"Remember Me, I’ll
(M. Javed Naseem)
“But keep in remembrance the name of
your Lord and devote yourself to Him
Every living thing on this planet Earth and in the heavens, and in between (in the entire universe), glorifies Allah’s name as He is the Supreme Creator, Cherisher and Sustainer of the universe. He is the Mighty, the Wise.
“Whatever is in the heavens and on earth,
let it declare the Praises and Glory of Allah,
for He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.”
As a Creator, Allah has rights over us and as Creation, we have also some rights. It’s Allah right that we worship only Him, praise Him, obey Him and be faithfully grateful to Him for all the bounties we enjoy in this world. From His side, Allah gave us the right to seek provision and sustenance from Him and He gracefully and mercifully provides that. Therefore, we should do our part and in return Allah will do His.
As per one Hadith, the Prophet (s.a.w.) declared:
Narrated Muadh bin Jabal: “The Prophet said, O Muadh! Do you know what Allah's right upon His slaves is?"
I said, "Allah and His Apostle know best."
The Prophet said, "To worship Him (Allah) alone and to join none in worship with Him (Allah).
Do you know what their (believers’) right upon Him is?"
I replied, "Allah and His Apostle know best."
The Prophet said, "Not to punish them (if they worship Him alone)." – (Bukhari, Book 93, No. 470).
In the Holy Quran, Allah, the Most Merciful, has promised us:
“Then you remember Me;
I will remember you! Be grateful
to Me, and reject not Me!”
The equation is very plain and simple: Tit for tat. If we remember God every day, He will remember us every day. But if we ignore Him, then we have no right to complain that we are being ignored and our lives are turning miserable. He is the One Who saves us from all misery, troubles, misfortunes and eventually the Hellfire. We cannot count His favors.
“And call in remembrance the favor of Allah
unto you, and His covenant, which He ratified
with you, when you said: "We hear and we
obey". And fear Allah, for Allah knows
well the secrets of your hearts.”
Therefore, it is only fair and befitting that we remember the Creator the way it pleases Him. We have to discharge our obligations. We need to do our part before expecting God to do His.
“Except those who believe, work righteousness,
engage much in the remembrance of Allah, and
defend themselves only after they are unjustly
attacked. And soon will the unjust assailants know
what vicissitudes their affairs will take!”
It’s easy for God to do His part. The problem lies with us – humans. We have many excuses because we are not honestly and sincerely doing our duty to Allah. God gave us this life and we must keep Him in our lives. Without Him, we cannot function. So remembrance of Allah is essential for our survival on this earth. If you don’t know how to do that, here’s Allah’s command:
“And do you (O reader!) Bring your Lord to
remembrance in your (very) soul, with humility
and in reverence, without loudness in words,
in the mornings and evenings; and be not you
of those who are neglectful!”
“And hold fast, all together, by the rope which
Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided
among yourselves; and remember with gratitude
Allah's favor on you; for you were enemies and
He joined your hearts in love, so that by His
Grace, you became brethren; and you were on the
brink of the pit of Fire, and He saved you from it.
Thus does Allah make His Signs clear to you,
that you may be guided.”
That’s the way to remember the Lord. But note that there’s a warning also at the end of the first verse above. Allah commands us not to be ‘neglectful’. By the way, being neglectful is the first step towards obedience to the Devil and disobedience to Allah. When we start neglecting Allah, we end up totally ignoring Him. And that results in disobedience.
“So woe to the worshippers who are
neglectful of their prayers; those who
(want but) to be seen (of men), but
refuse even small kindnesses.”
The only creation that strays and falters, is the Humans and the Jinn. The reason is that Allah, the Almighty, has made this glorification and remembrance for us voluntary. We are the two creatures that have been given a choice, liberty and freedom of action. And that’s why we’ll face the accountability process on the Day of Judgment. We will be questioned about our choices. Allah has given us the choice to facilitate things for us but we abuse this facility by ignoring the commands of the Almighty altogether. We do that under Satan’s influence.
“O you who believe! When you meet a force,
be firm, and call Allah in remembrance much
(and often); that you may prosper!”
“Those who fear Allah, when a thought of evil
from Satan assaults them, bring Allah to
remembrance, when lo! They see (aright)!”
Right there Allah gave us the solution to our problem. When facing evil or Satan, remember Allah and you will be protected from harms of evil and assaults of the Devil. Remembrance of Allah works like a shield against all evils, seen or unseen. When you recite His name, the Devil runs away for shelter.
“Say: Who is the Lord and Sustainer of the
heavens and the earth?" Say: "(It is) Allah!
Say: Do you then take (for worship) protectors
other than Him, such as have no power either
for good or for harm to themselves? Say: Are
the blind equal with those who see? Or the
depths of darkness equal with light? Or do
they assign to Allah partners who have
created (anything) as He has created, so that
the creation seemed to them similar? Say:
Allah is the Creator of all things. He is
the One, the Supreme and Irresistible."
It is ironic that all holy books (the Torah, the Gospel, the Quran) are full of verses that remind us about the commandments of God, again and again, but man keeps ignoring them. We pay only lip-service to Him and God knows that. That’s why He reminds us in very clear words as to who is running the show and how are we supposed to appreciate that.
"Verily, I am Allah. There is no god but I.
So serve you Me (only), and establish regular
prayer for celebrating My praise.”
Narrated Abu Huraira: “The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not go to the extremes, but try to be near to perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded; and gain strength by worshipping in the mornings, the nights." (See Fath-ul-Bari, Page 102, Vol 1). – (Bukhari, Book 2, No. 38).
It’s really embarrassing that God has to tell us again and again that He is our Lord and we should celebrate His praise. Man is full of hypocrisy. When you ask him about his Creator, he would mention God (or Allah) right away. But when it comes to pay the due, he starts beating about the bush, looking for one excuse or the other. Then there are those shameless who don’t have any excuse. They try to rationalize and justify their sinful disobedience. They know very well that it was disobedience to Allah that got Satan (the Devil) expelled from Paradise. He was cursed and then destined for Hellfire. Allah warns the believers in the Holy Quran in different chapters with similar texts:
“Verily, this brotherhood of yours is a single
brotherhood, and I am your Lord and Cherisher.
Therefore, serve Me (and no other).”
(al-Quran 21:92 & 23:52)
God, the Almighty, is our Creator and we, as creation, should obey Him and pay thanks to Him for all the favors and blessings He bestows upon us. Remember your Lord and He will remember you! Be grateful to Him and don’t deny Him or reject Him, otherwise you’ll become the fuel of Hellfire!
"Not on earth nor in heaven will you be able
(fleeing) to frustrate (His Plan), nor have you,
besides Allah, any protector or helper.”
“Not so do those who show patience and
constancy, and work righteousness; for them
is forgiveness (of sins) and a great reward.”
There is a modern group of Unbelievers (or atheists) who deny the Divine Truth but are clever enough to copy the basic principles of equality and social justice of Islam and present them (even to the Muslims) as a “secular’ agenda! They are playing games to their own benefit. They cannot fool people who have the knowledge, they are fooling themselves. Allah is watching them as they are on trial too.
“He Who has created Death and Life, that
He may try which of you is best in deeds; and
He is the Exalted in Might, Oft-Forgiving”
“For Allah loves those who turn to Him
constantly and He loves those who keep
themselves pure and clean.”
Remembering God does not mean that we should occupy ourselves with singing His praises and hymns day and night. No, that’s not normal. He has sent us in this world and we are supposed to take care of our worldly affairs too. We should give due time and attention to our worldly business and family affairs, then take out some time to glorify the name of Allah (by praying, calling His good names, supplicating Him and doing some charity work for him). There are plenty of such opportunities for us every day, every night. If we sing praises of Allah, both by mouth and deeds, He would be pleased with us and would bless us more. He tells us very clearly what our problem is and how our hearts have turned hard:
“Has not the time arrived for the believers that
their hearts in all humility should engage in the
remembrance of Allah and of the Truth which has
been revealed (to them), and that they should not
become like those to whom was given Revelation
aforetime, but long ages passed over them and
their hearts grew hard? For many among them
are rebellious transgressors.”
“Those who are near to your Lord, disdain
not to do Him worship. They celebrate His
praises, and prostrate before Him.”
The best way to remember Allah is through prayer and meditation. Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) said that when a man prays, he whispers with God. Vow! What a beautiful description!
Prayer requires purity of body and mind. It requires honesty, sincerity, conviction, devotion and concentration. Prophet Jesus Christ says:
“… Yet no less does the man who goes to make
prayer and prepares not himself. He turns his back
to God and his face to Satan, and speaks well of him.
For in his heart is the love of iniquity, whereof he
has not repented. If one, having injured you, should
with his lips say to you, “Forgive me”, and with his
hands should strike you a blow, how would you
forgive him? Even so shall God have mercy on
those who with their lips say: “Lord! Have
mercy on us,” and with their heart love
iniquity and think on fresh sins.”
– Jesus Christ
(From the Gospel of Barnabas)
All believers are sinners too but Allah likes those sinners who repent and return to Allah and beg for His forgiveness. Most of us have shaky Faith as we are not steadfast in our belief and good deeds. But there are those who succeed through perseverance and patience. Allah helps them in guarding their prayers and remembrance of Him. They fear God about something else. They are afraid that their good deeds might not be sufficient to get them off the hook and protect them from the Hellfire.
“By men whom neither traffic nor merchandise
can divert from the remembrance of Allah, nor
from regular prayer, nor from the practice of
regular charity. Their (only) fear is for the Day
when hearts and eyes will be transformed
(in a world wholly new).”
(From my new book, "Remember Me, I'll Remember You!", available at Amazon.com)