In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Tafseer Al-Baqarah Ayaat 200 – 202 (Part 2)
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala corrects the error of those who only seek dunya and teaches them the right manner of making du’a. The believers should say:
This is a du’a that is praised by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala for in it the believer seeks the goodness of both the worlds.
It teaches us that as a person gets stronger in his faith, his supplications are refined. He does not limit himself to petty things. One might think that goodness of the Hereafter means Paradise. No, it is not limited to that. Broaden your vision and ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala for His Countenance, the special meeting in Paradise every Friday with Him and His loved ones, ask for the company of the prophets, the truthful, the martyred and the righteous. Ask Him for the highest levels of Paradise. Do not limit yourself.In short,paradise is better than anything and everything in this entire world.
Ibn Katheer elaborates that the supplication mentioned and praised in the ayah includes all good aspects of this life and seeks refuge from all types of evil. The good of this life concerns every material request of well-being, spacious dwelling, pleasing mates, sufficient provision, beneficial knowledge, good profession or deeds, comfortable means of transportation and good praise, all of which the scholars of Tafseer have mentioned regarding this subject. All of these are but a part of the good that is sought in this life. As for the good of the Hereafter, the best of this includes acquiring Paradise, which also means acquiring safety from the greatest horror at the gathering place. It also refers to being questioned lightly and the other favors in the Hereafter,of which the biggest is getting the honour of glancing at the lord of the heavens and the earth.May Allah make us of them.aameen.
As for acquiring safety from the Fire, it includes being directed to what leads to the good end in this world, such as avoiding the prohibitions, sins of all kinds and doubtful matters.
The word waqina [وَقِنَا] is from the root wau-qaf-ya and it means to protect, save or preserve.
Al-Qasim bin ‘Abdur-Rahman said, “Whoever is gifted with a grateful heart, a remembering tongue and a patient body, will have been endowed with a good deed in this life, a good deed in the Hereafter and saved from the torment of the Fire.”
This is why the Sunnah encourages reciting this du’a (ayah 202). Such a blessed and important dua it is,that it is even sunnah to recite it during the tawaf(circumbulation) of the Holy Ka’bah in between the rukn yamani and hajr aswad.
Al-Bukhari reported that Anas bin Malik radhiAllahu ‘anhu narrated that the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used to recite this du’a.
Imam Ahmad reported that Anas said, “Allah’s Messenger visited a Muslim man who had become as weak as a sick small bird. Allah’s Messenger said to him, ‘Were you asking or supplicating to Allah about something?’ He said, ‘Yes. I used to say: O Allah! Whatever punishment you saved for me in the Hereafter, give it to me in this life.’ Allah’s Messenger said:
سُبْحَانَ اللهِ لَا تُطِيقُهُ أَوْ لَا تَسْتَطِيعُهُ، فَهَلَّا قُلْتَ: رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِنَا فِى الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الاٌّخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ
“All praise is due to Allah! You cannot bear it – or stand it. You should have said, ‘Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire!’” The man began reciting this du’a and he was cured.” Muslim also recorded it.
Mufti Muhammad Shafi Usmani writes that this du’a is a compendium of all prayers in as much as it encompasses the entire range of man’s worldly and other-worldly objectives. Apart from enjoying peace in the world, and peace in the Hereafter, the ayah refers in the end to the safety from ‘the punishment of Fire’ as well.
This ayah also corrects those ignorant dervishes [so called mystics] who think that real worship lies in praying for the Hereafter alone and claim that they do not care much about the mortal world. In reality, such a claim is false, for man depends on fulfilling his worldly needs not only for his life and sustenance, but also for performing the acts of worship and obedience. Without these, serving the objectives of faith would become impossible. Therefore, the blessed practice of the prophets of Allah has been that they prayed to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala for the good of both the worlds.
One who thinks that praying to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala for the fulfillment of his worldly needs is against the norms of piety and spiritual dignity is unaware of the great station of Prophethood, and is ignorant of man’s role in this mortal world. The Companions radhiAllahu ‘anhum would ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala for as small things as a shoe lace or salt. So, if you run out of food supplies or are stuck in traffic jam do not forget to ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to help you.
What is required is that one should not focus all his attention on his material needs as if they were the main purpose of life, but he should, along with it, show far more concern for what would happen to him in the Hereafter, and pray for it.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala ends the address by saying, “For them there will be allotted a share for what they have earned. And Allah is swift at reckoning.”
The word naseeb [نَصِيب] is from the root noon-saad-ba and it means to fix or setup. It also means fixed share that a person gets because of his fate. The same word is used for the share of inheritance. Our share in the Hereafter depends on our deeds in this world. The word saree’ [سَرِيع] is from the root seen-ra-ayn and it means to hasten, be quick or swift. The word hisaab [حِسَاب] is from the root Ha-seen-ba and it means to reckon, to measure or to account.
Al-Hakim reported that Sa’eed bin Jubayr said, “A man came to Ibn ‘Abbas and said, ‘I worked for some people and settled for a part of my compensation in return for their taking me to perform Hajj with them. Is this acceptable?’ Ibn ‘Abbas said, ‘You are among those whom Allah described: For them there will be allotted a share for what they have earned. And Allah is swift at reckoning.’”
People will be rewarded in both the worlds for their correct and righteous conduct and for their prayers. Allah’s knowledge and power is sufficient to assess the lifelong deeds of every person. A time will soon come when Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala shall make man accountable for what he did, and it will be on the basis of that accounting that he will spread out His reward and punishment.
As the saying goes: Before beginning something keep the end in mind. While doing a worldly task or performing an act of worship, we should check our intention and keep the results in mind. If our intention is to cheat someone and make temporary profit in this world, then how will we stand before Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala? If our worship is for any purpose other than pleasing Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, then we should remind ourselves that such a worship is not accepted. Why lose out on the rewards by corrupting our intention? We should always keep the accountability of the Hereafter in our minds and never forget that nothing escapes Allah’s knowledge.
We ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala for correct intentions, deeds that are acceptable and company of the righteous in the Hereafter. Allahumma aameen.
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