Reflections on the Daily Du’a of Rajab – Part 4

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The third call in the supplication says:

يَا مَنْ يُعْطِي مَنْ سَأَلَهُ

O one who always bestows on whosoever asks Him.

This is the third factor which results in the Mercy of Allah. This is the factor of veneration and requesting which results in a reward from Allah without the servant having done anything.

We had mentioned in the previous post that divine rewards are of two types: 1) In return of something, 2) Not in return of something. We discussed the first type in the previous post, and in this post we will be discussing the second type of reward. This reward and bestowal is not in return of anything, except questioning and requesting.

Just like Allah Almighty gives in return of action, He also gives in return of requests. Both of those instances are from the factors and doors that open up to Allah’s Mercy. As for one who does not ask or seek, they are deprived of this Divine Mercy and reward.

If we contemplate over the phrase O one who always bestows on whosoever asks Him, we see that it is an exchange whose one side is a question and request and on the other side is the bestowal – in other words, what is begin given is equivalent to the request being made. So whoever asks, Allah will provide him with the way he asks. This is also reflected in the verse [40:60] …Call upon Me; I will respond to you – the response in this verse is equivalent to supplication.

Allah never rejects the supplication of a servant ever, except if it was a mere uttering by the tongue and did not contain the spirit and reality of the supplication. There is no hand that returns back empty after having stretched it towards Allah in supplication, stretches towards Allah in supplication, except in three situations:

  1. When a person supplicates for a matter to be rushed and hurried
  2. When a person supplicates for a matter to be delayed and postponed
  3. When Allah Himself replaces the request of the supplicant with something that they did not supplicate for

Though Allah will at times fulfill the request of the supplicant quickly and He is ever Forgiving and Merciful, but at times a quick and immediate fulfilment of supplication is not in the best interest of the servant of Allah. Sometimes it is in the best interest of the servant to remain in the state that they are at the time of their supplication, albeit a state of hardship and difficulty, in which case Allah will delay the fulfilment of a supplication.

On the other hand, at times it is in the best interest of the servant for their supplication to not be fulfilled, whether quickly or delayed, and the request of the supplication is replaced with that which they did not ask for. In this case, Allah gives them that which is in the best interest of their world and hereafter.

Hence a servant of Allah does not raise his hands towards Allah in supplication except that it returns back either quickly fulfilled, slowly fulfilled, or replaced with something that is in the best interest of the servant. The intellect affirms that which the Quran affirms regarding the phenomenon of requesting by the servant and the giving by his Lord.

If, however, the supplication is not fulfilled in a time span the servant wanted it to be fulfilled, then it happens for one of three reasons:

1) the one being asked to fulfill a request is unable to do so – and Allah is completely void of this description; His Mercy encompasses all things and the treasures of His grace never diminish despite the many requests and supplications made by his servants.

2) or the one being asked to fulfill a request is stingy – and Allah is also void of this description

3) or it returns back to the one asking and supplicating – at times a quick fulfilment of supplication is not in the best interest of the servant, or at times there is no interest in the fulfillment of that supplication at all

The first two reasons are completely absent in our scenario since Allah can never be described with those descriptions, leaving only the third reason. We have already mentioned why is it that Allah at times delays responding to the supplication, at times He is quick to respond and times He replaces that which was requested with something else.

The phrase O one who always bestows on whosoever asks Him in the supplication of Rajab is derived from the verse: [40:60] …Call upon Me; I will respond to you.

Looking at the second component of the supplication of Rajab, we find that it once again has a number of calls, followed by a supplication. The three calls are as follows:

يَا ذَا الْجَلَالِ وَ الْإِكْرَامِ

يَا ذَا النَّعْمَاءِ وَ الْجُودِ

يَا ذَا الْمَنِّ وَ الطَّوْلِ

O Possessor of Majesty & Honor,

O The Possessor of Blessings & Generosity,

O the Possessor of Favour & Might

After calling on to the beautiful names of Allah, the supplication says:

حَرِّمْ شَيْبَتِي عَلَى النَّار

Prohibit my grey hairs of the beard from the fire (of Hell).

We will look at the three calls first and then at the supplication. The first call says:

يَا ذَا الْجَلَالِ وَ الْإِكْرَامِ

O Possessor of Majesty & Honor

The word al-jalal means majesty and greatness, or it means free from any deficiency. As per the first meaning, the phrase would mean O one who possesses greatness and honour, and as per the second meaning, it would mean O one who is free from any deficiency and oppression.

One who has majesty means one who does not oppress his slaves. One who has honour considers his servants noble and does good towards them.

The first is from the attributes of His Majesty while the second is from the attributes of His Beauty, and the servant turns towards Allah through the names of Majesty and Beauty.

The second call says:

يا ذا النعماء والجود

O The Possessor of Blessings & Generosity,

It is Allah who is the owner of all blessings and its Creator, He is the one who Bestows them upon His servants, while He is All-Generous and All-Bountiful.

[63:7] … And to Allah belongs the depositories of the heavens and the earth…

Allah – Glory be to Him – is Generous and Bountiful, there is no limitation on his generosity and bounties, He is not stingy in giving. So, why would He not do good towards His servants, and respect them and respond to their supplications and requests when they ask Him? Only one who is stingy or unable to fulfill the request of someone is unable to respond to the request of someone – as we had mentioned earlier.

Allah is free from both such qualities, from inability, scarcity and stinginess. So why would he not do good to his servants and give them whenever they ask Him, as He is Capable of giving, He is the possessor of blessings and they do not diminish. If the one being asked is generous, then they also necessarily love to give.

The third call says:

يا ذا المن والطَّول

O the Possessor of Favour & Might

Al-Mann means a favour, and al-mannan is from the names of Allah, as it has been used in the supplication of Abu Hamza al-Thumali from Imam Sajjad (a):

And You are the All-benefactor Who confers upon the people of Your Kingdom with (innumerable) donations.

This is what al-mann means, and this is different than the word al-minnah which means one presumes that someone will bestow a favour upon them, especially with the delusion that they deserve it. Al-Mann in the meaning of favour and giving is only used for one who does not deserve it, in this case us who are deficient in our actions and should not presume that we deserve anything from Him, yet He does not expect recompense for His favours – this is why Allah is called al-mannan.

However, the word al-mannan in the meaning of someone who presumes they deserve favours from others. This is a condemned and immoral quality and it diminishes the value of any favours and rewards the person receives. Allah says in the Quran: [74:6] And do not confer favour to acquire more.

As for the word al-Tul, it means might and superiority. There is a tradition which says using a derived verb from the word al-Tul as follows:

تطاول عليهم ربهم بفضله

Their Lord has overcome them with His grace.

In other words, this call describes Allah as one who bestows a lot of favours and is mighty. The names of Majesty and Beauty are the keys to Allah’s Mercy, and if a servant wants something from Allah through their supplications, then they must call on to Him and seek him through names that are appropriate for what is being asked. In our context, we are asking for pardon, forgiveness and mercy, hence it is appropriate to call upon Allah through names which allude to His pardon and forgiveness, so that the doors of His Mercy open up to his servant

After these three calls, the following supplication is made:

حرّم شيبتي على النار

Prohibit my grey hairs of the beard from the fire (of Hell).

Allah does not punish His servants unjustly and oppressively. Instead, He regards His guilty servants with rewards and mercy, because He is the possessor of blessings which never diminish by His giving, and neither is He stingy. He bestows His favours upon them by pardoning them, because he is the possessor of favour, might and grace.

As for the supplication, then there are two understandings of it – both are correct. One meaning is that it is a supplication asking Allah to bestow upon us the causes by which we can remain protected from polytheism, sin, and mistakes. Monotheism protects the monotheist from polytheism, God-consciousness protects the God-conscious from sins and mistakes. It is through monotheism and piety that Allah protects His servant and rescues them from polytheism and sins.

The second possible meaning of this statement is that it is asking Allah to forgive and pardon the sins which are deserving of hell-fire. If sins and mistakes are accompanied by regret and repentance, void of stubbornness and insistence on the sin, then forgiveness and mercy descend down upon the servant from Allah.

[39:53] Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins…”

This is one of the verses in the Quran that gives us hope. This verse says that the sins and mistakes can be forgiven and that we should not lose hope in Allah’s Mercy. Allah’s Mercy, Pardon and Forgiveness is given to the gray-haired who is drenched in sins and mistakes, as long as the person feels regret and embarrassed in front of Allah, and they detached themselves from evil deeds.

Likewise, Allah’s Mercy and Pardon also descends on the gray-haired who is righteous, but there is a difference between the mercy and pardon bestowed upon the sinner and the mercy and pardon bestowed upon the righteous.

This writeup was extracted from the work of Shaykh Muhammad Mahdi Asifi (d. 2015).

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