[Madaarij us-Saalikeen] The Station of Toma’aneenah (Tranquillity)

“O you the one in complete rest and satisfaction [toma’aneenah]!
Come back to your Rabb, well-pleased and well-pleasing unto Him!
Enter you, then, among My (honoured) slaves, and enter you My Paradise!”
[Al-Fajr 89:27-30]

Many of us have memorized these ayat by heart, but how far have we truly understood what they mean? A short reflection on these ayat has been posted, alhamdulillah. However in this particular post, we will focus on the writing of Ibn Al-Qayyim rahimahullah.

He rahimahullah wrote that [toma’aneenah] means tranquility. It is the satisfaction of the heart with whatever circumstances that befall a person, without any feeling of anxiety or restlessness. How can one attain such peace and tranquility? Allah s.w.t. says:

Those who believed,
and whose hearts find rest [toma’aneenah] in the remembrance of Allah,
verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest [toma’aneenah].
[Ar-Rad 13:28]

The only way we can truly attain such tranquility is by the remembrance of Allah s.w.t. Nothing else will cut it. There are two opinions regarding the meaning of this ayah, and the more sound opinion holds that the meaning of the remembrance of Allah is the Qu’ran – that only through the study, pondering, and deep understanding of the Qur’an will allow a person to attain toma’aneenah. This is because the heart can’t have toma’aneenah except by faith and certainty, and there are no means of attaining faith and certainty except through the Qur’an. The Qur’an is the means to attain certainty and firmness in faith, and to remove doubts. However, the benefit from the Qur’an will not be sound unless one’s heart perceives the reflections of His Rabb’s Names and Attributes, and His Laws, within himself and in everything around him within this universe. Those who refuses, Allah s.w.t. says:

And whosoever turns away blindly from the remembrance of Ar-Rahman,
We appoint for him a Shaitan to be an intimate companion to him.

[Az-Zukhruf 43:36]

Again, the sound opinion here is that Allah’s Remembrance is that which He sent to His Messenger sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam – i.e. the Qur’an. Whoever turns away from this, Allah will appoint a shaitan for him, who will misguide and deter him from the straight path even though the person may think that he is righteously guided.

But whosoever turns away from My Remembrance,
verily for him is a life of hardship
and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection.
[Ta-Ha 20:124]

This is why the one that turns away from it will say, “O my Rabb! Why have you raised me up blind while I had sight (before)?” [Ta-Ha 20:125] And Allah s.w.t. will respond by saying, “Like this, Our Ayat came unto you but you disregarded them, and so this Day you will be neglected.” [Ta-Ha 20:126]

Therefore, the believers who ponder on the Qur’an, who study the Qur’an, Allah s.w.t. will deposit toma’aneenah in their hearts and souls. It is these people with toma’aneenah whom Allah s.w.t. will grant the joy, the delight, and the good news of admission into Jannah, and to be with those with toma’aneenah. So we return to the ayat:

“O you the one in complete rest and satisfaction [toma’aneenah]!
Come back to your Rabb, well-pleased and well-pleasing unto Him!
Enter you, then, among My (honoured) slaves, and enter you My Paradise!”
[Al-Fajr 89:27-30]

The ayah “O you with toma’aneenah! Come back to your Rabb…” therefore indicates that the soul will not return to Allah unless it is characterized by toma’aneenah. Meaning, to be eligible to be one of the righteous souls that will receive such a call from his Rabb, one needs to attain toma’aneenah first in this dunya. And for these people, there will be great happiness and a beautiful place for their final return: they will return to their Rabb, the Most High, and they will be from among His honored slaves, and they will be allowed to enter His Paradise. May Allah s.w.t. make us and our loved ones one of them – Allahumma ameen!

After internalizing the above, there are three hard-hitting lessons that I wish to focus:

Lesson #1
Attaining toma’aneenah is only through the remembrance of Allah s.w.t. i.e. the Qur’an.
If you do not strive to attain toma’aneenah in this dunya, then do not have the wishful thinking you will be that righteous soul whom Allah s.w.t. calls: “O you with toma’aneenah! Come back to your Rabb…”
Do not have the wishful thinking of ever achieving such high status in the Sight of Allah s.w.t. and ever receiving this prominent invitation from your Rabb if you yourself refuse to give time to ponder and study the Qur’an.
And if you turn away and neglect the remembrance of Allah s.w.t. while you’re still alive, then be ready to be neglected on the Day of Resurrection.
This is the most hard-hitting lesson of all, and it is a strong reminder for myself foremost.

In order to attain such toma’aneenah, and all other benefits through studying the Qur’an, one of the essentials that a person must strive to learn is the Beautiful Names and Attributes of Allah s.w.t., and then apply this knowledge in our everyday lives – meaning, for example, it’s not sufficient for one to know that Allah s.w.t. is Ar-Razzaq (The Provider) yet abandons his prayers to chase sales and profits. This person has not truly understand and internalize this knowledge. This person will not be able to attain toma’aneenah, and will not be qualified as the righteous soul mentioned in the ayat above.

Lesson #3
Those who refuse to give time for the Qur’an, those who turn away from it, not only will he never attain toma’aneenah, and not only will he never be the righteous soul whom Allah s.w.t. calls out in His invitation, but Allah s.w.t. will also appoint a shaytan for him as his close companion in this dunya. He will think that he is rightly guided, he will think he is safe, yet the shaytan has already misguided and deterred him from the straight path. May Allah s.w.t. protect us and our loved ones from ever be misguided – Allahumma ameen.

The Benefits of Attaining Toma’aneenah in the Dunya

Ibn Al-Qayyim rahimahullah continued to write that toma’aneenah is more than tranquillity. It includes knowledge, faith and the attainment of what is known.

If the slave of Allah has toma’aneenah with Allah’s Commands, then he knows that Allah’s religion is the truth and that Allah will certainly support him and is sufficient for him and his family.

If the slave of Allah has toma’aneenah with Allah’s Decrees, then he knows that nothing will reach him except what Allah has already written for him. He knows that whatever Allah wishes will come to pass, and whatever Allah doesn’t wish will not not come to pass. Nothing will happen unless it is written, and if it is written, then nothing can stop it. Therefore, there should be no fear, worries, or concern for those with faith.

If an adversity occurs and the believer can do something, then he should do so. However, if he cannot, then he should not be annoyed or dismayed.

May Allah s.w.t. grant us all toma’aneenah.

Madaarij us-Saalikeen, by Ibn al-Qayyim rahimahullah