Bismillah ar-Rahmani ar-Raheem
A life of Remembrance
Allah commands us,
‘ Remember Me and I shall remember you. Be grateful unto Me and deny Me not’ (al-Baqara 2:152)
Those who remember Allah standing, sitting and reclining, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth are highly commended in the holy Quran. This act of us remembering Allah at all times is actually a reflection of Allah’s All embracing and overwhelming love for us. So inshAllah this tarbiyah, based on the book ‘In the Early Hours’ by Khurum Murad’, will highlight how we can make the most of ramadhan by living a life of remembrance, Dhikir.
Allah says in the Quran that fasting is ordained for us so that we might attain Taqwa, which is roughly God- Consciousness, and encompasses different aspects of being aware of Allah. Taqwa is the most basic prerequisite for being guided by Allah. It entails being conscious and ware, a sense of responsibility, accountability, dedication and awe of God. It is that which promotes and inspires us to fulfil our responsibility towards the Creator. Taqwa is the main criterion by which Allah values the deeds of a muslim, The Quran states :
Surely the noblest amongst you in the sight of God is the Most God Fearing of you [those with taqwa], Verily God is All Knowing and All Wise (Al-Hujurat 49: 13.)
We must strive to the utmost to inculcate taqwa in our lives as Allah has ordained:
Take provisions with you, but the best of provisions is taqwa. So remain conscious of Me, O you who are embowered with insight. (Al-Baqra 2: 197.)
Fasting teaches us to remember Allah. It helps to instill in us certain attributes and qualities which develop our taqwa.
What is the meaning of dhikir?
Dhirik must not only be felt by the heart and uttered with the tongue, but must also effect amal salih (good deeds). So what’s the significance of Dhikr? The importance of it lies in the fact that it is God’s own chosen and recommended mode by which the believer show gratitude for being guided. Dhikr is also the means by which we purify our hearts.
Ibn al Qayyim states that ‘the heart which is void of the remembrance of Allah is a heart that is dead’
In order to prevent our hearts from being dead we need dhikir to embrace every single aspect of our lives.
Methods of Dhikir and Benefits of Fasting that will help us in making this an outstanding Ramadhan:
we can achieve a sustained awareness of Allah by following the tips.
1)Reminding ourselves that we are in the presence of Allah and He is Watching over us! By reminding ourselves of Allah’s presence in our lives- every time we begin a new task or every time we speak etc we should become more aware of His presence in our lives thus allowing us to be in a constant state of remembrance.
2)Recognize that every thing you have is from Allah! By reflecting on the numerous blessings Allah has bestowed upon us we are able to be in that state of remembrance.
3)Knowing that nothing in this world can happen without His permission. This state of mind will allow us to acknowledge our total reliance in Allah.
4)Remembering that to Allah we belong and to Him we will return. As we do not know when we will die we should make this uncertainty a motivation to spend every moment doing good and drawing closer to Allah.
Fulfilling our Fard obligatory acts of worship
Those who think that prayers alone can work miracles are not living in a realistic world. Prayers are part of the effort but not the whole answer. If you pray ‘Oh Allah guide me and make me good’ it is not going to bring you any benefit unless you are also determined to become good and make an effort towards becoming good. We should view a life of remembrance in this way. It should encourage us to approach the religion in a comprehensive manner as Allah says in a hadith qudsi:
“My servant does not draw near to Me with anything more loved by Me than what I have made obligatory’ (Bukhari)
We should thus recognise that the acts of servitude have been ordained as an instrument to self development. That is, the salah prayed at the right times, with clear intention and sincerity, fasting in the month of ramadhan with awareness and resolve, giving zakat with a generous heart and fulfilling hajj. Indeed doing this will strengthen our relationship with the All Mighty.
Remembering Allah by Fasting
Ramadhan holds a unique status among all other forms of ibadah. A hadith of the Prophet (pbuh) says:
“every good deed of a man is granted manifold increase, ten to seven hundred times. But Allah says: Fasting is an exception; it is exclusively for Me, and I will reward for it as much as I wish. (Bukhair,Muslim)
Fasting thus is a fulfilment of Allah’s Wishes one He will reward as He wishes. For us therefore, we readily and joyfully sacrificed the basic physical needs- food, water and sleep as the measures of comfort and pain, success and failure are radically changed. SubhanAllah at the beauty of Ramadhan.
Fasting strengthens our will power it becomes a shield for us. A man can no longer remain a slave to his own self-indulgence as he prepares for the difficult but rewarding journey to His Lord. Thus living a life of remembrance is about training ourselves to live lives of total and unreserved submission to Allah.
Protection from the Shaytan:
Whilst fasting the eyes should refrain from seeing evil, the ears from hearing evil, tongues from speaking evil and hearts from reflecting evil. Refraining from lying, backbiting, scandal-mongering, perjury, and a lustful gaze’ all of which could break your fast should aid us in living a life of remembrance.
We have at our disposal all the tools necessary to live a life of remembrance. We have ample opportunity to do good. It is in those moments of idleness that we should seek to utilize our time by hastening to our Salah, increasing in our dua, reading the quran etc all these acts of remembrance should be sought in light of seeking Allah’s Pleasure and Jana (Paradise).
I ask Allah to help us live a life of Remembrance, may we leave ramadhan with an attentive heart and a tongue moist with dhikrullah (the remembrance of Allah).