Every believer suffers from weak or low emaan once in a while; as the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Emaan wears out in one's heart, just as the dress wears out (becomes thin). Therefore, ask Allāh to renew emaan in your hearts.” [Mustadrak Al Hakim, Authentic]
Low emaan can easily plunge one into sorrow and despair, as emaan is a safeguard from this. When one suffers from low emaan, it paralyzes one from doing good deeds and removes the productivity in one's life and worship. One of the beautiful aspects in our deen is that Allāh and His Messenger have prescribed actions for us when we are suffering from weak emaan and sorrow, and one of the most potent cures is duaa.
This week's supplications include two duaas that everyone should memorize to help you during these times of low emaan, sadness, and times of distress.
The first duaa was narrated by the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) in Saheeh Bukhāri. It is narrated in many ahadeeth that the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) would consistently make this duaa, and many of the Companions heard him repeat it over and over.
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ الْهَمِّ وَالْحُزْنِ وَالْعَجْزِ وَالْكَسَلِ وَالْبُخْلِ وَالْجُبْنِ وَضَلَعِ الدَّيْنِ وَغَلَبَةِ الرِّجَالِ
Allahumma inni a'udhu bika minal-hammi wal-Ḥuzni wal-'ajazi wal-kasli wal-bukhli wal-jubni wa ḍala'Īd-dayni wa ghalabatir-rijal.
O Allāh, I take refuge in You from anxiety and sorrow, weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, the burden of debts and from being overpowered by men.
Word for Word Translation and Audio
Read and download the word for word translation here.
Memorize the duaa:
Selected Word Analysis
al-Hamm: Hamm means 'to make uneasy and fill with anxiety'. It is the type of distress one feels that affects the mind, heart, and body. This sadness worries a person, and one's sole concern is this sadness. Hamm leaves a person preoccupied with one's thoughts, going over them again and again in the mind, because it is an anxiety that one has regarding something that may or may not happen. If you have ever felt this type of sadness, that anxious and nervous feeling, you know how debilitating it can be.
al-Hazan: Huzn also means sadness but it is different than Hamm. Huzn is grief arising on account of an unpleasant event that has happened, such as the death of a loved one or a distressing situation. In the sīrah, the year that Abu Talib and Khadija (radi Allahu anha) died is known as 'Aam al Huzn, the Year of Grief. In the Qur'an, Allāh ta'ala mentions many times that the Believers will not “yahzanoon“, have grief, this means that in the hereafter, the believers will not grieve over anything that has occurred in the past. Huzn means 'to be full of sorrow, mourning, grief, and saddened'.
al-'Ajaz: 'Ajaz means 'to become weak, to lack strength, to be incapable and a failure'.
al-Kasali: Kasl means 'to be lazy, idle, sluggish, negligent and inactive'.
al-Bukhl: Bukhl is 'to be stingy and greedy'. In the Qur'an, Allāh uses this word to describe those who have the wealth to give, but hoard it for themselves and do not give it in charity. Bukhl is to refuse to give something lawful (charity, your time etc) that you have in abundance. It is to prefer it for yourself and because of this greediness, this good thing (such as wealth) is never used for good. This word is the opposite of karam, which is to be generous and give in ample amounts. One of the Names of Allāh is Al-Kareem; The Most Generous who abundantly gives from his limitless bounty without seeking anything in return.
Al-Jubni: Jubn literally means 'to shrink'; from this the meaning of becoming cowardly and fearful is taken.
Dala'a: This is the word for rib (body part) and its linguistic roots carry two implications: curvature and weight. Therefore here “dala'a ad-dayn” can either mean the tendency for debt to sway people from righteousness, or the weight one feels when indebted.
Ghalabah: Ghalabah means 'to be overtaken, subdued or overpowered'. It is said, تغلب عليه النعاس, he was overtaken by drowsiness.
The second duaa is narrated by the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) as one of the “Da'waat al Makroob“, the supplications of the distressed.
Allahumma rahmataka arju fala takilni ila nafsi tarfata 'aynin wa aslih li sha'ni kullahu la ilaha ila anta
O Allāh, it is Your mercy that I hope for, so do not leave me in charge of my affairs even for a blink of an eye, and rectify for me all of my affairs. None has the right to be worshiped except You.
Word for Word Translation and Audio
Read and download the word for word translation here.
Memorize the duaa:
Selected Word Analysis
Arjoo: This word is from rajaa which means 'to hope, long for, request, expect and look forward to'. This word gives a positive tone because the one in distress should be hopeful of the mercy of Allāh and expect that Allāh ta'ala will take care of his affairs.
Takilnee: The “nee” at the end is not part of the word. Takil comes from wakala which means 'to rely on or depend on'; literally meaning 'to lean on something'. When this word is followed by “ilaa” such as in this duaa, it becomes the transitive meaning 'to entrust to' or 'to hand over to'. In the case of this specific supplication it means 'do not leave me to my nafs'.
Tarfata 'Aynin: This is an expression in the Arabic language which means 'in the twinkle of an eye'. Tarfah means 'to blink, wink, squint or twinkle'. It is said, ما إشار بطرف, he didn't bat an eye. The expression in this duaa gives the meaning of instantly or for a single moment. We are asking Allāh to not leave us on our own for even the blink of an eye.
Aslih: The root of this word has many meanings but in this duaa it means 'reformation, restoration, mending, improvement and rectification'. This word is the opposite of fasaad which means when there is imbalance in things. We are asking Allāh to make our affairs good for us and rectify our problems.
Points of Benefit[benefits from each duaa have been combined]
- It is ok to feel these emotions.You are not less of a believer if you have anxiety or feel sadness. The distinction between the believer and non-believer is that the believer remains patient and turns to Allāh for assistance.
- If you are suffering from low emaan, then examine your relationship with Allāh. Allāh says, “But whosoever turns away from my reminder, verily for him is a constricted life, and we shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection.” (20:124) Allāh connects dhikr with experiencing difficulty because dhikr enlivens the hearts. Many times when we slack in our worship, life seems to get harder, so look to your prayer and your recitation of the Qur'an and you may find the answer to your problems.
- Repent from your sins if you are faced with a calamity because you never know if this calamity you're facing is a result of your own sins. One of the salaf said, “I disobey Allāh to find its effect in the way my animal behaves and my wife [treats me].” Ibn Zayd said, “Sins overcome the hearts until no good can get through to them.”
- The believer is always in a win-win situation. The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “The affair of the believer is amazing! The whole of his life is beneficial, and that is only in the case of the believer. When good times come to him, he is thankful and it is good for him, and when bad times befall him, he is patient and it is also good for him.” [Muslim]
- Allāh purifies you when you experience these emotions or pain. The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allāh expiates some of his sins for that.” [Bukhāri]
- The traits mentioned in the first supplication all point to weakness, so we should make this supplication and also work on ourselves to remove them from our character. The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “A strong believer is better and is more beloved to Allāh than a weak believer, and there is good in everyone.” [Muslim]
- Do not say “if” when a calamity befalls you or you did something that you've come to regret. The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Seek help from Allāh and do not lose heart, and if anything (in the form of trouble) comes to you, don't say: If I had not done that, it would not have happened so and so, but say: Allāh did what He had ordained to do and your 'if' opens the (gate) for Shaytan.” [Muslim]
- Complain only to Allāh. Many of us turn to venting or complaining to others when we are faced with a hardship, but when we look in the Qur'an, we see that the believers complain only to Allāh. Ya'qub (alayhi salaam) says to his sons when they bring the news that his son was accused of stealing, “So patience is most fitting (for me).” (12:83) But then in the next āyah, Allāh describes that he turned away from them and said privately, “Alas, my grief for Yusuf!” And he lost his sight because of the sorrow that he was suppressing.” (12:84) Ya'qub (alayhi salaam) did not say this in front of his family, but it was between himself and Allāh. Allāh says that he was “suppressing” (in Arabic: kadheem) and this means when someone holds their breath back to control their tears and their agony. It is to the point that they have trouble breathing because they cried so much. He was full of grief but he was not wailing and crying out loud, but rather holding back his anger. When his sons saw how much distress this news has caused him, they said to him, “By Allāh! You will never cease remembering Yusuf until you become weak with old age, or until you be of the dead.” (12:85) Then during the height of this anxiety he says, “I only complain of my suffering and sorrow to Allāh, and I know from Allāh that which you know not.” (12:86) subḥānAllāh! It is okay to feel these emotions, and people may see that you are distressed, but turn to Allāh and complain to Him alone.
- We are bound to be tested and pushed to our limits, each of us to our own level. When Maryam was delivering her son all alone, she said, “Would that I had died before this, and had been forgotten and out of sight!” (19:23) The tafseer mentions that Maryam (alayha salaam) was not only in physical pain and solitude, but also experiencing the pain of ostracism and isolation that occurs when you are telling the truth but no one believes you. She spoke these words at a time when she had already been given the good news of being chosen above all women and that her son would be a Prophet of Allāh. This reminds us that even the best people, whom Allāh has clearly chosen, are still human. Everyone's patience and steadfastness is pushed to the limit at one time or another. Everyone reaches a point where they contemplate just giving up, but that doesn't mean that it's all over. You must always put your trust in Allāh and keep going. Remember, these are words said by Maryam, the best woman to walk on the earth! This shows us that being patient doesn't necessarily mean that you won't ever become overwhelmed, or won't ever complain, but patience is when you do get overwhelmed and still keep going, and only complain to Allāh. (12:85) Sabr does not mean that you are happy with the decree of Allāh, sabr means that you accept the decree of Allāh even if you don't understand it.
- Have good hopes and thoughts of Allāh – acknowledge it wholeheartedly that He only sends what is good for you. The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) reported in a hadeeth qudsi that Allāh (azza wa jal) said, “I am just as My slave thinks I am, (i.e. I am able to do for him what he thinks I can do for him) and I am with him if he remembers Me. If he remembers Me in himself, I too, remember him in Myself; and if he remembers Me in a group of people, I remember him in a group that is better than them; and if he comes one span nearer to Me, I go one cubit nearer to him; and if he comes one cubit nearer to Me, I go a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running.” [Bukhāri]
- Surely, Allāh is the Best of Planners, so find relief that you do not have to decide on your own but rather The One who knows what is in the heavens and earth is the One who Plans your affairs. Think back to those times when you thought one thing was good for you but Allāh did not will it for you – remember the sadness you felt – and then later you realized how perfect that plan was for you. In the second duaa, it is as if we are saying to Allāh, “O Allāh, I know whatever You plan for me is good for me, so please guide me to the best, even if I do not perceive it as so.”
- “And who despairs of the Mercy of his Lord except those who are astray?” (15:56) Never, ever, dear believer, lose hope in the Mercy of Allāh. After Ya'qub (alayhi salaam) tells his sons that he only complains to Allāh, he says in the next āyah, “And never give up hope of Allāh's Mercy. Certainly no one despairs of Allāh's Mercy except the people who disbelieve.” (12:87) Only the disbelievers despair in the Mercy of Allāh because they are not aware of His Wisdom, His Knowledge, His Most Beautiful Names and Attributes, and that His Mercy extends to all things.
- Things are not always as they seem. The mother of Musa was told to throw her son in the river; Yusuf was left for dead in a well; Maryam delivered a child alone; Yunus was swallowed by a whale; Ibrahim was thrown in the fire; A'ishah was slandered throughout the city; and Umm Salamah thought no one could be better than Abu Salamah… Yet look at how it turned out for them in the end. So don't worry, Allāh has a plan for you.
The Reality of Faith – Shaykh Salih Al Munajjid
Increasing īmān – Shaykh ibn Baaz
Weakness of Faith – Shaykh Salih al Munajjid (e-book)
Beneficial answers from IslamQA on anxiety and depression.
Please share your cures for weak emaan in the comments!
And Allāh knows best. We ask Him to guide us through all of our affairs.