4 Ways to Remember Allah Throughout Our Life.
An attempt to set out the goal of the believer: Paradise, and the way to reach that ultimate goal.
How can we remember Allah throughout the normal course of our day without withdrawing from the routine of our daily worldly life?
How can we ensure that our personal life, family life, professional life and other activities all continue in full swing, and yet, at the same time, ensure that our life as a whole, every moment of it, is permeated with remembrance of Allah?
Such an all-pervading remembrance can be an onerous task, but one we can accomplish with some ease. Let me remind you of four states of consciousness that we must strive to develop by remembering certain things, absorbing them and reminding ourselves of them often.
1) Say to ourselves: “I am in Allah’s presence; He is watching me.”
If ever we are alone, He is the second and that if we are two, He is the third. He is with us wherever we are. He is nearer to us than our jugular vein. Allah is watching everything that we do and hearing everything that we say. He is ever present and His knowledge is all encompassing. Remind ourselves of this as often as we can, and throughout the day every time we begin a new task, and every time we speak.
Indeed, our aim should be to impress this on our heart in such a way that it ultimately becomes our very breath. When Rasulullah (SAW) was asked by a Companion (RA) about the best method of purifying himself, Rasulullah (SAW) replied: “You should always remember that Allah is with you wherever you are.” (At-Tirmidhi)
2) Say to ourselves. “Everything I have has been given to me by Allah.”
All that there is surrounding us, on us and in us comes from Allah alone. There is none that creates or gives anything but Allah. Therefore, reflect upon all the blessings that He has created us with and be thankful to Him. In all the sayings that Rasulullah (SAW) has taught us to remember Allah with, gratefulness to Allah is a constant theme. Many of these sayings are simple to learn, and indeed, it was the most simple of his sayings that he used most frequently.
When Rasulullah (SAW) rose in the morning, he would say “Alhamdulillah (Thanks to Allah)” whenever Rasulullah (SAW) ate or drank he would say “Alhamdulillah” and even when he relieved himself he would give thanks to Allah. Learn as many of the sayings as we can, and throughout the day, as we witness all that Allah has blessed us with, punctuate our day with these sayings. If ever we appear to be short of things to be thankful for, recall the hadith of Rasulullah (SAW): “There are 360 joints in the body and for each joint you must give a sadaqah (thanks or charity) each day.” (Al-Bukhari)
We must give charity for each one of them because without anyone of them we will be incomplete and handicapped. We must do this on a daily basis for should anyone of them become damaged one day, we will similarly become incapacitated. Additionally, we may remind ourselves that, as we now know from our knowledge of human physiology, our heart beats 72 times a minute. Every time it beats, it does so with the permission of Allah. The moment Allah withdraws that permission, the heart will stop beating and our life will certainly come to an end. If we feel that there is nothing else to thank Allah for, and then thank Allah for the life that He has given us for, so long as there is life, there is hope.
3) Say to ourselves: “Nothing in this world can happen without His permission.”
Everything lies in the hands of Allah. No harm can befall us and no benefit can reach us except as Allah ordains. Allah says:
وَإِن يَمۡسَسۡكَ ٱللَّهُ بِضُرٍّ۬ فَلَا ڪَاشِفَ لَهُ ۥۤ إِلَّا هُوَۖ وَإِن يَمۡسَسۡكَ بِخَيۡرٍ۬ فَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ قَدِيرٌ۬ (١٧) وَهُوَ ٱلۡقَاهِرُ فَوۡقَ عِبَادِهِۦۚ وَهُوَ ٱلۡحَكِيمُ ٱلۡخَبِيرُ (١٨)
“If Allah should touch you with misfortune, none can remove it but He; and if He should touch you with good fortune, He has power over all things. He alone holds sway over His creatures; He is the All- Wise, the All-Aware.” (Surah Al-An’am 6:17-18)
Rasulullah (SAW) would supplicate to Allah after each Prayer: “O Allah, whatever You want to give me, no one can stop it from coming to me and whatever You want to prevent from coming to me, nobody can give to me.” (Al-Bukhari)
Salaah after Salaah, we should recite these beautiful words. And beyond that, remind ourselves as much as we can and throughout the day, especially as we expect something to happen, or not to happen, that everything happens only as Allah commands, and by His permission.
4) Say to ourselves: “I am going to return to Allah one day and that day could be today.”
We do not know when we will leave this world. It may be that the coming morning is our last morning, or perhaps the coming evening is our last evening. Indeed, it may be that this hour is our last hour, or even, that this moment is our last moment. Such an uncertainty does not, of course, justify a complete withdrawal from this life so as to prepare for the next in some monastic fashion. It is important, however, that we are always conscious of this uncertainty, to the extent that it motivates us to spend every moment of our remaining life seriously, considering it as a gift from Allah and spending the resources He has blessed us with time, ability and energy as Allah has advised. Then, and only then, will our life have achieved what is required of it, and our return will achieve what is required of it. To help us attain this state of consciousness, recall and reflect upon the following Quraanic verse as much as we can and throughout the day
إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّآ إِلَيۡهِ رَٲجِعُونَ
“…From Allah we came and to Him we shall return.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:156)
These are the four states of consciousness that can help us achieve a life completely devoted to the remembrance of Allah. To try to reach these four states simultaneously, and with sincerity, can only purify us. To try in a determined fashion to reach these four states will lead us inevitably to Paradise.