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Memorize Rabbana Dua 23 – {QUR’AN 7:126}

Rabbana Dua 23

Bismillah
Rabbi Zidnee Ilman
“My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.”

Transliteration
Rabbana afrigh AAalaynasabran watawaffana muslimeen

Translation
Our Lord, pour upon us patience and let us die as his is Muslims [in submission to You].”

Audio – Reciter (Maher al-Muaiqly)

Explanation
This is a moment in history that defines true courage in the face of tyranny
; the faith of a few defiantly undermines the authority of an evil and powerful despot. It is the day of the showdown between Musa alaihisalaam and Firawn’s magicians. All is set for Firawn’s triumph and suddenly the tide turns against him and we find the magicians pleading for Allah’s help.

This supplication is made by the magicians summoned by Firawn and is the last of the four Rabbana Duas in Surat Al-‘A`rāf.  Mosa alaihis salaam was sent with the dual mission to release the Bani Israil from the clutches of Firawn and to convey the message of Tawheed (oneness of God) to the tyrant and his people. Unlike the narrations of the prophets mentioned earlier, the story of Musa and Firawn was not some ancient tale shrouded in the mystery of time, rather it was contained within the Taurah and its proponents, the Jews, lived and thrived at the time of the Prophet salallahu alaihi wasullum.

Surat Al-‘A`rāf provides a poignant list of the nations that were destroyed for disobedience to their Messengers and highlights their humiliating end. In this Sura we hear Prophet Musa alaihi salaam immediately demanding the liberation of the Bani Israil while a more detailed conversation is related elsewhere. Allah subhanawatala sent him to the court equipped with the miracles of the staff that turned into a snake and the miracle of the white hand. It was unlikely that without those miracles Firawn and his courtiers would have given him a hearing. The Egyptians were fearful of the growing numbers of the Bani Israil and when Musa alaihi sallam demanded that the Bani Israil be allowed to leave with him, the elite around Firawn concocted the theory that in reality Musa is a skilled magician and he plans to expel us out of Egypt. Musa alahi salaam had not claimed knowledge of magic and neither had he threatened to expel the people of Firawn. They elite advised Firawn to delay the matter till all the crème de la crème of magicians could be summoned and Musa and Haroon publically humiliated.

The magicians appear before Firawn and we see a group of greedy, manipulative individuals that arrogantly demand, “Indeed for us is a reward if we are the predominant.” Having extracted from Firawn the promise of a lucrative reward and a position in the inner circles of power, they are ready to work their deception.

They challenge Musa alaihi salaam to go first but he declines. He is confident that the truth of his message would overpower their illusions and Allah subhanawatala has his back. Their magic is described by Allah subhanawatala as ‘a great [feat of] magic’ as it mesmerized and terrified the onlookers and even Musa (as) felt a tremor in his heart. This testifies to their skill as magicians and the sheer magnitude of their enchantment.

“And We inspired to Moses, “Throw your staff,” and at once it devoured what they were falsifying.”
“So the truth was established, and abolished was what they were doing.”
{Surat Al-‘A`rāf 7 : Verses 117-118}

It was as if a boulder had dropped, implied by the word ‘waqa’a’. This unexpected turn of events publically humiliated Firawn and his chieftains. To add salt to his wounds the magicians are thrown into prostration. It is as if the weight of the miracle they had just witnessed compelled them to fall into prostration. They recognized the reality of the miracle because they knew the limitations of the craft of magic better than anyone else in the crowd.

They said, “We have believed in the Lord of the worlds,
The Lord of Moses and Aaron.”
{Surat Al-‘A`rāf 7 : Verses 121-122}

Firawn is stunned at their declaration of faith and true to his despotic nature he simply cannot understand how the magicians dared to believe without his prior permission. Tyrannical and unjust systems of government presume that if they enslave the physical bodies somehow they have enslaved the hearts and souls as well.

Said Pharaoh, “You believed in him before I gave you permission. Indeed, this is a conspiracy which you conspired in the city to expel therefrom its people. But you are going to know.
I will surely cut off your hands and your feet on opposite sides; then I will surely crucify you all.”
{Surat Al-‘A`rāf 7: Verses 123-124}

Fear mongering, arousing the spirit of nationalism and threats of physical violence are tactics popular among repressive regimes of all times. The ex-magicians have been transformed by the enlightening and empowering nature of true faith. They remain unwavering in the face of physical violence and defiantly respond,

They said, “Indeed, to our Lord we will return.
And you do not resent us except because we believed in the signs of our Lord when they came to us. Our Lord, pour upon us patience and let us die as Muslims [in submission to You].”
{Surat Al-‘A`rāf 7 : Verses 125-126}

A few verses earlier we heard these same people trying to curry favor with Firawn for worldly gain. They sought wealth and prominence in this transient world but now their eyes are set on attaining the prize of eternal success in the hereafter. They do not shake with fear at his threats, and nor do they start begging Firawn for mercy. Instead they remain firm and plead with Allah subhanawatala to pour patience upon them in abundance so that they do not succumb to Firawn’s tactics and are able to return to Him as ones submissive.

‘Afrigh’ gives the image of a container whose contents are being poured out so that it becomes empty. They are requesting that they be drenched in patience so that their very souls are soaked in it.

‘tawaffana’ implies ‘taken away’ which makes it clear that they realized in their flash of faith that when they are removed from this life they will be taken to another more permanent existence.

Reflection:

  • True courage comes with firmly grounded conviction. Eman (faith) that is based on knowledge makes the fragile human being completely fearless and truly a force to be reckoned with.
  • Allah alone is the Master of the heavens and the Earth and in His Hands vests all authority. The despots of this world can delude the masses and keep them mesmerized by their media magic but in reality they posses no authority to benefit or harm anyone because all matters rest with Allah alone.
  • Why would the faith of the magicians fill Firawn with fear? Why did he not give them freedom to practice their faith? Because the sheer presence of Haqq (truth) is a threat to the forces of oppression and injustice. Why else would entire populations quake at the sight of a girl in hijab and force her to take it off?
  • The magicians’ new found faith gave them clarity and insight. They did not presume that as Muslims (having submitted to Allah) they were automatically destined for Paradise and that is why they pleaded:

Our Lord, pour upon us patience and let us die as Muslims [in submission to You]

Patience is a gift from Allah and death upon eman is also a gift from Him and the first step to attaining both is to realize that He alone grants it to whom He wills. Ibn `Abbas, `Ubayd bin `Umayr, Qatadah and Ibn Jurayj commented, “They started the day as sorcerers and ended it as martyrs.”
(Ibn Kathir)

References

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

Authored by Sabeen Mansoori
Edited by Shamsiya Noorul Quloob

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

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