The 61st Call: Remember Allah with much Remembrance
Almighty Allah says (what can be translated as): “O you who have believed, remember Allah with much remembrance. And exalt Him morning and afternoon. It is He who confers blessing upon you, and His angels [ask Him to do so] that He may bring you out from darknesses into the light. And ever is He, to the believers, Merciful. Their greeting the Day they meet Him will be, "Peace." And He has prepared for them a noble reward.” (Al-Ahzab: 41-44)
Almighty Allah commands His believing servants to mention Him with much remembrance for He is The Bestower on them and for the great reward they will receive because of the remembrance of Allah.
Almighty Allah commands them to exalt Him above anything between the time of the morning when they get up and the time of the afternoon when they finish their daily tasks. So, the remembrance of Allah in the morning would be to thank Him for getting up from sleep and in the evening the remembrance would be to thank Him for fulfilling their work and having the ability to earn a living.
Almighty Allah encourages the believers to remember their Lord and He says to them that He remembers, blesses and praises them in Heaven. The honorable angels ask Allah to forgive His servants. Because of Allah’s mercy, guidance and the prayers of the angels, Allah takes His servants from the darkness of disbelief to the light of faith. Allah is Merciful to His believing servants in this life and the Hereafter. As for His mercy in this life, it is for guiding them to the truth and righteousness and for leading them to the straight path. As for His mercy in the Hereafter, it is for protecting them from the greatest fear, He orders the angels to give them glad tidings of gaining Paradise and surviving the Hellfire.
On the Day of Judgment, they are greeted by peace. There are three opinions regarding who would greet them with peace:
- The first opinion says: Almighty Allah will be The One to greet them with peace on that day because He says in the Qur’an: “[And] "Peace," a word from a Merciful Lord.” (Yassin: 36: 58)
The second opinion says: The honorable angels are the ones who will greet the believers with peace when they enter Paradise as Allah says in the Qur’an: “And the angels will enter upon them from every gate, [saying], "Peace be upon you for what you patiently endured. And excellent is the final home." (Ar-Ra’ad: 13: 24)
The third opinion says: They are the ones to greet each other with peace on the Day they meet their Lord in the Home of the Hereafter. Almighty Allah says: “Their call therein will be, "Exalted are You, O Allah," and their greeting therein will be, "Peace." And the last of their call will be, "Praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds!". (Yunus: 10: 10) Almighty Allah prepared for them great reward in Paradise for their faith and good deeds in the worldly life.
Remembering Allah means that one’s heart is alive to Allah’s remembrance, not the mere mention of His name. One should always be careful in whatever one does so as to remain within what Allah permits. To attend regularly to prayer is part of remembering Allah. In fact there are many ahadith and reports that almost equate Allah’s remembrance with attending to prayer. The Prophet is quoted as saying: “If a man wakes his wife up at night and they offer two rak`ahs of night prayer, they will be considered that night as among those who remember Allah always.” [Related by Abu Dawud, Al-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah.]
Allah’s remembrance though is broader than prayer. It includes every way in which a person is fully conscious of his Lord, whether his tongue moves to mention Him or not. What we are referring to here is a consciousness that motivates to action. A human heart remains lost or perplexed until it establishes its link with Allah, remembering Him and feeling secure in His care. It then knows the way to follow, the method to implement, and how to go about all this. It is for this reason that the Qur’an and the Sunnah repeatedly urge people to remember Allah.
The Qur’an often links this to different times and situations in which man finds himself, so that these serve as reminders for him not to neglect this duty: “O you who have believed, remember Allah with much remembrance. And exalt Him morning and afternoon.” (Verses 41-42) The early morning and the end of the day have much that urges human hearts to maintain their ties with Allah, who changes times and situations, without ever changing Himself. Yet everything else changes and disappears.
At the same time, people are reminded of Allah’s grace and the care He takes of His creation and the favors He bestows on them. Yet He is in no need of them while they need His care and blessings: “It is He who confers blessing upon you, and His angels [ask Him to do so] that He may bring you out from darknesses into the light. And ever is He, to the believers, Merciful.” (Verse 43)
All glory to Allah who bestows great favors and doubles them over and over again. Yet He also remembers His weak servants who have no real power of their own and whose life is only transitory. He remembers them, taking care of them and blessing them together with His angels. When He mentions them in good terms among those on high, the entire universe echoes their mention, as the Prophet, Peace Be upon Him, states: “Allah says: Whoever of My servants mentions Me to himself, I mention him to Myself; and whoever mentions Me in the presence of a group, I mention him in the presence of a better group.” [Related by al-Bukhari.]
This is indeed profound. One can hardly imagine it, when one knows that the whole earth with all the creatures living on and in it is no more than a tiny particle in relation to the great galaxies of the universe. Yet all these galaxies and what they contain of creatures are no more than a portion of the universe which Allah has willed to exist, saying to it, ‘Be,’ and it came into being.
“It is He who confers blessing upon you, and His angels [ask Him to do so] that He may bring you out from darknesses into the light.” (Verse 43) Allah’s light is one, comprehensive, continuous. What does not belong to it is darkness, which differs and has several depths. If people stray from Allah’s light, they have only darkness to live in. Nothing can save them or bring them out of this darkness except Allah’s light that enlightens hearts and minds, filling souls and guiding them to what suits their nature. The grace Allah bestows on them and the angels’ blessings and prayers for them are what take them out of the darkness into the light. This is what happens to them when their hearts open up to faith: “And ever is He, to the believers, Merciful.” (Verse 43)
Such is their situation in t his life, when they need to work. As for their situation in the life to come, when reward is administered, Allah’s grace continues to be with them. They are received there warmly, given honor and rich reward: “Their greeting the Day they meet Him will be, "Peace." And He has prepared for them a noble reward.” (Verse 44) They have a peace that contrasts with fear, tiring effort and hard work. It is a greeting from Allah, brought to them by the angels who enter from every door o deliver the message given to them from on high. This comes in addition to the noble reward Allah has in store for them. Such is their Lord who legislates and chooses what is best for them. Who would not prefer His choice?