A true Muslim believes that Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala's creation is meaningful and that life has a sublime purpose beyond the physical needs and material activities of man.
The purpose of life is to worship Almighty Allah Tabaraqa Wata'ala. To worship Almighty Allah is to know Him, to love Him; to obey His Commandments; to enforce His Law in every aspect of life; to serve His Cause by doing the Right and shunning evil. To worship Allah is to "live" life and not to run away from it. In brief, to worship Him is to imbue ourselves with His Supreme Attributes. Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala declares in verse 155 of Surah Al Baqara:
"Be sure We shall test you with something of fear and hunger,
some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil),
but give Glad tidings to those who persevere with patience."
Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala informs us that He is with those people who believe and seek His help with patient perseverance and prayer. The Mercy of Almighty Allah gives us hope and peace, courage and confidence. It enables us to remedy our griefs and sorrows, to overcome our difficulties and obtain success and happiness. In short, the Mercy of Almighty Allah is active everywhere all the time in every aspect of our lives. His Blessings and Mercy descend upon those who are are the ones who are rightly guided. And in verse 156 Almighty Allah Most Merciful informs us about the great and wonderful Blessings that are available to those who say:
"Those who say, when afflicted with calamity:
"To Allah we belong, and to Him is our return."
The phenomenon of life counts as the most precious of gifts and its loss is extremely grievous and terrifying, none can doubt that just as surely as man embarks on his life involuntarily to spend a few brief moments in this guesthouse we call our world, we must ultimately confront the painful and frowning face of death when the scroll of our life is rolled up and our return is back to our Most Glorious Creator and Sustainer. Growing up during our young days, we were always taught to recite "Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi Raji'un" when someone had passed away. However, in later years we learned that this verse is not recited just when a person has suffered any kind of loss, be it the death of someone or any living creature, injury to ones body, loss of wealth or property; deterioration of health, but also for all our daily blessings etc.
Beloved People of Imaan! We say "Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi Raji'un" as often as possible because we acknowledge that everything that we have been blessed with in life truly belongs to Almighty Allah and that our ultimate return is back to Him. Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala is the One Who gives and He is the One Who takes and will always continue to test humanity. Hence, a Muslim submits completely to Almighty Allah and is grateful for whatever he or she has been blessed with. On the other hand, we must forever persevere with patience by reminding ourselves that sooner or later, we too will have to undertake that final journey. Hazrat Abu Musa al-Ashari R.A. reported that our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam said: [from Tirmidhi, Musnad Ahmad and ibn Habban]:
"When the son of the servant of Allah dies, Allah says to
the Mala'eeka: 'Have you taken the life of the son of My
servant?' they reply: "Yes". Then Allah asks: "What did
My servant say? They reply: "He has Praised You O
Allah by saying: "Inna Lillahi wa inna Ilayhi Raji'un."
In explaining verse 153 of Surah Al Baqara, we are asked to restrain ourselves from complaining about hidden anguish. Saying "Inna Lillahi wa inna Ilayhi Raji'un" produces many excellent results, among which is the soul's training and discipline. If a Muh'min bears patiently with misfortunes and calamities and seriously endures the hardships entailed by Ibadah for the Pleasure of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala, his or her soul gradually becomes accustomed to these things. The Righteous are patient in constant devotion: Almighty Allah's Way is open to all: whosoever has the Will may attain to the Perfect Goal as promised by Almighty Allah Most Merciful in verse 12 of Surah Al-Insan (Man), or Al Dahr (The Time):
"And because they were Patient and constant, He will
reward them with a Garden and (garments) of silk."
An essential element in fulfilling our Ubudiyyah to Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala, our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam said: "Sabr is a source of Light" and "whosoever practices Sabr is forever under the gaze of Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala'meen". Animals know nothing more than their basic needs and instincts and all they can do is react. Humans on the other hand have been endowed with reason which balances instinct. The Din of Al-Islam is the completeness of our maturity and our humanity. The steadfastness of the religious call over the call passion - if Din overcomes the Nafs, this is Sabr.
Saying "Inna Lillahi wa inna Illayhi Raji'un" whenever we experience grief or suffer a loss proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that Sabr is indeed an UPHILL BATTLE when we're going downhill and losing energy. On the other hand, when we're going uphill, we're gaining potential energy. In short, by reminding ourselves of the great blessing available to us whenever we say: "Inna Lillahi wa inna Illayhi Raji'un", we are gaining "potential spiritual energy". Again, we are reminded in verse 153 of Surah Al Baqara:
"O you who Believe!"
Seek help with patient Perseverance and Prayer;
For Allah is with those who patiently persevere."
On such occasions Sabr (patience) comes in as a handy remedy prescribed by Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala, to act as an anti-toxin to the poisons of mishaps. The ordeal is not so afflicting as the sense of it. But when one is accustomed to bear things with Sabr and surrenders oneself to the Will of Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala'meen, a great deal of the adverse effect of tribulation vanishes away for Almighty Allah declares:
"O you who believe! Seek help in steadfastness
and prayer. Lo! Allah is with the steadfast."
When one mediates over the significance of the above verses that for such unhappy occasions, Almighty Rabbul Ala'meen has prescribed Sabr (patience) as the most handy weapon to ward off evil effects of the mishaps etc; it acts as a neutralizing agent to the reactions of adverse circumstances. The affliction is not so gruelling as the sense of it. But when one cultivates the habit of (Sabr) perseverance and steadfastly bears things resigning to the Will of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala, his or her psychological set up of mind undergoes a dramatic change.
"Inna Lillahi wa inna Illayhi Raji'un" teaches us to resign and surrender ourselves totally and completely to the Will of our Glorious Creator and Sustainer. When a Muh'min is convinced that his or her ultimate return is back to Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala and that He is always with the steadfast, it gives him or her great consolation and comfort. Thus, "Inna Lillahi wa inna Illayhi Raji'un" is the elixir of all ills and an anti-toxin of all our losses, mishaps, sorrows, hardships, and failures etc.
"Inna Lillahi wa inna Illayhi Raji'un" is the key to the gates of felicity and the main means of deliverance from the mortal perils. It makes a human being bear calamities with ease and face difficulties with composure. It strengthens the will and the power of resolution. It brings independence to the dominion of the soul. One of the great results and precious fruits of our freedom and emancipation from servitude to our carnal self is patience in calamities and misfortunes. In other words, it means restraining ourselves from complaining and produces many excellent results, among which is the soul’s training and discipline.
Our Ibadah should be in an attitude of acknowledgement even in the midst of our sorrows. "Inna Lillahi wa inna Ilayhi Raji'un" is a wonderful method we can use to bring healing and deliverance to our souls and bodies! Many people who experience a death in the family are depressed; one of the quickest ways to receive deliverance from depression is to thank and praise Almighty Allah for that will Insha'Allah bring liberation and healing and relief from despondence and oppression. There are times when we all feel like we are in the "pits" when that horrible sensation of apathy and depression comes over us. "Inna Lillahi wa inna Illayhi Raji'un" can and will bring us up out of that pit.
When our tongues are moist with "Inna Lillahi wa inna Ilayhi Raji'un", we have this constant connection with Almighty Allah, even as we go about our daily routines. When things are going well, or when things are hard, we have this lifeline to Almighty Allah, this constant stream of praise going up, and blessings coming down. Our spirits are lighter, our hearts happier. We are grateful for everything we have, because we remember that every single little blessing – good health, happiness, fresh air, the beating of our hearts and the breath in our lungs – comes from Almighty Allah. "Inna Lillahi wa inna Ilayhi Raji'un" is a guide to excellent character, and a light that keeps us on the path to Jannah.
O Almighty Allah! Make us of those who have Sabr, and grant us Your Mercy and Forgiveness. O Allah! You are the Exalted Creator and Sustainer of the heavens and the earth! O Ya Rabbul Ala'meen, cure our sick, remove our infirmity, have mercy upon all our departed, grant us healthy bodies and engage them in Your service. O Allah! expand our understanding of Sabr, guide our affairs in this world and protect our children. Grant us the benefits of good deeds in this world, the reward of good deeds in the Aghirah, [Hereafter] and save us from the punishment of Jahannum. "Inna Lillahi wa inna Ilayhi Raji'un".
Beloved People of Imaan! What can we do to make Almighty Allah's Light shine forth through the darkness around us? We must first let it shine in our true selves. With the Light in the niche of our inmost hearts we can walk with steps firm and sure: We can humbly visit the comfortless and guide their steps. Not we but the Light will guide. But oh! the great joy of being found worthy to bear the torch and say to our beloved brethren: "Inna Lillahi Wa inna Ilayhi Raji'un" - I too was in Darkness, Comfortless, and behold, I have found Comfort, Sabr, and Contentment in the Grace Divine - Allaho Akbar!
Ameen. Thumma Ameen Ya Rabbul Ala'meen
And Almighty Allah knows best.
Imam Abdul Hamid