Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
19 June 2020 / 27 Syawal 1441H
The Story of Prophet Zakariyya a.s.:
Reliance on Allah s.w.t.
Let us strive to increase our taqwa towards Allah s.w.t. Fulfil all of His commands and leave all of His prohibitions. May we become His servants who are close to His mercy and love. Amin.
The stories of our past prophets in the Qur’an contain numerous lessons and a lot of motivation for us. Their lives were not free from trials and tribulations. Their perseverance and determination in facing trials are exemplary to the rest of us.
On this blessed day, let us ponder upon the story of another prophet, Prophet Zakariyya a.s., and his steadfastness in the face of trials in life.
In Surah Ali Imran verse 37, Allah s.w.t. describes that when Prophet Zakariyya a.s. came to see Maryam a.s. who was performing acts of worship in her prayer chamber, he found that she had a lot of provisions with her. He asked her where those supplies came from, to which Sayyidatina Maryam a.s. answered that they came from Allah s.w.t. At that moment, Prophet Zakariyya a.s. realized that those provisions were requested by Maryam a.s. to which Allah s.w.t. had granted. So he made a prayer – he prayed to Allah s.w.t. to grant him offspring. This story is mentioned in Surah Ali Imran verse 38:
Which means: “There and then Zachariah prayed to his Lord, saying, ‘Lord, from Your grace grant me virtuous offspring: You hear every prayer.”
Although it seems impossible for a woman in her old age to conceive, but because of his complete faith in Allah s.w.t., the Most Hearing and the Most Knowing, he received good news from the angels that he was to be blessed with a righteous son, Prophet Yahya a.s. (Surah Ali Imran, verse 39).
The story of Prophet Zakariyya a.s. is full of lessons for us to learn from.
First: The faith that Prophet Zakariyya a.s. had in him when he raised his hands and prayed to Allah s.w.t.
In our efforts to make du’a and seek Allah’s mercy, it is important for us to believe that Allah s.w.t. always listens to our laments and supplications. Allah s.w.t. is Most Powerful to accept and grant our requests. Have faith that Allah s.w.t. always listens to our supplications, so pray and ask Him with a pure and sincere heart.
Second: Prophet Zakariyya a.s. did not stop making prayers – even though his prayers had yet to be granted by Allah s.w.t., until he and his wife reached an extreme old age. However, Prophet Zakariyya a.s. continued to make du’a with the sole hope of Allah s.w.t. to grant his request.
Third: The story of Prophet Zakariyya a.s. is a form of proof that everything is within Allah’s power and nothing is impossible for Him. We must continue to put in the effort and leave it all to Allah’s decree and wisdom. If we want Allah s.w.t to help us during times of difficulty, we must also increase our prayers during times of ease. Rasulullah s.a.w. reminded us in a hadith which means: “Whoever wishes for his prayers to be accepted by Allah s.w.t during his times of difficulty, he should increase his prayers during his times of ease.” [Hadith reported by Imam At-Tirmizi]
When we make du’a to Allah s.w.t., there are times when our prayers are granted almost instantly. However, sometimes our prayers are not answered immediately but are postponed to a decreed time. There are also times when Allah s.w.t. replaces what we have asked for with other blessings of His that are better than our requests. Nonetheless, remember – dear fellow Muslims – that Allah s.w.t. listens when His servants pray to him. Rasulullah s.a.w. told us in a hadith:
Meaning: “Indeed, Allah is Hayy (Modest) and Generous; when a man raises his hands to Him, He feels too shy to return them to him empty and rejected.” [Hadith reported by Imam At-Tirmizi]
In our current situation – where we are still tested with continuous spread of the virus, uncertain job prospects and an unstable economic environment – we should increase our efforts to look for whatever opportunities that are available. This might even require us to look for a different career path, or it might mean a chance for us to embark on a whole new experience. Most importantly, as long as one is alive, every believer must continue to strive, work hard and maintain their faith and confidence in Allah’s aid.
At the same time, the believer should also make du’a day and night, asking for Allah’s help and assistance. One du’a that we can include in our daily supplications is the following prayer taught by Rasulullah s.a.w. in seeking Allah’s protection:
Meaning: “O Allah, I take refuge with You from the difficulties of severe calamities, from having an evil end and a bad fate and from the malicious joy of my enemies.” [Hadith reported by Imam Bukhari and Muslim]
Let us all strive to be His servants who constantly do their best to get closer to Allah s.w.t. Let us together make du’a to Allah s.w.t. that He protect and bless us all during times of ease and hardship. May Allah s.w.t. grant us all of our wishes and lift this pandemic off us soon. Amin Ya Rabbal ‘alamin.