a beautiful verse

“And ordain for us that which is good, in this life and in the Hereafter: for we have turned unto You.” He said: “With My punishment I visit whom I will; but My mercy extends to all things. I shall ordain it for those who do right, and practice regular charity, and those who believe in Our signs.”

Qur’an: Al-A’raaf: 156

I love this verse, for a few reasons:

  • The du’aa: We ask for goodness in both this life and the hereafter, and to seek goodness in this life does not imply a lack of spirituality. Of course for one to only focus on this world would be blameworthy, but the believer seeks goodness everywhere.
  • It gives us an example of making du’aa by our good deeds. We ask for good in this life and the hereafter by virtue of the fact that we have turned to Allah: “Innaa hudnaa ilayk.”
  • Of course if we fall short in turning to Allah, when we recite this, we feel somewhat ashamed that we are claiming to have turned to Allah. In order to make one’s recitation truthful, one feels compelled to actually enact the seeking of guidance in one’s life.
  • Allah speaks to us in the first person–what greater honor is this?
  • Allah reminds us of his punishment, but describes it as something limited to those whom He wills. However, his mercy is described in bountiful terms: “My Mercy extends to all things.” It sends a ray of hope into the life of the believer.
  • Lest the reader become too complacent with the notion of Allah’s mercy automatically extending to him regardless of his actions, Allah explains who is most deserving of mercy: “I shall ordain it for those who do right, and practice regular charity, and those who believe in Our signs.” Thus, our receiving this mercy is predicated on our belief, taqwaa, and acts of goodness. The verse serves as an encouragement for us to perfect these matters in our life.
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