Arabicإِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ
TransliterationInna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un
Meaning“Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.”
SourceQuran 2:156

“Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un” meaning

In lots of non-Arabic speaking countries, many Muslims doesn’t understand the language of the Quran (Arabic). Some of us know enough to only read the Holy Quran.

Related: Meaning of labaik allahuma labaik

Thus, we often recite certain verses and phrases without knowing exactly what they mean.

One clear example is “Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un”

You may be wondering what these words mean. And why should we as Muslims say it and under what circumstances?

As stated in the beginning, “Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un” means “Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.”

Under what circumstance should you say “Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un”

It is recommended to recite this verse whenever one is tested with hardship.

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un

Everybody on earth faces challenges, losses, trials, adversities, and hardships in one form or the other – sometimes through losses and sometimes through abundance.

If we fail to realize the why and wisdom behind such trials, we can commit such mistakes that not only leave us depressed and dejected in this world but also take away our success in the hereafter.

It is therefore very important to understand the wisdom behind trials and tests in Islam and how to respond to them in a befitting and appropriate manner.

As Muslims, it is expected of us to remain in a positive state of mind, whatever the circumstances. True believers are those who remain patient when troubles befall them. That’s called Sabr!

Allah Almighty said in the glorious Quran:

And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to As-Sabirin (the patient). Quran 2:155


Allah Almighty informs us that He tests and tries His servants, sometimes with bounty and sometimes with afflictions of fear and hanger. The important thing is when He said there is good news for those who are patient (As-Sabirin).

Beware: Some people think that tests only come in the form of hardships. Allah Almighty also tests us with ease. It’s often in the test of ease that we fail most.

However, hardship/suffering is also a very dangerous threat to our Eeman.

That’s why when in any bad situation, it is very important to comfort yourself with “Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un” and let Allah handle the rest by His grace.

Allah said in the Quran:

Who when afflicted with calamity, say “Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un” – “Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.”

Trials could be health-related, wealth-related, or it could be the life of our loved ones. Whenever calamities like these happen, don’t turn on your heels because you’ll lose out a lot in this world and the next. Never lose faith in Allah just because you’re hurt, rather accept the fact that He brought us to this world, He can do as He pleases, and to Him is our shall return.

True believers recite these words to console themselves in the face of their losses. Because they know that they belong to Allah and that He does what He wills with His servants. They also know that no deed, even if it was the weight of an atom, will be left out on the Day of resurrection.

These facts should give us all the strength to believe that we are Allah’s slaves and that to Allah will be our return.

Virtue of saying “Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un” during afflictions

… but give good tidings to As-Sabirin (the patient), Who when afflicted with calamity, say “Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un” – “Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.”

What are these good tidings Allah has for the Sabirin (the patient)?

There are several Hadiths that mention the reward of accepting the fact that we all will return back to Allah by saying “Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un” – “Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.” – when afflicted with adversity.

For instance, quoting from Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Imam Ahmad reported that Umm Salamah narrated:

Once, Abu Salamah came back after he was with Allah’s Messenger and said:

I heard Allah’s Messenger recite a statement that made me delighted.

He said:

No Muslim is struck with an affliction and then recite the Istirja (“Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un”) when the affliction strikes, and then says: ‘O Allah! Reward me for my loss and give me what is better than it,’ but Allah will do just that.

Umm Salamah said: So, I memorized these words.

When Abu Salamah died, I said the Istirja` and then said: “O Allah! Compensate me for my loss and give me what is better than it.”

I then thought about it and said, “Who is better than Abu Salamah?”

When my Iddah (the period of time before the widow or divorced woman can remarry) finished, Allah’s Messenger asked for permission to see me while I was dyeing a skin that I had. I washed my hands, gave him permission to enter and handed him a pillow, and he sat on it.

He then asked me for marriage and when he finished his speech, I said, “O Messenger of Allah! It is not because I do not want you, but I am very jealous and I fear that you might experience some wrong mannerism from me for which Allah would punish me. I am old and have children.”

He said:

As for the jealousy that you mentioned, Allah the Exalted will remove it from you. As for your being old as you mentioned, I have suffered what you have suffered. And for your having children, they are my children too.

She said, “I have surrendered to Allah’s Messenger.”

Allah’s Messenger married her and Umm Salamah said later,

“Allah compensated me with who is better than Abu Salamah: Allah’s Messenger.”

Sahih Muslim reported a shorter version of this Hadith.

In another hadith, Abu Sinan said:

“I buried my son Sinan and Abu Talhah Al-Khawlani was sitting on the rim of the grave. When I wanted to leave he took me by my hand and said:

‘Shall I not inform you of some good new O Abu Sinan!’

I said: ‘Of course.’

He said: ‘Ad-Dahhak bin Abdur-Rahman bin Arzab narrated to me, from Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari: “The Messenger of Allah said: ‘When a child of the slave (of Allah) died, Allah says to the angels: “Have you taken the fruits of his work.” They reply: “Yes.”

So He says: “What did My slave say?”

They reply: “He praised you and mentioned that to You is the return.”

So Allah says: “Build a house in Paradise for My slave, and name it ‘the house of praise.'”

Final Words

Allah created us into this world for a short while. Even if you manage to leave up to a hundred years, one day you will have to face death and return to your lord. Unlike this short worldly life, the life of the hereafter will never end.

Allah prepares us for the hereafter by testing our Eeman day in and day out.

Thus, calamities and disasters are nothing but tests which are also signs of Allah’s love for a person. Allah’s test and trials are like medicine – even though it tastes bitter, despite its taste you give it to heal the one whom you love.

In a Sahih hadith, it is said that:

“The greatest reward comes with the greatest trial. When Allah loves a people, He tests them. Whoever accepts that wins His pleasure but whoever is discontent with that earns His wrath.”

So, when you are tested with any hardship or discomfort, recite “Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un” to console yourself in the face of your calamities. Insha’Allah, with this state of faith, Allah will compensate you with something better.

And Allah knows best!