“Inna lillaahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji’oon” is an Islamic phrase that resonates with the profound philosophy of life and death. Often used in the context of a person’s passing, it carries a deeper message that must not be reduced to a mindless utterance.
The origin of this dua or saying comes from the Quran, Surah Baqarah ayah 156:
The phrase translates to “Indeed, we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return,” signaling life’s cyclical and transient nature. It is not only for the deceased but serves as a poignant reminder for all of us. We are all from Allah and will inevitably return to Him. This profound dua (supplication) reminds us of our temporal existence and should echo in our hearts beyond moments of grief.
One might think this utterance is confined to the announcement of death, but it should serve as a constant reminder during challenging times. It is a call to consciousness that urges us to strive in the name of Allah, placing spiritual growth above material gains. The pursuit of worldly success—wealth, power, or reputation—is fleeting and won’t accompany us in the afterlife. Just as rapidly as one accumulates earthly possessions, they can vanish.
“Innaa lillaahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji’oon” in Arabic
إِنَّا ِلِلَّٰهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُون
“Innaa lillaahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji’oon” English Translation
The meaning of this Islamic phrase in English is:
“Indeed, we belong to Allah, and Indeed to Him shall we return”
The Holy Quran says, “Every soul will taste death. And We test you with evil and with good as a trial, and to Us, you will be returned.” (21:35). This Quranic verse elucidates the transitory nature of life and the inevitable encounter with death. In essence, “Innaa lillaahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji’oon” is not a mere phrase but a potent reminder of life’s temporary nature and the inevitability of our return to Allah. We must internalize its essence and let it guide our conduct in this transient world, bearing in mind the ultimate reality of our existence.
The Prophet (P.B.U.H) said:
“When a calamity strikes one of you, then let him say: ‘Indeed, to Allah we belong and to Him we shall return. O Allah, I seek reward with You for my affliction, so reward me for it, and replace it for me with something better (inna lillah wainna ilayhi rajiun, Allahumma ‘indaka aḥtasibu muṣibati fa’jurni fīha waabdilni minha khair).”