“And remember Dzhu-n-Nun, when he departed in wrath. He imagined that We have no power over him! But he cried through the depths of darkness: “There is no god but You; Glory to You; I was indeed wrong!” (87)
So We listen to him. And delivered him from his distress. And thus do We deliver those who have faith. (88)
A few days before we welcome the sacred month of Ramadhan, I experienced great pain in my mouth. It was a terrible toothache. At first I thought perhaps there’s food stuck in a hole inside the tooth that caused pain. I’ve tried to remove whatever that I thought was the cause of pain, but yet still it won’t go away. I took some painkiller, but it didn’t work. Since Ramadhan was approaching, I decided to go see our family dentist and let her investigate.
To my surprise, she told me the cause of my severe pain was coming from a wisdom tooth that tried to emerge but did not manage to come out properly in full. In other word, half of the tooth has surfaced, but the other half was still deep inside the gum. Judging from the improper positioning of the tooth, the dentist predicted that it’s going to be a very, very slow process and that I’d be suffering along the way. Ouch! It hurt so much, even to hear the dentist explained that to me. Well, who would have guessed at the age of 38 I still grow tooth??!?
She recommended extraction of the tooth.
Of course I was nervous about it. I can’t sleep. I can’t concentrate on my study. I can’t even smile properly (that’s my husband’s observation on me!). The next appointment was a day before our first fasting. I then made up my mind to get rid of the tooth.
I thought my problem would be solved that very day. Obviously I was wrong. It was a strong, healthy tooth I tried to pull out, so it didn’t even budge a bit! Astaghfirullah hal‘azim!
“Your body is so stiff! If you don’t relax, I’ll never be able to pull out the tooth!!”
What!!! The dentist blamed it on me? Oh! Pity me!
So the first attempt failed. The tooth hurt even more now. I was badly bleeding. The dentist told me to go home. She prescribed a medicine to reduce the swollen gum and set another appointment for me.
I was sad and disappointed. So was my husband. I called my mother and told her about the toothache.
She suggested me a dua to recite continuously.
She said it is a powerful dua.
"La ila ha illa anta subhanaka inni kuntu minaz-zalimeen"
So what's the story behind this ayat?
Our prophet Muhammad (Salallahu alaihi wasallam) said in the hadith recorded by At-Tirmidzi and others:
“The invocation of my brother Dzhu-n-Nun: None has the right to be worshipped save You; Glory be to You, far removed are You from any imperfection; I have been amongst the wrong-doers. None who is experiencing difficulty employs it except that Allah SWT would relieve him of his difficulty.”
The dua is actually taken from Surah Al-Anbiya’ (21:87). The story behind this powerful ayat is about Prophet Yunus (‘alaihis-salam) who was sent to the people of Nineveh (which was a city where the modern-day Iraqi city of Mosul is). Prophet Yunus preached the message of Allah to these people for a very long time, but they did not respond well to his call. When he felt that his preaching was not going to make them change their ways, he took off in anger. He boarded a ship filled with other passengers. After some time, the ship ran into a storm. The people on the ship cast lots, with the idea that the person whose name shows up should be thrown overboard. The name of Prophet Yunus (alaihis-salam) came up in the drawing three times, after which he threw himself into the sea. Allah commanded a huge fish to swallow Prophet Yunus (alaihis-salam) without hurting him or breaking his bones. Prophet Yunus (alaihis-salam) realized that he had made a mistake by leaving his town and its people without the permission of Allah. This was why he was now imprisoned in this strange way in the belly of a fish in the depths of the ocean.
Upon realizing his error, he repented sincerely to Allah, and called out to his Lord in the following words:
“La ila ha illa anta subhanaka inni kuntu minaz-zalimeen”
(There is no God but You, Glorified be You! Truly, I have been of the wrongdoers).
Allah was so pleased with his repentance that He brought Prophet Yunus (alaihis-salam) out from the darkness of the fish’s belly, and the fish threw Prophet Yunus (alaihis-salam) on a flat and plain shore. The supplication that Prophet Yunus (alaihis-salam) made was loved so much by Allah that it not only earned him his release, but is recorded in the Qur’an and was praised by the last of the Messengers, our Prophet Muhammad (sall-Allahu alaihi wasallam). This is one good example that shows the benefits of repentance (that is, apologizing to Allah about one’s mistake or error) by reciting the dua repetitively.
Sa’d ibn Waqas reported that our Prophet Muhammad (sall-Allahu alaihi wasallam) said,
“The supplication made by the Companion of the Fish (Prophet Yunus) in the belly of the fish was, ‘La ilaha illa anta, subhanaka, inni kuntu minaz-zalimeen (there is no god but You, You are far exalted and above all weaknesses, and I was indeed the wrongdoer). If any Muslim supplicates in these words, his supplication will be accepted.”
Three days later I came back to see the dentist. From the very moment I left home, I kept reciting the dua of Prophet Yunus (alaihis-salam) non-stop in my heart. I prayed this time the tooth will come out.
Masya-Allah! It took less than half an hour to extract the tooth, painlessly, compared to the first attempt of almost an hour or so.
“That’s how you do it!” the dentist smiled at me when everything was over. I tried to smile back, but it felt awkward with this bulging cheek of mine. In my heart, I kept saying thanks to Allah for making the task easy. Alhamdulillah.
It IS indeed a POWERFUL dua.
Now I am sharing this with all of you. If you are in pain, if you feel hurt, or if you are miserable, stressed up, sad, angry or disappointed, then recite this powerful dua and leave everything in God’s hands. SubhanAllah. He is the Almighty. He will listen to you. Insya-Allah.
Note: For picture and ayats, credits to IslamiCity and Asim Imam. JazakAllahu khairan kathira