Reflection No. 210 on Q 33:41 – Remembrance of Allah (swt)

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ ذِكْرًا كَثِيرًا
Yā ayyuhal-ladhīna āmanūdhkurū-llāha dhikran kathīrā
O you who believe, Remember Allah, a frequent remembrance
(Sūratul Ahzāb, No. 33, Āyat 41)

Constant remembrance of Allah is the starting point of the spiritual journey. Through it a believer is able to counter the whisperings of the nafs and the shaytān and become less vulnerable to the numerous distractions of the world. Remembrance of Allah propels the believer towards perfection. Thinking of the One Who is all-Beautiful and all-Good, and recognizing that He expects beauty and good from His servants creates a desire to fulfill that perfection.

Remembrance of Allah is of many types. There is the verbal remembrance when the tongue utters praise of Allah. Then there is the heart’s remembrance when the human being gives attention to Allah with the heart. This fills the heart with the Love of Allah, fear of Him and hope in Him, and having awe for Him. Beyond that is a remembrance that dominates the thoughts of the human being. It is an inner consciousness of Allah that will not leave the mind. It leads the believer to do all that is required of obedience to Allah and to stay away from all that is disobedience to Allah. True remembrance of Allah cannot be otherwise. How can one who truly remembers Allah dare to do something that will displease Him? That is the true criteria of Remembrance of Allah.

Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah (s), has said: Know that your best and the most pure deeds which will elevate your rank and position before the Lord and is better than anything else of this universe is God’s Remembrance because God Almighty had said: Whoever remembers me I become his companion.

The transforming effects of Remembrance of Allah on the life of the human being include:
1) Commitment to doing what Allah wants – a believer who constantly remembers Allah will try whole heartedly to be the type of person Allah wants him to be. Allah instructs the Prophet to Say (to Muslims): if you love Allah follow me, Allah will love you (Q 3:31).
2) Tranquility – Remembrance of Allah calms the inner spirit and creates peace of mind. Surely by Allah’s remembrance are the hearts set at rest (Q 13:28).
3) Confidence and strength – whoever is with Allah and knows that Allah is with him need not fear any force in the Universe other than Him. If Allah helps you, then there is none that can overcome you (Q 3:160).
4) Humility – the thought of the Greatness of Allah reminds the human being of his own insignificance. Successful indeed are the believers, who are humble in their prayers (Q 23:1-2).
5) God’s special attention towards him – the most beautiful and wondrous result is the special grace and favor of Allah for the one who remembers Allah. And Remember Me, I will remember you, and be thankful to Me, and do not be ungrateful to Me (Q 2:152).

Constant remembrance of Allah, both with the tongue and with the heart, has life changing effects. It adds lustre to life making it rich and beautiful and makes it immune to outer circumstances. Recite this verse to remind you of the importance of remembering Allah at all times, at different places, in a variety of ways that excite and stimulate the mind. During the holy month of Rajab, and throughout the season of worship, intensify the remembrance of Allah. Let it bring you joy that is deep and lasting. Tasting that will make you realize the shallowness of all other joys.

Sources: Sources: Āyatullāh Nāsir Makārim Shirāzī (ed.), Tafsīr-e Namūne; Āyatullāh Ibrahim Amīnī, Self Building.