The Coolness of the Eyes

by Amalia


And those who say, “Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort (literally: coolness) to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.”

The Qur’an 25:74

This is a pray/du’a that is heard or said very frequently by many Muslims. I especially love the Arabic words for “the coolness to our eyes” in this verse, which is qurrota a’yun. There are a few number of people whose name is “qurrota aini”. I like that name so much because it has such a beautiful meaning: the comfort/joy of my eye. But my knowledge about this expression was limited to that. Little did I know/appreciate this powerful expression!

So, what does it exactly mean for our eyes to become cool?

The phrase “the coolness of the eyes” was actually originated from the pre-Islamic period. The Arabs used to use this expression among each other before the Qur’an was revealed, which was then used in the Qur’an. At that time, one of the worst curses that the Arabs could say against somebody else was by saying: may Allah make his eyes warm. In other words: may he suffer the worst kind of sorrow, sadness, and depression.

There are two meanings associated with “the eyes become cool”. The first meaning is: if your eyes become cool, then that means you shed the tears of joy — you’re so happy that you’re moved to tears. The second one is associated with finding refuge or safety.

So, going back to the context of the verse above, what does it actually imply if we ask God to make our spouse and children a mean for the coolness of our eyes? This implies that we ask Him to make our family a source of happiness and to make them our refuge to get away from the “storm” outside of our house. No matter how many problems we have, no matter how little money we get, our family is the safe havens where we find peace and joy. Our worries suddenly disappear when we see them. They are the coolness of our eyes.

This phrase is also used by the wife of Pharaoh, Asiya (RA). When she found Prophet Musa (AS), she said: “[He will be] a comfort of the eye for me and for you. Do not kill him; perhaps he may benefit us, or we may adopt him as a son.” (Qur’an 28:9). So basically, Prophet Musa (AS) was her escape from the evil Pharaoh. He brought coolness to her eyes. The fact that she said “a comfort of the eye for me and you” (instead of “us”) implies that she didn’t want to associate herself with her husband. She separated herself from him.

The same phrase is again used in the Qur’an in the same story, when Allah SWT reunited Prophet Musa (AS) with his mother for breast feeding. “So we restored him to his mother, that her eye might be comforted and not grieve…” (Qur’an 28:13). Her eyes became warm when she cast him into the river, but they become cool again upon the reunion.

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW was often heard saying: “The comfort of my eyes is placed inside shalaat (prayer)”. When he conversed with Allah SWT, his eyes became cool, he shed tears of joy, and regained his strength.This shows his profound love for shalaat — compare that to a mother losing her child and finding it again (in which Allah SWT said her eyes became cool). Prophet Muhammad SAW used the same expression — the same coolness of the eyes he found when he made shalaat. Has our shalaat been the comfort of our eyes?

Isn’t it amazing how we can learn so much from the Qur’an by having a deeper look and trying to understand the real meaning of only one phrase? Subhanallah. It’s such a powerful and beautiful expression!

Source: Nouman Ali Khan’s Khutbah (30 minutes). Yes, he only explained the deepness of this phrase in this khutbah!