Inna Lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji'un
Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un (Arabic: إِنَّا للهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ) is a part of a verse from the Qur'an which translates to "We surely belong to Allah and to Him we shall return." [n 1] The phrase is recited by Muslims when a person experiences a tragedy in life, especially upon hearing news that a person has died. The phrase may also be recited in situations that involve risk of any sort.
Muslims believe in the oneness of God, and that only He gives and takes away, sometimes to test humankind. Hence, Muslims submit to Allah and are grateful and thankful to Him for whatever they receive.
According to an hadith from Jami` at-Tirmidhi, Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Sahih Ibn Hibbaan, Abu Musa al-Ashari, a companion of Muhammad reported that he had said, "When a son of a servant of Allah dies, Allah says to the angels, 'Have you taken the son of My servant?' They say, 'Yes.' Then Allah says, 'Have you taken the fruit of his heart?' They say, 'Yes.' Allah says, "What has My servant said?' The angels say, 'He has praised You and said, "To Allah we belong and to Him is our return"'. Then Allah says, 'Build a house for My servant in Paradise and call it the House of Praise.'" It also is said when troubled or frightened.
A brief grammatical overview of the sentence is presented below:
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 Allāh" or "are for Allāh" (it is also because of the "li" that "Allāh" takes kasra).
Wa: Wa means "and".
ʾInnā: See above.
ʾIlay-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 Allah, and we indeed toward Him are returning."
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- "al-Baqarah 2:156". Retrieved 25 December 2013.
- "Islam Question and Answer - The believer's attitude towards calamities". IslamQA. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
- "When one is struck by calamity (trouble)". iSunnah. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
- "Word-by-Word Quran - Verse (2:156)". Kais Dukes. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
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