-Returning, Most Merciful." [Surah 2 Al-Baqarah: 128]

Verse 128 mentions that Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham, peace be upon him) prayed to Allah "to make" him and his son obedient to His commandments and to His Will. This prayer too proceeds from the same sense of fear and awe, and from the same knowledge. He has, all his life, been performing exemplary deeds of obedience, and yet he prays to "be made" obedient. It is so, because the more one grows in one's knowledge of Divine Majesty, the more one comes to realize that one is not being faithful and obedient as is due. 

It is significant that Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham, peace be upon him) included his descendants too in his prayer. This shows that the "men of Allah" who never hesitate in sacrificing themselves and their children in the way of Allah, yet love them deeply. All the same, they know what the proper requirements of parental love are, and how they should be fulfilled. This is something beyond the reach of average men, who suppose the well-being of their children to reside in physical health and comfort alone, and spend all their love and care in providing just this to their family. But those who have received the favour of Allah show a much greater solicitude for the spiritual well-being of their children than for the physical, being. So, the great prophet prayed to Allah to make a group from among his descendants fully obedient to Him. This prayer aims at another advantage as well. Experience tells us that if those who enjoy a respectable position in their community, and their descendants keep to the right path, they are naturally held in esteem, and their conduct inspires others to reform themselves. 

And Allah heard this prayer too, and among the descendants of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham, peace be upon him) there has always been a group of people obedient to Allah and firm in the Straight Path. Even in the Age of Ignorance (Jahiliyyah) when the whole world, and Arabia in particular, was lost in the darkness of idol-worship and Shirk, there still remained some men from among his descendants who had faith in the One God, who believed in the other world, and were obedient to Allah - for example, Zayd ibn 'Amr bin Nufayl, and Quss ibn Sa'idah. It has also been reported that 'Abd al-Muttalib ibn Hashim, the grand-father of the Holy Prophet , shunned idol-worship and Shirk.

We might add an explanatory note about the word Manasik (the plural of Mansik) which occurs in Verse 128. This word signifies the different actions involved in the performance of the Hajj, and also the different places where the rites are performed - like 'Arafah, Muzdalifah or Mina. Both the meanings of the word are intended here, and the substance of the last part of the prayer is that Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) wanted the rites of the Hajj to be explained and their locations to be indicated. The verb which has been employed in this connection is Arina - "show us." Now, seeing is done through the eyes, and also through the heart. So, the different locations of the rites were shown to him through the Archangel Jibraeel (Gabriel) , and the injunctions regarding the Hajj were explained in detail. 

At the end of the verse above, two attributes of Allah ( AT Tawwab and Ar Rahim) have been mentioned. For their detailed explanation, please refer to our reference page: 99 Attributes of Allah.
May Allah help us understand Qur'an and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. Aameen.

Note: The explanation of the above verse is based on the exegesis of the Qur'an by Maulana Mufti Muhammad Sharif, revised by Justice Mufti Muhammad Taqi  Usmani.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'an

You may also refer to our following reference pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran:
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Reading the Holy Quran should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the Sūrahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Holy Quran officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Holy Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi. 
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided, additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given in each page. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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