La Ilaha Illa Anta Subhanaka
La ilaha illa anta, subhanaka. This phrase is an Arabic invocation and can be translated as “There is no god but You, glory be to You.” It is a supplication often associated with the story of the Prophet Jonah (Yunus) from Islamic tradition. According to the story, Jonah (peace be upon him) was swallowed by a whale after trying to flee from his mission, and while in the belly of the whale, he uttered this prayer. The phrase is a reminder of the oneness of God and is used as a supplication seeking forgiveness and expressing the humility of the individual before the greatness of God.
DUA LA ILAHA ILLA ANTA SUBHANAKA INNI KUNTU MINAZ ZALIMIN (AYAT E KAREEMA)
Wa alaikum assalam. Thank you for sharing the dua with me. I appreciate your kindness. Below is a rephrased version of the dua in more fluent English:
I would like to share with you a supplication that can provide relief during times of distress. It is a concise and straightforward dua that can be easily memorized within a few minutes.
This dua proved to be sufficient for Prophet Yunus (peace be upon him) when he found himself trapped alone in the darkness within the belly of a whale. The Quran recounts that his recitation of this dua alleviated his burden.
Prophet Yunus Dua
لَّآ إِلَٰهَ إِلَّآ أَنتَ سُبْحَٰنَكَ إِنِّى كُنتُ مِنَ ٱلظَّٰلِمِينَ
Transliteration: la ilaha illa anta subhanaka inni kuntu minaz-zalimin
English Meaning: There is no deity except You; exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.
The ayah you mentioned, commonly known as Ayat al-Kareema or Ayat al-Karim, is found in Surah Anbiya, verse 87.
The complete verse is as follows:
“And [mention] the man of the fish, when he went away angrily and thought that We would never decree [anything] upon him. And he called out within the darknesses, ‘There is no deity except You; exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.'”
Continuing from there, “So We responded to him and saved him from the distress. And thus do We save the believers.”
If you are familiar with the story of Prophet Yunus, you will know that he became disheartened by his people and decided, without Allah’s permission, to leave the city of Nineveh in search of a place where his message would be more readily accepted. This is why the Quran mentions “the man of the fish when he went away angrily and thought that We would never decree [anything] upon him.”
As a punishment, he was abandoned and cast off by the people aboard his ship, swallowed by a whale, and left in darkness. It was at this moment that he cried out, remembering Allah, praising Him, and acknowledging his own wrongdoing by saying, “Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.”
Upon witnessing Yunus’s genuine and sincere apology, Allah relieved him from his distress.
Significance of La Ilaha Illa Anta Subhanaka
The phrase “La ilaha illa anta, subhanaka” holds great significance in Islam. This concise dua encapsulates the essence of Tawheed, which is one of the fundamental beliefs in Islam. By reciting this dua, you consciously affirm that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, the Exalted. Additionally, you express humility by acknowledging your own faults and weaknesses.
Although I am unsure of the exact source, it is often mentioned that Hazrat Ali or another esteemed figure in Islamic history emphasized the importance of not taking lightly the gravest sin—a sin that a sinner does not consider serious. It serves as a reminder for us to constantly turn to Allah in repentance, utilizing every moment we have to seek His forgiveness. We all have room for improvement in making the most of our time. While some individuals may excel in this aspect more than others, it is a shared goal for us to minimize idle time.
Therefore, incorporating this powerful ayah into our diverse collection of supplications and remembrances (azkar) is essential. Additionally, the most profound form of remembrance (dhikr) is to recite the Quran while understanding its meanings. This practice allows us to deepen our connection with Allah and gain a deeper appreciation for His guidance and wisdom.