Quranic Reflection No. 443. Āyat 59:19 – Not Forgetting Allah

وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ نَسُوا اللَّهَ فَأَنسَاهُمْ أَنفُسَهُمْ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ
Wa lā takūnū kalladhīna nasullāha fa-ansāhum anfusahum
And do not be like those who forget Allah, so He makes them forget their own souls. It is they who are the transgressors.
‏(Sūrat al-Hashr, No.59, Āyat 19)

We often try to prioritize different aspects of our lives. Sometimes our health takes a back seat and we are more focused on our relationships.  Other times, we are so focused on work and our connection with Allah ‘azza wajall takes a plunge. Sometimes everything is secondary and only our health and fitness is a priority.  It is this hierarchical approach to prioritizing that often causes an imbalance in our lives.  We need to have Allah subhānahu wata‘ālā as our main priority. Everything else should be in line with His wishes.

This verse reminds us of the importance of remembering Allah and not be like those who forget Him.  Tafsir of this verse highlights that forgetting Allah means getting immersed in the world and one’s own desires so much that the main purpose of life is forgotten. It is to forget one’s humanity and the aim of being alive. Imam Ali (a) said: One who forgets Allah the Glorified, Allah makes him forget himself and blinds his heart. (Ghurar Al-Hikam, H. 9738)

It is important to understand that human value lies in meeting one’s full potential. In order to do so we are entirely dependent on Allah. Without Him as our priority we will fail to realize our potential and essentially reduce ourselves to eating and sleeping beings with nothing valuable to present on the day of judgement.

Below are some useful tips in having Allah as the center of our day to day affairs:1.      Turn Thoughts into Prayer – Instead of constantly worrying about what needs to get done or what is to come, turn your anxious thoughts into short prayers. “Oh Allah, help me through this task today.” “Oh Allah, grant me patience in all my dealings today.”  This way all your thoughts become and opportunity to remember and speak to Allah. And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then surely I am very near I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls on Me. (Q 2:186)

2.     Be Grateful – Despite daily struggles and challenges there are many beautiful moments.  The sight and sounds of nature, seeing your loved ones achieve their goals after much effort, the sweetness of relationships. Pause, and enjoy these moments.  Thank Allah for showing you His Power and Love in these moments – Certainly We gave Luqmān wisdom, saying, ‘Give thanks to Allah; and whoever gives thanks, gives thanks only for his own sake’ (Q 31:12).

3.     Be Still and Listen – It is easy to get overwhelmed daily.  Remind yourself to slow down, take a few minutes to ground yourself and pray to Allah for His help and guidance – Say, ‘Indeed it is the guidance of Allah which is the true guidance’ (Q 6:71).

4.      Leave it all to Him – We tend to worry about things that we cannot control.  Surrender everything to Him, asking Him to take care of your affairs.  This trust will bring about a sense of peace and allow you to focus on what is in your control. Sufficient for me is Allah. In Him those who trust must put their trust. (Q 55:38)

One of the best examples we have is the Holy Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-ālhi wasallam.  As we approach the day of his death anniversary, let us use his example to learn how we can get closer to Allah. He taught us to remember Allah in all aspects of life so we would succeed in fulfilling our potential.

Sources: Āyatullāh Nāsir Makārim Shirāzī (Ed.), Al-Amthal fī Tafsīr Kitāb Allah al-Munzal; ‘Allāmah Muhammad Husayn Tabātabā’ī, Tafsīr al-Mīzān.