One day in the masjid of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) ibn Mas'ood (radi Allahu anhu) was praying while the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) was sitting with Abu Bakr and Umar. He said referring to ibn Mas'ood, “Ask, and you will be given!” The next day, Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) met ibn Mas'ood to give him the glad tidings of what the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said of him. They asked him what he made duaa for and he replied:
Allāhumma innī as'aluka emānan la yartadu wa na'īman la yanfadu wa murāfaqatah Muhammadin fī a'lā Jannat al-Khuld
O Allāh, I ask you for firm faith that does not revert, and bliss that never ends, and then companionship of Muḥammad at the highest (level) of eternal Paradise.
Word for Word Translation and Audio
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Selected Word Analysis
Emaan: Emaan is a word we hear quite often and has a simple yet deep meaning. Emaan literally means tasdeeq, affirmation, and is the opposite of taktheeb, denial. From the root of emaan is amn, safety, and from this meaning the Scholars say that the person with emaan is safe in this life and the next. Many people believe that emaan is only in the heart, and when they disobey Allāh, their response is “but my emaan is in my heart!” This is not true emaan. The true definition of emaan is actions of the limbs, statements of tongue, and affirmation in the heart. All three of these are required for true emaan and this is why Islam is a complete faith, and not a deen of lip service.
Yartad: This is from radd which means when something retreats or withdraws. It is used to describe someone who retraces their footsteps or something that recoils back to its original form. Another meaning of this root is something that happens very quickly, 'in a jiffy' as we say. It is said, kartidaad al-tarf, like the twinkling of an eye. We are seeking refuge in Allāh from emaan that is fake; it does not have a permanent stay in our hearts nor does it last for very long.
Na'eem: Is from ni'am and na'eem means enjoyment, pleasure and delight.
Yanfad: This comes from the root nafada which means to be exhausted, depleted, and used up. It is when something comes to an end and dwindles away.
Muraafaqatah: It comes from mirfaq which literally means a pillow or something you can relax on. It also means elbow, which is something we use for support. The root rifq also means something that is useful and of great service. From this, the meaning of gentleness, kindness and compassion is taken. A Rafeeq is a friend that you can rely on, and a source of actual comfort for you, not deceiving comfort. They are the kind of friend that is there to support you and is a shoulder you can lean on. The structure of this word in Arabic means an act that is shared between two people, so in this duaa, we are asking to accompany the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) in Paradise.
Muhammadin: “Muḥammad” is from the root hamd which means praise. Muḥammad is on the word structure that gives the meaning of an object, and it means 'one who is very praiseworthy'. Furthermore, Muḥammad is one that is not only praiseworthy but is also one who is praised very much. When the Quraysh wanted to insult Rasul Allāh (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam), they would call him Mudhammam which is the opposite of Muḥammad meaning one who is blameworthy. In response to this, the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Doesn't it astonish you how Allāh protects me from the Quraysh's abuse and curses? They abuse Mudhammam and curse Mudhammam while I am Muḥammad! (and not Mudhammam)” (Bukhāri). In the Qur'an, “Muḥammad” is mentioned four times. However, each of these four times Rasul Allāh (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) is not directly addressed, but rather he is only being mentioned. When the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) is addressed in the Qur'an, his name is not taken, rather a title or description is mentioned such as Rasul Allāh or Nabiyy. We see that when Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta'āla) addresses the other Prophets (alayhim salaam), He addresses them by their name. Why the difference? It is in honor of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) and to acknowledge his status.
Khuld: Khuld is one of the descriptions and names of Jannah, meaning something that is everlasting and eternal. This is the na'īmān la yanfad, the bliss that never ends.
Points of Benefit
- The Companions, may Allāh be pleased with them all, are our teachers and role models after the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam). We not only learn a duaa from ibn Mas'ood (radi Allahu anhu) from this narration, but also his etiquette and character.
- The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam), Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) and Umar (radi Allahu anhu) were friends. They hung out together on a regular basis and were relaxing in the masjid! This points to character of a true leader, he spends his time with those who are under him and befriends them.
- Allāh ta'ala tells us who the true Rufaqaa' (plural of Rafeeq) are in the Qur'an. He says, “And whoever obeys Allāh and the Messenger, then they will be in the company of those on whom Allāh has bestowed His Grace, of the Prophets, the truthful, the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are!” (4:69) These are the people you can depend on, and if you obey Allāh and His Messenger, He will unite you with them. Who are your friends?
- The Believers ask Allāh for the best. Many times we feel that we are not “worthy” of asking Allāh for things like Paradise or strong emaan, but this is not from the actions of a mu'min. The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) told us, ”Indeed, the distance between each level (in Paradise) is the distance between the heavens and the earth. So when you ask Allāh, then ask Him for Firdaws (the highest level of Paradise)” (Bukhāri)
- True emaan is emaan that does not revert back to kufr. When true emaan enters the heart, it should not leave. Allāh describes the hypocrites as those who have emaan one day, and the next they are disbelievers. This does not mean that believers will not have low emaan at times or struggle to keep their emaan strong, but this means that they do not have doubt in their emaan and revert back to disbelief. Allāh describes in surah Hujurat, “The believers are only those who have believed in Allāh and His Messenger, and afterward doubt not but strive with their wealth and their lives for the Cause of Allāh. Those! They are the truthful.” (49:15)
- When we make duaa to Allāh for Jannah, don't be greedy! Rasul Allāh (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) was not only the Prophet of ibn Mas'ood, but he was also his friend. Ask Allāh to unite you with your righteous friends and family just as ibn Mas'ood (radi Allahu anhu) did.
- Although we do not have the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) to make duaa for us or to give us glad tidings of Allāh accepting our duaa, he did teach us the times that duaas are accepted. So, when we find ourselves in one of these times, we should ask Allāh with the best of manners and use the best of supplications.
- The Companions were so eager to be with the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) in the hereafter.The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) once came upon his companion named Thawban (radi Allahu anhu) and noticed that he looked sad so he said to him, “O Thawban, what has changed your appearance?” Thawban replied, “O Messenger of Allāh, I do not have any sickness or any pain except that I feel discomfort when I do not see you, so I seclude myself completely until I meet you. Then I remembered the hereafter and and was afraid that I would not see you there. I know that you will be with the Prophets, and if I enter Jannah, I will be in a level lower than yours. But if I do not enter Jannah, then I will never see you again.” So Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta'āla) revealed, “And whoever obeys Allāh and the Messenger, then they will be in the company of those on whom Allāh has bestowed His Grace, of the Prophets, the truthful, the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are!” (4:69) (Narrated by ibn 'Asaakir, authenticated by Albaani)
- When the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) was dying, he kept repeating “bal al-Rafeeq al-'Alaa“, “the highest companionship,” and some narrations interpret this to mean that al-Rafeeq al-'Alaa is Allāh azza wa jal, but Shaykh ibn Al-Uthaymeen (rahimahullah) says that this refers to the station of the Prophets and Messengers in the hereafter based on the āyah, “And whoever obeys Allāh and the Messenger, then they will be in the company of those on whom Allāh has bestowed His Grace, of the Prophets, the truthful, the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are!” (4:69).
- The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) mentioned ways that we can be near to him by doing certain deeds in many ahadeeth. Of those actions are: having good character, increasing in your prostrations, raising two girls to maturity, helping the orphans and staying upon his Sunnah.
- We have lost our opportunity to see and be with our Messenger (alayhi salaatu wa salaam), so let's not be double losers by missing him in the dunya and aakhirah. The famous tabi'i Abu Muslim al-Khawalani was praying the night prayer when he became tired and his leg fell asleep. He hit his leg and said to himself, “Do the companions of Muḥammad (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) think that they can keep him to themselves? No, by Allāh, we will surely race with them for him, until they know that they left behind men.”
We ask Allāh for faith that does not revert, for a bliss that never ends and for the companionship of our Prophet in the highest gardens of Paradise.