Monday 22 March 2021

My Lord, endow me with knowledge and wisdom and join me with the righteous

In our series of posts on Selected Invocations from the Qur'an, today we share a very thought-provoking invocation, attributed to Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham, peace be upon him) at a time when polytheism was at its best and no one was willing to listen to him, even his own father. In fact, this 83rd verse of Surah 26. Ash-Shu'araa is part of next few verses which complete this invocation which have also been added in this post:

رَبِّ هَبۡ لِىۡ حُكۡمًا وَّاَلۡحِقۡنِىۡ بِالصّٰلِحِيۡنَۙ‏ 
"My Lord, endow me with knowledge and wisdom and join me with the righteous"

Hukm " حُكۡمً " here does not mean Prophethood, because at the time this prayer was made, Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) had already been appointed a Prophet. Even if this prayer was made before that, Prophethood is not bestowed at request, but it is something which Allah Himself bestows on those He wills. That is why hukm has been translated wisdom, knowledge, right understanding and power of judgment. The Prophet (peace be upon him) is also reported to have made a similar prayer. Arinal-ashyaa kama hiya: O Allah, give us the power to see and understand a thing as it really is and to form an opinion about it according to its reality.

“Join me with the righteous”: Give me a righteous society to live here in this world and raise me along with the righteous in the Hereafter. To be raised back to life with the righteous and to attain one’s salvation have one and the same meaning. Therefore, this should be the prayer of every person who believes in the life-after-death and in reward and punishment. Even in this world a pious man cherishes the desire that God should save him from living a life in an immoral and wicked society and should join him with the righteous people. A pious and righteous person will remain ill at ease and restless until either his own society becomes clean and pure morally, or he leaves it to join another society which is practicing and following the principles of truth and honesty.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Having shown clearly the distinction between the False and the True, Abraham now shows in the formn of a Prayer what his inmost wishes are. (1) He wants his own soul enlightened with divine wisdom, and (2) his heart and life filled with righteousness; (3) he will not be content with working for himself or his own generation: his view extends to all future generations; (4) and of course he wishes to attain the goal of the righteous, the Garden of the Bliss of the Divine Countenance; but he is not content with this; for (5) he wants his father and relatives to share in his spiritual joy, so that he can proudly see all whom he can reach, in an honourable station (contrasted with disgrace) on the Day of Judgment.
This verse should always be at the lips of each believer for it is none than Allah Who can enlighten our mind and bless us with true knowledge and wisdom not only to understand the Qur'an, but all hidden mysteries of the universe. And it is only Allah, and no one but He Who can bless and forgive us and enjoin us with the righteous. And also, it is only He who can protect us from disgrace on the Day when people will be raised to life on the Day of Resurrection.
The next three verses complete the above said invocation:

وَاجۡعَلْ لِّىۡ لِسَانَ صِدۡقٍ فِى الۡاٰخِرِيۡنَۙ‏ 
(26:84) and grant me an honourable reputation among posterity

وَاجۡعَلۡنِىۡ مِنۡ وَّرَثَةِ جَنَّةِ النَّعِيۡمِۙ‏ 
(26:85) and make me of those who will inherit the Garden of Bliss,

وَاغۡفِرۡ لِاَبِىۡۤ اِنَّهٗ كَانَ مِنَ الضَّآلِّيۡنَۙ‏ 
(26:86) and forgive my father for he is among those who strayed,
The Quran says that when Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) left his home at the tyrannical treatment of his father, he said: I bid farewell to you; I shall pray to my Lord to forgive you for He is very kind to me. (Surah Maryam, Ayat 47). To fulfill this promise, he not only prayed for the forgiveness of his father, but for both his parents: Lord, forgive me and my parents. (Surah Ibrahim, Ayat 41). But afterwards he himself realized that an enemy of the truth, even if he is the father of a believer, does not deserve a prayer of forgiveness. Thus, according to (verse 114 of Surah At- Taubah): The prayer of Abraham for his father was only to fulfill a promise he had made to him, but when he realized that he was an enemy of Allah, he disowned him.
وَلَا تُخۡزِنِىۡ يَوۡمَ يُبۡعَثُوۡنَۙ‏ 
(26:87) and disgrace me not on the Day when people will be raised to life,

May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

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. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

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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Jalal may Almighty Allah bless you n guide us on the righteous path always. Aameen

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