Ramadan is a month of fasting, the Quran, and dua. There is a special dua that combines the latter two and is on combatting anxiety and depression via the Quran. Let us try to understand this dua and how it can make our Ramadan beautiful in sha Allah.
“Whoever is ever afflicted anxiety or sadness and says: ‘O Allah, I am Your slave, son of Your slave, son of Your female slave, my forelock is in Your hand, Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just. I ask You by every name belonging to You which You named Yourself with, or You taught to any of Your creation, or revealed in Your Book, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the unseen with You, that You make the Quran the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety’, Allah will remove his anxiety and sadness and replace it with happiness.” (Aḥmad 3704)
“O Allah, I am Your slave, son of Your slave, son of Your female slave, my forelock is in Your hand, Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just….”
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First of all, we acknowledge our special relationship with Allah, that we are His slaves. This entails obedience to His commandments and love for Him. We also acknowledge that Allah (swt) controls our lives and everything in the world, that we are powerless without Him. Whatever happens in our lives is changeable if Allah wills, and He is capable of doing anything.
But it happens so often, one may argue, that things go wrong in life and despite our constant begging to Him, He doesn’t give it back to us. Why? Because He is merciful and just. He knows ourselves and our condition infinitely better than we do. And what more? He knows our future. When you look back in your past, you realise that you don’t want the same things that you wanted then. You notice how it all worked out for the best. And even if it hasn’t happened yet, it will in sha Allah. why? Because “Your decree over me is just”.
The Prophet (sa) said, “I am amazed by the believer. Verily, Allah does not decree anything for the believer except what is good for him.” (Daily Hadith Online)
This acknowledgment itself works towards alleviating some of our sadness already.
“… I ask You by every name belonging to You which You named Yourself with, or You taught to any of Your creation, or revealed in Your Book, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the unseen with You …”
This is the best kind of supplication – invoking Allah through His beautiful names. Allah says in the Quran:
“And to Allah belong the best names, so invoke Him by them. And leave [the company of] those who practice deviation concerning His names. They will be recompensed for what they have been doing.” (Quran, 7:180)
“… that You make the Quran the Spring of my heart…”
Imam Al-Qari says, “Just as the season of spring is the means of manifestations of Allah’s mercy and bringing life back to the earth after its death (drought or dryness), in the same way the Quran is the means of manifestation of Allah’s power of beneficence from faith and knowledge, and banishing the darkness of disbelief, ignorance and senility.”
Imam ibn Taymiyyah says, “[The supplicator] asks Allah to make [the Quran] water with which his heart will revive, just like the earth is revived with the spring season.”
“and the light of my chest,”
Allah (swt) uses the metaphor of light in many places in the Quran.
He (swt) says,
“O People of the Scripture, there has come to you Our Messenger making clear to you much of what you used to conceal of the Scripture and overlooking much. There has come to you from Allah a light and a clear Book, by which Allah guides those who pursue His pleasure to the ways of peace and brings them out from darknesses into the light, by His permission, and guides them to a straight path.” (5:15-16)
“It is He who confers blessing upon you, and His angels [ask Him to do so] that He may bring you out from darknesses into the light. And ever is He, to the believers, Merciful.” (33:43)
Imam ibn Taymiyyah says, “One is revived of death by means of life, and one dispels the darkness of ignorance by means of Light… So he becomes alive, knowledgeable, and articulate. And this is the completion of virtues in a created being.”
“and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety.”
Now that we have a heart full of life and the light of guidance from Allah, we ask Allah to remove the traces of sorrow and anxiety that cloud our minds. These two psychological issues can cause a lot of damage in a person’s life. One becomes unproductive and no longer feels the enthusiasm to live or do work. Often he may become too lethargic to worship Allah properly.
So we must never neglect these two incapacitating issues. And the Quran will help us alleviate them with its light. That is what we ask Allah in this dua.
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