Reflection No. 3:46 on Q 18:10 – Asking Allah for Rahmah
رَبَّنَا آتِنَا مِنْ لَدُنْكَ رَحْمَةً وَهَيِّئْ لَنَا مِنْ أَمْرِنَا رَشَدًا
Our Lord! Grant us mercy from You, and provide for us a right course in our affair.
Sura Kahf, verse 10
The above is the prayer of the companions of the cave who sought refuge from being persecuted for their belief in Tawheed. They first clarify that whatever they are asking is only from Him. They have despaired of everyone else and know that only God can grant what they want. They also want blessings that none can give except God. Even if people wanted to help them, which they didn’t, people are not able to grant blessing like mercy, guidance, success etc. These can only come from Allah. So the words ‘min ladunka’ mean we only want from You, and want that which only You can give.
They ask the Lord for Rahmah and Rushd, two blessings that will help them through the situation they were facing. They needed mercy to escape the King and his people who were looking for them, so they could take them back and punish them for their beliefs. They also needed to know how they could worship God without being persecuted, to know the right course to take for the situation they were in.
Ayatullah Tabatabai in Tafisr al Mizan says that Rushd is to get at the reality of a matter, to reach the right path. It is more general than the word guidance. When a human being realizes the right path, Rushd helps him reach it. It strengthens him so he can do what is necessary to acquire it, and prevents him from that which will be detrimental to his goal.
Sometimes human beings are confused on how to attain the right path. They know the path, but to reach it seems impossible. It can only be done with mercy granted by God, and an insight to understand how best to get there. This is what the Ashabe Kahf ask for in their prayer, teaching us that when overcome by obstacles that seem insurmountable, ask Allah for Rahmah and Rushd. These two gifts will show you how to reach your goal.
Tafsir al Mizan, Allamah Tabatabai