Monday, 30 November 2009
A Supplication to Ease Anxiety & Depression
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
As recorded in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (r.a.), it was reported from ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (r.a.) that the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “No person suffers any anxiety or grief, and says:
Allahumma innii ‘abduka wa ibnu ‘abdika wa ibnu amatika, naaswiyatii biyadika, maadhin fiyya hukmuka ‘adlun fiyya qadhaa’uka. As’aluka bikulli ismi huwa laka sammayta bihi nafsaka aw anlamtahu ahadan min khalqika aw anzaltahu fii kitaabika aw asta’tsarta bihi fiyya ‘ilmi al-ghaybi ‘indaka an taj’ala al-Qur’an rabbii’a qalbii wa nuura swadrii wa jilaa’a huznii wa duhaaba hammii
O Allah, I am Your slave, son of Your slave, son of Your female slave, my forelock is in Your hand, Your Command over me is forever executed and Your Decree over me is Just. I ask You by every Name Belonging to You which You Named Yourself with, or Revealed in Your Book, or You Taught to any of Your Creation, or You have Preserved in the knowledge of the unseen with You, that You Make the Qur’an the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety.
- but Allah (s.w.t.) will Take away his sorrow and grief, and Give him in their stead joy.”
Imam ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (r.a.) said about this du’a in his book, “The Provisions of the Hereafter” that the verse, “Lord, I am Your servant, whose father and mother are Your servants,” embodies the core of Knowledge and Recognition of Allah (s.w.t.), and the secrets of worship, and no single book can ever detail their full meaning. Yet, this prayer is full of recognition of Who Allah (s.w.t.) is, and in it, the worshipper calling upon His Lord, acknowledges his Creator, and presents himself as Allah’s (s.w.t.) servant, and the son of His servants. The caller also places things where they belong by recognising that his fate is in Allah’s (s.w.t.) Hand; that his destiny is moving according to the Divine Plan; that Allah (s.w.t.) Does whatever He Pleases with it; that the servant can neither bring benefits nor harm to himself; that he cannot bring about his own birth, death, or resurrection; that his destiny is in Allah’s (s.w.t.) Hand; that he has no power to alter it except as Allah (s.w.t.) Wills; that he is totally dependent on his Creator, Cherisher, Sustainer, and Lord; that his own existence is subject to whatever Allah (s.w.t.) Decrees; and that Allah (s.w.t.) is Just, and what He (s.w.t.) Wills shall Be.
Imam ibn Qayyim (r.a.) then explained the next part of the du’a, “My fate is in Your Hand, and my destiny is moving according to Your Plan. You are indeed Just in Your Judgment.” This section of the prayer embodies two cardinal aspects which are the core of the doctrine of tawhid.
The first is the recognition and confirmation of fate, and that Allah’s (s.w.t.) Decree regarding His servant shall unfailingly come into force, and that the servant cannot escape it or repel it. The second aspect proclaims that Allah (s.w.t.) is Just, that He does not oppress His servants, and that what His Decree is due by virtue of Divine Justice and Knowledge of such needs. This is because injustice represents the need, ignorance, incompetence, weakness, and inferiority of an unjust person, and therefore, such attributes are not Divine, and they cannot come from one who is Omniscient, All-Knowing, Wise, and has no needs.
Hence, Allah’s (s.w.t.) Wisdom is Operative wherever His Will is Ordained. Allah (s.w.t.) is Rich beyond any need, and everything is poor and seeks its nourishment from Him. He is All-Wise, and there is not a single atom throughout the entire universes where His Will is not Operative. The absolute dependence of each and every cell in the entire Creation, and their soliciting of their support and sustenance from the sole and only Provider requires their gratitude. Hence gratitude, shukr, is Rewarded with Blessings and ingratitude, kufr, is Rewarded with disapprobation and consequent punishment for the non repenting ones.
When the unrepentant and ungrateful disbelievers and idol worshipers threatened Allah's (s.w.t.) prophet, Hud (a.s.), to invoke the curse of their deities upon him, he replied:
… He said, “I call Allah to Witness, and do ye bear witness that I am free from the sin of ascribing, to Him other gods as partners! So scheme (your worst) against me, all of you and give me no respite. I put my trust in Allah, my Lord and your Lord! There is not a moving creature, but He hath Grasp of its forelock. Verily, it is my Lord that is on a Straight Path.” (Surah Hud:54-56)
This meaning that Allah’s (s.w.t.) Power which is Unlimited and Unrestrained, is Operative over all creatures, and no one can withstand His Decree. He Alone has the power to Move them as He Pleases, and He does so Rightly, Justly, Wisely and Mercifully.
In this prayer, the servant’s proclamation, “My destiny is moving according to Your Plan,” means the same as, “There is not a moving creature, but He hath Grasp of its forelock,” and his saying, “You are indeed Just in Your Judgment,” is also parallel to “Verily, it is my Lord that is on a Straight Path.” Furthermore, Rasulullah (s.a.w.) called, in this prayer, upon Allah’s (s.w.t.) Most Holy Names and the Divine Attributes He Proclaimed in His Kingdom, Revealed in a Book, Taught to a privileged servant or kept as His sole Secret, so that no angel of the nearest and most exalted status and no prophet or messenger has ever known to ask by it. Such invocation surpasses all supplications, and of all prayers is the Dearest to Him, and most Worthy of immediate reply, because it proves the servant's knowledge and recognition of his Lord.
Rasulullah (s.a.w.) then prayed to Allah (s.w.t.) to Make the Glorious Qur’an the Prime of his heart, meaning the spiritual food of his body, mind, and soul, and through it, to Wash Away, Dispel, and Cure his stresses, worries, and concerns, making it the one conclusive medicine that will extract illnesses, and restore the human being to his true status and balance. Hence, he asked his Lord to make the Qur’an the Light of his soul that removes any corrosion that tarnishes his clarity and wisdom, and that polishes his heart. Such medicine works only if the patient is truthful in his asking for it, sincere in his trust in its effectiveness and uses it as prescribed by his physician. Hence, insha’Allah, the correct use of the medicine will certainly be followed by complete recovery, excellent health and vitality and Allah (s.w.t.) is the Supreme Helper.