Or: Of Shields and Mothers
By K. Balkhi
Every night the prophet Muhammad (saws) would read the Mu’awwidhatayn (Surah Falaq and Surah Naas), then blow on his hands and run his hands over his body (this is also known as hisaar). He once visited his beloved daughter Sayyidina Fatima (Allah be pleased with her) and Sayyidina Ali (ra) at night and urged them to do likewise.
It took me a few decades to realize that this is precisely what my grandfather was doing every night before going to bed!
Dhikr: the Ultimate Shield
There is a reason why dhikr and du’a are said to form a Muslim’s fortress.
These adhkaar form an actual shield around us, protecting us from all sorts of dangers. They form our daily armour. Countless ahadith about our morning du’a confirm that these du’a will prevent harm from reaching us till the evening or next day. The same applies to our evening du’a, recitations, or adhkaar.
I would know; I have almost set the kitchen on fire many a time. While preparing aftaar a few years ago I saw a gorgeous orange light peering through our kitchen glass doors as I returned to the kitchen from my room. It turned out that the pretty light was a full-swing party of rather massive flames dancing off my wok of oil. Stunned, all I could do was recite, Allah said, “O fire, be coolness and safety upon Abraham—” ya naaru kuni bardan wa salaman ala Ibrahim. [Surah Al Anbiya; 21:69]
When the fight response pushed me into motion, I poured water— on an oil fire! Yet, defying physical laws, just as Allah cooled Namrud’s fire for Sayyidna Ibrahim (upon him be peace), He calmed these fiery flames too.
How vividly this protection is illustrated throughout the Seerah! For instance when the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him went to speak with the Jinn. Sayyidina Ibn Mas’ud (ra) agreed to accompany him (saws) there. Just outside the abode of the Jinn, the Prophet’s made hisaar, a protective ring, around Sayyidina Ibn Mas’ud. By Allah’s will, this ring protected him from all types of jinn and shayateen who came in such varied forms: Jinn, scorpions, snakes and so on – an unimaginably scary list. Sayyidina Ibn Mas’ud narrates that they would just crash against the ring the Prophet had simply drawn in the loose earth with his blessed finger as though they’d hit a wall.
And to this day I am certain that reciting from My Lord’s blessed Word is the only thing that saved me from those raging flames – and at countless other moments when we perhaps didn’t even register.
Of Prophets– and Mothers
That, and my mother’s du’a!
Remember how Allah cautioned Sayyidna Musa (as) to climb the mountain carefully after his mother’s death, for she used to make du’a for him every day. And with her passing away, lowered forever were the hands that rose time and again in prayer-most-earnest for her son. Prayers that even Allah recognized as protection.
I can’t imagine how direly in need we must be of our mothers’ blessings and du’a. Today, right now, make special du’a for your parents. And, make special effort to earn your place in their precious prayers. Be an even better son, an even better daughter.
About the Author:
The author is currently studying Islam in-depth at Pakistan’s leading Islamic Jamia, university, for women. She has also been a business journalist and writer with over 200 published articles, chapters, and strategic reports as part of her sustainability consultancy.