Dawn & Dusk, Episode 1: Pleased!

by Ayesha Zaka

Over the years, I have developed the habit of reciting the morning and evening azkaar (supplications) regularly Alhamdolillah. The material and spiritual benefits and fruits of these azkaar cannot be overstated. They have been taught to us by the greatest teacher of all times, Rasulullah sallalahu alaihi wasallam. He exhorted us to stick to them by separately mentioning the virtues of many of these azkaar.

My days and nights would feel so incomplete without these azkaar. However, as with all routine matters, there is always the danger that if the heart is not attentive, these azkaar would become a mere mechanical affair. They would just roll off our tongue with no focus on the meanings and no involvement of the heart and soul. Of course, our ‘ibadaat and azkaar are not supposed to be hollow like that. Ideally, they should be an ardent expression of love, reverence and humility before the Almighty.

I decided to write this series of Reflections on the Morning and Evening Azkaar as a reminder to myself and the readers to synchronize our hearts with our tongues, and to develop a habit of contemplation and reflection. In our busy lives with 24/7 connectivity, it is so important to take time out to truly disconnect with everyone, and deeply connect with Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala.

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We will cover authentic morning and evening azkaar from the book Hisn-ul-Muslim inshaAllah. The first one that we will cover in this episode is:

“رَضِيتُ باللهِ رَبَّاً، وَبِالْإِسْلَامِ دِيناً، وَبِمُحَمَّدٍ صَلَى اللهُ عَلِيهِ وَسَلَّمَ نَبِيَّاً”

I am pleased with Allah as my Rabb, with Islam as my Deen and with Muhammad (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) as my Prophet.

Rasulullah sallalahu alaihi wasallam said:
“Allah has promised that anyone who says this (quoted above) three times every morning or evening will be pleased on the Day of Resurrection.”
Ahmad 4/ 337, An-Nasa’i, At-Tirmithi 5/465.

SubhanAllah! What an amazing incentive! What more could a person want than being pleased on the Day of Judgment? Imagine yourself jumping with joy on the Day of Judgment, saved from the trials of that Day, overjoyed at finally being among the successful ones, and entering the Jannah “wherein shall you have all that your souls shall desire and wherein shall you have all that ye ask for!” (Surah Fussilat, ayah 31)

All this just for saying these words with truth and conviction!
Let us ponder over these powerful words, which are like a declaration and a covenant.

“I am pleased with Allah as my Rabb

Because I know Him, I recognize His Attributes, and I am therefore so happy and satisfied that He is my Rabb. He is the Most Perfect One. Only He can be my Rabb. I am pleased to be His slave, to obey Him, to surrender my will and myself to Him. I am pleased with His Decisions and Planning for my life. Hence, I do not grieve over the past, nor do I worry about the future. Such a liberating, peaceful state of mind to be in!

“And (I am pleased) with Islam as my Deen

It follows obviously that I consciously, happily and most gratefully accept and embrace the religion and way of life that Allah has chosen for me.

“Indeed, the Religion before Allah is Islam.” (Surah ale-Imran: ayah 19)
I live Islam. And I know for sure that it is the Most Straight Path. I understand the blessings that lie in its teachings. I don’t hesitate to shape my life according to its orders and prohibitions. No, no.. I am so happy, so pleased with this gift. No, I don’t find the hijab oppressive. No, I don’t find the restrictions on free mixing, dating and drinking boring. No, I am not impressed with the all-that-glitters-is-not-gold lifestyle and straw man arguments of ‘liberals’ and seculars. I am so happy with what I have. I wish I could share it with the whole world, and let everyone experience its beauty themselves.

“and (I am pleased) with Muhammad (sallalahu ‘alaihi wasallam) as my Prophet.”

The Best Man to Walk the Earth Ever! How perfect was his character, how sublime was his personality! His achievements are simply mindblowing. How perfectly he excelled in all his roles! How much he cared for us! I feel so blessed to be in his Ummah. It is him I look up to and emulate in everything I say and do. It is his words I love to read and learn about. It is him I long to meet in Jannah. And it is his mission I strive to take forward.

I find this entire zikr such a positive, uplifting declaration of being truly pleased and genuinely happy. It zaps you of all your negativity, and renews your intentions and commitments for the future.

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Stay tuned for the next episode. Meanwhile, I strongly encourage you all to start memorizing and incorporating the azkaar in your routine too. Stay tuned for the next episode!

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