[Quran 2:201 ] “And among them are those who pray, “Our Lord, grant us in the world what is good, and in the Hereafter what is good, and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.”
The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) has said:
[Bukhari, Book #75, Hadith #398] Narrated Anas: The most frequent invocation of The Prophet was: “O Allah! Give to us in the world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the fire.”
[Muslim, Book #035, Hadith #6501] “Anas reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) visited a person from amongst the Muslims in order to inquire (about his health) who had grown feeble like the chicken. Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Did you supplicate for anything or beg of Him about that? He said: Yes. I used to utter (these words): Impose punishment upon me earlier in this world, what Thou art going to impose upon me in the Hereafter. Thereupon Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Hallowed be Allah, you have neither the power nor forbearance to take upon yourself (the burden of His Punishment). Why did you not say this: O Allah, grant us good in the world and good in the Hereafter, and save us from the torment of fire. He (the Holy Prophet) made this supplication (for him) and he was all right.
[Muslim, Book #035, Hadith #6506] “Qatada asked Anas which Supplication Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) frequently made. He said: The supplication that he (the Holy Prophet made very frequently is this:” O Allah, grant us the good in this world and the good in the Hereafter and save us from the torment of Hell-fire.” He (Qatada) said that whenever Anas had to supplicate he made this very supplication, and whenever he (intended) to make another supplication he (inserted) this very supplication in that.
[Tafsir ] Allah also criticizes those who only supplicate to Him about the affairs of this life, while ignoring the affairs of the Hereafter. Allah said: (But of mankind there are some who say: “Our Lord! Give us (Your bounties) in this world!” and for such there will be no portion in the Hereafter.) meaning, they have no share in the Hereafter. This criticism serves to discourage other people from imitating those mentioned.
Sa`id bin Jubayr said that Ibn `Abbas said, “Some bedouins used to come to the standing area (`Arafat) and supplicate saying, `O Allah! Make it a rainy year, a fertile year and a year of good child bearing.’ They would not mention any of the affairs of the Hereafter. Thus, Allah revealed about them: (But of mankind there are some who say: “Our Lord! Give us (Your bounties) in this world!” and for such there will be no portion in the Hereafter.)
The believers who came after them used to say: (Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire!”)
Next, Allah revealed: (For them there will be alloted a share for what they have earned. And Allah is swift at reckoning.)
Hence, Allah praised those who ask for the affairs of both this life and the Hereafter. He said: And of them there are some who say: “Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire!”)
The supplication mentioned and praised in the Ayah includes all good aspects of this life and seeks refuge from all types of evil. The good of this life concerns every material request of well-being, spacious dwelling, pleasing mates, sufficient provision, beneficial knowledge, good profession or deeds, comfortable means of transportation and good praise, all of which the scholars of Tafsir have mentioned regarding this subject. All of these are but a part of the good that is sought in this life. As for the good of the Hereafter, the best of this includes acquiring Paradise, which also means acquiring safety from the greatest horror at the gathering place. It also refers to being questioned lightly and the other favours in the Hereafter.
As for acquiring safety from the Fire, it includes being directed to what leads to this good end in this world, such as avoiding the prohibitions, sins of all kinds and doubtful matters.
Al-Qasim bin `Abdur-Rahman said, “Whoever is gifted with a grateful heart, a remembering tongue and a patient body, will have been endowed with a good deed in this life, a good deed in the Hereafter and saved from the torment of the Fire.”
This is why the Sunnah encourages reciting this Du`a’ (i.e., in the Ayah about gaining a good deed in this life and the Hereafter). Al-Bukhari reported that Anas bin Malik narrated that the Prophet used to say: (O Allah, our Lord! Give us that which is good in this life, that which is good in the Hereafter and save us from the torment of the Fire.)
Imam Ahmad reported that Anas said, “Allah’s Messenger visited a Muslim man who had become as weak as a sick small bird. Allah’s Messenger said to him, `Were you asking or supplicating to Allah about something’ He said, `Yes. I used to say: O Allah! Whatever punishment you saved for me in the Hereafter, give it to me in this life.’ Allah’s Messenger said: All praise is due to Allah! You cannot bear it -or stand it-. You should have said: (Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire!) The man began reciting this Du`a and he was cured.” Muslim also recorded it.