This station is among the “Mawahib” (that which is bestowed upon an individual by Allah), not “Makasib” (that which is earned by an individual through their own effort). Allah SWT mentioned Sakeenah (tranquility) six times in the Qur’an:
1- Surat al Baqarah: 248 وَقَالَ لَهُمْ نَبِيُّهُمْ إِنَّ آيَةَ مُلْكِهِ أَن يَأْتِيَكُمُ التَّابُوتُ فِيهِ سَكِينَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَبَقِيَّةٌ مِّمَّا تَرَكَ آلُ مُوسَىٰ وَآلُ هَارُونَ تَحْمِلُهُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ ﴿٢٤٨﴾ And their prophet said to them, “Indeed, a sign of his kingship is that the chest will come to you in which is assurance from your Lord and a remnant of what the family of Moses and the family of Aaron had left, carried by the angels. Indeed in that is a sign for you, if you are believers.”
2- Surat At-Tawbah 26 & 40 ثُمَّ أَنزَلَ اللَّـهُ سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَىٰ رَسُولِهِ وَعَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَأَنزَلَ جُنُودًا لَّمْ تَرَوْهَا وَعَذَّبَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا ۚ وَذَٰلِكَ جَزَاءُ الْكَافِرِينَ ﴿٢٦ Then Allah sent down His tranquillity upon His Messenger and upon the believers and sent down soldiers angels whom you did not see and punished those who disbelieved. And that is the recompense of the disbelievers. إِلَّا تَنصُرُوهُ فَقَدْ نَصَرَهُ اللَّـهُ إِذْ أَخْرَجَهُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا ثَانِيَ اثْنَيْنِ إِذْ هُمَا فِي الْغَارِ إِذْ يَقُولُ لِصَاحِبِهِ لَا تَحْزَنْ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ مَعَنَا ۖ فَأَنزَلَ اللَّـهُ سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَيْهِ وَأَيَّدَهُ بِجُنُودٍ لَّمْ تَرَوْهَا وَجَعَلَ كَلِمَةَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا السُّفْلَىٰ ۗ وَكَلِمَةُ اللَّـهِ هِيَ الْعُلْيَا ۗ وَاللَّـهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ ﴿٤٠﴾ If you do not aid the Prophet – Allah has already aided him when those who disbelieved had driven him out [of Makkah] as one of two, when they were in the cave and he said to his companion, “Do not grieve; indeed Allah is with us.” And Allah sent down his tranquillity upon him and supported him with angels you did not see and made the word of those who disbelieved the lowest, while the word of Allah – that is the highest. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.
4, 5 & 6: Surat Al-Fat-h 4, 18 and 26 هُوَ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ السَّكِينَةَ فِي قُلُوبِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ لِيَزْدَادُوا إِيمَانًا مَّعَ إِيمَانِهِمْ ۗ وَلِلَّـهِ جُنُودُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّـهُ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا ﴿٤﴾ It is He who sent down tranquillity into the hearts of the believers that they would increase in faith along with their [present] faith. And to Allah belong the soldiers of the heavens and the earth, and ever is Allah Knowing and Wise. لَّقَدْ رَضِيَ اللَّـهُ عَنِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِذْ يُبَايِعُونَكَ تَحْتَ الشَّجَرَةِ فَعَلِمَ مَا فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ فَأَنزَلَ السَّكِينَةَ عَلَيْهِمْ وَأَثَابَهُمْ فَتْحًا قَرِيبًا ﴿١٨﴾ Certainly was Allah pleased with the believers when they pledged allegiance to you, [O Muhammad], under the tree, and He knew what was in their hearts, so He sent down tranquillity upon them and rewarded them with an imminent conquest إِذْ جَعَلَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فِي قُلُوبِهِمُ الْحَمِيَّةَ حَمِيَّةَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ فَأَنزَلَ اللَّـهُ سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَىٰ رَسُولِهِ وَعَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَأَلْزَمَهُمْ كَلِمَةَ التَّقْوَىٰ وَكَانُوا أَحَقَّ بِهَا وَأَهْلَهَا ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّـهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمًا ﴿٢٦﴾ When those who disbelieved had put into their hearts chauvinism – the chauvinism of the time of ignorance. But Allah sent down His tranquillity upon His Messenger and upon the believers and imposed upon them the word of righteousness, and they were more deserving of it and worthy of it. And ever is Allah, of all things, Knowing.
When matters got difficult for Imam Ibn Taymiyah, Rahimahullah, he would recite the verses of Sakeenah. I* too felt the great influence these verses had on my heart, upon reciting them when feeling anxious. Sakeenah is the tranquility and calmness of heart, the serenity which Allah bestows upon the heart when it is anxious and fearful; such that, it is no longer affected by these feelings, it is increased in Imaan (faith) and strengthened with certainty (Yaqin) and steadfastness (Thabat). Hence, we see that Allah SWT affirms in the Qur’an as bestowing Sakeenah upon His Prophet, SAW and the believers in times of worry and unease. Examples of this are, the Hijrah (migration) of the Prophet SAW when he and Abu Bakr RA were in the cave with the enemy standing directly above them, and had they looked down they would have been exposed. The same can also be noted in the battle of Hunyan and the treaty of Hudaibiyah. It is mentioned in the Sahihayn (Bukhari & Muslim) that when digging the trench during the Battle of al-Ahzab, the Rasool SAW was singing a poem written by ibn Rawaha RA:
اللهم لولا أنت ما اهتدينا ولا تصدقنا ولا صلينا فأنزلن سكينة علينا وثبت الأقدام إن لاقينا إن الأولى قد بغوا علينا وإن أرادوا فتنة أبينا O Allah! Without You we would not have been guided, Nor would we have offered in charity, nor prayed So please send sakina upon us And make our feet firm if we meet the enemy, As they have rebelled against us. And if they intend fitnah, then we would not flee. The Muhajirun and the Ansaar would reply to him (salalahu ‘alayhi wasalam): نحن الذين بايعوا محمدا على الجهاد ما بقينا أبدا We are those who have pledged to Muhammad On Jihad as long as we live.
——————————————– *Whenever the first person is used Madarijus-Salikeen it is to be understood that it is Imam Ibnul Qayyim RHA speaking about himself.