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Friday, October 23, 2020

Our Lord, Grant us Good of Both Worlds


One of the most offered invocations of believers around the world is the 201st verse of the Surah 2. Al Baqarah (The Cow). In fact it is also the most remembered by heart invocation, in which a believer not only begs for the best of the both worlds, but also seek protection from the chastisement of the raging fire of the Hell.

Allah encourages calling Him in supplication after remembering Him, because this will make it more likely that the supplication will be accepted. But Allah does not like those who only supplicate to Him about the affairs of this life, while ignoring the affairs of the Hereafter. Therefore the following supplication / invocation guides the believers how to ask blessings of Allah:

وَمِنۡهُمۡ مَّنۡ يَّقُوۡلُ رَبَّنَآ اٰتِنَا فِى الدُّنۡيَا حَسَنَةً وَّفِى الۡاٰخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَّ قِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ‏ 
(2:201) There are others who say: “Our Lord, grant us what is good in this world and what is good in the World to Come, and protect us from the chastisement of the Fire.

Ibn Kathir explains this verse as under linking various related events:

Sa`id bin Jubayr said that Ibn `Abbas said, "Some Bedouins used to come to the standing area (`Arafat) and supplicate saying, `O Allah! Make it a rainy year, a fertile year and a year of good child bearing.' They would not mention any of the affairs of the Hereafter.

Such people are least liked by Allah, Who says: (But of mankind there are some who say: "Our Lord! Give us (Your bounties) in this world!'' and for such there will be no portion in the Hereafter.) meaning, they have no share in the Hereafter. This criticism serves to discourage other people from imitating those mentioned.

At the same time Allah praises those who ask for the affairs of both this life and the Hereafter. He said:(And of them there are some who say: "Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire!'')

The supplication mentioned and praised in the Ayah includes all good aspects of this life and seeks refuge from all types of evil. The good of this life concerns every material request of well-being, spacious dwelling, pleasing mates, sufficient provision, beneficial knowledge, good profession or deeds, comfortable means of transportation and good praise, all of which the scholars of Tafsir have mentioned regarding this subject. All of these are but a part of the good that is sought in this life. As for the good of the Hereafter, the best of this includes acquiring Paradise, which also means acquiring safety from the greatest horror at the gathering place. It also refers to being questioned lightly and the other favors in the Hereafter.

As for acquiring safety from the Fire, it includes being directed to what leads to this good end in this world, such as avoiding the prohibitions, sins of all kinds and doubtful matters.

Al-Qasim bin `Abdur-Rahman said, "Whoever is gifted with a grateful heart, a remembering tongue and a patient body, will have been endowed with a good deed in this life, a good deed in the Hereafter and saved from the torment of the Fire.''

This is why the Sunnah encourages reciting this Du`a' (i.e., in the Ayah about gaining a good deed in this life and the Hereafter). Al-Bukhari reported that Anas bin Malik narrated that the Prophet used to say: (O Allah, our Lord! Give us that which is good in this life, that which is good in the Hereafter and save us from the torment of the Fire.)

Imam Ahmad reported that Anas said, "Allah's Messenger visited a Muslim man who had become as weak as a sick small bird. Allah's Messenger said to him, `Were you asking or supplicating to Allah about something' He said, `Yes. I used to say: O Allah! Whatever punishment you saved for me in the Hereafter, give it to me in this life.' Allah's Messenger said:(All praise is due to Allah! You cannot bear it -or stand it-. You should have said: (Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire!))

The man began reciting this Du`a and he was cured.'' Muslim also recorded it.

Al-Hakim reported that Sa`id bin Jubayr said, "A man came to Ibn `Abbas and said, `I worked for some people and settled for a part of my compensation in return for their taking me to perform Hajj with them. Is this acceptable' Ibn `Abbas said, `You are among those whom Allah described: (For them there will be allotted a share for what they have earned. And Allah is swift at reckoning.)

Al-Hakim then commented; "This Hadith is authentic according to the criteria of the Two Shaykhs (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) although they did not record it."

Please listen to tafsir / exegesis of this verse from famous Muslim scholar Mufti Menk:
So we must never only eye the virtues and goodness of this world alone, for there is life in the hereafter which will be eternal and never ending. Unless we also pray for the goodness in the Hereafter and also seek refuge form the fire of hell, we shall be doing extreme injustice to us. While supplicating and asking Allah for His blessings, therefore, we must include the good of the Hereafter and refuge from Hell. May Allah help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. Aameen.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Invocations / Dua " دُعا " from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
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Reading the Qur'ān 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 surahs of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Qur'ān officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the 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. [2]  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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