How many times have we heard this duaa in our lives: Rabbana aatina fid-dunya hasanah, wa fil-akhirati hasanah, wa qinaa athaban naar. Have we ever contemplated how complete this duaa is?
Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) says
Translation: And among the people is he who says, “our Lord, give us in this world,” and he will have in the Hereafter no share. But among them is he who says, “our Lord, give us in this world [that which is] good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.” [Suratul-Baqarah, verses 200-201]
These ayaat are in the part of Surahtul-Baqarah that addresses Hajj and its rites. In the first part of the ayah (“And among the people is he who says, “our Lord, give us in this world,” and he will have in the Hereafter no share.”) Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) says that there are people who remember only the dunya in their duaa, even when making duaa during Hajj. Why even at that time? When a person makes duaa, he focuses on what he wants, what is important to him, and what he thinks about the most. For these people–may Allah not make us from them–the dunya is their priority, and they think most about it wherever they are. This is the case whether they are performing tawaf or standing at ‘Arafat–they only think about attaining the dunya.
In the second part of the ayah, Allah explains that such a person will not have a share in the hereafter. Why? Because that is not what he was asking for. In the ayah, the Arabic word “Khalaaq” خَلاَقٍ means a portion or share which is given to someone because of his good character. Therefore, we also learn from this ayah that good character leads and opens doors to doing good deeds.
Then there is the other type of person, the one who says: “our Lord, give us in this world [that which is] good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.” What are the blessings he is asking for in this dunya? Rizq, offspring, wealth, a home, family, and good health. We live in this dunya, we have needs, and we are allowed to ask for them–the companions would even ask Allah for help when their shoelaces broke. So these people also ask for “hasanah” (good) in this world.
Then they say, “and good in the hereafter.” What is this good? Jannah, and all the steps that lead to Paradise. They ask for protection from the punishment of the grave. They ask that when the trumpet is blown on the Day of Judgment they are not among those who are terrified. They ask that their book will be given to them in their right hand. They ask that when their deeds are weighed, their good deeds will be heavier then their bad deeds. They ask that when they have to cross the Siraat, they cross it with ease and quickness. They ask to pass the Qantarah without any hardship. And finally, they ask to enter Jannah with ease
When we make this duaa, we should have all of these things in mind inshaAllah. And when will a person ask for these things? Only when he or she knows about them, and knows that they are the steps that we will go through in the akhirah. Knowledge of what we are asking for helps our duaas come from the heart; when a person knows what he is asking for, he is no longer merely repeating the words “hasanah” in the akhirah and “hasanah” in the dunya, he sincerely thinks about what the words include.
In the final part of the ayah, Allah says that these people will then ask for salvation from the hellfire. Why? Because they know what a severe torment and punishment it is.
It was reported from Anas ibn Malik (رضالله عنه) that Rasul Allah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) this du’aa the most [Saheeh Muslim, Book 35, Hadith 6705]. When Anas ibn Malik (رضالله عنه) would make duaa, he would include this duaa. Therefore, we, too should make this duaa as much as we can, and with the meaning in mind.
May Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) make us among those who will have good in this dunya, good in the hereafter and those saved from the torment of Hellfire. ameen
Al-Huda Institute Canada. Ta’leem Al-Qur’an Course for Women. Al-Huda Islamic Centre of Canada. Mississauga, Ontario. October 2007. <www.alhudainstitute.ca>
 “Whoever brings a good deed, will have better than its worth, and they will be safe from the terror on that Day. ” [Surah Naml, verse 89]
 “Then, as for him who will be given his Record in his right hand, He surely will receive an easy reckoning, And will return to his family in joy!” [Surah Al-Inshiqaq, verse 7-9]
 “And the weighing on that day (Day of Resurrection) will be the true (weighing). So as for those whose scale (of good deeds) will be heavy, they will be the successful” [Surah Al-A’raaf, verse 8]
 “There is not one of you but will pass over it (Hell): this is with your Lord, a Decree which must be accomplished. Then We shall save those who used to fear Allah and were dutiful to Him, And We shall leave the wrong-doers therein (humbled) to their knees (in Hell).” [Surah Maryam, verse 71-72]
 Abu Sa’eed al Khudree reports that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said, “when the believers cross the Hellfire, they will be stopped at a small arched bridge (Qantarah) before entering the paradise and will be given retribution for injustices between them until they become purified. (Then) they will be permitted to enter Jannah. So, by the One in whose hands is my soul, they will know their way to their homes in Jannah, better than they knews their ways to their homes in Dunya. (Saheeh Bukhari)