It is recorded with Imam Aḥmad, Saḥīḥ ibn Hibbān and other than them on the authority of ʿAbdullāh ibn Masʿūd (raḍi Allāhu ͑anhū) that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ͑ alayhī wa-sallam) said,
‘No servant has ever said when met with sorrow, grief or worry, saying:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي عَبْدُكَ ابْنُ عَبْدِكَ ابْنُ أَمَتِكَ نَاصِيَتِي بِيَدِكَ، مَاض ٍ فِيَّ حُكْمُكَ، عَدْل ٌ فِيَّ قَضَاؤُكَ أَسْأَلُكَ بِكُلِّ اِسْمٍ هُوَ لَكَ سَمَّيْتَ بِه ِِ نَفْسَكَ أَوْ أَنْزَلْتَه ُُ فِي كِتَابِكَ، أَوْ عَلَّمْتَهُ~ُ أَحَدا ً مِنْ خَلْقِكَ أَوِ اسْتَأْثَرْتَ بِه ِِ فِي عِلْمِ الغَيْبِ عِنْدَكَ أَنْ تَجْعَلَ القُرْآنَ رَبِيْعَ قَلْبِي، وَنوْرَ صَدْرِي وَجَلَاءَ حُزْنِي وَذَهَابَ هَمِّي
O Allāh, I am Your servant, son of Your servant, son of Your maidservant, my forelock is in Your hand (i.e. You have total mastery over), Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just. I ask You by every name belonging to You which You named Yourself with, or revealed in Your Book, or You taught to any of Your creation, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the unseen with You, that You make the Qurʾān the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety.’
except that Allāh will remove his sadness grief and worry, and he will replace it with happiness.’ They (the Companions) said, ‘O Messenger of Allāh! It befits us that we learn these words.’ He said ‘Yes, it befits the one who hears them to learn them.’ [Musnad of Imām Aḥmad ]
These are great words, and it befits the Muslims to learn them, and he should be concerned with saying these words whenever he is hit or troubled by sadness worry or grief, and to know that with regard to these words, then the only time they will be beneficial for him is if he understands what these words mean, actualises the purpose behind the duaʿand acts upon the evidence and proof it shows. These lessons include:
1. Keep knocking
Imām al-Shāfiʿī (raḥimahullāh) mentions ‘Knock on the door of Allāh and soon it will open for you.’ Break yourself down, humble yourself before Allāh, and it is not difficult to do once you realise your dependent state in comparison to the Loftiness of Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta ͑ālá). And indeed, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, Allah is extremely generous. He would be shy, when a man raises his hands to Him, to turn them away empty and disappointed.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhī 3556]
2. Submit to the divine decree
Believe in the plan of Allāh, and whatever Allāh Wills will be and what He does not Will, will not be. He is the Just One, Who oversees His servants’ affairs justly. He is on the straight path in His words, His actions, His judgment, His destiny, His commandments, His prohibitions, His rewards and His punishment. His verses are truthful, His Judgment is correct, and His commandments are beneficial. He prohibited all that which is evil and mischievous. His reward descends upon those who deserve His mercy and grace. His punishment descends upon those who deserve torment by means of His Justice and wisdom.
Allāh (SWT) says ‘Whatever of mercy (i.e.of good), Allāh may grant to mankind, none can withhold it, and whatever He may withhold, none can grant it thereafter. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.’ [Sūrah Fāṭir: 35:2]
مَّا يَفْتَحِ اللَّـهُ لِلنَّاسِ مِن رَّحْمَةٍ فَلَا مُمْسِكَ لَهَا ۖ وَمَا يُمْسِكْ فَلَا مُرْسِلَ لَهُ مِن بَعْدِهِ ۚ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
Imam Ibn ul Qayyim explained: “I can’t act freely in that which You granted me, either my money or myself, except by Your orders. This is because no servant can behave freely except with his master’s permission. I can neither hurt nor benefit myself, and I possess no power (of causing) death, nor (of giving) life, nor of raising the dead.”
3. Revive your heart
In this dua, the word ‘spring’ of the heart likens it to “rain”, which brings life to earth. The Quran is compared to rain because it revives the hearts. The slave when making this Dua, makes a similarity between water, which is the cause of life, and between light, which is the cause of brightness. So the supplication implies that the heart is revived (elimination of worries and sorrow) by the spring of the Quran, for it is the light of the chest, a concept, which combines life and light.
Its also understood to mean the Spring seasons which comes after winter – a time of bitterness, cold – a time in which all of the plants and grass are dead, and the crops are barren.
The cure for despair is the Quran. To read it and reflect on it. To develop a personal relationship with it. To internalize the lessons from it. To remember that Noah gave dawah for 950 Years and yet was told to “Patiently persevere…” To remember that Abraham was thrown into a massive Fire, but didn’t give up. To remember that the Prophet Muhammad himself ﷺ was ridiculed and hated in society at one point, but he continued to change people’s hearts, one person at a time, because his own heart was rejuvenated with the Quran. What a beautiful way to describe the Quran – as the Springtime of our hearts and souls.
But the Prophet ﷺ didn’t stop there; instead he asked that Allah make the Quran the light of our chests. What is Light? It’s that which guides us. So now the Quran is not just providing us new life, but is guiding us along the Path as well. Most of us take the Quran as an academic Book – we don’t have a personal relationship with the Book of God. How many of us keep a journal of personal reflections on the Verses of the Quran that we read?
The Quran is transformative by its very nature. For example, the Prophet ﷺ was said to be more giving and generous during the month of Ramadan than in other months of the year, the very same month in which he was known to recite the Quran more often than others. Why? Because that recitation & reflection of Quran led to a change in his behavior. And ultimately, that’s what it will do for us: it will change our behavior with each other, with one another, and with our Lord.