Allah The Most High says which translates as: “So when you have finished the rites of Haj then remember Allah as you remember your forefathers yet even more in remembrance. But of mankind there are those who say O our Lord give us in this life and yet in the next life they will have nothing. And from them are those that say O Our Lord give us in this life good and in the next good and save us from the punishment of the hellfire. For them there will be an allotted share for what they have earned, and Allah is swift at reckoning” (Al-Baqarah: 200-202).
Every nation has something that makes them proud. Their pride stemming from their limited ideologies and achievements. They have no great message or high aspirations. They follow neither a great earthly message nor a message from the heavens.
The nation of the Arabs was from this type, gathering after the Haj in the marketplaces and social groups, to boast of their ancestors, and to claim greatness for themselves through their lineage.
Islam came and annulled these ideas, enlightened the intellect, and it brought them forth in a new manner. It took its followers upon a path of might which cannot be competed with, and directed them to unequalled majesty. It brought to them the Book, and revelation was revealed to them, so there was then for them a remembrance, Allah says which translates as: “We have revealed to you a book, in it is your remembrance, Won’t you then think?” (Al-Anbiya: 10). “And verily it is a reminder/ remembrance for you and your people, and you will be questioned concerning it” (Az-Zukhruf: 44). In this remembrance and this book they were give the scale: “O Mankind We have created you from a male and female and made you into many tribes and nations so as to know one another, verily the best of you with Allah is the most pious of you, Surely Allah is All-Knowledgeable All-Informed” (Al-Hujarat: 13). The measure of true dignity, honour and pride is remembrance, piety and one’s connection with Allah, - his occupying himself with remembrance, gratitude and righteous actions.
If this is the situation, then who has the biggest claim to remembrance and gratitude than the people of Islam? Those whom Allah has perfected for them his favour and completed for them his Deen, and placed it as a guardian and a seal over all of the religions. Allah says which translates as: “Remember Me, and I will remember you, give thanks to Me and do not be ungrateful” (Al-Baqarah: 152).
Our duty, we the people of Islam, is that we ponder the concept of remembrance, so that its meaning becomes clear to us, and that we may perhaps fulfill its right. Allah says which translates as: “So when you have finished the rites of Haj than remember Allah” (Al-Baqarah: 200).
Remembrance, O beloved brothers is encompassing, it cannot be constrained to certain areas, or placed in general precepts of statements and actions, ideas and beliefs. Remembrance is not an hour of calling out to your Lord; limited to the morning or the evening, in the mosque or in a Mihrab (niche), and after which, the servant travels about in all places of the earth heedlessly, doing as he wishes and acting as he pleases. The one alive with the remembrance of his Lord, who is truly practicing his Deen, realises that his Lord is watching him in every situation, wherever he may be. His path of actions and activities being in accordance with the commands of his Lord and his prohibitions, he acknowledges his human weakness, and therefore seeks the assistance of his Lord in everything that befalls and worries him.
Concerning this, Saeed bin Jubair (may Allah have mercy upon him) said: “Everyone who performs an action out of the obedience to Allah then he is one who remembers Allah the Most High”.
Ataa’ said: “The sittings of Remembrance are: Prayer, Fasting, Haj, the sittings of the lawful and the prohibited, buying, selling, marriage, and divorce”.
The Muslim who remembers Allah, - awakes and sleeps, sits and stands, leaves in the morning and returns in the evening, and in him there is a deep feeling that the beating of his heart, and the rotation of his eyes and the movement of his limbs, - all are in the grasp of Allah and under his control. In him there is a deep feeling of faith, that the coming of the night and the approach of the day, the breath of dawn and the setting of the twilight, the movements of creation and the orbits of the planets … all of that is by the power of Allah and through his decree. Allah says which translates as: “Those that remember their lord standing sitting and upon their sides, and ponder the creation of the heavens and the earth with the thought: Oh our lord not for and foolish purpose did you create all of this, Glory to you, grant us salvation from the punishment of the fire” (Aal-‘Imran: 191).
A man feels no true pleasure in life, nor tastes any true happiness except a man who loves Allah, is loved by Allah, and loves for the sake of Allah. Such a man’s heart is tranquil due to his remembrance of Allah. He is happy about the good, which occurs to the creation and feels their pains. He helps others in fulfilling their goals, while his tongue remembers Allah saying: “O Allah, never has a blessing come to me or anyone from your creation except that it is from you alone, You have no partners, You alone deserve all praise and gratitude” (Al Nisa’i, Ibn Hibban, Abu Dawood).
The angels of The Most Merciful glorify Him and yet feel no fatigue doing so, but man eats and sleeps, works and gets tired, but even with this; they are still in ‘competition’ with the angels. When they stand to perform their acts of worship and seek their sustenance, when they are planting and harvesting, toiling and struggling, in the name of Allah and from Allah and to Allah. The time mankind spends in these acts are equal to the time spent by the angels glorifying, praising and declaring the majesty of Allah. Why is this? Because they believed in their Lord and followed His Way, and realised His power and pondered over His Blessings, and recognised His Blessings of food, clothing, and housing, - the blessing of safety and security.
Those who remember Allah sincerely live for their Lord, praying, praising Him, struggling in His Cause, and acting for His Sake.
They have distanced themselves from the deceptions of this temporary life, and the attractions of this earth, and they have travelled on the path towards the pleasure of Allah, seeking His Face, remembering His Name at all times and in all situations. Allah says which translates as: “Say: verily my prayer and my sacrifice, my life and my death are for Allah the Lord of the worlds. He has no partner, and with this I have been ordered and I am the first of the Muslims” (Al-An’am: 162-163).
The situation comes to a point where their Lord boasts of them in front of his angels. Muslim narrates in his Sahih from the Hadith of Muaawiyah (may Allah be pleased with him) he said: that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) came out upon a circle of his companions and said: “What made you all sit here? They said: We sat to remember Allah and to praise him for his guiding us to Islam and the favor he showed upon us through that. He (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: I ask you in the name of Allah, nothing made you sit here except that? They said: Nothing except that. He (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) then said: As far as my questioning you and asking you in the name of Allah, then I did not do that out of contempt of you, But Jibreel had come to me and informed me that Allah the glorious and majestic boasts of you to the angels”.
As you know, this boasting of Allah to his angels about the pilgrims on the plain of Arafat, does not happen except by way of the remembrance, supplication and worship of the slaves to their Lord, and their good way of turning to Allah - the Lord of the Worlds.
The Muslim who remembers Allah, possessing a pure heart, submitting to Allah, and on the other hand he nobly toils, his feet dusty, and his hands straining in the arena of work, with no impatience nor weakness, with no humiliation nor pride, humbly working for Allah, and saying: “O Allah I seek refuge in you from incapacity, laziness, cowardice, decrepit old age, and stinginess. I seek refuge with you from the punishment of the grave and the trials of life and death”, and in the narration of Al-Bukhari “and the burden of debt, and the coercion of men” (as narrated by Anas and reported by Muslim).
Here is a practical glimpse of the day of a Muslim who remembers his Lord, - a Muslim who follows the authentic Sunnah of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam).
The Islamic day starts from the faint light of dawn, or a little before that, and it stretches the day’s length, turning through the late morning and afternoon, through the night and early morning, the Muslim awakes with the rise of dawn, starting his day with this supplication: “All praise to the one who gave my body health, and return to me my soul, and permitted me to remember him” (Reported by Tirmidhi as narrated by Abu Hurairah). “We have awaken upon the fitrah of Islam and the statement of sincerity and upon the Deen of Our Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and upon the way of our father Abraham turning to the oneness of Allah as a Muslim and he was not from those that commit shirk” (Ahmad, Tabarani).
During this, the veil of silence is torn, split by the beautiful sound of clear words and of pristine meanings and objectives, - the sound of the Mu’adhdhin calling to The Oneness of Allah and to success, in statements - all of which are remembrance, being repeated after him by the Muslims.
The Islamic day starts with footsteps of tranquillity and peace, to the mosque in the dark of the morning, so that the Muslim may stand devoted and fearful in front of his Lord five times a day; Allah says which translates as: “and establish the prayer for my remembrance” (Taa Haa: 14). “And establish the prayer verily Prayer prevents lewdness and evil and the remembrance of Allah is greater” (Al-Ankabut: 45).
This fearful Muslim says when leaving his home for the prayer: “O Allah place in my heart light, and in my sight light and in my hearing light and on my right side light and on my left light and over me light, and below me light and in front of me light and behind me light, and make this light great for me” (Bukhari, Muslim).
When his feet come closer to the mosque then he calls out with another remembrance, for the messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) has said: “when one of you enters the Masjid then he should send blessing upon the prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), then say: O Allah open for me the gates of your mercy. In addition, when he leaves he should say: O Allah I ask you from your blessings” (Muslim, Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah). On the authority of Haywah Ibn Shuraih who said: I met Uqbah Ibn Muslim and I said to him: I have heard that you have narrated a Hadith from Abdullah Ibn Amru Ibn Al-Aas from the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) that when he would enter the Masjid he would say: “I seek refuge with Allah the Great, and with His Glorious Face, and His Eternal Authority, from the accursed Satan. He said: Is that all? I said yes. He said: So when you say that Satan says: He has been protected from me for the rest of the day.” (Abu Dawood).
Brother Muslim, when you ponder all of this, you will realise the secret connection between neglecting prayers and following one’s desires.
This long Islamic day is mixed with supplications for eating and drinking, travelling and returning, sleeping and wakefulness, tiresome and difficult times, health and sickness, supplications for this life and its worries, debts and its payments, seeking ones sustenance, relationship with one’s family, and the righteousness of children.
Supplications, statements of praise, together with utilising the proper means and legislated efforts in this life, so that the Muslim can fulfil the duty of leadership as he should; Faith and practice, belief and method in apprehensive beginnings. Allah says which translates as: “Our Lord give us in this life good and in the next life good and save us from the punishment of the fire” (Al-Baqarah: 201).
We seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan: Allah says which translates as: “Those who believe and their hearts are tranquil from the remembrance of Allah, Is it not through the remembrance of Allah that the hearts feel tranquillity? Those that believed and did good deeds, paradise is for them and the best of Abodes” (Ar-Ra’d: 28-29).
Those who were ignorant of their Lord, and forgot the remembrance, became nothing but a destroyed people, acted with no guidance, and tumbled through this life being driven by desires, they plotted great plots and did not hope for a reward from Allah, What fruits have they picked? What have they gained? Look to those who have struggled from the mentally elite of the east and the geniuses of the west. They have extracted everything from the earth inwardly and outwardly, they have learned from the science of space whatever they have learned, but their efforts were directed to nothing but weapons of mass destruction, creating fear and terror in the future. The nations of the earth run behind them, seeking that which will just suffice then in this miserable life, this is the misfortune of being heedless of Allah, this is the consequence of those forgetting the remembrance of Allah, even if they were the most intelligent of people, and no matter how civilized and technologically advanced they are, as Allah says which translates as: “And he who rejects my remembrance then he will have a constricted life, and we will resurrect him on the day of Judgment blind” (Ta Ha: 124).
What will be the situation if all of these tiresome efforts and intensive struggles to achieve more provisions in our lives and secure for ourselves livelihood, were accompanied by etiquette with Allah, and a pure objective in seeking after his pleasure, and was accompanied with loving and desiring good for people? If this was to be, then that person would achieve the pleasure of this world and the success of the hereafter, and in the Hadith: Whoever had this life as his sole concern then Allah will disperse his affairs and place poverty right before his eyes, and nothing would come to him except that which is written for him, and whoever had the next life has his intention, Allah will gather for him his affairs, and place richness in his heart, and this life will come to him, falling upon (Ibn Majah, Tirmithi, Ibn Hibban).
So fear Allah – may he have mercy upon you - and fulfil the right of Allah and his remembrance.
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