In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Allah, the Almighty, is Perfect and inevitably Existent. He, Glory to Him, has the Beautiful Names and the Perfect Attributes. He is One, and there is no one comparable unto Him, whether in His Being, Acts, or Attributes. He is the Creator and Lord of all things. There is no god but Him. He can not be perceived by senses, and can not be compared with people. He is over everything; and nothing is over Him. There is nothing comparable unto Him, He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing. He is neither a substance nor an image; He is not limited, divisible, made of parts, perishable, or changeable. He is far above time and place. And He, All-High, is unlike whatever might occur to our minds or we can ever imagine.
He, All-Mighty, knows what was, what is, what will be, and what was not: if it were, how it would be. He knows secrets and what is yet more hidden. Everything is in need of Him for everything. He is Self-Sufficient, Perfect, and needs none. He is the Everlasting and Eternal. He is Self-Existent and is not in need of anything or anyone for His Existence. That is Allah, your Lord, the Creator of all things; there is no god but Him; then how you are deluded away from the Truth!
As for man, he is a weak creature who is in need of his Lord for every thing. His human body is in need of food and drink in order to subsist; his heart is in need to remember Allah and keep linked with Him in order to remain alive; and his mind is in need of knowledge in order to develop. The above-mentioned three kinds of needs are indispensable for man to maintain his existence, safety of his existence, perfection of his existence, and persistence of his existence.
Now, let us leave matters of man’s nutrition needs to scientists of nourishment and intllectual needs to religious clerics; and let us talk about the human heart and the nourishment thereof, explicitly Remembering Allah.
Narrated Imam Malik in his“Al-Mouatta”: The Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Shall I tell you of something that is the best of your deeds, the most virtuous one in the sight of your Lord, that which exalts you to the most sublime ranks (in Paradise), and that which is better for you than spending gold and silver (for the Cause of Allah) or meeting your enemies and striking their heads and they striking your heads [i.e. fighting against them (for the Cause of Allah)]?!” They said: “Yes, O Messenger of Allah!” He said: “Remembering Allah”.
By virtue of the above Prophetic Hadith, it is clear that Remembering Allah has a considerable significance in a believer’s life, particularly, as it is mentioned in more than three hundred Verses of the Holy Quran, which confirms that Remembering Allah must accompany man in all his affairs and conditions, because it is a real kind of worship that involves one’s heart, mind, and tongue.
To remember Allah, Most Gracious, means to Remember Him through His Cosmic and Quranic Signs, His apparent and hidden Graces, His Commandments and Prohibitions, to remind other fellow humans of Him by explaining to them His Beautiful Names and Attributes, to remember Him in your heart and in your tongue, to glorify Him, to praise Him, to profess His Oneness, to remember His Godhood, and obey Him, Alone, in all your situations and conditions, to remember Him so that your heart becomes peaceful, your distress vanishes, your breast is comfortable, your livelihood becomes felicitous, and so that He grants you victory over your enemies.
In fact, remembering Allah is mentioned in the holy Quran in ten ways, one of which is direct Command. To this effect, Allah, All-Mighty, says,
“O you who believe celebrate the praise of Allah, and do this often”
Another way is prohibition of being forgetful of Allah, Most Gracious. To this effect, Allah says:
“And be you not like those who forgot Allah; and, therefore, He made them forget their own selves! Such are the rebellious transgressors!”
In this context, some interpreters said: Their forgetfulness of Allah caused them to forget themselves in the sense that they did not know the reality of themselves, their mission in the present world, or the never-ending happiness which has been prepared for them if they obey Allah.
A third way of remembering Allah is to associate one’s success and prosperity in both abodes with constant remembrance of Allah, All-Mighty. To this effect, Allah, Most Gracious, says:
“and celebrate the Praises of Allah often (and without stint), that you may prosper.”
A fourth way is that Allah, Glory to Him, considers heedlessness of the rememberance of Allah a reason for man’s great loss. To this effect, He, All-Mighty, says
,“O you who believe! Let neither your riches nor your children divert you from the remembrance of Allah. If any (of you) act thus, the loss is their own.”
In other words, no Favor or Blerssing a true believer receives from his Lord is greater than when He, Most Gracious, remembers him as a reward for his remembering the Lord or reminding other fellow humans of Him. In this context, Allah, Praised and Glorified, says,
“Then remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me, and reject not Faith.”
In fact, Remembering Allah should be the ultimate goal of human beings and the essence of their worship and acts of obedience. That is why Allah, All-High, considers it the essence of man’s work and greater than any other kind of worship or act of devotion. To the same purport, Allah says:
“And reauthor (and teach) what has been revealed to you of the Book of your Lord: none can change His words, and none will you find as a refuge other than Him.”
Concerning Allah’s Words
“And Remembering Allah is greater.”,
exegetes hold that it embraces more than one significance. First, remembering Allah is greater than any other kind of worship or act of devotion. Second, it means that if you remember Allah in your prayer, He will remember you much more than you do. A third meaning is that remembering Allah safeguards man from committing sins or misdeeds.
Some exegetes, however, hold that remembering Allah is in fact the greatest thing in prayer. To this effect, Allah, Most Gracious, says,
“Verily, I am Allah; there is no god but I; so serve you Me (only), and establish regular prayer in order to remember Me.”
In general, Allah considers remembering Him as the spirit of good deeds; therefore, if they lack remebrance of Allah, good deeds are dead bodies with no spirit.
Furthermore, remembrance of Allah is the life for man’s heart. It is narrated in “Sahih Al-Boukhari” and “Sahih Muslim” that the Prophet (PBUH) said:
“The parable of someone who remembers his Lord and another who does not remember Him is the parable of a living and a dead person.”
And according to the narration of Muslim:
“The parable of a house in which Allah is remembered and a house in which Allah is not remembered is the parable of the living and the dead.”
In this context, some scholars said: Remembering Allah is as necessary for the human heart as water is for fish. In a Divine Qudsi Hadith, Allah, All-Mighty, says:
“I am as my servant thinks of me, if he remembers Me in himself, I remember him in Myself. If he remembers Me in a company of people, I remember him in a better company. If he comes near to Me a p of a hand, I come near to him a cubit. If he comes near to Me a cubit, I come near to him a fathom. If he comes to Me walking, I come to him running.”
Scholars hold that even if there were only the above Divine Hadith as the fruit of remembering Allah, it would suffice man in Honor and Grace.
Remembering Allah drives Satan away and suppresses him. It pleases the Most Merciful Allah and brings man nearer to Him. It removes distress and worry and brings happiness and joy. It strengthens man’s heart and body, brightens his face and enlightens his heart. It enlarges man’s provision and makes him better off. It enshrouds man with dignity, congeniality and gracefulness. It conduces to Allah’s Love, which is the spirit of the religion of Islam, the pillar of Faith and the pivot of man’s happiness and safery in both Abodes.
As afore-mentioned, remembering Allah repels Satan and over-power him. To this effect, Ibn Abbas narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Satan is (forever) sitting on man’s heart. No sooner is he (man) heedless and forgets (Allah) than he (Satan) whispers evil to him. But if he (man) remembers Allah, he (Satan) sneaks away.”
That is why Satan is called in Arabic “Al-Waswas Al-Khannas”, i.e “ the whisperer of evil, who withdraws and sneaks away when man remmbers Allah”. Mo’ath Ibn Jabal also narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Man never does anything that rescues him from Allah’s Punishment better than Remembering Allah, the Almighty.”
Occupying oneself with the remembrance of Allah keeps man away from futile talk like slander, backbiting, calumny, talebearing, idle talk, …ect. This is because man’s tongue is never at rest; it is either a heedful tongue that extols Allah’s Names and Attributes or a heedless tongue that gets indulged in vain talk. The same thing applies to man’s soul, which, if not filled with good, fills man’s life with evil, and man’s heart, which, if not filled with love for Allah, is filled with love for the perishable trivial mundane things, and also man’s tongue, which, if not involved in extolling Praises of Allah, utters vain meaningless things. In this context, Allah, All-High, says:
“The Believers must (eventually) prosper: Those who humble themselves in their Prayers, who avoid vain talk, who are active in deeds of Charity, and who abstain from (illegal) sex.”
One of the benefits of remembering Allah is that it is the only cure for hard-heartedness. This is because the more forgetful of Allah man is, the harder his heart is. Nothing can eliminate man’s hard-heartedness except remembering Allah. In other words, remembrance of Allah is a cure for man’s heart as much as heedlessness and forgetfulness of Allah is the source of its ailment and death. In this context, one of the scholars said: “Remembering Allah is a remedy, and remembering people is a disease.”
When we become sick, we seek remedy in remembering You;
But when we do not remember You, we relapse into sickness.
Moreover, remembering Allah is conducive to Allah’s Friendship and Protection as much as heedlessness and forgetfulness entail His Hatred and Enmity. In other words, the more man remembers his Lord, the more his Lord, Most Gracious, loves, befriends and protects him; and the more man is heedless and forgetful of his Lord, the more his Lord hates and antagonizes him. Nothing could ever make man more dested to Allah than his being heedless or forgetful of Him. Allah’s Favors and Blessings can be attained and His Anger and Punishment can be repelled by nothing better than remembering Him and glorifying His Beautiful Names and Attriubtes. This is because remembrance of Allah entails His Love and Grace and repels His Wrath and Punishment.
Furthermore, remembering Allah is the Paradise of this present world. One of the righteous scholars was quoted as saying: “There is a Paradise in this present world; whosoever does not enter it, he will never enter the Paradise of the Hereafter. Such Paradise is Remembering Allah.” Another scholar referred to such Paradise saying: “What can my enemies do to me. My Garden of Paradise is in my heart; wherever I go, it is with me. My imprisonment is devotional seclusion (for remembering Allah), killing me is martyrdom, and driving me away from my homeland is tourism.”
A third one said: “How miserable people of the present world are! They pass away from it without having tasted the most delicious thing therein.” And when he was asked: “What is the most delicious thing therein?”, he said: “Knowing Allah, the Almighty, loving Him, and remembering Him.”
One of the righteous men who used to constantly remember the Lord, Most Gracious, said:
“There come upon me times (of utmost happiness) wherein I say, “If people of Paradise enjoy such happy times, they will certainly be in a really happy life.”
It was also narrated that a righteous young man committed a sin, which hindered him from remembering Allah, the Almighty, because he was filled with sorrow and worry; and he sat waiting for Allah’s Punishment and Torment. He remained so for some time, but nothing happened to him. He turned to the Lord, saying, “O Lord! I disobeyed You, but You did not punish me!” The Lord, Most Gracious, inspired him, “O My slave! I punished you but you did you did not recognize that. Did I not deprive you of the pleasure of remembering and invoking Me?!”
Al-Hasan Al-Basri said: “Seek sweet happiness in three things: performing prayer, Remembering Allah, and reading the Holy Quran. If you find (delight in those three things), it is alright. But if you do not, it means that the door (to Allah’s Love and Mercy) is closed; so search for the reason.”
Remembering Allah is conducive to His Generous Donnation. This is because Allah, Most Generous, grants those who remember Him much more than those who ask Him. In a Divine Hadith narrated by Omar ibn Al-Khattab on authoritiy of the Prophet (PBUH), Allah said:
“Whosoever is distracted by My Remembrance from asking Me, I grant him more than that which I grant to those who ask.”
Remembering Allah also leads to Allah’s Mercy and, hence, tranquility and peacefulness of man’s heart. It was narrated in “Sahih Muslim” on authority of Abu Hourairah that the Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Whenever a group of people sit in a place where they remember Allah, angels surround them, mercy is made to overwhelm them, peacefulness comes down unto them, and Allah remembers them among those who are with Him. And whenever a group of people sit in a place where they do not remember Allah or ask Him to bestow His Blessings upon their Prophet, they suffer decrease of their good deeds on the Day of Judgment, and incur Allah’s Wrath and Punishment.”
‘A’isha (May Allah be pleased with her) narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said:
“On the Day of Judgment, man shall regret every hour during which he does not remember Allah.”
A good human model should be someone who is in constant rememberance of his Lord, All-Mighty, and is rightly guided by His Divine Revelation and Guidance. Those who are heedless and astray should by no means be followed or taken for good exemplars. To this effect, Allah, Most Gracious, says:
“Nor obey him whose heart We have permitted to neglect the remembrance of Us, one who follows his own desires, whose case has gone beyond all bounds.”
Remembrance of Allah breeds intimacy with Him and provides man with spiritual enhancement; therefore, it should be constantly observed. In this context, Allah says:
“O you who believe celebrate the praise of Allah, and do this often. And glorify Him morning and evening. He it is Who send Blessings on you, as do His angels, that He may bring you out from the depths of Darkness into Light; and He is Full of Mercy to the Believers. Their salutation, on the Day they meet Him, will be ‘Peace!’; and He has prepared for them a Generous Reward.”
Kinds of Remembrance:
To call out Allah’s Name, saying: “Allah, Allah ….” To this effect, Allah says:
“But keep in remembrance the name of your Lord.”
To glorify Him, saying: “Soubhana Allah” ( Glory is to Allah).
To praise Him, saying: “Alhamdu lillah” (Praise is to Allah).
To testify to His Oneness, saying: “la ilaha illallah” (There is no god but Allah).
To say: “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is Greatest).
In this issue, what is important is not the words and utterances in themselves but rather the meanings and intentions thereof; therefore, such words as “Glory is to Allah”, “Praise is to Allah”, “There is no god but Allah” and “Allah is Greatest”, as afore-mentioned, are “the things that endure of good deeds”, which Allah mentions in His Words:
“Wealth and sons are adornment of the life of this world; but the things that endure of good deeds, are best in the sight of your Lord, as rewards, and best as (the foundation for) hopes.”
When Allah, All-Wise, explicitly describes the above-mentioned supplications of glorification, praise, monotheism, and magnification as being the things that endure of good deeds, He, implicitly describes adornment of this present life as being ephemeral and perishable. In other words, this present life, as the Holy Prophet, (PBUH), confirms, is a temporary provision for both the pious and libertine. Moreover, the perishable vanities might well be conducive to man’s misery and perdition if they divert him from the remembrance of his Lord, Allah. To this purport, the Quranic Verse goes:
“O you who believe! Let neither your riches nor your children divert you from the remembrance of Allah. If any (of you) act thus, the loss is their own.”
Another kind of Remembrance is to beseech Allah for forgiveness. Allah, Most Merciful, says:
“Ask forgiveness from your Lord; for He is Oft-Forgiving. He will send rain to you in abundance, Give you increase in wealth and sons, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers (of flowing water).”
Another kind of Remembrance is to invoke Him, for invocation is the essence of worship. Allah, Most Gracious, says:
“When My slaves ask you concerning Me, (tell them that) I am indeed close (to them); I listen to the prayer of every supplicant when he calls upon Me; let them also, with a will, listen to My call, and believe in Me;that they may be rightly guided.”
Another kind of Remembrance is to remember His Bidding and Forbidding, His Good Promise and Threat, His Paradise and Hell, and His Laws and Legislations.
Another kind of Remembrance is to remember the good righteous deeds of those upon whom Allah has bestowed His Grace: Prophets, believers, martyrs, and righteous people, and to keep away from those whose portion is Allah’s Wrath, who go astray and cause sh3er to go astray, in order that your worship may be acceptable.
Another kind of Remembrance is to Remember Allah’s Quranic Verses. Allah, the Most Beneficent, says:
“Establish regular prayers – at the sun's decline till the darkness of the night, and the morning prayer and reading (of Quranic Verses);for the prayer and reading (of Quranic Verses) in the morning carry their testimony.”
Readers of the Quran never grieve; and those who learn the Holy Quran, Allah will let them enjoy healthy sober minds until they die.
Another kind of Remembrance is to remember Allah’s Cosmic Signs. In this context, Allah, Glory to Him, says,
“Verily, in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed Signs for men of understanding: Those who remember Allah (while they are) standing, sitting and lying down, and contemplate the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): ‘Our Lord! You have not created all this without purpose, glory to You! Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire!’”
He also says:
“Soon will We show them Our Signs in the (furthest) regions (of the earth), and in their own selves, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth. Is it not enough that your Lord does witness all things?”
Another kind of Remembrance is to remember Allah’s Acts and Cosmic Signs. He, All-Mighty, says:
“We will, without doubt, help Our Messengers and those who believe, (both) in this world's life and on the Day when the Witnesses will stand forth.”
One of the Cosmic Signs that bespeak Allah’s Infinite Divine Power and Might is the dynamic gravitation among planets and stars, which governs the whole universe, from atoms to galaxies. The sun, for example, gravitates the earth by a very great power, which makes the earth move in orbit round it. If the sun’s gravitation of the earth vanished, the earth would leave its orbit round the sun and go far astray in outer space, where there is nothing but darkness and cold. Consequently, life on earth would be impossible because the temperature would drop to absolute zero. In this context, Allah, Most Merciful, says:
“It is Allah Who sustains the heavens and the earth, lest they go astray; and if they should go astray, there is not one that could sustain them after Him; verily, He is Most Forbearing, Oft-Forgiving.”
If we supposedly desire to replace the power of the sun’s gravitation with ropes of steel by which we tie the earth to the sun, we need a million million ropes, the length of each is 156 million kilometers, and its diameter is 5 meters. Every one rope of these can bear more than 2 million tons of attraction power. Moreover, if we tied these ropes with the surface of the earth, we would become in a forest of steel ropes; and the distance between every two columns would be less than the diameter of a third column. This forest of ropes would eclipse the sun’s rays and deprive us from any movement or activity. All this power - the power of the sun’s gravitation to the earth - which is more than two million tons multiplied a million million times, is just in order to keep the earth in orbit round the sun three millimeters per second. Consider Allah’s Words:
“Allah is He Who raised the heavens without any pillars that you can see. Then, He firmly established Himself on the Throne; He has subjected the sun and the moon (to his Law); each one runs (its course) for a term appointed. He does dispose with all affairs and explain the Signs in detail that you may believe with certainty in the meeting with your Lord.”
The above verse means that there are pillars which we do not see. These invisible pillars are the power of gravitation, which govern the whole universe. Allah, All-Mighty, says:
“We shall show them Our Signs in the horizons and in their own selves, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth. Is it not enough that Your Lord does witness all things?”
He, Most Gracious, also says:
“Those truly fear Allah, from among His Servants, who have knowledge.”
The above-mentioned were Allah’s Signs in the horizons, but what about His Signs in man’s own self?
If someone suddenly meets a dangerous deadly insect, what happens? The image of this insect is imprinted on his retina in the form of a light-sensation that is transmitted to the brain in the form of a sensual conception. The brain orders the pituitary gland to deal with this danger according to its wisdom. This pituitary gland, which weighs less than half a gram, gives a hormone-order to the adrenal gland to provide the body with utmost readiness to encounter this danger. The adrenal gland, in turn, gives five orders: one order to the heart in order to hasten its beating; hence, the heart-beat of a frightened person increases. It gives a second order to the lungs in order that their palpitation be in harmony with the increase of the heart-beat. The third order which the adrenal gland gives is to the surrounding blood vessels to narrow in order that blood moves to the muscles instead of the skin; hence, the face of a frightened person becomes pale. It gives a fourth order to the liver in order to excrete an extra amount of sugar to the blood, because it is the fuel for muscles. Also, it gives a fifth order to increase the hormone of thrombosis in order to minimize bleeding. All such things take place in one single moment. Such is the Creation of Allah! Show me what sh3er have created! “And in your own selves, do you not see?”
Another kind of Remembering Allah is to remind people of their Lord, Most Gracious, to call for Him, making people aware of His Existence, Perfection, and Oneness, to teach them His Book, which guides people to the Right Path, to tell them about His Messenger, (PBUH), as well as the Prophetic Tradition and Biography, addressing their minds and hearts at the same time, and to be a good model for them. Allah says:
“A similar (favour have you already received) in that We have sent among you a Messenger of your own, showing you Our Signs, purifying you, and instructing you in Scripture, Wisdom and in new Knowledge.”
Dear Muslim brother! As you have been guided to Allah, strive to seek after guiding people to Him. Strive to be a rightly guided and guiding man. Strive to be a righteous reformer. This is the greatest kind of Remembering Allah. It is the work of Prophets, Messengers, true believers, monotheists, and sincere laborious scholars, who are the foremost in Faith and will be the foremost in the Gardens of Eternal Bliss in the Hereafter.
Imam An-Nawawi, may Allah have mercy on him, extended the meaning of Remembering Allah, saying:
“It should be known that the virtue of Remembering Allah is not confined to extolling Glories and Praises of Allah, Most Gracious, bearing witness to His Oneness, or the like. Nay, rather, every one who obeys Allah is someone who Remembers Him. In other words all acts of obedience reflect remembrance of Allah, Lord of all worlds.”
 - It was narrated by Imam Malik (1 \ 211), At-Termidhi (3374), Imam Ahamd, and Alhakem.
 - It was narrated by Al-Boukhari and Muslim.
 - It was narrated by Malik and At-Termidhi (3374).