This is a fundamental tenet of Islam and is understood by all who say the popular zikir “la hawla wala quwwata illa billah”. If you know the meaning behind this short prayer you are verbally in agreement that…
There is no power and no strength except with Allah.
Subhanallah, it is a short but very potent phrase. This statement, (often refereed to as Hawqala) is recorded in over 10 narrations in various hadith books which mention Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) telling his followers to recite this dhikr daily.
The authenticity of these hadiths are graded as Sahih, meaning authentic, by many scholars which is why we should make the effort to incorporate this saying daily.
la hawla wala quwwata illa billah (6 words) or you can remember a slightly longer variation — la hawla wala quwwata illa billahil aliyyil azim. It’s rhythmic tone makes it easy to remember and flows right off the tongue.
La Hawla Wala Quwwata In Arabic
Here’s how it would look if you were to read in Arabic:
لا حَوْلَ وَلا قُوَّةَ إِلا بِالله
Transliteration: la hawla wala quwwata illa billah
English Translation: There is no might nor power except with Allah.
How To Pronounce:
Here’s audio version we’ve created to help with proper pronunciation so you may learn how say and inshallah memorize.
Deeper Analysis of the Meaning Behind This Phrase
Now, sometimes in translating Arabic to English we lose the nuances that may be understood only by native speakers. Here’s what the author of site wahiduddin had written in regards to the common translation of the phrase.
“However that translation fails to capture the grandeur and deeper significance of this magnificent phrase. Translating the word hawla simply as power is an over-simplification. The Arabic root h-w-l depicts all manner of change and transformation. [..] Progress is only achieved through change and transformation… and spiritual progress requires the highest degree of change and transformation. We may wish to change, but we alone do not have the power to make such changes.”1
We are constantly evolving and progressing, but understand this is not of our own genius ability, it is the will of Allah through which transformation occurs.
The variation of the phrase, la hawla wala quwwata illa billahil by adding aliyyil azim further praises Allah by referring to him by one of his 99 names (Azim). The meaning of Azim refers to his being of the great one, the mighty, the One deserving of exaltment.
Who Should Recite This Prayer
Really anyone at anytime can recite this prayer. It’s purpose is to show remembrance of Allah. The wisdom and message behind this saying is that man’s nature is weak. Our egos like to put on the facade that we’re macho, capable and independent but true confidence comes to the person who can admit that he is not.
A servant of Allah knows this and can admit he is weak, powerless, and incapable, that is without the will of his Lord. Thus, the importance of reciting this prayer, “La Hawla Wala Quwwata Illa Billah”.
You’re asking Allah to make whatever you desire possible.
We all need help at times, there’s no shame in asking the creator for it. In fact we should ask more of Allah as he is not limited. Whether struggling through difficult financial times, marital problems, or dealing with stress this can be a powerful dhikr to help you pull through.
Remember this ayat “So lose not heart, nor fall into despair: For ye must gain mastery if ye are true in Faith.” (3:139)
Hadith That Mentions La Hawla Wala Quwwata
Here’s some of the Hadiths that mentions the Prophet (saws) about saying this phrase:
It was narrated that Abu Musa said: “The Prophet (saas) heard me saying: ‘La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah (there is no power and no strength except with Allah).’ He said: ‘O ‘Abdullah bin Qais! Shall I not tell you of a word which is one of the treasures of Paradise?’ I said: ‘Yes, O Messenger of Allah.’ He said: ‘Say: La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah (There is no power and no strength except with Allah).'” 2
Say During Adhan
It was narrated that ‘Alqamah bin Waqqas said: “I was with Mu’awiyah when the Mu’adhdhin called the Adhan. Muawiyah said what the Mu’adhdhin said, but when he said: ‘Hayya ‘alas-salah (come to prayer),’ he said: ‘La hawla wa la quwwata illa Billah (There is no power and no strength except with Allah);’ and when he said: ‘Hayya ‘alal-falah (come to prosperity),’ he said: ‘La hawla wa la quwwata illa Billah (There is no power and no strength except with Allah).’ After that he said what the Mu’adhdhin said, then he said: ‘I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying exactly like that.'” 3
Dua When Leaving The House
Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Whoever says (upon leaving his house): ‘Bismillah, tawakkaltu ‘alallah, wa la hawla wa la quwwata illa billah [I begin with the Name of Allah; I trust in Allah; there is no altering of conditions but by the Power of Allah],’ it will be said to him: ‘You are guided, defended and protected.’ The devil will go far away from him”. [Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi and An- Nasa’i]. Abu Dawud reported it with this addition: “One devil will say to another: ‘How can you deal with a man who has been guided, defended and protected?” 4
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See Other Similar Posts:
2. Grade : Sahih (Darussalam) Reference : Sunan Ibn Majah 3824 In-book reference : Book 33, Hadith 169 English translation : Vol. 5, Book 33, Hadith 3824
3. Grade : Sahih (Darussalam) Sunan an-Nasa’i English reference : Vol. 1, Book 7, Hadith 678 Arabic reference : Book 7, Hadith 685
4. Book Riyad as-Salihin. Arabic/English book reference : Book 1, Hadith 83