Defining Tadarra by translating it as ‘humiliation’ is rather an understatement; it’s more like being in a state of fear and knowing that there is no escape, except ‘Fleeing’ to Allah. It’s a forced humiliation in the midst of experiencing a desperate situation or calamity. Putting a few words together and translating a word of Arabic, is just not enough. Hence I decided to use Dr. Farhat Hashmi’s analogy along with my explanation, to give our readers a better understanding of Tadarra in our dua (supplication).
For instance, imagine we are sailing in a boat and encounter a heavy storm. All avenues of help are closed. Visualize our state; blockage from every angle, darkness all around us, strong winds from all sides, waves high as the CN Towers etc. Our hearts are totally shaken; our minds fast forwards our entire life within a fraction of few seconds. All the evil intentions and actions committed by us are reflected within our eyes; just like a movie. Questions of death leading to the hereafter, which is something, you & me are not ready for; flashing in front of our eyes like a ‘Shocking Fear’. There is a saying, “in a sinking ship there are no atheist”. So yes, at such a critical time, we realize that there is no option except one; the only one avenue open; Flee to Allah (God).
At this moment the ‘Dua’ (supplication) that comes out, “Ya Allah! Ya Allah! Only You can save us & if you save us, we shall show You total gratitude and prove to be totally obedient”. This kind of ‘Isterab’ (extreme desperation) which leads us to make this desperate call to Allah and immediately He answer’s it, is called Tadarra. So yes, our call was accepted and answered by our Lord. Our boat is back to the shore. We don’t know how but yet we are back to the shore. Just like a miracle. We realize that life has been given back to us and without a second thought we prostrate on the sand or wherever we maybe and ‘Thank Allah’.
Yes, there is no doubt that our response to Tadarra is quick and we do make this immediate prostration. If you think properly, you will notice the desperate expression in our ‘Shukr (thanks) & Gratitude is now missing. Just the act of prostration or lifting our hands towards the sky for a few seconds gives us this inner satisfaction that we have completed our duty. We over estimate our ‘thanks to Allah’ as we are now experiencing ease. Our intentions and actions do not display any further ‘Shukr & Gratefulness’. If we pondered, we would recollect that this kind of miracle is experienced by each one of us. Come on, recollect the time you must have been in a critical situation and you must have asked and begged Allah desperately with Tadarra for something. And once that supplication was answered by Allah, you took it easy. The gift was taken for granted, ignored and then unfortunately forgotten. Ease makes us forget the difficulty we had just experienced.
But remember that once in ‘ease’, it should not be taken that easily, so that you could always remain grateful.
“Verily with every difficulty; there is ease/relief” (surah Al Sharh).
For sure we all know that ‘Difficulty’ is a Test, but what Muslims fail to understand is that, ‘Ease’ is a greater Test. Here is where our Test gets greater and harder. Once that we have achieved our success and have come out of our difficulty; we are now satisfied but our action do not demonstrate gratitude. Ease is when all is shinny and glittering around us; are we still going to maintain our good deeds (conduct & character and all intentions and actions strictly for pleasing Allah) ?
“Indeed, we have made this earth glittering with adornment, so that WE may test them as to which of them is best in deeds.” (Surah Al-Kahf: 8)
.We must understand that Allah chose resources, to get us out from a state of difficulty. It could be a big wave that Allah could cause to bring you ashore. It’s a miracle but it’s not contrary to nature. We can see it happen but yet as a human we fail to be ‘Grateful’ for the resources gifted by Allah. Hence the process of ‘Gratefulness’ is incomplete. As said earlier that just prostrating or lifting our hands in supplication is not enough; it’s a long & continuous path of recognition and the implementation of actions demonstrated with honesty and humility. Gratefulness will not be recognized if not shown by actions. For example if you are not grateful to your parents, your teachers, your righteous companions or whoever Allah chose to protect you or bring ease and comfort to you; you can never be grateful to Allah. All recognition of gratefulness is seen through the conduct and actions of an individual.
Prophet (SAW) said: “Inna ashkaru an-naasi lillahi tabaaraka wa ta’aala ashkaruhum lin-naasi.”
“The most grateful people to Allah (SWT), are the most thankful/grateful to the others” (Ahmad)
“Laa yashkuru Allaha man laa yashkuru an-naasi.”
“Those who do not thank people (those who have no gratitude) do not thank Allah.” (Abu Dawood)
There’s a saying, “It’s no use having eyes, if our hearts are blind”; it’s such a shame that many of us have been given ‘eyes’ to witness miracles and the resources gifted by Allah(SWT); it’s just that our minds are blind for we fail to recognize the Mercies of Allah and hence fail in our tests.
May Allah (SWT) make all of us from those who are mindful and be grateful, whether in a state of Tadarra or in the state of ease.