Not counting recommended actions, we pray about a total of an hour a day, fast only one month of the year and go to Hajj once in our life. Where is our remembrance the rest of the time?
All of us know and read that Islam is not just a religion, but a complete way of life. That it is the supreme religion on Earth from the creation of Prophet Adam until the Day of Judgment. The question arises, however, are the Muslims of today practicing it as such or not? We all know of the obligatory actions that we do and try our best to keep our remembrance of Allah during such actions. Things like concentration in prayer, fasting for the sake of Allah, and finding the true meaning of Hajj are all things we ponder about and try to improve. This is all good and highly recommended, but the fact is, we spend most of our lives NOT doing these obligatory actions. Most of our time consists of working, eating, sleeping, shopping, and studying, among other things. Not counting recommended actions, we pray about a total of an hour a day, fast only one month of the year and go to Hajj once in our life. Where is our remembrance the rest of the time?
In verse number 191 of Sura Al-e-Imran, Allah talks about a characteristic of the “men who understand”. He (Glory be to Him) says, “Those who remember Allah standing and sitting and lying on their sides and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth…” By mentioning the positions of standing, sitting, and lying down, God pretty much covers every position we will ever be in our entire lives. So to be one of the people of understanding as the Quran mentions, it is important that we remember Allah in every situation we are in, be it an obligatory action or not. As with everything in life, this type of remembrance takes practice, but in time can become second nature, making every second of our life a constant worship.
One of the best books that talk about finding spirituality and remembrance of Allah in everyday things is Lantern of the Path, which are wonderful pieces of advice by Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (peace be upon him) compiled by Shaikh Fadlullah Haeri. As an example, let us take a look at something we do more than anything else in life. Sleep. We sleep every night to recover from our day and have enough energy for the next day, but it can be so much more than that. If we have the right state of mind, sleep can be full of Divine blessings. And considering how much some of us sleep, that’s a lot of blessings! Our Imam says, “When you go to sleep, have the intention to lighten your burden on the angels and disengage the self from its appetites, and to examine yourself by your sleep; be aware of the fact that you are incapable and weak.” Pondering on just this morsel of knowledge from the Imam and applying it to our daily sleep could be the best thing we can do for our lives here and in the Hereafter.
A thoughtful pondering of the contents of this book can potentially rekindle our sometimes stagnant spirits. Anyone in the world can eat, sleep, study, work, purchase groceries etc. But it is the intention and constant remembrance of Allah in our daily activities that separates our worldly actions from those of the atheists. To see the contents of Lantern of the Path, please click here.
“Our Lord! Thou hast not created this in vain! Glory be to Thee; save us then from the chastisement of the fire.” (3:191)