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I have been overcome, so help (me)! (54:10)

Memorize Rabbana Dua 21 – {QUR’AN 7:47}


Rabbana la tajAAalna maAAa alqawmi aththalimeen

“Our Lord, do not place us with the wrongdoing people.”

Audio – Reciter (Maher al-Muaiqly)

This is chronologically the second Rabbana Dua in Surat Al-‘A`rāf and these words are uttered by the people of ‘A`rāf (the Heights) in the Hereafter. Rabban Dua 21 is verse number 47 of the seventh Sura in the Quran.

In this Sura Allah subhanawatala gives us a sweeping summary of mankind from its inception to their eventual entry into Heaven and Hell. He introduces us to the Book, the angels, the Shaitaan, the evil doers, the righteous and chosen ones: the Messengers. The bliss of Jannah (Paradise) and the utter despair of Jahunnum (Hell) are described as well as the temporary abode of the Earth which contains our sustenance: food and clothing for us to enjoy. Death and Resurrection are also touched upon. The scenes blend and overlap in the reader’s mind and through the intricate and exquisite tapestry of the Quranic words we are transported through time and space so that we are simultaneous witnesses and participants in this grand scheme.

The stark reality of each scene is enhanced by the conversations we are made privy to. The people of Jannah are comfortably settled into their luxurious surroundings; peaceful and content they confidently taunt the people of the hellfire just as they themselves were taunted all their lives:

And the companions of Paradise will call out to the companions of the Fire, “We have already found what our Lord promised us to be true. Have you found what your Lord promised to be true?” They will say, “Yes.” Then an announcer will announce among them, “The curse of Allah shall be upon the wrongdoers.”
{Surat Al-‘A`rāf 7: Verse 44}

All matters seem to be settled but then our attention is drawn to a group of people still waiting. Their fate is yet to be decided and they are upon some Heights between Heaven and Hell.

Who are these people and why have they been delayed?

Ibn Jarir said, “Al-A`raf is plural for `Urf, where every elevated piece of land is known as `Urf to the Arabs.” As-Suddi said, “Al-A`raf is so named because its residents recognize (Ya`rifun) the people. Al-A`raf’s residents are those whose good and bad deeds are equal, as Hudhayfah, Ibn `Abbas, Ibn Mas`ud and several of the Salaf and later generations said.” Ibn Jarir recorded that Hudhayfah was asked about the people of Al-A`raf and he said, “A people whose good and bad deeds are equal. Their evil deeds prevented them from qualifying to enter Paradise, and their good deeds qualified them to avoid the Fire. Therefore, they are stopped there on the wall until Allah judges them.”
Ibn Kathir

From their vantage point they have a clear view into the lush foliage of Paradise and the blistering, suffocating pit of Hell. The faces they see are not those of strangers, rather they recognize people on either side. They also recognize the inhabitants of Jannah by their radiant faces and the people of Jahunnum by the darkness that clouds their faces.

Mesmerized by the beauty of Jannah, they call out to its inhabitants, “Peace be upon you.” The word ‘Tam’aa’ implies they have an intense desire and greed to join those that they greet. Allah did not place that longing and desire in their heart in vain. Al Hassan Al Basri recited “…and at that time they will not yet have entered it (Paradise), but they will hope to enter (it)” and then said, “By Allah! Allah did not put this hope in their hearts, except for an honor that He intends to bestow on them.”

They are averse to turn towards hellfire and its inhabitants but “their eyes are turned toward the companions of the Fire” and they are made to take a hard, deep look at them. The people of hellfire are desperate, in despair, full of grief and regret. The people of Araf are filled with horror and plead with Allah subhanawatala,

“Our Lord, do not place us with the wrongdoing people.”


  • As believers we learn from not just our history but also our foreseeable future. Our position right now is very similar to that of the people of Araf: our fate is undecided and we are able to peer into Heaven and Hell through the ayaat of the Qur’an and the authentic narrations of the Prophet ﷺ. Most of us are of the opinion that we are not evil enough for hellfire, but are not sure if we are pious enough for Paradise. The people of Araf are out of time. They are not able to add to their good deeds, and can only wait and pray and hope. We still have opportunities to tip the scales in our favor and we should actively seek to earn Allah’s pleasure.
  • No act of kindness, mercy, forgiveness, patience is negligible. Each and every sincere act of goodness will have weight on that day and will be rewarded manifold. An Arabic proverb states, “Waiting for something is more painful than death.” Imagine yourself on those Heights. Inhale the sweet smell of Jannah and recoil from the searing heat and stench of Jahunnum and feel the weight of regret in your heart: “I wish I had …smiled, picked up the trash, helped my mom, gone to the class etc.” Now let that regret motivate you today to race towards acts of goodness and supplicate:

“Our Lord, do not place us with the wrongdoing people.”


Please memorize this Rabbana dua and share it with your friends and family.

Authored by Sabeen Mansoori
Edited by Shamsiya Noorul Quloob


Prophet Muhammad - "Convey (knowledge) from me even if it is just one ayah" [Bukhari 3461]

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