Rabbana la tuzigh quloobanabaAAda ith hadaytana wahab lana min ladunkarahmatan innaka anta alwahhab
[Who say], “Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us and grant us from Yourself mercy. Indeed, You are the Bestower.
(Surat ‘Āli `Imrān 3:8)
Audio – Reciter (Maher al-Muaiqly)
Alhumdolillah we are now memorizing our first Rabbana Dua from Surat ‘Āli `Imrān. May Allah subhanawatala enable us to memorize all the duas and benefit them from them in our lives and in the Hereafter.
Rabban Duas #8 and #9 are preceded by the verse:
“It is He who has sent down to you, [O Muhammad], the Book; in it are verses [that are] precise – they are the foundation of the Book – and others unspecific. As for those in whose hearts is deviation [from truth], they will follow that of it which is unspecific, seeking discord and seeking an interpretation [suitable to them]. And no one knows its [true] interpretation except Allah . But those firm in knowledge say, “We believe in it. All [of it] is from our Lord.” And no one will be reminded except those of understanding.”
(Surat ‘Āli `Imrān 3: Verse 7)
The Mukhamat and Mutashabihat Ayat
“The Muhkamat are the Ayat that explain the abrogating rulings, the allowed, prohibited, laws, limits, obligations and rulings that should be believed in and implemented. As for the Mutashabihat Ayat, they include the abrogated Ayat, parables, oaths, and what should be believed in, but not implemented.”
An example of the Muhkamat ayaat would be the command to pray salat. Every believer understands that command and how it must be implemented. An example of the Mutashabihat would be a description of the hellfire or the fruits of Paradise; matters of the unseen that are beyond the intellectual capacity of the human mind but are crucial for the fulfillment of the requirements of Eman (faith). Imagining the sweetness of the fruits of Paradise motivates us to taste the sweetness of our salat. The Mutashabihat ayaat also refer to the mention of Allah’s hands and how He breathed into Adam alaihisallam His spirit and the birth of Prophet Jesus alaihisallam without a father.
There are two kinds of people that read the Quran: those that approach it with sincerity and with the ardent desire for guidance, and those that seek justification for their existing lifestyle and want to stubbornly persist in deviation while they mislead others as well. In the first category there are also levels: the students of knowledge, the scholars or experts, and “those firm in knowledge.”
The Rasikhoona fil ilm say “We believe in it. All [of it] is from our Lord.”
Who are these people? The Prophet salallahualihiwasullum described them:
“It is someone whose hands work righteousness, whose tongue speaks the truth, whose heart is upright, who guards his stomach and sexual organ (from the forbidden). It is such who are the well-grounded in knowledge.”
The knowledgeable people whose actions are suffused and directed by what they know. They are smart enough to understand that as human beings we cannot understand everything. Their knowledge is beautified with wisdom and humility and they are our role models.
It is from their lips we receive this dua,
“Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us and grant us from Yourself mercy. Indeed, You are the Bestower.”
(Surat ‘Āli `Imrān 3:8)
Why are they making this dua? Why are these righteous people afraid of deviating?
Because they do not equate knowledge with guidance and they truly understand the value of guidance. They appreciate the fact that it is Allah who has placed them on the path of truth and they are afraid the Shaytaan or their nafs will make them slip from it. They have the humility of the righteous. They recognize that only Allah can protect the hearts from deviation and consequently they make this beautiful dua. Their piety is not tainted by arrogance or entitlement; rather it is made more exquisite by their humble request. Their request for ‘mercy’ is a request for guidance in this world and Jannah in the Hereafter.
‘Wahab’ is ‘to give something without expecting anything in return.’ It is characteristic that is unique to Allah subhanawatala that He grants without the expectation of anything in return. We ask Him for steadfastness on the path of obedience and ultimately Paradise.
- Believe in the entire Book.
Just because Allah subhanawatala described something metaphorically does not mean that we make them into mere metaphors and deny their reality.
- Check your heart.
A pure heart will receive the Quran and a deviated heart will find things to argue about. Before you question any scholar or teacher or conduct research on any aspect of the deen, check your intention. Am I doing this to grow in understanding and obedience or am I collecting points that I can argue about and win a debate? Am I more interested in the Muhkum ayaat or am I indulging in trying to attain knowledge of the Unseeen that Allah has kept to Himself. The Prophet salallahu alaihi wasullum recited verse 7 of Surat ‘Āli `Imrān and then warned the Sahabh, “If you see those who follow thereof that is not entirely clear, then they are those whom Allah has named [as having deviation (from the Truth)] ‘So beware of them.“
- The path of knowledge is a perilous incline.
As you climb higher you become an easier target for Shaytaan and your nafs also incites you to laziness and disobedience. Sadly many of us find ourselves amassing knowledge of the deen and increasing in arrogance and not humility. Quran and ahadith are being memorized but our attitude towards our family and friends has not changed. We are still not pleasant to be around. Knowledge is entering our mind but not transforming our hearts.
When a person perceived as ‘pious’ fails his religious and moral obligations he does more harm to the deen than the sins of a thousand regular believers.
- Pray for a firm heart.
The author of the Book alone knows it’s true meaning. That is why we humbly ask Him for the correct understanding and for an obedient heart. Even the Prophet salallahu alihiwasullum, the human being with the purest heart and the best character, prayed to Allah subhanawatala for a firm heart.
Shahr bin Hawshab said: “I said to Umm Salamah: ‘O Mother of the Believers! What was the supplication that the Messenger of Allah said most frequently when he was with you?” She said: ‘The supplication he said most frequently was: “O Changer of the hearts, make my heart firm upon Your religion (Ya Muqallibal-Qulub, Thabbit Qalbi Ala Dinik).’” She said: ‘So I said: “O Messenger of Allah, why do you supplicate so frequently: ‘O Changer of the hearts, make my heart firm upon Your religion.’ He said: ‘O Umm Salamah! Verily, there is no human being except that his heart is between Two Fingers of the Fingers of Allah, so whomsoever He wills He makes steadfast, and whomever He wills He causes to deviate.’”
- Beware of the unscrupulous one with knowledge.
People misinterpret the Book of Allah and take the ayaat out of context to support their deviated positions and even to attack Islam. God forbid we should join their ranks because our hearts became deviated. Through this supplication we seek Allah’s protection in His Mercy from being deluded by people that have ulterior motives when they read the Book of Allah. In a society where respect is old-fashioned and the debate about homosexuality rages, we ask Allah to keep us steadfast upon the path of guidance and shower upon us His Mercy and guarantee for us a home in Jannah.