By Manahil Ashraf
I just couldn’t get my brain to retain all those prophetic supplications.
It was, simply put, too hard for me. And the trouble wasn’t quite in committing to memory a sentence or two since I had a little knowhow of the Arabic language already. The real issue was to recall and articulate those supplications on the right time. You are probably familiar with the dua to be said after one wakes up in the morning? I would always remember it an hour or so later, on my way to the class, as if my mind secretly confessed that it was actually now that I woke up!
Flipping through the pages of a dua booklet have you ever wondered why there are so many dua’s taught to us by the Messenger SAW? A different dua for each and every little thing that a person does in a regular day and of course not to miss the special occasions! I used to wonder about it, trying to find the big reason behind it since I knew that anything and everything in this beautiful and perfect way of life – Islam – has logic behind it. And the little things that we are recommended to do, fit perfectly in a bigger picture. And yes, after much reflection I found the answer Alhamdulillah.
The reasoning behind all those little sunnah supplications is to gain Taqwa i.e. to keep Allah swt in our mind. Now we all know the importance of Taqwa and we hear it, day in and day out, to have God consciousness and to fear Allah. But how can one practically remember Allah all the time considering we have our personal responsibilities and the busy lifestyle and whatnot? Well, The Messenger SAW already took this into account, centuries ago! He SAW, among many other practical actions, passed on to us a set of supplications which, if done properly, is a pretty solid means to reach this ultimate goal of attaining Taqwa.
One would argue that what’s the point behind remembering God before going to the bathroom? Let me try to explain you the answer to that.
Firstly there is inherent goodness in every supplication we’re taught. We seek refuge in Allah from shaytan and invoke Allah Subhana Wa’Tala’s blessing in every action that we do, which is awesome. Beyond that it’s not necessarily about the bathroom. It’s a fact that every person in all places and all races and all generations and all times will definitely use the restroom. So why not making this common daily action a landmark to remember Allah? And so when you say:
“In the name of Allah. O Allah I take refuge with you from all evil and evil doers.” Al Bukhari, Al Muslim.
- You took Allah’s protection from harmful things that you can’t see but they exist.
- You did a sunnah act and hence you got rewarded for that.
- As an unspoken rule, chances are that you would also consider the sunnah way of the action you’re going to perform.
- You remembered Allah and hence you got closer to Him.
There are of course many more benefits that the ones more knowledgeable than me can count. And The All Knowledgeable knows best.
Similarly all other supplications are meant to do this. Correct me if I’m wrong but every man on a regular basis wakes up and goes to bed, eats and drinks, dresses and undresses, enters and leaves the house, laughs and gets depressed, sneezes or hears others sneeze, gets sick or visit the sick, experiences rains and storms, visits market places and travels etc. The list goes on and on. The genius of our religion is that all these simple occasions are turned into means to get us to remember Allah. Subhan Allah!
Recall if you would, how I used the past tense to describe my failure at the beginning. Yes Alhamdulillah I’ve finally managed to commit many supplications to this exhausted memory of mine and many more are yet to be learned.
How I accomplished that and what tips I have for you, find out in the next article in sha Allah.