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Hidden Beauty in the Remembrance of Allah

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There’s a hidden world that awaits and welcomes those who continuously remember Allah under all conditions. The remembrance of Allah is an act of worship that is like no other for one can remember Allah wherever he may be and whatever he may be doing.

There are no particular rituals to follow, no prescribed times to engage in the remembrance of Allah and there are no specific places one should limit this noble deed to.

The rewards are immeasurable and the sense of satisfaction a person feels is indescribable.

IMAGINE a person stranded in the middle of the desert with no water for days. What condition would this person be in without such essential lifeline? He would be severely dehydrated and would die unless help instantaneously came to him.

Now imagine your heart and the condition it must be in from being deprived of its own lifeline; the remembrance of Allah.

As your body needs the consumption of food and drink in order to survive, your heart requires its own specific nourishments that cannot be prescribed by doctors nor found on supermarket shelves. Allah created human beings and created for them the means to fill their stomachs as well as their heart with beneficial sustenance. Most of us are aware of the rights of our bodies and how to look after them in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. We spend lots of money, time and energy in balancing our diets, toning our bodies and beautifying our outward appearance with whatever means we find suitable.

Despite many of us looking beautiful from the outside, most of us are unattractive on the inside for we have neglected to give our hearts their due rights. This is similar to seeing a beautiful house that is admired by onlookers, but if examined further, one finds that its inside is shabby, gloomy and foul and its inhabitants, dead. Indeed, beauty on the outside is hopeless without beauty without being accompanied by beauty from the inside. The heart therefore requires urgent attention; for fashion and health magazines do not give you tips on how to keep it in the best possible shape.

As Muslims we find that our hearts are in danger of ‘dying’ while we are still alive if we do not regularly engage in the remembrance of Allah. Consequently, this is what differentiates between those who are mindful of Allah and those who are heedless.

The Prophet (Salla’Allahu Alaihi Wasalam) said: ‘The similitude of the one who remembers his Lord and the one who does not remember Him, is like that of the living and the dead.’ (Al-Bukhari/Muslim)

We all know that one of the greatest forms of dhikr (emembrance) to be reciting the book of Allah. It is through this act of worship that a believer reaps the most rewards for he is reciting the words of Allah, the Almighty. Reciting the Quran has direct affect on the life of a believer, but for those who turn away from it, the punishments in both worlds are severe. Allah says:

{But whosever turns away from My remembrance, verily for him is a life narrowed down, and we shall raise him up blind on the Day of Judgement} (Qur’an, 20:124)

There are many ways one can remember Allah and we Muslims are familiar with most of them such as seeking forgiveness by saying ‘Astaghfurallahu’, ‘Astaghfurallahu Wa’atuubo ilayhi’ as well as statements of glorification including the following;

‘La Ilaaha ila Allaah’, ‘Subhanallah’, ‘Allahu Akbar’, ‘Alhamdulilah’, ‘Subhana Allahu wa bihamdih, subhana Allahu Al-Atheem’.

Most Muslims believe that we can remember Allah in specific places or at specific times like during the five daily prayers, but this very far from the truth. The remembrance of Allah, also referred to it as dhikr is a type of worship that one can engage in standing, sitting, lying down, walking, running, cooking or even working.

Imagine how many rewards you will earn daily if you remembered Allah and engaged in dhikr on your way to work, walking up or down the stairs, whilst driving, walking from one place at work to another etc? If you tried to experiment with this idea, you would find that your whole day is full of opportunities to remember Allah, glorify Him and seek His forgiveness.

{And remember your Lord inwardly, in all humility and awe, without raising your voice, in the mornings and in the evenings and be not of the heedless ones} (Qur’an, 7: 205)

What is beautiful about remembering Allah as a form of worship is that others might not be aware of the fact that you are engaged in dhikr; for you don’t have to say loud or make it what you are saying audible to others. You can even remember Allah within yourself without moving your tongue for this is also a form of dhikr. One might ask what the benefits of remembering Allah are or why they should compete for this noble act of worship. The benefits are many and they cannot be enumerated here, but know that whenever you remember Allah, you are one step closer to Him and the more neglectful you are, the further away you are from Allah.

The believer should always strive to remember Allah so he can be of those that Allah remembers in return. Our daily lives and commitments sometimes prevent us from engaging in this lofty worship, but we should discipline ourselves in order to be from those who remember Allah often. The Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah Be Upon Him) once said to his companions:

“The Mufarridun have gone ahead.” When asked “Who were Mufarridun?” He (peace be upon him) replied: “Those men and women who frequently celebrate the remembrance of Allah.” [Muslim]

One of the greatest physical benefits of remembering Allah is the peace and tranquillity one feels whenever he remembers Allah. Next time you read the Quran or occupy your tongue with dhikr, ask yourself if anything else makes you feel this way. No genre of music, movie or form of entertainment will ever settle your heart; for this is equivalent to giving a sick patient the wrong medication. When one engages in remembrance, his cure is accurate for he will find that nothing compares to the sweetness of remembering Allah. And If you forget to engage in this for a day and return to it, you will feel the physical sensation of being utterly at peace. This is supported by the verse in the Quran where Allah says:

{Those who believe and whose hearts find peace in the remembrance of Allah – for verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find peace} (Qur’an, 13:28)

Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah (May Allah have mercy on him) mentions in his famous book ‘Al-Waabil Al-Sayb’ over one hundred benefits for remembering Allah. Here are few most of us don’t know about and that can significantly change the quality of our lives and improve our connection with our creator, Allah.

1. It drives away shaytan(Satan), overpowers him and breaks him.

2. It pleases the Merciful.

3. It removes worry and grief from the heart.

4. It brings to the heart joy and happiness and expands it.

5. It strengthens the heart and the body.

6. It illuminates the face and the heart.

7. It’s a cause for provision/rizq.

8. It clothes one with awe, sweetness and light of beauty.

9. It causes one to attain the love that is the soul of Islam. So the one who wants attain the love of Allah should resort to His Remembrance. Therefore Remembrance is the door of love, and its lawmaker; the Greatest and its path; the strongest.

10.It will allow one to inherit companionship until they enter through the door of ‘ihsan’. So they will worship Allah as if they can see Him.

11. He will attain the ‘turn to Allah in repentance.’ So that returning to Allah in repentance will make Allah his protection and sanctuary.

12. He will attain the closeness of Allah. So depending on how much he remembers Allah, the closer he will be to Him. And the more neglectful he is of remembering Allah, the further he will be from Him.

13. It will open for him an enormous door from the doors of knowledge/awareness. So the more he remembers Allah, the more his/her knowledge will increase.

14. He will be in awe of His Lord due to his heart’s intense occupation with His remembrance and its presence with Allah.

15. He will attain Allah’s remembrance of him as Allah said: ‘So remember Me, I will remember you.’ – Quran, 2: 152

And if the only benefit for remembering Allah was only for the above reason (to be remembered by Allah in return), it would’ve been a sufficient favor and honor.

The Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah Be Upon Him) said that Allah Says: ‘I am as my slave thinks of Me. If he remembers Me within himself, I will remember him within myself, and if he remembers Me in an assembly, I will remember him in a better assembly’ ie; in the assembly of the angels. (Al-Bukhari/Muslim)

16. It causes life to the heart. ‘Remembrance is to the heart as water is to fish. So, how would the condition of the fish be if it were separated from water?

17. It is the strength of the heart and the soul.

18. It polishes the heart from its rustiness. And everything has rust, and the rust of the heart is heedlessness and desires. And its polish is remembrance and repentance and seeking forgiveness.

19. It discredits sins and gets rid of them. And goodness gets rid of evil deeds. {Verily, good deeds remove evil deeds} (Qur’an, 11:114)

20. It gets rid of the isolation between the slave and his Lord.

21. That which the slave remembers Allah with from saying ‘Subhanallah’ and ‘Alhamdulilah’ and ‘Allah Akbar’, it will cause him to be remembered during hardship by Allah.

22. If the slave is acquainted with Allah with His remembrance during times of comfort, Allah will be acquainted with him during hardships. And similar was reported that the obedient slave who remembers Allah, when hardship befalls him or asks Allah for a need, the angels say; ‘O Lord, a familiar voice from a familiar slave.’ And the one who is neglectful, they will say: O Lord, an unfamiliar voice from unfamiliar slave.’’

23. It is shelter from the punishment of Allah. It was reported that: ‘A human being has not done an act that shelters him more from the punishment of Allah than remembrance.’

{O you who believe. Remember Allah with much remembrance} (Qur’an, 33:41)

Lastly, keep in mind that remembering Allah is not something one should strive to do only during the month of Ramadan. Discipline yourself by engaging in small acts of remembrance and keep adding until you feel you have made this a standard part of your daily routine.

Don’t ever allow Satan to convince you that you do ‘enough’ remembrance or to underestimate the value of this elevated form of worship.

We can never remember Allah and glorify Him as He is rightly due, but we can try our best by being consistent and reminding others of its great rewards and benefits.

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