It’s amazing how comprehensive the supplications are that are in the Quran or are of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wassalam). Look at this one:
رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ
“Our Lord, give us in this world [that which is] good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.” (Al-Baqarah 201)
I was just pondering over this and wondering, what does it not cover? Nothing! Think about it, whatever you could want possibly, it’s been asked for in this dua. The three portions of this dua tell us how our lives are basically divided into three things or the three things that we worry about.
First is this world. We want good in this world. A good life consisting of a good home, a good income, a good family, a good career, a good education, good friends, good food, good clothes, good character… and the list goes on. Even though this world is temporary but we still want the goodness in it and ask for it, which is not only natural but also recommended. Why live in misery?
Second is the hereafter. That is our eternal home. We’ll live there forever so obviously we want it to be good. We want that we not be called for questioning, we want that our bad deeds be overlooked and that our good scales become heavy. We get to drink from the fountain of Kauthar, we be in the company of the prophets and their companions. Also, that we get a place under the shade of the Throne…. and finally that we get into Paradise and that too the best one.
Third is the Fire. Now technically when we ask for good in the hereafter, it also includes that we be saved from the Fire as the Fire is bad, of course. But this kind of emphasizes that hereafter is the bigger concern as one part of this dua is dedicated to this world and the other two to the hereafter. Also, if I think about it, it makes me feel good to ask for being saved from the Fire. It sort of satisfies you, makes you feel you’ve asked for the whole thing because the Fire is so scary that it’ll be on your mind even if you ask for the good of the hereafter. And that is human nature. When we’re scared of something badly, we don’t just talk about the situation that is free of those fears but also about the fear itself. It’s like a catharsis.
So this third portion of the dua consoles me that I’m asking for being saved from the Fire, be it in the grave where it’ll be all dark and I’ll be alone or be it on and after the Day of Judgement i.e. the Fire in hell.
Now that you’ve asked Allah for these three things, don’t you get a feeling of completion? :)