Wednesday 3 February 2021

My Lord! Include me, out of Your Mercy, among Your righteous servants

Quran guides those who read it and ponder over the Divine Commandments as how to supplicate and invoke Allah's countless bounties so that they are blessed, forgiven and included in the lot of his righteous servants. Most of these invocations are attributed to the prophets of Allah who prayed to be forgiven so that they are among Allah's righteous servants.

The invocation / dua chosen today is attributed to Prophet Sulaiman (Solomon, may peace be upon him) when he heard and an ant asking her lot to hide as the forces are Prophet Sulaiman are on their way and lest they be trampled down their feet [(one of the ants said: "O ants! Enter your dwellings, lest Sulaiman and his armies should crush you, while they perceive not.'') - verse 27:18].  When Prophet Sulaiman heard the ant, he smiled and immediately thanked Allah for His countless blessings on him and prayed that he may be included, out of Allah's Mercy, among Allah's righteous servants. This invocation appears in the 19th verse of Surah 27. An Naml (The Ant):

فَتَبَسَّمَ ضَاحِكًا مِّنۡ قَوۡلِهَا وَقَالَ رَبِّ اَوۡزِعۡنِىۡۤ اَنۡ اَشۡكُرَ نِعۡمَتَكَ الَّتِىۡۤ اَنۡعَمۡتَ عَلَىَّ وَعَلٰى وَالِدَىَّ وَاَنۡ اَعۡمَلَ صَالِحًـا تَرۡضٰٮهُ وَاَدۡخِلۡنِىۡ بِرَحۡمَتِكَ فِىۡ عِبَادِكَ الصّٰلِحِيۡنَ‏ 
(27:19) Smiling at the ant's utterance, Solomon burst into laughter and said: "My Lord! Hold me under (Your) control that I may render thanks for the favour which You have bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may act righteously in a manner that would please You. Include me, out of Your Mercy, among Your righteous servants."

(My Lord! Hold me under (Your) control) “Bestow upon me that I may be thankful” means this: “O my Lord! The wonderful powers and abilities that You have given me are such that if I become even a little forgetful and heedless, I might transgress the bounds of service and be puffed up with pride and go astray. Therefore, O my Lord, bestow upon me so that I may remain grateful to You for all Your blessings instead of being ungrateful.”

“And admit me by Your mercy among Your righteous slaves” probably implies this: “I should be included among the righteous in the Hereafter and should enter Paradise along with them.” For a person who does righteous acts will automatically be righteous, but one’s entry into Paradise in the Hereafter cannot come about merely on the strength of one’s good works, but it will depend on Allah’s mercy. According to a Hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) once said, “Merely the deeds of any one of you will not enable him to enter Paradise.” It was asked, “In your case too, O Messenger of Allah?” He replied, “Yes, I also shall not enter Paradise only on the strength of my deeds, unless Allah Almighty covers me with His mercy.”

This prayer of the Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) on this occasion becomes irrelevant if an-namal is taken to mean a tribe of human beings and namlah a member of that tribe. After all, there could be nothing extraordinary in the warning given by a member of a human tribe to the people of his tribe about the approaching troops of a powerful king that it should have induced the king to make such a prayer to Allah. However, a person having such a wonderful power of comprehension that he may hear the speech of an ant from a distance and also understand it, is certainly something extraordinary, which can involve a person in self-conceit and vanity. In such a case only the prayer of the Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) can be relevant.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: The first part of verse means `inspire me to give thanks for the blessings that You have bestowed upon me by teaching me to understand what the birds and animals say, and the blessings that You have bestowed upon my parents by making them Muslims who believe in You.'

(and that I may do righteous good deeds that will please You,) means, `deeds that You love which will earn Your pleasure.'

(and admit me by Your mercy among Your righteous servants.) means, `when You cause me to die, then join me with the righteous among Your servants, and the Higher Companion among Your close friends.'

Muhammad Asad Explanation: In this instance, Solomon evidently refers to his own understanding and admiration of nature (cf. {38:31-33} as well as to his loving compassion for the humblest of God's creatures, as a great divine blessing: and this is the Qur'anic moral of the legendary story of the ant.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: The counterpart to the position of the humble ant is the position of a great king like Solomon. He prays that his power and wisdom and all other gifts may be used for righteousness and for the benefit of all around him. The ant being in his thoughts, we may suppose that he means particularly in his prayer that he may not even unwittingly tread on humble beings in his preoccupations with the great things of the world.

The righteousness which pleases the world is often very different from the righteousness which pleases Allah. Solomon prays that he may always take Allah's Will as his standard, rather than the standards of men.

In the Kingdom of Allah, righteousness is the badge of citizenship. And although there are great and noble grades (see iv. 69), the base of that citizenship is the universal brotherhood of righteousness. The greatest in that Kingdom are glad and proud to pray for that essential badge.
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 / verses (ayat) 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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