Thursday, 10 May 2012

Remembering Allah with a clear mind

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

Last week we spoke about the remembrance of Allah.  Today insha Allah we will look at the stages ones goes through in the process of becoming God conscious.  It cannot happen overnight.  It takes time and discipline.

As human beings we cannot have two separate entities in our mind at one and the same time.  For example we cannot remember Allah and think of the worldly acquisitions at the same time.  Allah says in Surah Ahzab;

Allah has not made for any man two hearts in his (one) body: (33:4)
So human beings cannot engage into two contrasting entitles at one and the same time.  How then do we achieve pure God consciousness?  It is possible through discipline and culturing of the personality.  In relation to this Allah says;

But keep in remembrance the name of Thy Lord and devote thyself to Him whole-heartedly.  (73:8)

Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said “Satan puts three knots at the back of the head of any of you if he is asleep.  On every knot he reads and exhales the following words, ‘The night is long, so stay asleep’.  When one wakes up and remembers Allah, one knot is undone; and when one performs ablution, the second knot is undone, and when one prays the third knot is undone and one gets up energetic with a good heart in the morning; otherwise one gets up lazy and with a mischievous heart." (Bukhari)

Through the remembrance of Allah you can put to rest the scheme of Satan.
The best time to remember Allah is when you have finished all your worldly commitments, and any other distractions that are on your mind.  When you are free of all emotional preoccupation you can communicate properly to your Lord.
Allah makes mention of this in Surah Alam Nasyrah;

Therefore, when thou art free (from thine immediate task), still labour hard, and to Thy Lord turn (all) thy attention.  (94:7-8)

Prophet Muhammad emphasizes the importance of having a clear mind in the following ahadith:

§  “If the Iqama for prayer is proclaimed and supper is served, take your supper first”.
§  One of the three acts which are not allowed is for a person to offer prayer while needing to answer the call of nature”.
We can see the practicality of Islam.  Devote yourself to your Lord when your mind is clear and free from any preoccupations.  Nothing should distract you when you are attempting to gain closeness to Allah.  Satan is smart and he will use your emotional unrest to divert your focus away from Allah, so all you will really be achieving is the mechanical aspect of prayer.
Imam Ali (as) says: “Allah doesn't answer the prayer of a person whose prayer doesn't come from his heart”.  Therefore, one should pray from the depths of his heart and should have a conviction that Allah is watching and listening to him.
One of the best times to engage in the remembrance of Allah is during the night prayer (Tahajjud).  When everyone else is asleep and there is relative tranquillity.  At night there are less distractions, thus a person would be able to concentrate and focus more.  Allah says;

Truly the rising by night is most potent for governing (the soul), and most suitable for (framing) the word (of prayer and Praise).  (73:6)
Islam doesn’t want you to stay away from the world.  Instead maintain an appropriate balance.  Take time out of your daily routine to gain nearness to Allah.  Don’t keep on procrastinating and put off God consciousness.  Every day that passes means one day less in this world.  Get closer to your Lord and insha Allah He will look after all your affairs in this world and the next.
May Allah always bless the believers and enable us to gain nearness to Him and maintain it throughout our lives.

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