The Prophet had a special gift known as “jawami’ al-kalam” which means concise speech. He was able to say something with so much meaning in only a few words. As we continue learning supplications from the Prophetic tradition, we see more and more how the he combined so many benefits in one short supplication.
In today’s supplication, we will see yet another example of his concise speech. In a narration recorded in Muslim, Abu Hurayrah (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Prophet used to supplicate:
Allahumma aṣliḥ lī dīn al-lathi huwa ‘iṣmatu amrī, wa aṣliḥ lī dunya-ya al-lati fīhā ma’āshī, wa aṣlih lī ākhirati al-lati fīhā ma’ādī, wa-ja’al al-ḥayāta ziyādatan lī fī kuli khayr, wa-ja’al al-mawta rāḥatan lī min kuli sharr
O Allah, set right for me my religion which is the safeguard of my affairs. And set right for me the affairs of my world wherein is my living. And set right for me my Hereafter to which is my return. And make the life for me (a source) of abundance for every good and make my death a source of comfort for me protecting me against every evil.
aṣliḥ: 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 fasad which means when there is imbalance in things.
‘Iṣmah: This word is from the root which means to protect, safeguard and defend. ‘Ismah means something that is a preservation, safeguard and a protection. In this supplication, it means that our religion is the most important matter to us.
Ma’āsh: This word is from the root which means to be alive. Ma’ash means livelihood.
Ma’ād: From the root which means to return and go back, Ma’ad is the place of return or home.
Ziyādah: From the root which means to increase, enlarge and make abundant.
Rāḥah: This word means rest, comfort and to do something with ease.
Points of Benefit
“Set right for me my religion which is the safeguard of my affairs”
The Prophet told Mu’adh (radi Allahu anhu), , “Shall I not inform you of the head of the matter, its pillar and its peak?” I said, “Yes, O Messenger of Allah.” He said, “The head of the matter is Islam.” [at-Tirmidhi]
Islam is the most important aspect of our life. Islam is everyday. It is our lifestyle. Allah (azza wa jal) addresses the believers by saying, “Believers! Enter completely into Islam.” (2:208)
“Set right for me the affairs of my world wherein is my living.”
The Prophet recognized the importance of the worldly life. As Muslims, we do not remove ourselves completely from this world, rather we take our sustenance from the dunya but at the same time, our focus and goal is working for the hereafter.
“Set right for me my Hereafter to which is my return.”
Paradise is our home. When the believers enter Paradise and the Angels greet them, they will say, “Excellent indeed is the final home!” (13:24) On the other hand, Allah (azza wa jal) says about the inhabitants of the Fire, “for them is the unhappy (evil) home.” (13:25)
“Make the life for me (a source) of abundance for every good.”
As long as the righteous believer lives on this earth, his good deeds increase. The Prophet said, “The best of people is the one who lives a long life and whose actions are good.”[at-Tirmidhi] Shaykh ibn Uthaymeen (rahimahullah) says about this hadith, “When someone lives a long life in obedience to Allah, their rank in the hereafter is augmented because every good deed they do brings them closer to Allah. Only Allah is in control of how long we live, but there are certain deeds that lengthen one’s life such as joining ties of the womb. For some people, a longer life is not good for them because it only increases them in sin. This is why we never ask Allah for a longer life only, rather we say, “O Allah grant us a long life in your obedience and worship.” [Sharh Riyad as-Saliheen, 11/104]
“Make my death a source of comfort for me protecting me against every evil.”
Death is a relief (rāḥah) for the believer. A funeral procession passed by Allah’s Messenger who said, “relieved (mustarīḥ) or relieving (mustarāḥ)?” The people asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is relieved and relieving?” He said, “A believer is relieved (by death) from the troubles and hardships of the world and leaves for the Mercy of Allah, while (the death of) a wicked person relieves the people, the land, the trees, (and) the animals from him.” [Bukhari]
How can death be a relief when we all fear it? A’ishah asked a similar question to the Prophet and he said, “when the time of the death of a believer approaches, he receives the good news of Allah’s pleasure with him and His blessings upon him, and so at that time nothing is dearer to him than what is in front of him. He therefore loves the meeting with Allah, and Allah loves the meeting with him. But when the time of the death of a disbeliever approaches, he receives the evil news of Allah’s torment and His Requital, whereupon nothing is more hateful to him than what is before him. Therefore, he hates the meeting with Allah, and Allah too, hates the meeting with him.” [Bukhari]
The Angels comfort the believer at the time of their death. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says, Verily, those who say: “Our Lord is Allah (Alone),” and then they stand firm, on them the angels will descend (at the time of their death) (saying): “Fear not, nor grieve! But receive the glad tidings of Paradise which you have been promised!” (41:30)