Sunday 28 May 2023

Supplication (Dua / دُعا) for faith in Allah Attributed to Prophet Shu'ayb شعيب علي السلام in Qur'an

All prophets through the history have had a very uncomfortable journey of their lives when embarked upon to invite their people to the righteous path as commanded by Allah, the One and Only Ture God. Yet despite their relentless efforts, people generally did not listen to them, mocked them and made their lives uncomfortable to utter miserable for try to "distract' them by telling them that the faith they followed of their forefathers was untrue.

We have already shared supplications made by prophets in our series of posts on Selected Invocations / Dua " دُعا " from Quran under the sub head of Prophetic Supplications. Today we share yet another prophetic supplication attributed to Prophet Shu'ayb  شعيب علي السلام, also spelt as Shuaib, Shoaib or Shuayb. Prophet Shu'ayb was an ancient Midianite Nabi (Prophet) in Islam, and the most revered prophet in the Druze faith. He is traditionally identified with the Biblical Jethro, Moses' father-in-law. Shuaib is mentioned in the Quran a total of 11 times. He is believed to have lived after Ibrahim (Abraham), and Muslims believe that he was sent as a prophet to a community: the Midianites, who are also known as the Aṣḥāb al-Aykah ("Companions of the Wood"), since they used to worship a large tree. [1]

Before sharing the selected verse from Qur'an that exhibits firm and unflinching faith of Prophet Shuaib in Allah, let us present the translation of the verses before the 88th verse of Surah 11. Hud that led to the proclamation of his faith in Allah despite the heedlessness of his people:
(11:84) And to (the people of) Midian We sent their brother Shu'ayb. He said: 'My people! Serve Allah; you have no god other than Him. And do not diminish the measure and weight. Indeed, I see that you are prospering now, but I fear for you the chastisement of an encompassing day in the future.
(11:85) My people! Give full measure and weight with justice, do not diminish the goods of others, and do not go about creating corruption in the land.
(11:86) The gains that Allah lets you retain are better for you, if you indeed believe. In any case, I have not been appointed a keeper over you.
(11:87) They replied: 'O Shu'ayb! Does your Prayer enjoin upon you that we should forsake the deities whom our forefathers worshipped, or that we should give up using our wealth as we please?97 Do you fancy that you, and only you, are forbearing and right-directed?'
To the most unreasonable response from his people, Prophet Shu'ayb responded as under, showing his unflinching faith in Allah no matter how his people reacted to his invitation:

قَالَ يٰقَوۡمِ اَرَءَيۡتُمۡ اِنۡ كُنۡتُ عَلٰى بَيِّنَةٍ مِّنۡ رَّبِّىۡ وَرَزَقَنِىۡ مِنۡهُ رِزۡقًا حَسَنًا​ ؕ وَمَاۤ اُرِيۡدُ اَنۡ اُخَالِفَكُمۡ اِلٰى مَاۤ اَنۡهٰٮكُمۡ عَنۡهُ​ ؕ اِنۡ اُرِيۡدُ اِلَّا الۡاِصۡلَاحَ مَا اسۡتَطَعۡتُ​ ؕ وَمَا تَوۡفِيۡقِىۡۤ اِلَّا بِاللّٰهِ​ ؕ عَلَيۡهِ تَوَكَّلۡتُ وَاِلَيۡهِ اُنِيۡبُ‏ 
(11:88) Shu'ayb said: 'My people! What do you think? If I stand on clear evidence from my Lord, and He has also provided me with a handsome provision from Himself- (should I be ungrateful to Him and share your error and iniquity?) Nor do I desire to act contrary to what I admonish you. I desire nothing but to set things right as far as I can. My success is not but through Allah. In Him have I put my trust, and to Him do I always turn.
Here (rizq) implies two things: provision of the knowledge of the Truth and provision of the necessities of life from Allah. In the first sense, it refers to the same thing that has been declared in this Surah by Prophets Muhammad, Noah and Salih (Allah's peace be upon them all), that is, "Allah bestowed on me by revelation that knowledge of the Truth, which I already had gained by making keen observations of my own self and of the phenomena of Nature. Therefore, I cannot be a party to your evil creeds and unlawful practices." In the second sense, it is the answer to this taunt of theirs: "Indeed you are the only generous and righteous person left in the land!" It meant, so to say, this: "When my Lord has bestowed on me both the knowledge of the Truth and the good and lawful provisions of life, your taunts cannot turn this favor into disfavor. Therefore, I cannot be so ungrateful to Him as to declare your deviations to be the truth and your unlawful practices lawful." 

That is, "It is a proof of the truth of my claim that I myself practice what I preach to you. For instance, if I had forbidden you to visit the shrines of gods and goddesses but had myself become the guardian of some such shrine, you would have been justified in bringing this charge against me that I was preaching the Doctrine of Tauhid merely for the sake of ruining the "business" of others in order to make room for my own trade. Likewise, if I had prohibited the use of unlawful means for you but had myself applied the same in my own trade, you would have been justified in charging me with preaching honesty merely for winning good reputation for the prosperity of my own trade; But you yourselves are a witness to this that I myself abstain from those evils which I forbid you to practice and I keep myself pure from those blemishes of which I desire to cleanse you and I follow the way to which I invite you. All this is a clear proof that I believe in the truth of the Message I am conveying to you." 

Yusuf Ali, one of the most learned scholars of Islam whose exegesis of Qur'an is considered as one of the best, notes that Shu'ayb's answer is gentle and persuasive, First, he would ask them not to fly into a passion but satisfy themselves that he had a mission from Allah, and was working in the discharge of his mission: he was not merely finding fault with them. Secondly, though he was a poor man, he asked them to note that he was happy and comfortable: Allah had given him good sustenance, material and spiritual, as from Himself, though he did not resort to the sort of tricks which they considered necessary for their prosperity. Thirdly, if he forbade them anything he wished to apply the same standards to himself. Fourthly, all the advice which he is giving them is for their own good, which he desires to advance to the utmost of his powers. Fifthly, he is humble for himself; he would not set himself up to be their teacher or guide, or expect to be obeyed; the success of any of his efforts on their behalf must come from Allah's grace; will they not therefore turn to Allah, so that Allah's grace can heal them?

Tafsir Qur'an Wiki:
Shu`ayb, fully confident of the truth of his message, and aware of his people’s ignorance and short-sightedness, does not let their sarcasm affect him. On the contrary, he seeks to inform them politely that he takes his stand on clear evidence from his Lord, which he feels in his innermost heart. He explains to them that he is fully confident of the truth of what he advocates because his knowledge far exceeds theirs. When he calls on them to stick to honest dealings, the effects of such honesty also apply to him since he is a businessman. He is after no personal gain which he seeks to realize for himself. He does not intend to do behind their backs what he has forbidden them so that he enjoys a market free from competition. His call is one of reform which includes himself. The path he enjoins them to follow will not cause them any losses, as they mistakenly think.
It is, then, the general reform of society which Shu`ayb is after. It is a reform which brings benefit to every individual and every community. Some may think that to adhere to moral values and implement the divine law may make them lose some chances which may be open to them, or lose some gain which they would otherwise achieve. But implementing the divine law can only make them lose evil gains and wicked opportunities. It compensates them with goodly gains and lawful provisions. It also establishes a society which is characterized by the co-operation of its individuals. It is a society which is free from grudges, treachery and selfish quarrels.

So, my dear brothers and sisters in Islam, stay firm as much as you can before the people who do not respond to your viewpoint (about Islam) and do not get derailed by their negative onslaught. And if they are least responsive, then you may tell them that all you say is because of your true faith in Allah, the One and the Only God. And that you do not need any reward from them for Our success is not but through Allah. In Him have I put my trust, and to Him do I always turn.
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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