On one occasion, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) held the hand of Sayyiduna Mu‘aaz bin Jabal (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and said to him, “O Mu‘aaz, By Allah, I certainly love you!” Upon hearing this loving and priceless statement from the blessed lips of the greatest creation of Allah Ta‘ala, Sayyiduna Mu‘aaz (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) responded, “May my parents be sacrificed for you, O Rasul of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)! I too have love for you.” Thereupon, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) offered some golden words of advice to Sayyiduna Mu‘aaz (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) saying, “I will give you some special advice, O Mu‘aaz! Never leave out reciting (this du‘aa) after every salaah:

اَللّٰهُمَّ أَعِنِّيْ عَلٰى ذِكْرِكَ وَشُكْرِكَ وَحُسْنِ عِبَادَتِكَ

‘O Allah! Assist me to remain in Your remembrance (and obedience), to express gratitude to You and to worship You in an excellent manner.’” (Sunan Abi Dawood #1522 and Musnad Ahmad # 22119)

After informing Sayyiduna Mu‘aaz (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) regarding the love he (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had for him and vice versa, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) taught Sayyiduna Mu‘aaz (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) a formula, in the form of a du‘aa, in order to maintain and perpetuate this love between them. (Mirqaat vol. 3, pg. 33)

Among the du‘aas that are most readily accepted are the du‘aas made after the fardh salaahs. In this du‘aa, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has taught us to seek the help of Allah Ta‘ala for a few aspects. We generally restrict seeking the help and assistance of Allah Ta‘ala to things related to this worldly life. Notwithstanding the fact that this is also great, however, more importantly we should be asking the help of Allah Ta‘ala with regard to our Deen and the Hereafter.

The first aspect for which we seek assistance from Allah Ta‘ala in this du‘aa is to remember Him. The fact that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is teaching us to seek Allah Ta‘ala’s assistance in this regard, highlights the importance of making zikr and remembering Allah Ta‘ala. The essence of zikr is to be totally obedient to Allah Ta‘ala. However, in order to always be obedient to Allah Ta‘ala, one has to be conscious of Him all the time. Hence, if a person loses consciousness of Allah Ta‘ala, he will fall into disobedience. In order to create this permanent consciousness of Allah Ta‘ala, the stepping stone is to verbally make zikr. When a person punctually practices on this, then even when he is not verbally remembering Allah Ta‘ala, his heart will be conscious of Him, and thus he will not disobey Allah Ta‘ala.

The second aspect for which we seek the help of Allah Ta‘ala is to be grateful to him. This quality is in fact linked to the first quality – zikr. If a person does not remember Allah Ta‘ala, how can he ever be grateful to Him? Furthermore, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has taught us to seek assistance to be truly grateful to Allah Ta‘ala since this is not a very easy quality to perfect, as Allah Ta‘ala mentions in the Quraan Majeed, “And very few of My servants are grateful.” (Surah Saba v13) Being grateful to Allah Ta‘ala is actually a great means of retaining the bounties we enjoy and of attracting many more bounties from the treasures of Allah Ta‘ala. (Sharhut Teebi vol. 3, pg. 1052)

The last aspect mentioned in this du‘aa is the ability to perform the ‘ibaadah of Allah Ta‘ala with excellence. With regard to worldly aspects, we are not content with the basic level. Rather, we are always looking to upgrade and get something better. In the very same way, we should be viewing the acts of ‘ibaadah with this quest of excellence. Whether it be our salaah, du‘aa, dealings with people, etc. since our entire life is ‘ibaadah.

Due to the comprehensive nature of this du‘aa, the commentators of hadeeth explain that this du‘aa encapsulates all the goodness of this world and the Hereafter. (Nailul Awtaar vol. 4, pg. 392)