“Our Lord! Do not make us a test”
We Muslims are taught two beautiful du’aas in the Quran in relation to the Kuffar and the evil-doing people. In the present global scenario, I feel this du’aa MUST become a definite part of our daily supplications. As the du’aa is of utmost importance, the need to understand the deeper meaning of this du’aa is even more greater. The more one understands and supplicates to Allah, the more moving one’s du’aa will be. One will then make the du’aa in the most conscious way possible. Stronger the reliance on Allah, greater the effect of the du’aa.
Let us learn the first du’aa and try to understand it, Insha’Allah:
“Our Lord! Do not make us a test for those who disbelieve. Forgive us our Lord, You are All-Powerful capable of defeating anyone and You are All-Wise” (Surah al Mumtahinah: 60: 5)
While explaining the above mentioned du’aa, Ibn Kathir says:
“(Our Lord! Make us not a trial for the disbelievers)
Mujahid said, “It means, `Do not punish us by their hands, nor with a punishment from You.’ Or they will say, `Had these people been following the truth, the torment would not have struck them’.” Ad-Dahhak said something similar. Qatadah said, “Do not give the disbelievers victory over us, thus subjecting us to trials by their hands. Surely, if You do so, they would then think that they were given victory over us because they are on the truth.” This is the meaning that Ibn Jarir preferred. `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas: “Do not give them dominance over us, lest we suffer trials by their hands.”
I like this explanation given in Learning Islam book. This book mentions two possible meanings of this du’aa:
1) (O Allah) Do not give the disbelievers victory over us so that our condition becomes a test and a temptation for them to think that they are doing the right.
2) (O Allah) Do not make our hatred for their disbelief push us into treating them unjustly so that they are tempted to think that Islam is not the right religion.
As Muslims, we represent Islam in our dealings with non-Muslims. So if we are too accepting and silent against what they do, we could be misleading them to think that Islam accepts what they are doing. On the other hand, if we are not polite and tactful in the way we address them, we could also turn them away from Islam.“
I would now like to quote the explanation given by Sayyid Maududi:
“There are several ways in which the believers can become a cause of trial for the disbelievers, for which every believer should seek Allah’s refuge. For example:
(1) The disbelievers may gain upper hand over them and consider it a proof of their being in the right and the believers being in the wrong.
(2) The persecution of the believers by the disbelievers may become unbearable with the result that they may yield to them and abandon their faith and moral values. This would subject the believers to public ridicule and would provide the disbelievers with an opportunity to humiliate and debase them and their religion.
(3) In spite of being the standard-bearers of the true faith the believers may lose their moral superiority that should accrue to them as believers. And the people may see the same defects and deficiencies in their character as are commonly found in an un-Islamic community. This would give the disbelievers an opportunity to say that the faith of the believers was in no way superior to their disbelief.
Another meaningful du’aa is this:
“Our Lord, do not let us suffer at the hands of evil-doing people.” (Surah Yunus: Verse 85)
“Save us, by Your grace, from the people who disbelieve.” (Surah Yunus: Verse 86)
While explaining the above two verses of Surah Yunus, Sayyid Qutb says:
“This means that they prayed to Allah not to give the tyrants physical power over them, so that those tyrants and their followers do not feel that their faith is superior since they are able to win their confrontation against the believers. Such a temporary victory may take place in any situation where Allah wants to let people be tempted by it, so that they go deeper into error. Hence the believers pray to Allah not to let the tyrants have power over them even if the purpose was to lead the tyrants further astray.
The next verse adds a prayer which is even clearer with regard to the desired outcome: “Save us, by Your grace, from the people who disbelieve.” (Verse 86) These prayers do not conflict with placing their trust in Allah and seeking His support. Indeed they make such reliance on Him clearer. A believer does not wish for hardship and does not aspire to be the victim of tyranny, but when he is tested by what tyrants do to him, he remains steadfast.”
May Allah save us from the evil designs of the evil-doing people. Aameen.
References: Tafsir Ibn Kathir, In the Shade of the Qur’an, Tafheemul Qur’an, Learning Islam, Book 2