The Path to Happiness & Inner Peace: Remembering God: Your Way to a Happy Life (Part 1)

Adam's story Quran

Allah, the Almighty, is perfect and inevitably existent.

He, Glory to Him, has the Beautiful Names and the Perfect Attributes.

He is One, and there is no one comparable unto Him, whether in His Being, Acts, or Attributes.

He is the Creator and Lord of all things. There is no god but Him.

He cannot be perceived by senses, and cannot be compared with people. He is over everything; and nothing is over Him. There is nothing comparable unto Him; He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.

He is neither a substance nor an image; He is not limited, divisible, made of parts, perishable, or changeable. He is far above time and place. And He, All-High, is unlike whatever might occur to our minds or we can ever imagine.

God knows what was, what is, what will be, and what was not: if it were, how it would be. He knows secrets and what is yet more hidden.

Everything is in need of Him for everything. He is Self-Sufficient, Perfect, and needs none. He is the Everlasting and Eternal. He is Self-Existent and is not in need of anything or anyone for His Existence.

That is God, your Lord, the Creator of all things; there is no god but Him; then how you are deluded away from the truth!

As for man, he is a weak creature who is in need of his Lord for everything. His human body is in need of food and drink in order to subsist; his heart is in need to remember Allah and keep linked with Him in order to remain alive; and his mind is in need of knowledge in order to develop.

The above-mentioned three kinds of needs are indispensable for man to maintain his existence, safety of his existence, perfection of his existence, and persistence of his existence.

Now, let us leave matters of man’s nutrition needs to scientists of nourishment and intellectual needs to religious clerics; and let us talk about the human heart and the nourishment thereof, explicitly Remembering Allah.

“Shall I tell you of something that is the best of your deeds, the most virtuous one in the sight of your Lord, that which exalts you to the most sublime ranks (in Paradise), and that which is better for you than spending gold and silver (for the Cause of Allah) or meeting your enemies and striking their heads and they striking your heads [i.e. fighting against them (for the Cause of Allah)]?!” They said: “Yes, O Messenger of Allah!” He said: “Remembering Allah”. (At-Tirmidhi, 3377)

By virtue of the above Prophetic hadith, it is clear that remembering Allah has a considerable significance in a believer’s life, particularly, as it is mentioned in more than three hundred verses of the Holy Quran, which confirms that remembering Allah must accompany man in all his affairs and conditions, because it is a real kind of worship that involves one’s heart, mind, and tongue.

To remember Allah, Most Gracious, means to remember Him through His cosmic and Quranic signs, His apparent and hidden graces, His commandments and prohibitions, to remind other fellow humans of Him by explaining to them His beautiful Names and Attributes, to remember Him in your heart and in your tongue, to glorify Him, to praise Him, to profess His oneness, to remember His Godhood, and obey Him, alone, in all your situations and conditions, to remember Him so that your heart becomes peaceful, your distress vanishes, your breast is comfortable, your livelihood becomes felicitous, and so that He grants you victory over your enemies.

Way to God

In fact, remembering God is mentioned in the Quran in ten ways, one of which is direct Command:

{O you who believe celebrate the praise of Allah, and do this often.} (33: 41)

Another way is prohibition of being forgetful of God:

{And be you not like those who forgot Allah; and, therefore, He made them forget their own selves! Such are the rebellious transgressors!} (59: 19)

In this context, some interpreters said: Their forgetfulness of Allah caused them to forget themselves in the sense that they did not know the reality of themselves, their mission in the present world, or the never-ending happiness which has been prepared for them if they obey Allah.

A third way of remembering Allah is to associate one’s success and prosperity in both abodes with constant remembrance of God:

{And celebrate the Praises of Allah often (and without stint), that you may prosper.} (62: 10)

A fourth way is that Allah, Glory to Him, considers heedlessness of the remembrance of Allah a reason for man’s great loss. To this effect, He says:

{O you who believe! Let neither your riches nor your children divert you from the remembrance of Allah. If any (of you) act thus, the loss is their own.} (63: 9)

In other words, no favor or blessing a true believer receives from his Lord is greater than when He, Most Gracious, remembers him as a reward for his remembering the Lord or reminding other fellow humans of Him:

{Then remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me, and reject not Faith.} (2: 152)

In fact, Remembering God should be the ultimate goal of human beings and the essence of their worship and acts of obedience. That is why Allah, All-High, considers it the essence of man’s work and greater than any other kind of worship or act of devotion. To the same purport, God says:

{And recite (and teach) what has been revealed to you of the Book of your Lord: none can change His words, and none will you find as a refuge other than Him.‏} (Al-Kahf 18: 27)

Way of Life

Concerning God’s words {And Remembering Allah is greater.} (Al-Ankabut 29: 45) exegeses hold that it embraces more than one significance. First, remembering Allah is greater than any other kind of worship or act of devotion. Second, it means that if you remember Allah in your prayer, He will remember you much more than you do. A third meaning is that remembering Allah safeguards man from committing sins or misdeeds.

Some exegeses, however, hold that remembering Allah is in fact the greatest thing in prayer.

In general, God considers remembering Him as the spirit of good deeds; therefore, if they lack remembrance of God, good deeds are dead bodies with no spirit.

Furthermore, remembrance of Allah is the life for man’s heart. It is narrated in “Sahih Al-Bukhari” and “Sahih Muslim” that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

“The parable of someone who remembers his Lord and another who does not remember Him is the parable of a living and a dead person.”

And according to the narration of Muslim:

“The parable of a house in which Allah is remembered and a house in which Allah is not remembered is the parable of the living and the dead.” (Al-Bukhari & Muslim, 27)

In this context, some scholars said: Remembering Allah is as necessary for the human heart as water is for fish. In a Divine Qudsi Hadith God says:

“I am as my servant thinks of me, if he remembers Me in himself, I remember him in Myself. If he remembers Me in a company of people, I remember him in a better company. If he comes near to Me a span of a hand, I come near to him a cubit. If he comes near to Me a cubit, I come near to him a fathom. If he comes to Me walking, I come to him running.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim, 28)

 Fruits

Remembering Allah would suffice man in honor and grace, drives Satan away and suppresses him. It pleases the Most Merciful Allah and brings man nearer to Him. It removes distress and worry and brings happiness and joy.

It strengthens man’s heart and body, brightens his face and enlightens his heart. It enlarges man’s provision and makes him better off. It enshrouds man with dignity, congeniality and gracefulness. It conduces to Allah’s Love, which is the spirit of the religion of Islam, the pillar of Faith and the pivot of man’s happiness and safety in both Abodes.

As afore-mentioned, remembering Allah repels Satan and over-power him. To this effect, Ibn Abbas narrated that the Prophet said: “Satan is (forever) sitting on man’s heart. No sooner is he (man) heedless and forgets (Allah) than he (Satan) whispers evil to him. But if he (man) remembers Allah, he (Satan) sneaks away.”

That is why Satan is called in Arabic “Al-Waswas Al-Khannas”, i.e “the whisperer of evil, who withdraws and sneaks away when man remembers Allah”. Muadh ibn Jabal also narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: 

“Man never does anything that rescues him from Allah’s Punishment better than Remembering Allah, the Almighty.” (Ibn Majah, 3790)

1- Occupying oneself with the remembrance of Allah keeps man away from futile talk like slander, backbiting, calumny, tale bearing, idle talk …ect. This is because man’s tongue is never at rest; it is either a heedful tongue that extols Allah’s Names and Attributes or a heedless tongue that gets indulged in vain talk.

The same thing applies to man’s soul, which, if not filled with good, fills man’s life with evil, and man’s heart, which, if not filled with love for Allah, is filled with love for the perishable trivial mundane things, and also man’s tongue, which, if not involved in extolling Praises of Allah, utters vain meaningless things:

2- One of the benefits of remembering Allah is that it is the only cure for hard-heartedness. This is because the more forgetful of Allah man is, the harder his heart is. Nothing can eliminate man’s hard-heartedness except remembering Allah. In other words, remembrance of Allah is a cure for man’s heart as much as heedlessness and forgetfulness of Allah is the source of its ailment and death. In this context, one of the scholars said: “Remembering Allah is a remedy, and remembering people is a disease.”

When we become sick, we seek remedy in remembering You; but when we do not remember You, we relapse into sickness.

3- Remembering Allah is conducive to Allah’s Friendship and Protection as much as heedlessness and forgetfulness entail His Hatred and Enmity. In other words, the more man remembers his Lord, the more his Lord, Most Gracious, loves, befriends and protects him; and the more man is heedless and forgetful of his Lord, the more his Lord hates and antagonizes him. Nothing could ever make man more detested to Allah than his being heedless or forgetful of Him.

Allah’s Favors and Blessings can be attained and His Anger and Punishment can be repelled by nothing better than remembering Him and glorifying His Beautiful Names and Attributes. This is because remembrance of Allah entails His Love and Grace and repels His Wrath and Punishment.

4- Furthermore, remembering Allah is the Paradise of this present world. One of the righteous scholars was quoted as saying: “There is a Paradise in this present world; whosoever does not enter it, he will never enter the Paradise of the Hereafter. Such Paradise is Remembering Allah.” Another scholar referred to such Paradise saying: “What can my enemies do to me. My Garden of Paradise is in my heart; wherever I go, it is with me. My imprisonment is devotional seclusion (for remembering Allah), killing me is martyrdom, and driving me away from my homeland is tourism.”

A third one said: “How miserable people of the present world are! They pass away from it without having tasted the most beautiful thing therein.” And when he was asked: “What is the most beautiful thing therein?”, he said: “Knowing Allah, the Almighty, loving Him, and remembering Him.”

5- One of the righteous men who used to constantly remember the Lord, Most Gracious, said:

“There come upon me times (of utmost happiness) wherein I say, “If people of Paradise enjoy such happy times, they will certainly be in a really happy life.”

It was also narrated that a righteous young man committed a sin, which hindered him from remembering Allah, the Almighty, because he was filled with sorrow and worry; and he sat waiting for Allah’s Punishment and Torment. He remained so for some time, but nothing happened to him. He turned to the Lord, saying, “O Lord! I disobeyed You, but You did not punish me!” The Lord, Most Gracious, inspired him, “O My slave! I punished you but you did you did not recognize that. Did I not deprive you of the pleasure of remembering and invoking Me?!”

Al-Hassan Al-Basri said:

“Seek sweet happiness in three things: performing prayer, Remembering Allah, and reading the Holy Quran. If you find (delight in those three things), it is alright. But if you do not, it means that the door (to Allah’s Love and Mercy) is closed; so search for the reason.”

6- Remembering Allah is conducive to His generous donation. This is because Allah, Most Generous, grants those who remember Him much more than those who ask Him. In a Divine Hadith narrated by Umar ibn Al-Khattab on authority of the Prophet, peace be upon him, God said:

“Whosoever is distracted by My Remembrance from asking Me, I grant him more than that which I grant to those who ask.”

By Muhammad Ratib An-Nabulsi

Read more in this series: "Your way to a Happy Life"

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