The Best of Both Worlds
by Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (rahmatullah ‘alayh)
Allah Ta’ala mentions in Surah Al-Baqarah:
There are some who say, “Our Lord! Grant us Your bounties in this world,” but they will have no share in the Hereafter. Yet there are others who say, “Our Lord! Grant us the good of this world and the Hereafter, and protect us from the torment of the Fire.”
[Surah Al-Baqarah 2:200-201]
In the pre-Islamic days, known as the Days of Ignorance or Jahiliyyah, people would also perform the Hajj. They, too, would proceed to Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah. However, many customary actions were rife, which Allah Ta'ala mentions, guiding the Muslims to abandon such ignorant and vain pursuits, especially during the sacred days of Hajj.
Allah Ta'ala continues the same discussion by mentioning that some Arabs from the period of Jahiliyyah would only make dua for worldly needs and wants during the days of Hajj.
They would ask for wealth, property, honour – anything and everything worldly that they were desirous of. Their duas thus comprised only of requests for material acquisition or worldly success, and such supplications were and are insignificant compared to the greater needs of man concerning the life to come.
Moreover, they asked without care and concern, wanting just satisfaction of their worldly desires —good and beneficial, or bad and harmful. Their supplication did not include the word ‘Hasanah', which would be the means of goodness in what they ask.
Regarding these people, Allah Ta'ala says: But they will have no portion in the Hereafter because they only asked for this world. Moreover, they will only get what was apportioned for them in this world; they will receive only what Allah Ta'ala decreed for them – nothing more, nothing less.
This verse is also a warning to the Muslims who pray for only worldly achievements, whose main objective is success in this worldly life, with no concern for their spiritual needs.
Immediately after that, Allah Ta'ala makes mention of another kind of people and the dua that they make:
“O our Sustainer, give us in this world Hasanah, and in the Hereafter, hasanah, and save us from the punishment of the fire.”
This second group of people would ask for the things of this world, but they asked for it with “Hasanah”.
This dua is a Masnoon dua which Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) recited in abundance. We are also taught to recite this dua between the Ruknul Yamani and Hajre Aswad during Tawaf. However, it can be recited after Salah and on any other occasion.
The question arises as to why this dua must be recited in abundance.
The reason is: that despite this dua being concise in words, it is most comprehensive and all-encompassing. It includes every bounty and blessing of both worlds. The person is not just asking for wealth, honour, etc., per se; instead, he is seeking “Hasanah” (goodness) with these bounties.
The Mufasirin (Commentators) explain that “Fid Dunya Hasanah” encompasses every need of a person in this world.
It is unfortunate that we do not understand nor value the dua. Our condition is such that when we request someone for dua, and he says: “May Allah Ta'ala grant you the best of both worlds,” we feel dissatisfied. We desire a lengthy dua wherein various bounties and blessings should be mentioned – yet this dua includes every blessing, bounty, and every good and favourable condition.
We also learn from this dua that Allah Ta'ala does not prevent us from seeking the material things of this world. We live in a world of means, and there are many requirements for our existence. Allah Ta'ala encourages and approves dua wherein a person is seeking his worldly needs. It is as if Allah Ta'ala is telling us, “Make this dua, in which you seek the good of this world also.”
Now what is meant by “Fid Dunyah Hasanah”?
Allamah Sayyid Mahmud Alusi (rahmatullah ‘alayh) had explained in his Tafsir, ‘Ruhul Ma'ani, the best of this world as:
1) Al Aafiyatu wal Kafa: Well-being and Protection from all forms of trials (fitan) and Sufficiency in Rizq (Sustenance).
2) Az Zawj us Salih – A pious, righteous, compatible marriage partner.
3) Al-Auladul Abrar – Pious children
4) Al Mal-us-Salih – Wealth which is obtained through Halal sources, full of Barakah (blessings) and free of contamination and impurity.
5) Thana-ul-Khalq – The praise and good opinion of people.
6) Al-Ilm wal Ibadah – Beneficial knowledge and practice upon it.
7) Fahm – Understanding of Deen.
8) Suhbat-us-Sawlihin – The company of the pious.
9) An nusratu ‘alal a'ada – Help against all enemies, including the greatest ones – nafs and Shaytan.
Also included is the seeking of the ability to perform righteous deeds. Every action that is done according to the Qur'an and Sunnah will fall under righteous deeds. Whether it is Salah, Zakah, Fasting, caring for the poor, needy, or destitute, fulfilment of the rights of one's spouse, children, neighbours, the poor and everybody. All this falls under righteous deeds, and it is these actions that will become the protection from the punishment of the fire, as has been brought out in the dua: “… and save us from the punishment of the fire.”
‘Hasanah fil Aakhirah' includes every need of ours in the Hereafter, whether it is protection from the punishment of the grave, easy reckoning on the Day of Qiyamah, entry into Jannah and enjoyment of all those bounties which no eye has seen, no ear has heard of, and no mind has ever thought of —including the greatest bounty of seeing the countenance of Allah Ta'ala.
It is a very beautiful and comprehensive dua given to us by Allah Ta'ala. We should include it in our duas after Salah and on other occasions. However, it must be made with deep-hearted meditation, sincerity and conviction.