بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
Indeed all praises is for Allāh (ﷻ), the Lord of the World; we praise Him, and we seek His aid, and we ask for His forgiveness, and we seek Allāh’s (ﷻ) refuge from the evils of ourselves and from our evil actions. He whom Allāh (ﷻ) guides, none can misguide him, and He whom Allāh (ﷻ) misguides, then none can guide him. Blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) and upon all his Family and Companions. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allāh (ﷻ), Alone, having no partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad (ﷺ) is His slave and His messenger.
Mu’ mīneen Brothers and Sisters
Many of us know Sūrah AL-ḌUḤĀ off by heart and have probably read its meaning many times as well, which seems quite straightforward. How many of us, though, have actually gone into the reason behind its revelation and derived the lessons and implications this sūrah has in our lives?
This sūrah was revealed to Prophet Muḥammad (ṣall Allāhu ʿalay-hi wa-sallam) at a time when he had not received any revelation for six months, not even in the form of a dream! The Prophet Muḥammad (ṣall Allāhu ʿalay-hi wa-sallam) was in a very disturbed state of mind, feeling negative and depressed and believing that Allāh was displeased with him, had forgotten him, and did not want him as a Nabī anymore.
Don’t we have similar feelings in our lives? Times when our level of imān is low, our khushoo in salāh wavers and we feel a drop in our connection with Allāh? We feel like our du’ās are not being answered, our salāh is not having a positive impact on our hearts, and worst of all the feeling that we’re horrible human beings, that Allāh doesn’t love us or doesn’t care about us anymore.
Sūrah Ad-Duḥā was revealed to the Prophet Muḥammad (ṣall Allāhu ʿalay-hi wa-sallam) to relieve him of these negative feelings and to give him hope, positivity, and the assurance that Allāh is with him no matter what. From it we too can find peace, hope, and a renewed faith in Allāh when we go through similar states of depression, sadness, and hopelessness.
So what does this sūrah say?
BI-SMI LLĀHI R-RAḤMĀNI R-RAḤĪM
(By the morning brightness,)
This is the first thing you need to hear when you’re depressed: Wake up, look at the sunshine! Everything in life is not doom and gloom– you just have to look up!
wa-l-layli ʾidhā sajā
(by the night when it is calm!)
Why is this aayah immediately talking about darkness? As a reminder to us that the night is meant to cover and give us comfort and rest.
Generally when we’re depressed, we tend to get into a very bad sleep pattern by staying up at night and sleeping all day, thereby worsening our state of mind. This aayah reminds us to use the night as a comfort to ease our distress.
mā waddaʿaka rabbuka wa-mā qalā
(Your Lord has neither forsaken you nor is He displeased with you,)
This is a very powerful verse from Allāh telling us that He doesn’t hate us and hasn’t forgotten us – reminding the depressed person that He is always by his or her side!
wa-la-l-ʾākhiratu khayrun laka mina l-ʾūlā
(and the Hereafter shall be better for you than the world.)
Many times when we’re depressed we think: Is this all my life is going to be? Is it never going to get better?
This aayah serves as a perfect answer to those questions, reminding us that life in this world is temporary and that Aakhira is certainly a better, more permanent place for us than this world could ever be.
This makes us look forward to attaining our place in Jannah and helps us look at any problems in our lives as temporary tests of our faith from Allāh.
wa-la-sawfa yuʿṭīka rabbuka fa-tarḍā
(Soon your Lord will give you [that with which] you will be pleased.)
A promise from Allāh, that very soon he will give us a massive reward (Jannah) and we will be happy! Subḥān’Allāh!
Isn’t this the best thing to hear when you’re depressed and fed up with this worldly life and the problems you’re facing?
ʾa-lam yajidka yatīman fa-ʾāwā
(Did He not find you an orphan, and shelter you?)
From this verse onwards, Allāh gives us reason to believe His declarations and promises in the first half of the sūrah.
Now many of us may think: how would this aayah about orphans relate to the majority of us? Think about it – weren’t there many times in your life when you were sick or lonely and felt like you had nobody who cared about you? Who was the only one by your side at that time? Allāh! It was He who took care of you and guided you out of that stage in life.
wa-wajadaka ḍāllan fa-hadā
(Did He not find you lost, and guide you?)
How many of us, despite being born Muslims, have found ourselves misguided and straying away from Islām in the past? It was Allāh who gave us that hidaya and brought us back to the straight path and to Him and made us practicing Muslims. Alḥamdulillāh!
wa-wajadaka ʿāʾilan fa-ʾaghnā
(Did He not find you needy, and enrich you?)
Many of us have probably gone through many periods in our lives when we have been short of money and wealth. Now, when we look back we realize that it was only Allāh who gave us that rizq in some form and got us through those tough financial times.
fa-ʾammā l-yatīma fa-lā taqhar
(So, as for the orphan, do not oppress him;)
This aayah is the ultimate antidote to depression!
Depressed people are mostly consumed with their situation and feel that nobody could possibly be in a worse situation.
This aayah reminds us to look at people who are in far worse situations than ourselves when we’re feeling hopeless and depressed — Look at the orphans, who have no family or loved ones and nobody to care for them. We have families and parents who love us, a roof over our heads and food on the table and we still think we’re in a bad situation? Subḥān’Allāh!
wa-ʾammā s-sāʾila fa-lā tanhar
(and as for the beggar, do not chide him;)
Another example is of the beggar – to once again remind us of the many material blessings that Allāh has given us that we take for granted – food, clothing and shelter. How many of us have ever gone to sleep hungry? How many of us don’t have clothes to wear? Or don’t have a home to go to?
These examples of the orphan and the beggar are ones we should constantly remind ourselves of to be thankful for the numerous blessings Allāh has given us, get over our depression and feel connected to Allāh again, out of gratitude.
wa-ʾammā bi-niʿmati rabbika fa-ḥaddith
(and as for your Lord’s blessing, proclaim it!)
This final aayah is about maintaining that renewed faith and bond with Allāh – by pondering, glorifying and talking about the blessings of Allāh! Either in terms of halaqas, discussions with family and friends or even dā’wah! Dhikr, reading Qur’ān and listening to lectures are also great ways to keep the remembrance of Allāh close to your heart!
So the next time you feel disconnected, disheartened or depressed with your level of Imān and your connection with Allāh – read Sūrah AL-ḌUḤĀ and ponder over its meanings – In shā’Allāh, it will restore your faith and increase your belief in the greatness and power of Allāh.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allāh’s (ﷻ) Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allāh (ﷻ) Alone Knows Best and He (ﷻ) is the Only Source of Strength.