Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un

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Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un (Arabic: إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ‎) is a part of a verse from the Qur'an which translates to "We belong to Allah and to Allah we shall return."[n 1][1] The phrase is commonly recited by Muslims when a person experiences a tragedy in life,[2][3] especially upon hearing news that a person has died.[3] The phrase may also be recited in situations that involve risk of any sort.

Doctrinal links and hadith[edit]

Muslims believe in the oneness of God, and that only God gives and takes away, sometimes to test humankind.[4] Hence, Muslims submit to Allah and are grateful and thankful to Allah for whatever they receive.

Abu Sinan said: "I buried my son Sinan and Abu Talhah Al-Khawlani was sitting on the rim of the grave. When I wanted to leave he took me by my hand and said: 'Shall I not inform you of some good news O Abu Sinan!' I said: 'Of course.' He said: 'Ad-Dahhak bin Abdur-Rahman bin Arzab narrated to me, from Abu Musa Al-Ash'ari: "The Messenger of God said: 'When a child of the servant died, God says to the angels: "Have you taken the fruits of his work." They reply: "Yes." So He says: "What did My servant say?" They reply: "He praised you and mentioned that to You is the return." So God says: "Build a house in Paradise for My servant, and name it 'the house of praise.'" [Jami` at-Tirmidhi 1021, Book 10, Hadith 57] [5]


A brief grammatical overview of the sentence is presented below:[6]

ʾInnā: means Indeed we or verily we. "ʾInnā" is a contraction of ʾinna-nā. The first part means verily, the last part we. As the Arabic language tends to simplification, it is written as ʾinnā, with only one nūn and shadda for stress.

Li-llāhi: "Li" is a ḥarfu jarr (preposition) meaning "to" or "is for", and is used as a type of possessive case. "A laka ʾakhun" (where "la" is the same as "li") means “is for you a brother?” or “do you have a brother?” So here, "lillāhi" means "belong to God" or "are for God" (it is also because of the "li" that "Allāh" (God) takes kasra).

Wa: Wa means "and".

ʾInnā: See above.

Ilay-hi: In two parts, this means "toward Him". "ʾIlay" is actually a form of "ʾila" (a preposition), which means "to". A grammatically similar phrase is "dhahabtu ʾila masjidin" ("I went to a mosque"). "Hi" is actually "hu", the third-person possessive pronoun (meaning his), and takes kasra because of "ʾila".

Rājiʿūn: This is a form of rajaʿa, "return" (the "ʿ" represents the letter ʿain, which is voiced with a tightened throat). "Rājiʿ" is a noun/adjective form, meaning "a person who is returning." The suffix "–ūn" plural (so that it refers to three or more people). "Rājiʿūn" thus basically means "returners", or better "the returning ones".

Taken together, the phrase can be translated as "We indeed belong to God, and we indeed toward Him are returning."

Similar statements in the Bible[edit]

  • "For you are dust, and to dust you shall return." Genesis 3:19
  • "The LORD has given, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." Job 1:21
  • "You return man to dust and say, “Return, O children of man!”." Psalm 90:3


  1. ^ The full verse is: الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتهُم مصِيبَةٌ قَالُوا إِنَّا لِله وَإِنَّا إِلَيهِ رَاجِعُونَ which means who, when they are visited by an affliction, say, 'Surely we belong to God, and to It we return It appears in Sura Al-Baqara, Verse 156.


  1. ^ "al-Baqarah 2:156". Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  2. ^ "Islam Question and Answer - The believer's attitude towards calamities". IslamQA. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  3. ^ a b "When one is struck by calamity (trouble)". iSunnah. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  4. ^ "Surah Al-Baqarah [2:155]". Surah Al-Baqarah [2:155]. Retrieved 2018-11-30.
  5. ^ "Hadith - The Book on Janaiz (Funerals) - Jami` at-Tirmidhi - - Sayings and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم)".
  6. ^ "Word-by-Word Quran - Verse (2:156)". Kais Dukes. Retrieved 30 April 2011.

External links[edit]