“But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.”
Du’a of Praise and Righteousness
أَنْتَ وَلِيِّي فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ ۖ تَوَفَّنِي مُسْلِمًا وَأَلْحِقْنِي بِالصَّالِحِينَ
Anta waliyyee fid dunyaa wal Aakhirati tawaffanee muslimanw wa alhiqnee bissaaliheen
“You are my protector in this world and in the Hereafter. Cause me to die a Muslim and join me with the righteous.”
Surah Yusuf Ayat 101
- Despite all the things which happened to Yusuf (as) he still found in his heart to praise Allah (swt) and to exalt him. He had every reason to be upset, yet he was not bitter.
- The lesson we can learn is to always be humble, accept your role to do the work. Don’t believe in your superiority. If you should see success, thank Allah. On the flip side, you shouldn’t feel insecure or think less of yourself for failing, instead thank Allah because it could always be worse.
- In success, many are ignorant of the external factors involved in success like being born in the right place, the right time, access to knowledge, the ability to learn and perform. These are just some of the gifts that Allah (swt) has bestowed on you.
Yusuf (as) path may not have been the easiest, but it was necessary to help all those he did from suffering.
In Surah Yusuf verse 100 we learn about him being reunited with his father,
“And he raised his parents upon the throne, and they bowed to him in prostration. And he said, “O my father, this is the explanation of my vision of before. My Lord has made it a reality. And He was certainly good to me when He took me out of prison and brought you [here] from bedouin life after Satan had induced [estrangement] between me and my brothers. Indeed, my Lord is Subtle in what He wills. Indeed, it is He who is the Knowing, the Wise.” (12:100)
He then makes this du’a expressing his gratitude towards Allah, “My Lord! You have indeed bestowed on me of the sovereignty, and taught me the interpretation of dreams – the [only] Creator of the heavens and the earth!” He then says recite this du’a, “Anta waliyyee fid dunyaa wal Aakhirati tawaffanee muslimanw wa alhiqnee bissaaliheen” meaning, “You are my Wali [Protector, Helper, Supporter, Guardian] in this world and in the Hereafter. Cause me to die as a Muslim and join me with the righteous.” (12:101)
At this point in Yusuf (as) life, by all definitions of success, he had finally “made it”. But like all the Prophets, Yusuf (as) shows humility at the peak of his success as he says, “My Lord! You have indeed bestowed on me of the sovereignty”.
It is the best of character to do the work and feel no pride or arrogance over the result since that is up to Allah. To be detached from the result is an excellent attitude to adopt since it gives you the resilience needed to continue pushing forwards and to avoid taking the losses personally.
The purpose of a goal should not be to achieve it but the person you must try to become in order to achieve it.
We must train ourselves like Yusuf (as) to avoid developing an inflated sense of self when we achieve any level of success. Instead praise Allah because it is he who had made it possible for you.
Many are ignorant of the external factors involved in success like being born in the right place, the right time, access to knowledge, the ability to learn and perform. These are just some of the gifts that Allah (swt) has bestowed on you.
Imam Ali (ra) comments on this exact topic, “self-conceit poisons the mind, self-conceit impedes progress”. Once you believe you know everything you leave no room to access new information.
Another testament to Yusuf (as) character is the tone in which he says, “Cause me to die a Muslim and join me with the righteous”.
He says this as if being righteous was something he aspires to be and has not yet achieved.
Remember, he is making this du’a after being betrayed by his brothers, sold as a slave, falsely imprisoned and worked his way out and to the top. The process of constantly improving, reaching for more, becoming better is a journey that never ends and seems like a lesson that Yusuf (as) has internalized.