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Wednesday, March 31, 2004  

On the Nature of Remembrance Remembrance of God is liberation from ignorance and forgetfulness through the permanent presence of the heart with the Truth. It has been said that it is the repetition of the Name of the Invoked by the heart and the tongue. It is alike whether it is God who is remembered, or one of His attributes, or one of His commandments, or one of His deeds, or whether one draws a conclusion based on any one of these. Remembering God may take the form of supplication to Him, or the remembrance of His Messengers, Prophets, saints or of anyone related to Him or close to Him in some way, or because of some deed, such as reciting the Qur’an, mentioning God’s Name, poetry, singing, a converstion, or a story. Therefore, the theologian is one who remembers God; the Muslim legal jurist is one who remembers God; the teacher is one who remembers God; the mufti is one who remembers God; and the preacher is one who remembers God. Anyone who meditates on the greatness and majesty and omnipotence of God Most High and on His signs in the heavens and the earth is one who remembers God. Whosoever observes what God has commanded and abstains from what God has forbidden is one who remembers God. Remembrance may be with the tongue, the heart, or the members of the body. It may be practiced secretly or openly; but whosoever combines all these forms has truly perfected it. Invoking with the tongue is remembrance of the letters of God’s Name without presence of mind. It is the ‘outward remembrance’, but it has great virtue as witnessed by the verses of the Qur’an, the sayings of the Prophet, and the remarks of others that have been handed down. It may be either restricted by time and place or unrestricted. That which is restricted is like the remembrance of God during and after the five daily prayers, the pilgrimage to Makkah, before sleep and after waking, before eating, upon riding a mount, in the morning and evening, and so forth. That which is unrestricted is not confined by time or place or moment or spiritual state. To this latter type of remembrance belongs the glorification of God, as in each of the following formulas: ‘Glory be to God!’ (subhana’llah) [12:108]; ‘Praise be to God!’ (al-hamdu li’llah) [1:2]; ‘There is no divinity but God’ (La ilaha illa’llah) [37:35]; ‘God is Most Great!’ (Allah Akbar) [takbir in the call to prayer]; and ‘There is no power or strength save in God, the Lofty, the Supreme’ (La hawla wa-la quwwata illa bi’llah al-‘Ali al-‘Azim) [from the Sunnah of the Prophet]. Then there is the remembrance which includes a supplication such as ‘Our Lord, condemn us not if we forget or err’ [2:286], or a personal entreaty, as well as the expression ‘O God, bless our master Muhammad’ [from the Sunnah of the Prophet]. This has greater effect on the heart of the novice than a remembrance that does not include an entreaty, because he who supplicates feels his heart close to the One whom he implores: remembrance touches his heart and envelops it with awe. Other unrestricted forms of remembering God include being vigilant as well as requests dealing with this world or the Hereafter. Vigilance is exemplified in such remarks of yours as ‘God is with me’, ‘God is looking at me’, ‘God sees me’; for there is within them a vigilant regard for the well-being of the heart. Truly, remembrance is used to strengthen one’s presence with God Most High, to maintain the proper conduct toward Him, to guard against heedlessness, as a refuge from the accursed devil, and to help foster the attentiveness of the heart during acts of worship. -Imam Ibn 'Ata'illah al-Iskandari, The Key to Salvation (Miftah al-Falah)



posted by SuFiSTiC | 3/31/2004 08:39:00 AM |
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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