< Thoughts & Readings


Sunday, March 21, 2004  

On the General Merit and Profit of Invocation, with an Illustration from the Qur'an, the Traditions, and the Narratives From the Qur'an: The general merit of invocation is testified to the Word of God: Remember Me, and I will remember you (Qur'an II:152). Thabit al-Bunani said, 'Verily I know when my Lord remembers me'. So the people became alarmed at him and asked, 'How do you know that?' He said, 'When I remember God, He remembers me'. God has said, Remember God often (Qur'an XXXIII:41), and When you rush together from 'Arafat in a crowd, remember God at the Holy Monument [al-mash'ar al-haram]; and remember Him as He has guided you (Qur'an II:198) and When you have completed your holy rites, remember God, as you remember your fathers, or more devoutly (Qur'an II:200) and ... those who remember God, standing, sitting, or lying down on your sides (Qur'an III:191) and When you have performed the ritual prayer [salat], remember God, standing, sitting, or lying down on your sides (Qur'an IV:103) [on which] Ibn 'Abbas (may God be pleased with him) commented, 'That is: [remember God] whether at night or during the day, whether traveling or remaining at home, whether in poverty or in riches, in sickness or in health, in private or in public' (Tabari, V. 154). Denouncing the hypocrites, God (Exalted is He!) has said, They remember God but seldom (Qur'an IV:142). And He has said, Remember your Lord, in your soul, with humility and fear, not with a loud voice, morning and evening. Be not among the heedless (Qur'an VII:205), Truly the remembrance of God is greater (Qur'an XXIX:45). Ibn 'Abbas (may God show him His mercy) said, 'This has two interpretations: one is that God's remembrance of you is greater than your remembrance of Him, and the other is that the remembrance of God is greater than any other act of worship' (Tabari, II. 93-4), etc. From the Traditions: The Emissary of God (may God bless him and grant him peace) said, 'An invoker of God among the heedless is like a green tree in the midst of dry stalk' (Abu Nu'aym, VI. 181). He said (may God bless him and grant him peace), 'An invoker of God among the heedless is like a fighter [for the sake of God] among deserters' (Abu Nu'aym, VI. 181). He said (may God bless him and grant him peace), 'God says, "I am with My servant so long as he invokes Me and his lips move for invoking Me"' (Bukhari, Tawhid, 43). He said, 'No act of a human being is so efficacious for deliverance from God's punishment as the invocation of God (Great and Glorious is He!)'. The people asked, 'O Emissary of God. Nor is the jihad for the sake of God so efficacious [as the invocation of God]?' He said, 'No, no jihad for the sake of God is so efficacious, except that you hit with your sword until it is intercepted and then you hit with is again until it is intercepted, and then you hit it until it is intercepted, [while remembering God]' (Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, V. 234; Tabarani, Kabir, XX. 166) He said (may God bless him and grant him peace), 'Let him who wishes to graze (yarta') in the pastures of the Garden invoke God constantly' (Tabarani, Kabir, XX. 157). On being asked, 'Which act is most meritorious?' the Emissary of God (may God bless him and grant him peace) said, '[It is] that you die while your tongue is moistened with the invocation of God (Great and Glorious is He!)' (Tabarani, Kabir, XX. 107). He said, 'Let your tongue be moistened with the invocation of God morning and evening, and then no fault will fall upon you' [Abu'l-Qasim al-Isfahani, al-Targhib wa'l-tarhib ('Iraqi, I. 265)]. He said (may God bless him and grant him peace), 'Truly the invocation of God (Great and Glorious is He!) morning and evening is more meritorious than breaking swords for the sake of God and giving wealth lavishly' (Daylami, III. 454). He said (may God bless him and grant him peace), 'God Blessed and Exalted is He!) says, "When My servant remembers me in his heart, I remember him in My heart. When he remembers me in company [with others], I remember him in an even better company. When he draws near Me a hand's breadth, I draw near to him an arm's length. When he draws near to Me an arm's length, I draw near to him a fathom. When he draws near to Me walking, I draw near to him running"' (Bukhari, Tawhid, 50; Muslim, Dhikr, 2) -- meaning by 'running' one's quickness of response. He said (may God bless him and grant him peace), 'God (Great and Glorious is He!) spreads His shade upon seven people on the Day when there is no shade but His (On the Day of Resurrection). Among them is a man who invoked God privately and whose eyes overflowed [with tears] from the fear of God' (Bukhari, Adhan, 36; Muslim, Zakat, 91). Abu'l-Darda' said, 'The Emissary of God (may God bless him and grant him peace) said, "Shall I not tell you about the best and purest of your works for your Lord, and the most exalted of them in your ranks, and the work which is better for you than giving silver and gold, and better for you than encountering your enemy, with you striking their necks and them striking your necks?" Thereupon the people said, "What is that, O Emissary of God?" He said, "The constant remembrance of God"' (Ibn Maja, Adab, 53; Ibn Hanbal, VI. 447). The Emissary of God said, 'God (Great and Glorious is He!) says, "He who is so occupied with the remembrance of Me that he does not make petition to Me, I will give him the best of what I give to suppliants"' [al-Bazzar, al-Musnad ('Iraqi, I. 266)]. From the Narratives: Al-Fudayl said, 'We are told that God says, "O My servant! Remember Me for an hour after the morning prayer [subh] and for an hour after the afternoon prayer ['asr], then I will preserve you [from sins] during the interval between the two"'. One of the learned said, 'God (Great and Glorious is He!) says, "Whoever a man may be, if I have examined his heart and found it dominated by the constant practice of remembrance of Me, I will manage his affairs and be his companion, his partner in conversation and his intimate friend"'. Al-Hasan said, 'Invocation is of two types: one is the invocation of God which takes place between your soul and Him. How good it is and how great its reward is! However, more meritorious than this is the invocation of God (Glorious is He!) on the occasions sanctified by Him'. It is related that every soul departs thirsty from this world except him who remembers God. Mu'adh ibn Jabal (may God be pleased with him) said, 'The people of Paradise never worry about anything except the time which they spent not remembering God'. But God (Exalted is He!) knows best. -Hujjatul Islam, Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, Invocations & Supplications (Kitab al-adhkar wa'l-da'awat); Book IX of The Revival of the Religious Sciences (Ihya' 'Ulum ad-Din)



posted by SuFiSTiC | 3/21/2004 03:13:00 PM |
As for him who fears to stand before his Lord and restrains the ego its desires, the Garden is shelter.
(The Snatchers:40)
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The Fire is surrounded by all kinds of desires and passions, while Paradise is surrounded by all kinds of disliked, undesirable things."
(Bukhari)
Whoever does good at night is rewarded during the day and whoever does good during the day is rewarded at night. Whoever is sincere in abandoning a desire is saved from catering to it. God is too noble to punish a heart that has abandoned a desire for His sake.
(Abu Sulayman ad-Darani)
Beware of your ego, and trust not its mischief;
The ego is worse than seventy devils.
(Arabic Poem)
Abu Bakar Balkhi
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I seek God's forgiveness, and do not claim that my intention in producing this Blog is confined to good religious purposes; how may I do so when I am aware of the hidden desires, egotistic passions, and worldly wishes that I harbour? I do not claim innocence for myself; the ego is indeed an inciter to evil, save when my Lord shows mercy; my Lord is indeed Forgiving, Merciful. O God! I seek Your protection against my committing idolatry [shirk] knowingly, and Your forgiveness for that of which I am not aware! I ask God to make me and all other believers benefit from this Blog and to render my production of it purely for the sake of His Noble Countenance.

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