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True Meaning of : Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi Raji un

The Ayah and its Meaning
 
Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi Raji un
 
Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.
[Noble Quran 2:156]
 
 
The translation of the verses mentioned before and after this ayah is:
And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirin (the patient). [Noble Quran 2:155]
 
Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: "Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.'' [Noble Quran 2:156]
 
They are those on whom are the Salawat (i.e, who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His mercy, and it is they who are the guided ones.
[Noble Quran 2:157]
 
 
 
When do we recite this Ayah ?
 
A prevalent perception in our society is that the words Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi Raji un are only recited at the time of someones death. However, this perception is not correct.
 
This ayah is to be said in cases where a person has suffered any kind of loss, be it the death of a person (Muslim or non-Muslim) or any living creature, loss of wealth or property, deterioration of health, etc.
 
There is one Hadith where the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is quoted to have said "Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi Raji un" when the lamp went off at night.
Ayesha (May Allah be pleased with her) asked him, "O Messenger of Allah. Is this also a calamity?"
Allahs Messenger replied, "Yes. Whatever hurts or causes difficulty to a Muslim is a calamity and on bearing it patiently, it carries Allahs promise of reward."
 
 
The Virtues of reciting the Ayah
 
As mentioned before, Allah asks us to be those who are patient [As-Sabirun] during calamities by reciting the ayah "Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi Raji un".
 
In the very next ayah Allah tells us of the reward for this practice:
They are those on whom are the Salawat (i.e., who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His mercy, and it is they who are the guided ones.
[Noble Quran 2:156]
 
Muslim narrated in his Sahih that Umm Salamah said:
I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) say: "There is no person who is afflicted with a calamity and says, "Verily to Allah we belong and unto Him is our return. O Allah, reward me for my affliction and compensate me with something better" - but Allah will reward him for his affliction and compensate him with something better."
She said: When Abu Salamah died, I said: Who is better than Abu Salamah, the companion of the Messenger of Allah? Then Allah caused me to say it and I said it. She said: Then I married the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him).
Alhamdulillah (praise be to Allah), who could be a better husband than the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)?
 
 
It is narrated in the Hadith that the Messenger of Allah said: "When a mans child dies, Allah, may He be exalted, says to His angels: "Have you taken the soul of the child of My slave ? "
They say, "Yes"
He says, although He knows best, "Have you taken the apple of his eye ? "
They say, "Yes ."
He says: "What did My slave say ? "
They say: "He praised You and said "Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi Raji un"
(Verily to Allah we belong and unto Him is our return)."
Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, says: "Build a house for My slave in Paradise and call it the house of praise."
[Narrated and classed as good Hadith by al-Tirmidhi and al-Albani].
 
 
A Reminder
 
Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.
This ayah reminds us that whatever is in this world belongs to Allah and is a Blessing from Him.
 
If, for example, a person had given some money as loan to his friend for some time and now he wants the money back. Is the person doing anything wrong in wanting back his own money?
 
Similarly when a person dies, Allah is only taking back the soul of His creation.
By reciting this ayah at the time of someones death, we remind ourselves that the creation has returned to his Creator.
 
We also should bear in mind that just as the departed soul we ourselves will one day return to our Lord and be answerable for our deeds on the Day of Judgment before our entry into Paradise (Allah willing) or the Hellfire. With this is mind we should always strive to attain Allahs Mercy, for no one but Allah knows the appointed time of death.
 
In a Hadith, Allahs Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) says, "How wonderful is the case of a believer; there is good for him in everything and this applies only to a believer. If prosperity comes to him, he expresses gratitude to Allah and that is good for him; and if adversity befalls him, he endures it patiently and that is better for him." [Muslim]
 
Khadejah Jones
ShareIslam.com 
  

This article was published on Wednesday 30 September, 2009.
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"By the dawn,
By the ten nights *
And by the even and the odd"
(TM Qur'an Al Fajr 89)
*The first ten days of the month of Dhul-Hijjah (9th of Dhul Hijjah) Ref:
Tafsir(Juz Amma)Ibn Kathirs.