“Innā li-llāhi wa-ʾinna ʾilayhi rājiʿūn” is also called istirja.
It is written in Arabic as: ( إنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ )
It means: “Surely to Allah we belong and to Him we will all return.“
When do we say Istirja, inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajiun?
Inna lillahiwa Inna ilayhi raji’un is not just said at the death of a person. Nabi sallalahu alaihe wa sallam used to say this whenever he suffered any hardship.
Saying Inna lillahi wa Inna ilayhi raji’un as Condolence at death of a Muslim
It is mustahab (desirable) to condole with the family of the dead in words like these; “May Allah forgive and have mercy on the dead! May He overlook his lapses! May he cause you all to endure the severe tragedy patiently and may He reward you all against this grief and affliction.”
Inna lillahi wa Inna ilayhi raji’un is also said whenever we suffer hardship.
Reference to saying Inna lillahiwa Inna ilayhi raji’un in face of any difficulty is seen in the hadith:
Sayyiduna Husayn ibn Ali radi allahu anhu narrated that the Prophet sallalahu alaihe wa sallam said,
a Muslim man or woman suffers a hardship and recalls it, even after a long period of time and says:(We belong to Allah and to Him is our return). Allah, Blessed and Exalted, renews a reward whenever it is said like the reward for it on the day he was afflicted(mishkat 1759)
وَعَنِ الْحُسَيْنِ بْنِ عَلِيٍّ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: «مَا مِنْ مُسْلِمٍ وَلَا مُسْلِمَةٍ يُصَابُ بِمُصِيبَةٍ فَيَذْكُرُهَا وَإِنْ طَالَ عَهْدُهَا فَيُحْدِثُ لِذَلِكَ اسْتِرْجَاعًا إِلَّا جَدَّدَ اللَّهُ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى لَهُ عِنْدَ ذَلِكَ فَأَعْطَاهُ مِثْلَ أَجْرِهَا يَوْمَ أُصِيبَ بِهَا» . رَوَاهُ أَحْمَدُ وَالْبَيْهَقِيُّ فِي شعب الْإِيمَان
We can say “Inna lillahi wa Inna ilayhi raji’un” even when our sandal breaks
Bayhaqi is shaubul iman says , also mentioned in Mishkat:
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «إِذَا انْقَطَعَ شِسْعُ أَحَدِكُمْ فَلْيَسْتَرْجِعْ فَإِنَّهُ مِنَ المصائب» . رَوَاهُ الْبَيْهَقِيّ فِي شعب الْإِيمَان
Abu Huraira reported God’s messenger as saying, “When the thong of someone’s sandal breaks he should say, ‘We belong to God and to Him do we return,’ for it is one of the calamities.”
Inna lillahi wa Inna ilayhi raji’un reference in Quran
ٱلَّذِينَ إِذَآ أَصَـٰبَتْهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالُوٓا۟ إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّآ إِلَيْهِ رَٰجِعُونَ
Who, when faced with a disaster, say, “Surely to Allah we belong and to Him we will ˹all˺ return.”(2:156)
‘Saying does not signify the mere making of a statement. It means a statement which is accompanied by a deep conviction in one’s heart: ‘To Allah do we belong.’ This being so, a man is bound to think that whatever has been sacrificed for God has in fact attained its legitimate end, for it has been spent in the way of the One to whom all things truly belong. And it is to Him that we are destined to return’ refers to the fact that man will not stay forever in this world and will return, sooner or later, to God.
Allah says in the next ayah: (2:157) Upon them will be the blessings and mercy of their Lord, and it is they who are rightly guided.
Inna lillahi wa Inna ilayhi raji’un reference from hadith
Hadith of Umm salama on Inna lillahi wa Inna ilayhi raji’un
Umar bin Abu Salamah narrated from his mother, Umm Salamah, that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:“When a calamity strikes one of you, then let him say: ‘Indeed, to Allah we belong and to Him we shall return. O Allah, I seek reward with You for my affliction, so reward me for it, and replace it for me with something better (Innā lillāhi wa innā ilaihi rāji`ūn, Allāhumma `indaka aḥtasibu muṣībatī fa’jurnī fīhā wa abdilnī minhā khair).’” When the time of death was near Abu Salamah, he said: ‘O Allah, replace me for my wife, with better than me.” So when he died, Umm Salamah said: “Indeed, to Allah we belong and to Him we shall return. I seek reward with Allah for my affliction, so reward me for it.”Jami` at-Tirmidhi 3511
إِنّا للهِ وَإِنَا إِلَـيْهِ راجِعـون ، اللهُـمِّ اْجُـرْني في مُصـيبَتي، وَاخْلُـفْ لي خَيْـراً مِنْـها
Innā lillāhi wa innā ilayhi rāji`ūn, Allāhumma-jurni fī muṣībatī wa ‘khluf lī khayran minhā.
We are from Allah and unto Him we return. O Allah take me out of my plight and bring to me after it something better.Hisn al-Muslim 154
Narrated Umm Salamah:The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) as saying: When one of you is afflicted with a calamity, he should say: “We belong to Allah, and to Him we do return.” O Allah, I expect reward from Thee from this affliction, so give me reward for it, and give me a better compensation. Sunan Abi Dawud 3119
It was narrated from Umm Salamah that Abu Salamah told her that he heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say:“There is no Muslim who is stricken with a calamity and reacts by saying as Allah has commanded: ‘Inna lillahi, wa inna ilayhi raji’un. Allahumma indaka ahtasabtu musibati, fajurni fiha, wa ‘awwidni minha (Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return. O Allah, with You I seek reward for my calamity, so reward me for it and compensate me),’ but Allah will reward him for that and compensate him with something better than it.” She said: “When Abu Salamah died, I remembered what he had told me from the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and I said: ‘Inna lillahi, wa inna ilayhi raji’un. Allahumma indaka ahtasabtu musibati, fajurni alaiha (Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return. O Allah, with You I seek reward for my calamity, so reward me for it).’ But when I wanted to say wa ‘awwidni minha (and compensate me with better), I said to myself: ‘How can I be compensated with something better than Abu Salamah?’ Then I said it, and Allah compensated me with Muhammad (ﷺ) and rewarded me for my calamity.”(Sunan Ibn Majah 1598 )