Monday 22 May 2023

Prophetic Supplication (Dua / دُعا) - attributed to Prophet Zechariah for Goodly and Pious Offspring

One of the greatest blessings of Allah is pious and goodly offspring, something that is the earnest desire of every parent. The pious and obedient offspring act as the light of their parents' eyes, especially as they age. But if the offspring turn out to be rude, arrogant and disrespectful, the whole life of parents turns into misery and living becomes a bane.  

Even prophets have been mentioned in Qur'an and other Divine Scriptures supplicating for goodly offspring. Today we share the 38th verse of Surah 3. Al-i'Imran: 38 in which Prophet Zechariah (زَكَرِيَّا علي السلام) has been mentioned supplicating to the Lord of the universe for grant of goodly offspring. 

It may be mentioned here that the birth of Mariam (Mary, the mother of Jesus), of Yahya (John the Baptist), the precursor of Jesus, and of Jesus, the prophet of Israel, whom Israel rejected, occurred in that order chronologically, and are told in that order. They are all inter-connected. Zakariya prayed for no ordinary son. He and his wife were past the age of parenthood. Seeing the growth of Mary, he prayed for some child from Allah, - "from Thee, a progeny that is pure". To his surprise, he is given a son in the flesh, ushered in by a special Sign. Details in the explanation of the verse below:

هُنَالِكَ دَعَا زَكَرِيَّا رَبَّهٗ​ ​ۚ قَالَ رَبِّ هَبۡ لِىۡ مِنۡ لَّدُنۡكَ ذُرِّيَّةً طَيِّبَةً​ ​ ۚ اِنَّكَ سَمِيۡعُ الدُّعَآءِ‏ 
(3:38) Then Zechariah prayed to his Lord: 'O Lord! Grant me from Yourself out of Your grace the gift of a goodly offspring, for indeed You alone heed all Prayers.'

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (The Supplication of Zakariyya, and the Good News of Yahya's Birth):
When Zechariah, also spelt Zakariyya, who had Maryam (Mary, mother of Jesus) under his care, saw that Allah provided sustenance for Maryam, when he visited her in her seclusion, by giving her the fruits of winter in summer and the fruits of summer in winter, he was eager to have a child of his own. By then, Zakariyya had become an old man, his bones feeble and his head full of gray hair. His wife was an old woman who was barren. Yet, he still supplicated to Allah and called Him in secret. 

Since Zechariah was special to God, his supplication was immediately accepted and an angel appeared right there at the place of his supplication and broke him the good news of a son being born to him. This mentioned right in the next verse:

فَنَادَتۡهُ الۡمَلٰٓـئِكَةُ وَهُوَ قَآئِمٌ يُّصَلِّىۡ فِى الۡمِحۡرَابِۙ اَنَّ اللّٰهَ يُبَشِّرُكَ بِيَحۡيٰى مُصَدِّقًۢا بِكَلِمَةٍ مِّنَ اللّٰهِ وَسَيِّدًا وَّحَصُوۡرًا وَّنَبِيًّا مِّنَ الصّٰلِحِيۡنَ‏ 
(3:39) As he stood praying in the sanctuary, the angels called out to him: 'Allah gives you good tidings of Yahya (later John the Baptist), who shall confirm a command of Allah, shall be outstanding among men, utterly chaste, and a Prophet from among the righteous.'

(3:40) Zechariah (flabbergasted by such news and) exclaimed: 'My Lord! How shall I have a son when old age has overtaken me and my wife is barren?' He said: Thus, shall it be; Allah does what He wills.' and thus God granted Zechariah a son despite his old age and despite the barrenness of his wife. Thus, Yahya was born just six months before Jesus (peace be upon him). Yahya was born a son, destined to be a chaste leader and Prophet.

The purpose of sharing this supplication is for those who married people who for some reason lose hope of having an offspring born to them. If one sincerely prays with complete faith in Allah, the supplication never goes unanswered. And as is evident from the verses stated above, the most appropriate time to draw near the angels and to invoke and supplicate before the Almighty is that of the prayer.

We must never lose hope and get dejected if our supplications do not materialize for Allah knows the best for us. Waiting is just part of the Divine tests that are given to gauge the firmness of faith of His servants. Pray that we are never put to test and that Allah grants our wishes for us to be ever grateful to Him.
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 of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that 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.  

In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided, 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, 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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