By Tabassum M
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
Here comes another Ramadan! All thanks and praise are for Allah Who gave us this opportunity!
How many Ramadans have we witnessed in our lives? It’s so amazing that every year it arrives we feel the same kind of zeal – a zeal to make this Ramadan different from all others, to make it special.
And what makes Ramadan special?
- Connecting with Allah through the Quran. Allah mentions: “The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion….” (2:185)
- Making dua (supplication) to Allah. The very next verse mentions: “And when My servants ask you concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.” (2:186)
So here’s a Ramadan special for you: three gems which combine the above two ways of connecting with Allah to make this Ramadan special.
1. Dua of Prophet Sulayman (as)
رَبِّ أَوْزِعْنِي أَنْ أَشْكُرَ نِعْمَتَكَ الَّتِي أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيَّ وَعَلَىٰ وَالِدَيَّ وَأَنْ أَعْمَلَ صَالِحًا تَرْضَاهُ وَأَدْخِلْنِي بِرَحْمَتِكَ فِي عِبَادِكَ الصَّالِحِينَ
“…My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favour which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to do righteousness of which You approve. And admit me by Your mercy into [the ranks of] Your righteous servants.” (27:19)
Context of the dua
Prophet Sulayman (as) had several unique miraculous abilities. One of them was that he could understand animal language. One day, Sulayman (as), with his army of humans, jinns, and birds, was marching towards a valley where a multitude of ants lived. He heard one of the ants warning the others of Sulayman’s marching army, and it made him laugh. He remembered Allah the One Who gave him the gift of understanding animal speech. And then he made the dua.
How it relates to us
Allah (swt) has blessed each of us with a unique combination of talents. Sometimes we overlook these talents and leave them unused and uncultivated. And at other times, we attribute our talents to our own awesomeness rather than to Allah’s favour; we pat ourselves on the back and forget that, no matter how hard we try to cultivate a talent, we will only succeed if Allah (swt) gives it to us. Take any two people, and you’ll find that their accomplishments vary and so do their failures.
Here are some of the things we can get out of this dua:
- This dua makes us focus on the blessings of Allah. It urges us to be grateful and hone our talents to serve and worship Him.
- It is a means of increasing our blessings, as Allah mentions: “…If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favour]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.” (14:7)
Failing to appreciate Allah’s blessings exposes us to punishment in the hellfire and make us susceptible to arrogance.
- It makes us think of the importance of parents in our lives.
- In it we ask Allah to make our hearts aspire to do good deeds with excellence.
- Finally, it opens our eyes to materialism and reminds us of death. It also focuses our goals towards becoming among the righteous (Saaliheen).
2. Dua of the People of the Cave
رَبَّنَا آتِنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً وَهَيِّئْ لَنَا مِنْ أَمْرِنَا رَشَدًا
“…Our Lord, grant us from Yourself mercy and prepare for us from our affair right guidance.” (18:10)
Context of dua
A group of youngsters, on renouncing idol worship rampant in the country, were brought to trial by the Roman king of their time. They were given two options: Either retract your proclamation of belief in one God, or be stoned to death. In order to escape from either fate, they fled, and it is during this flight that they made the above dua.
Result of their dua
After making this dua, the group reached a big cave, so safe that nothing harmed them for three hundred years, during which time they were asleep. (See Surat al-Kahf, 18:9-26)
What we learn from it:
- It encourages anyone who finds himself in a situation similar to these youths, who leave a path of ease and consciously head for difficulty for the sake of Allah, to ask Him for guidance, to make things easy, and to keep them firm on the right path.
- At all those times when you’re unsure about something, not knowing which way to turn, literally or figuratively, Allah will guide you through if you make sincere dua.
- It shows us the power of sincere dua and reminds us to not underestimate it. (Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan, Bayyinah.tv, In-depth Surat al-Kahf, Ayah 10).
3. Dua of the pilgrims
رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ
“…Our Lord, give us in this world [that which is] good and in the hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the fire.” (2:201)
Context of the dua
After Allah (swt) explains the rites of Hajj, He mentions: “…remember Allah like your [previous] remembrance of your fathers or with [much] greater remembrance.” Then He warns us of the fate of those who only say the first part of the dua: “Our Lord, give us in this world,” saying that “he will have in the hereafter no share.” (2:200) Then Allah mentions the reward of those who say the full dua.
Result of this dua
“Those will have a share of what they have earned, and Allah is swift in account.” (2:202)
From our jumble of good and bad deeds of different degrees, Allah (swt) will especially pick the good ones and reward us accordingly. (Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan, bayyinah.tv, Cover to Cover 2. Al-Baqarah: 196-207)
How it relates to us
It is the dua most often recited by the Prophet (sa), according to Anas (ra). (Bukhari and Muslim)
Its benefits and lessons apply to us all throughout our lives and in the hereafter.
When we ask Allah for good in this life, we in essence ask to live like the Prophet (sa) – the one who had the most blessed life in this world, because of which he will be elevated in the hereafter to the station of praise and glory (Maqam al-Mahmood).
The good in this world denotes the good which will help us attain ultimate happiness in the hereafter. (Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan, bayyinah.tv, Cover to Cover 2. Al-Baqarah: 196-207)
All true Muslims will go to paradise, but not all will be safe from the hellfire, where they will have to recompense for their sins. Allah (swt) teaches us in this dua to be cautious of hellfire and seek refuge from it constantly.
Tabassum M is a freelance writer and an intermediate-level student at al-Salam Institute. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
© IIPH 2016