Remembrance is a significant function of human mind. Not only our normal working in a given environment but also a sound and fine basis of our good moral character demands an exceptional capability of remembrance. Moral standards are remembered and followed. That is how we grow into our real person. But remembrance has yet another dimension. We remember much whom we love and like. The vice versa is also true.
Our din (religion of Islam) lays great emphasis on love for Allah and the Holy Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). Allah has revealed in the holy Qur’an:
“(O Esteemed Messenger!) Say: ‘If your fathers (forefathers) and your sons (daughters) and your brothers (sisters) and your wives and your (other) kith and kin and the riches that you have earned (so hard) and the trade and business that you dread may decline and the homes you are very fond of are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger and struggling in His cause, then wait until Allah brings His command (of torment). Allah does not guide the disobedient.’”
At another occasion the holy Qur’an has described the believers as the resolute and most unfaltering lovers of Allah:
“And there are some among the people who take others apart from Allah as His partners and love them as it is due for Allah alone. But those who believe, they love Allah the most (far more intensely than anyone else).”
So, a strong relation of love with Allah and His Messenger forms the basis of our faith. When love overwhelms us we remember our beloved the most. Allah Himself gives us an example how one remembers whom one loves and ordains His servants to remember Him in the same fashion. He says:
“Then, when you have completed the ceremonies of Hajj (pilgrimage), then celebrate remembrance of Allah most earnestly, (at Mina), as you remember your fathers and forefathers (with great fondness) or remember (Allah) even with deeper intensity of fondness.”
Here, Allah has given us an example how we love our fathers and remember them intensely. As we love Allah the most we must therefore remember Him with proportional intensity. Thus the successive and frequent remembrance of Allah brings us the nearness of Allah and the station of true piety.
Allah has also revealed to us the truth that Satan is our open enemy. So it attempts the maximum to make us forget Allah and His Messenger (A):
“Satan has overpowered them so he has made them forget the remembrance of Allah; it is they who are Satan’s army. Know that indeed it is the party of Satan who are the losers.”
It is Satan and its army that are at work to cause us forgetfulness of Allah and His revealed path of love and remembrance. We therefore have to be on guard to keep watch against Satan and its tribe and ensure that we love Allah and His Messenger the most and remember them every moment as Allah has given us the command:
“O Believers! Keep remembering Allah excessively.”
We must keep in mind also the fact that after Satan was declared an outcast on denigrating the Prophet of Allah, the venerable Adam, he challenged that he would not miss any chance to mislead mankind taking them along behind him by catching hold of its nose-string:
“He said: ‘By your Honour, I shall turn all of them away from the straight path except those of Your servants who are most sincere to Your devotion.’”
That is how man has to face this challenge of Satan every moment in the life of this world which can be dealt with best by sticking tenaciously to the remembrance of Allah.
This is the significance of Allah’s remembrance for the believers stressed upon in the Prophetic traditions, a selection of which has been collected in this anthology.
Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri teaches us most effectively through his books and lectures how to face the Satanic challenge successfully by keeping our hearts immersed in the remembrance of Allah and His Holy Prophet. This collection of the Qur’anic verses and the Prophetic traditions manifests his transcendent spiritual vision on filling our hearts with the light of divine love. His eye is always on our hearts. His teachings remind us time and again:
“The Day when neither wealth nor sons will profit. But he alone (will be the gainer) who appears before the Presence of Allah with a clean and submissive heart.”
If I attempt to give the sum of his noble struggle in a few words, it is the most sincerely devoted effort to clean our hearts of all what endangers the love and remembrance of Allah and His Holy Messenger and make them submissive to the maximum. He is our spiritual master as well. Read any of his books and listen to any of his lecture cassette or CD, you will find him reaching our hearts most diligently to protect them from worldly temptations and imbuing them with the sacred light of love for Allah and His beloved Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace). Clearing and protecting our hearts is seen as the main concern of his life. This book has also accomplished the same task.
Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri does it in the tradition of the great saints like our spiritual master, supreme spiritual helper, the sovereign of all saints, the most venerable Shaykh ‘Abdul Qadir al-Gilani (may Allah be well pleased with him). He wrote a large number of books and preached his message with great eloquence and perfect command of language. His teachings too concentrate on the purification of hearts. He writes in Jila’ al-Khatir (the purification of the mind):
“O you who are dead at heart! Keep remembering your Lord (عزوجل), reciting His Book and the traditions of His Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) and attending sessions of remembrance. This will quicken your hearts as the earth is revived by the falling rain. When the heart becomes sound, remembrance becomes permanent within it and gets inscribed on its sides and all over it.”
In the like manner our spiritual master as-Sayyid ‘Ali al-Hujwiri (Allah be well pleased with him) writes in his famous book Kashf al-Mahjub:
“It is recorded that Abu Muhammad ‘Abdullah B. Khubayq has said: ‘Whoever desires to be living in his life, let him not admit covetousness to dwell in his heart,’ because the covetous man is dead in the toils of his covetousness, which is like a seal on his heart; and the sealed heart is dead. Blessed is the heart that dies to all save God and lives through God, inasmuch as God has made His praise (remembrance) the glory of men’s hearts, and covetousness their disgrace; and to this effect is the saying of Abdullah B. Khubayq: ‘God created men’s hearts to be the homes of His praise (remembrance) but they have become the homes of lust; and nothing can clear them of lust except an agitating fear or a restless love.’ Fear and love are the two pillars of faith.”
It so happens that when heart is inundated with the remembrance of Allah and the servant is lifted out of himself in the ecstasy of love, the divine bliss enters the blood stream and illumines every cell of the body with a glow. Imam Abu’l-Qasim al-Qushayri has recorded an incident in al-Risala al-Qushayriya (Sufi Book of Spiritual Ascent) illustrating this station of the rememberer of Allah:
“I heard Abu Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami say … that al-Jurayri said, “There was a man among my companions who was always chanting: God, God! One day a tree fell on his head and fractured his skull. Blood flowed, and it wrote upon the earth: God, God!”
All praises are for Allah (عزوجل). This collection of the Qur’anic verses and the Prophetic traditions on remembrance of Allah in your hand inspires us with a state of mind that brings us bountiful blessings of Allah.
Shaikh Abdul Aziz Dabbagh
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