Its meaning in the words of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam

Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (Radiallahu Anhu) narrated that, once, while in the company of Rasulullah (Radiallahu Anhu), he uttered the words ‘Laa Hawla walaa Quwwata Illa Billah’. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) enquired, “Do you know what is the meaning and explanation (tafseer) of these words?” He replied, “Allah and His Rasul know best.” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) explained, “there is no ability (in anyone) to abstain from disobeying Allah and sinning, except by the protection of Allah and there is no strength (in anyone) to obey Allah, except with the help of Allah.” (Musnadul Bazzaar, as quoted in Maj’mauz Zawaaid)

Moulana Abdul Ghani Phulpoori (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) has explained that although this statement is a jumlah-khabriyyah (a statement informing us of a certain matter), contained in these words is a jumlah-inshaaiyyah (in the form of a dua). We are therefore actually begging Allah, ‘O Allah, I ask You to grant me the ability to abstain from disobeying You and sinning by protecting me, and to grant me the strength to obey You by helping me’. (Condensed from Ma’rifate Ilaahiyyah)

Why was the request to be protected from sins brought first, followed by the request to become obedient?

Every sin results in the anger and wrath of Allah, whereas the ability to do good is only by the mercy and kindness of Allah (which cannot be attained if Allah is displeased). The causes for the wrath of Allah will have to be removed before His mercy can be acquired. (Condensed from Ma’rifate Ilaahiyyah)

Virtues of these words:

1) It is a treasure from the treasures of Jannah, (Sahihul Bukhari, Sahih Muslim) from beneath the Arsh (throne) of Allah (Mustadrak of Haakim), which is, in reality, the roof of Jannah.

Why has it been called a treasure of Jannah?

It has been called a treasure of Jannah for one of the following reasons:

  1. It is similar to a treasure, as it is extremely valuable and will acquire for one many benefits- especially in Jannah, but was unknown to the people, till Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) presented it to the ummah.
  2. It will change into the form of a treasure in Jannah and will belong to the reciter.
  3. It will accumulate for a person a treasure of wealth and luxuries in Jannah.
  4. It will acquire a treasure of great rewards in Jannah for its reciter.
  5. In these words, one has negated any ability and strength stemming from his own being and has attributed all such ability and strength to Allah’s protection and help, and is thereby seeking to attain this strength and ability from Allah Himself. He has therefore attached himself to those everlasting mercies of Allah which will protect him from sin and help him to obey Allah. Those mercies have here been called a treasure from the treasures of Jannah. These mercies of Allah will result in good actions (Al-Baaqiyaatus Saalihaat) which never come to an end, the rewards and fruits of which will remain with one in Jannah. (The first four reasons are mentioned in Mirqaatul Mafaateeh of Mulla Ali Qari and quoted in Kashkole Ma’rifat, and the last was mentioned by Moulana Abdul Ghani Phulpoori, as in Ma’rifate Ilaahiyyah)

2) It is a cure from 99 diseases, the lightest one being hamm (such grief, worry and depression which can melt a man-Mirqaat). (Al-Mu’jamul Awsat of Tabraani)

3) Ibrahim (alaihis salaam) told Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) on the night of Mi’raaj to tell the Ummah that they should increase their trees and plants in Jannah by reciting these words. (Musnad Ahmad, Sahih Ibn Hibbaan)

4) Allah replies to this statement by announcing (to the angels-Fathul Baari), My servant has handed over (all the matters and affairs of both the worlds to Me in totality) and has submitted himself (to Me, worshipping Me sincerely). (Mirqaat, commenting on a Hadith in Mishkat, Mustadrak of Haakim)


(This addition is found in a narration of Musnad Bazzaar and Al-Mu’jamus Sagheer, a narration of Al-Mu’jamul Awsat and a narration of Abdur Razzaaq in his Musannaf)

Since these additional words are also proven, it would be recommended to recite it as well. They mean ‘The Most Lofty, The Greatest’. By repeating these names of Allah, one realizes the lofty position and grandeur of Allah, and realizes how low and contemptible-despicable he is. Once one realizes this, he has acquired abdiyat (true servitude to Allah) and has humbled himself before Allah.

After realizing one’s own low and contemptible nature which is fit to do no good, one is here asking Allah’s help through these wonderful names of His to be protected from sin and to be blessed with strength to carry out good actions. (Condensed from Ma’rifate Ilaahiyyah pg.458)

Written by: Moulana Imraan Kajee

(To be continued in shaa Allah)