12: Morning & Evening

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This Ramadan…

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This Ramadan… I will remember Allah عز وجل in the morning and the evening.

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“Praise and thanks belong to Allah, who gives us life after He has caused us to die, and to Him is the return.” [Bukhari]

Steady and unrelenting, my heart beats and I am reminded of Him, subhanahu wa ta’ala. I inhale sharply and raise my head from a web of dreams, woven in my sleep. I have another day, another opportunity to worship, and another chance to remember my Maker.

The water, frigid in the morning air, cleanses me and I am ready to stand before my Lord. I bury my face in my hands and thank Allah for blessing me with another day. My thumb traces the horizontal lines of my fingers and my lips motion for words of remembrance.

I quickly call to mind a verse in which Allah says, “And remember your Lord by your tongue and within yourself, humbly and in awe, without loudness, by words in the morning and in the afternoon, and don’t be among those who are neglectful.” [Al-A’raf, 7:205]

How will I remember my Lord today?

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As the next third of Ramadan begins to unfold, we inch closer and closer to seeing another Ramadan depart, and it’s crucial that we utilize the time we’ve been given.

We have to engage in moments of active reflection and ask ourselves: How are we remembering Allah subahanahu wa ta’ala? Do our actions or deeds inspire remembrance? Maybe our words or our surroundings inspire us to acknowledge the One we owe everything to?

The virtues of remembering Allah are countless, and the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wasallam said, “He who remembers his Lord and he who does not remember his Lord, are like the living and the dead.” [Bukhari]

To choose to remember Allah is not just to choose a better life; it’s to choose to live.

Making dhikr and reminding ourselves of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is a huge part of our faith. So much so that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala tells us to be reminded of Him various times in the Qur’an when He says,

Oh you who believe, remember Allah with much remembrance.” [Al-Ahzab, 33:41]

And He says,

Therefore remember Me. I will remember you. Be grateful to Me and never show Me ingratitude.” [Al-Baqarah, 2:152]

A heart suspended on the edge of consciousness can be stirred to life and left trembling with simple dhikr or reminders of Allah.

So what are some practical ways we can begin to incorporate active remembrance of Allah into our lives?

1) Don’t allow your du’aas and dhikr to become mundane or tedious. Consistently memorize new adkhar and du’aas to recite and fully understand the significance and power of the words you’re uttering.

2) Learn and study the virtues of constantly being in the remembrance of Allah, subhanahu wa ta’la. Read about our pious predecessors and how they would strive to remember Allah subhanahu wa ta’la in all aspects and avenues of their lives. This will strengthen your own zeal and conviction.

3) Encourage others to recite their adkhar whenever and wherever they can. Try posting them on a wall at home for family to see, or agree with your friends that you’ll remind each other to make dhikr. Also, take any opportunity you can to teach others about the invocations found in the Qur’an and Sunnah. Even something as simple as a person sneezing can be a learning point (see Fortress of a Muslim, p. 186).

4) Look at every inch of your life as a continual blessing. Don’t look in the mirror without reciting your du’aa and thanking Allah for creating you in such a perfect fashion. Don’t break your fast without being utterly grateful for the meal you’re about to eat. Don’t leave or enter the masjid without seeking Allah’s mercy and forgiveness. Every situation is a cause to be reminded of Allah subhanahu wa ta’la.

5) Set aside some time that’s only for making dhikr, even if it’s just five minutes a day. Get into the habit of spending five minutes after Fajr and five minutes after ‘Asr to say your morning and evening adhkar. These phrases are a protection for you during the day and night.

6) Read and learn about the seerah of the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wasallam. Learning and reciting the same adkhar and du’aas as the Prophet did will only strengthen your love for him, salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

While thinking about dhikr, I’m reminded of a powerful statement Sheikh Yasir Qadhi made during one of his lectures. He said, “Constantly thinking about someone is a sign of true love – so how often do those who claim to love Allah remember Him?” Are we people who claim to truly love Allah? How often do we remember Him? How often are we thankful to Him, subhanahu wa ta’ala?

May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala make us of those who continually remember Him. May He grant us the mercy of constantly being in a stare of thankfulness and gratitude and may He grant His love and mercy as we embark on the rest of the blessed month. Ameen.

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