One of the very comprehensive du‘aas of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was a du‘aa in which he begged Allah Ta‘ala for four great favours and bounties. Despite the words of this du‘aa being concise, its meaning is very extensive and profound. The du‘aa is as follows:
اَللّٰهُمَّ أَغْنِنِيْ بِالْعِلْمِ وَزَيِّـــنِّـيْ بِالْـحِلْمِ وَأَكْرِمْنِـيْ بِالتَّقْوٰى وَجَـمِّلْنِيْ بِالْعَافِيَةِ
“O Allah, enrich me with knowledge, adorn me with tolerance, honour me with taqwa and beautify me with ‘aafiyah (safety and ease).” (Ibnun Najjaar – Faidhul Qadeer #1532)
In the first part of the du’aa, we request Allah Ta‘ala to enrich us with knowledge. This knowledge refers to the knowledge which takes one closer to Allah Ta‘ala and causes him to reach Jannah. If a person has abundant wealth, but does not possess knowledge, he is a pauper in reality, because he does not possess that which will secure his Jannah. On the other hand, the person who possesses knowledge has in actual fact attained true wealth even though he may be financially poor. This is because correct knowledge will cause a person to understand how he should carry himself out in every facet of his life; in his beliefs, ‘ibaadaat (acts of worship), dealings with others, etc. Hence, practicing upon this knowledge will secure him his Jannah. (Adapted from Faidhul Qadeer)
Thereafter, we request Allah Ta‘ala to adorn us with tolerance. This is a very important quality that we should not only beg for, but rather strive and make an effort for as well. The reason for this is that we regularly encounter various unpleasant situations in life, and it is this quality of tolerance which will allow us to maintain our composure, behave in an appropriate manner, and not say or do anything which we will regret later. This part of the du‘aa further teaches us that true ‘adornment’ is those noble qualities and characteristics which are found within a person, and not the outward adornment and make-up which most people are so concerned about.
In the next part of the du‘aa we ask Allah Ta‘ala to honour us with taqwa – the consciousness and awareness of Allah Ta‘ala which enables us to fulfill all His commands and refrain from all His prohibitions. Allah Ta‘ala has made taqwa the basis of honour. This is further supported by the Quraan Majeed wherein Allah Ta‘ala says, “Indeed the most honourable of you in the sight of Allah is the one who has the most taqwa from amongst you.” (Surah Hujuraat v13) Hence, in order for a person to be honourable and for the Ummah at large to regain their long-lost honour, the first and foremost step is to adopt taqwa.
In the final part of the du‘aa we ask Allah Ta‘ala to beautify us with ‘aafiyah. In simple terms, ‘aafiyah is to be protected and saved from all types of difficulties and calamities in this world and the next. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has emphasized seeking ‘aafiyah from Allah Ta‘ala. He (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) also mentioned, “No person has been given any bounty after conviction greater than ‘aafiyah.” (Sunan Tirmizi #3558)
In essence, by means of this du’aa, we will achieve those things which every person desires for in life; wealth, adornments, honour and beauty, albeit in their true sense.