“Similar situations [as yours] have passed on before you, so proceed throughout the earth and observe how was the end of those who denied. This [Qur’an] is a clear statement to [all] the people and a guidance and instruction for those conscious of Allah.”
Duas of Prophet zakariya (as)
رَبِّ لَا تَذَرْنِي فَرْدًا وَأَنْتَ خَيْرُ الْوَارِثِينَ
Rabbi laa tazarnee fardanw wa Anta khairul waariseen
“My Lord, do not leave me alone [with no heir], while you are the best of inheritors.”
Surah Anbiya Ayat 89
رَبِّ هَبْ لِي مِنْ لَدُنْكَ ذُرِّيَّةً طَيِّبَةً ۖ إِنَّكَ سَمِيعُ الدُّعَاءِ
Rabbi hab lee mil ladunka zurriyyatan taiyibatan innaka samee’ud du’aaa
“My Lord, grant me from Yourself a good offspring. Indeed, You are the Hearer of supplication.”
Surah Imran Ayat 38
- These verses teach us how a believer who initiates du’a and who repeatedly worships Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) can have his or her supplication fulfilled. It is reported in his nineties, Prophet Zakariya (as) turned to Allah (swt) and asked that he may have a child. He was old and feeble and his wife was barren yet with Allah’s mercy, nothing is impossible. In Surah Maryam ayat 8-9, “He said, “My Lord, how will I have a boy when my wife has been barren and I have reached extreme old age? [An angel] said, “Thus [it will be]; your Lord says, ‘It is easy for Me, for I created you before, while you were nothing.“
- Whatever hopes and dreams you may have, it’s never too late. Did it happen immediately for Zakariya who was a prophet of Allah? No, Zakariya (as) was in his old age when Allah gifted him with his son. So, ask from your Lord but do so with patience. For a few it may happen immediately, for others it may take some time, and then there’s a group for who it may not happen at all, and Allah knows best. One thing we should avoid doing is to go around comparing ourselves with others, as the saying goes – comparison is the thief of joy. Find small things that you are grateful for so that Allah can bless you with more in other ways. It’s natural and okay to go through the low moments, healing is a process that can take time.
- Ask yourself, how would I like to respond to this situation? You can choose to approach things with fear, courage, bitterness, or with humility these are all within your control. Prophet Zakariya (as) turned to Allah in submission after seeing the bounties He had given Maryam (ra), he realized Allah will provide without measure for whomever he wills.
A little background history about Zakariya for those who aren’t familiar.
In the Qur’an it tells us Zakariya (as) was Maryam (ra) sponsor “So her Lord accepted her with good acceptance and caused her to grow in a good manner and put her in the care of Zechariah” (3:37).
And Maryam as the Mother of Isa (as) or Jesus.
Zakariya (as) had one son Yahya (as) or John. But Zakariya (as) was not always blessed with such a beautiful family, for a long-time he and his wife struggled to have kids because she was barren. Much like Ibrahim (as) it began to weigh heavily on his mind that his lineage may end with him.
One day, Zakariya (as) came to visit Maryam (ra) in her prayer chambers. This was a room which no single person had access to besides him. Yet when he came inside, he saw it had already been filled with good provision.
So, he became very curious and asked her, “…O Mary, from where is this [coming] to you?” She said, “It is from Allah. Indeed, Allah provides for whom He wills without account.” (3:37)
It’s moments like these where we may know something to be true, but we’re completely oblivious to the answer right in front of us. It clicked in Zakariya (as) mind, he had a sudden realization that it is only Allah who can provide without measure for whomever he wills. If he was to be blessed with a child in his old age it could only be made possible with Allah’s help. So, Zakariya (as) “…called upon his Lord, saying, Rabbi hab lee mil ladunka zurriyyatan taiyibatan innaka samee’ud du’aaa “My Lord, grant me from Yourself a good offspring. Indeed, You are the Hearer of supplication.” (3:38)
The following ayat goes on to explain that the Angels responded to his call and mentioned that for you Zakariya Allah will give good tidings. You have been nothing but an honorable man, you abstained from women, and were righteous in all that you did. Zakariya (as) did have one question, “My Lord, how will I have a boy when I have reached old age and my wife is barren?” The angel said, “Such is Allah; He does what He wills.” (3:40)
In a separate Surah of Qur’an, it gives us another supplication which Zakariya (as) offered asking for kids as he says, Rabbi laa tazarnee fardanw wa Anta khairul waariseen meaning “My Lord, do not leave me alone [with no heir], while you are the best of inheritors” (21:89). The following verse, “So We responded to him, and We gave to him John, and amended for him his wife. Indeed, they used to hasten to good deeds and supplicate Us in hope and fear, and they were to Us humbly submissive.” (21:90)
You should learn these two du’as and the du’a Prophet Ibrahim (as) recited in Surah As-Saffat ayah 100 if you wish to have children of your own someday. Take note of the message Allah tells us in the following ayah both times Zakariya (as) made his request. It explains because he was a good man, a righteous man, a man who was humble and hastened to do good deeds that his du’a was fulfilled. He built up a lot of equity with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala so when he needed something Allah gave it to him.
Did it happen immediately? No, Zakariya (as) was in his old age when Allah gifted him with his son. So, ask your Lord but do so with patience.
For a few it may happen immediately, for others it may take some time, and then there’s a group for who it may not happen at all, and Allah knows best.
If you find yourself in the latter group, it is not wise to blame yourself for something which you have no control of. What sense does it make to do that?
It is difficult in practice but must also avoid comparisons to others at all costs – Allah blesses each of us in unique ways. There is no benefit gained from making such comparisons. The only thing you will accomplish in doing so is making yourself feel worse about the situation.
Practice daily journaling, find small things that you are grateful for so that Allah can bless you with more. It’s natural and okay to go through the low moments, healing is a process that can take time.
If you feel overwhelmed it’s recommended you seek professional help or join support groups with couples going through something similar.
It can be tough but many overcome it, and it’s helpful to know you to have the inner strength to get through it. In every situation, ask yourself how you would like to respond to the situation. This is powerful and something that will always be within your control.