- Is Everything in the World Cursed?
- All the Believer’s Endeavours are tied to Allah’s Remembrance
- Our Remembrance for Allah Continues beyond Death
- The Importance of Constant Remembrance of Allah in the Life of a Muslim
- Sample of Simple but Powerful forms of Zikr
Alhamdulillah… All praise and thanks are due to Allah, Who has prepared forgiveness and great rewards for those who remember Him very often. May His Peace and Blessings be upon the best in remembering Him; Habibi Muhammad, his household, his companions and all those who follow his guided path, till the Day of Judgment.
The title of this article is part of a Hadeeth, narrated by Sayyidina Abi Hurairah, radhiya Allahu ‘anahu, and reported by Imam Al-Tirmizhi, in which the Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, said:
الدُّنْيَا مَلْعُونَةٌ، مَلْعُونٌ مَا فِيهَا؛ إِلاّ ذِكْرَ اللَّهِ وَمَا وَالاَهُ، وَعَالمٍ أَوْ مُتَعَلِّمٍ
It means, “The world is cursed. So is everything in it; is cursed, except for the remembrance of Allah and what facilitates it, the scholar and the seeker of knowledge.”
This article highlights Allah’s remembrance, out of all the things, mentioned in the noble Hadeeth, because the remaining qualities indicated, complement the early part.
The text of the Prophetic saying (Hadeeth) is clear in its meaning. The exception form the curse is Allah’s remembrance and whatever facilitates Allah’s remembrance, in addition to the scholar and the seeker of knowledge.
With that, nothing is cursed except whatever keeps us away from Allah. Things that take us away from Allah engage us with this materialistic world, and we become engrossed materialists, as a result.
The scholar of religious knowledge is not cursed, if he engages his knowledge in what pleases Allah. And by right, the learned are those who fear Allah the most. The one who fears Allah remembers Him at all times, in a way or another.
إِنَّمَا يَخْشَى اللَّـهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْعُلَمَاءُ
It means, “Only those of His servants, who possess knowledge, fear Allah.” [Surah Fatir, 35:28].
Also, The Prophet Muhammad (click here to read about him), salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, said in a Hadeeth narrated by Abi Umamah Al-Bahili, radhiya Allahu ‘anhu, and reported by Imam Al-Tirmizhi, that:
إِنَّ اللهَ وَمَلائِكَتَهُ وَأَهْلَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ، حَتَّى النَّمْلَةَ فِي جُحْرِهَا، وَحَتَى الحُوتَ؛ لَيُصَلُّونَ عَلَى مُعَلِّمِ النَّاسِ الخَيْرَ
It means, “Allah and His angels, and the people of the heavens and the earth, even the ants in their rocks, and the whales, pray for blessings upon the one who teaches people good.”
The seekers of knowledge is also exempted for the curse, if seeks that knowledge (religious knowledge or knowledge that boosts his relationship with Allah, positively), with genuine intention (sincerely for God’s Sake).
The Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallm, said in a Hadeeth authenticated by Imam Muslim:
وَمَنْ سَلَكَ طَرِيقًا يَلْتَمِسُ فِيهِ عِلْمًا سَهَّلَ اللَّهُ لَهُ بِهِ طَرِيقًا إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ
It means, “Whoever follows a path in the pursuit of knowledge, Allah will make for him, an easy path to Paradise.”
Every endeavour in the life of the believer is tied to the remembrance of Allah. We remember Allah, before we eat, before we drink, before we go to sleep, before we start our daily activities, after we accomplish our duties.
We even remember Allah when we mate, and before and after we rest (from the toilet).
Every religious obligation is filled with remembrance of Allah, subhanahu wata’aalaa. We also remember Allah in our happiness, and in our sorrow.
Everything we see around us or in the far sighting should be able to remind us of Allah; it should trigger Allah’s remembrance on our tongues and hearts.
Anything we hear can be translated into remembering Allah, depending on who we associate with and what we choose to utter.
In addition to its importance, Allah’s remembrance is connected to every single move we make, and whoever’s last word in this world happens to be Allah’s remembrance (Zikrullah) secures himself a place in the Paradise. The Prophet Muhammad, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, said in a Hadeeth narrated by Abu Dawud:
مَنْ كَانَ آخِرَ كَلامِهِ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللهُ دَخَلَ الجَنَّةَ
It means, “He, whose last words in this world is “No god but Allah” will enter ‘Jannah.'”
This is because, Allah’s remembrance continues beyond death. Anyone, who is consistent in His remembrance of Allah, in this life, shall easily remember Him during his death, and lo and behold, Allah’s remembrance shall continue in the Heaven eternally. In other words, all deeds; the good ones and bad ones will come to an end, except remembrance of Allah.
In Surah Fatir, 35:33-35, Allah tells us a story that will happen, when the dwellers of Paradise set their feet into it:
جَنَّاتُ عَدْنٍ يَدْخُلُونَهَا يُحَلَّوْنَ فِيهَا مِنْ أَسَاوِرَ مِن ذَهَبٍ وَلُؤْلُؤًا، وَلِبَاسُهُمْ فِيهَا حَرِيرٌ * وَقَالُوا الْحَمْدُ لِلَّـهِ الَّذِي أَذْهَبَ عَنَّا الْحَزَنَ، إِنَّ رَبَّنَا لَغَفُورٌ شَكُورٌ * الَّذِي أَحَلَّنَا دَارَ الْمُقَامَةِ مِن فَضْلِهِ لَا يَمَسُّنَا فِيهَا نَصَبٌ وَلَا يَمَسُّنَا فِيهَا لُغُوبٌ
It means, “They shall enter the Gardens of Eternity, where they shall be adorned with bracelets of gold and pearls, and wear silk garments. They will say, “Praise be to Allah who has taken away all sorrow from us. Our Lord is Forgiving and Appreciative. Through His grace He has admitted us to the everlasting Abode, where neither toil nor weariness affects us.”
In Surah Al-Zumar, 39:73-74, Allah also narrates another story, when the dwellers of Paradise are directed into their final eternal destination:
وَسِيقَ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا رَبَّهُمْ إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ زُمَرًا، حَتَّىٰ إِذَا جَاءُوهَا وَفُتِحَتْ أَبْوَابُهَا وَقَالَ لَهُمْ خَزَنَتُهَا سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ طِبْتُمْ فَادْخُلُوهَا خَالِدِينَ * وَقَالُوا الْحَمْدُ لِلَّـهِ الَّذِي صَدَقَنَا وَعْدَهُ وَأَوْرَثَنَا الْأَرْضَ نَتَبَوَّأُ مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ حَيْثُ نَشَاءُ، فَنِعْمَ أَجْرُ الْعَامِلِينَ
It means, “But those who fear their Lord will be led in groups towards Paradise. When they reach it, its gate will be opened, and its keepers will say to them, “Peace be upon you. You have done well, enter Paradise and dwell in it forever,” and they will say, “Praise be to Allah, who has fulfilled His promise to us and made us the inheritors of this land, letting us settle in the Garden wherever we want.” How excellent is the reward of those who labour!”
The greetings of the dwellers of Paradise come in a form of Zikr as well. Allah tells us about that in Surah Al-Ahzab, 33:44:
تَحِيَّتُهُمْ يَوْمَ يَلْقَوْنَهُ سَلَامٌ، وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ أَجْرًا كَرِيمًا
It means, “Their greeting the Day they meet Him will be, “Peace.” And He has prepared for them a honourable reward. “
Notice that the term “Peace” which they will use is similar (same) as what we use today, when we meet one another. Don’t we say: Assalamu ‘alaikum warahmatullah, which means, Peace! be upon you?
Also in Surah Yunus, 10:9-10, Allah emphasizes this meaning by telling us the story of the dwellers of Paradise in a different form:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ يَهْدِيهِمْ رَبُّهُم بِإِيمَانِهِمْ، تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهِمُ الْأَنْهَارُ فِي جَنَّاتِ النَّعِيمِ * دَعْوَاهُمْ فِيهَا سُبْحَانَكَ اللَّـهُمَّ وَتَحِيَّتُهُمْ فِيهَا سَلَامٌ، وَآخِرُ دَعْوَاهُمْ أَنِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّـهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
It means, “Those who believe and do good deeds will be guided by their Lord because of their faith. Rivers shall flow at their feet in the Gardens of Bliss. In that [state of happiness] they will call out; “Glory be to You, O Allah!”, while their greeting in it will be: “Peace!” And the close of their call will be, “All praise is due to ِAllah, the Lord of the Universe!”
Here, it’s important that we remember, that there’s no labour in the Paradise. It’s going to be all about enjoyment, bliss, and happiness. In fact, the happiest moment is always connected to the state of our ability to remember Allah.
وَبَشِّرِ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ، كُلَّمَا رُزِقُوا مِنْهَا مِن ثَمَرَةٍ رِّزْقًا قَالُوا هَـٰذَا الَّذِي رُزِقْنَا مِن قَبْلُ، وَأُتُوا بِهِ مُتَشَابِهًا، وَلَهُمْ فِيهَا أَزْوَاجٌ مُّطَهَّرَةٌ، وَهُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ
It means, “And give good tidings to those who believe and do righteous deeds that they will have gardens [in Paradise] beneath which rivers flow. Whenever they are provided with a provision of fruit therefrom, they will say, “This is what we were provided with before.” And it is given to them in likeness. And they will have therein purified spouses, and they will abide therein eternally.” [Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:25].
مَّثَلُ الْجَنَّةِ الَّتِي وُعِدَ الْمُتَّقُونَ، تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ، أُكُلُهَا دَائِمٌ وَظِلُّهَا، تِلْكَ عُقْبَى الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوا، وَّعُقْبَى الْكَافِرِينَ النَّارُ
It means, ” The example of Paradise, which the righteous have been promised, is [that] beneath it rivers flow. Its fruit is lasting, and its shade. That is the consequence for the righteous, and the consequence for the disbelievers is the Fire. [Surah Al-Ra’d, 13:35].
مَّثَلُ الْجَنَّةِ الَّتِي وُعِدَ الْمُتَّقُونَ، فِيهَا أَنْهَارٌ مِّن مَّاءٍ غَيْرِ آسِنٍ وَأَنْهَارٌ مِّن لَّبَنٍ لَّمْ يَتَغَيَّرْ طَعْمُهُ وَأَنْهَارٌ مِّنْ خَمْرٍ لَّذَّةٍ لِّلشَّارِبِينَ وَأَنْهَارٌ مِّنْ عَسَلٍ مُّصَفًّى، وَلَهُمْ فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ، كَمَنْ هُوَ خَالِدٌ فِي النَّارِ وَسُقُوا مَاءً حَمِيمًا فَقَطَّعَ أَمْعَاءَهُمْ
It means, “Here is a description of the Garden promised to the righteous: therein are rivers of water which is forever pure; and rivers of milk of which the taste never changes; and rivers of wine, a delight to those who drink it, and rivers of pure honey. And in it they will have all kinds of fruit, and will receive forgiveness from their Lord. Can those who enjoy such bliss be like those who abide in the Fire and who are given boiling water to drink so that it tears their bowels? [Surah Muhammad, 47:15].
Allah promises those who are Allah-conscious through any form of Zikr in Surah Al-Ahzab, 13:35 with forgiveness and greater reward:
وَالذَّاكِرِينَ اللَّـهَ كَثِيرًا وَالذَّاكِرَاتِ أَعَدَّ اللَّـهُ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةً وَأَجْرًا عَظِيمًا
It means, “Surely …men and women who are ever mindful of Allah, Allah is ready with forgiveness and an immense reward for them.”
The Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, said in a Hadeeth reported by Imam Al-Turmuzhi, that Allah, subhanahu wata’aalaa, said:
مَنْ شَغَلَهُ ذِكْرِي عَنْ مَسْأَلَتِي؛ أَعْطَيْتُهُ أَفْضَلَ مَا أُعْطِي السَّائِلِينَ
It means, “Whoever remembering Me engages him from asking Me, I will grant him the best of what I grant those who ask.”
Zikr is one of the most powerful tools for attaining inner-peace in the Muslim’s life. People who are consistent in Zikr are given brightness in the face, lighter hearts, and acceptance in the hearts of good people.
الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ اللَّـهِ، أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّـهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ
It means, “Those who believe and whose hearts find comfort in the remembrance of Allah, surely in the remembrance of Allah hearts can find comfort.” [Surah Al-Ra’ad, 13:28].
Some forms of remembrance (Zikr) which you and I can familiarize our tongues (and hearts) with are the following:
“I seek forgiveness from Allah.”
سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَبِحَمْدِهِ.. سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ العَظِيمِ
“High, glorified and praised is Allah… High and glorified is Allah, the Great.”
لاَ حَوْلَ وَلاَ قُوَّةَ إِلاَّ بِاللَّهِ
“[We have] no ablility nor power, except with Allah.”
حَسْبُنَا اللَّهُ وَنِعْمَ الوَكِيلُ
“Allah is sufficient for us. And the best trustee is He.”
لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ
“No god [deserves to be worshiped] but Allah.”
اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى [سَيِّدِنَا] مُحَمَّدٍ
“Oh Allah… Send praises and blessings upon [our Master] Muhammad.”
رَبِّ اغْفِرْلِي وَلِوَالِدَيَّ وَارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِي صَغِيراً
“My Lord… Forgive me and my partents, as they raise me up from childhood.”
اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ العَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي
“Oh Allah, You are Forgiving; You like forgiveness, so please forgive me.”
Remembrance of Allah; I mean constant remembrance of Allah may seem the simplest thing to do in one’s life. But it’s the most difficult and the most challenging thing to adopt with consistency. It’s even almost impossible in the case of the hypocrites. Finding it difficult to do Zikr is a sign of the existence of hypocrisy, lust, and greed in the heart.
No wonder, when the Prophet wanted to teach one of his most beloved companions a secret recipe to happiness, he told him to always ask Allah, to enable him to constantly remember Him.
He said to Mu’azh Ibn Jabal, radhiya Allahu ‘anhu, in a Hadeeth narrated by Abu Dawud and An-Nasa-ee:
وَاللَّهِ يَا مُعَاذُ، إِنِّي لأُحِبُّكَ، فَلا تَنْسَ أَنْ تَقُولَ دُبُرَ كُلِّ صَلاةٍ: اللَّهُمَّ أَعِنِّي عَلَى ذِكْرِكَ وَشُكْرِكَ وَحُسْنِ عِبَادَتِكَ
It means, “By Allah, I love you, O Mu’azh! So do not forget to say after every solat: O Allah, help me to remember You, be grateful to You and worship You in a better way.”
O Allah! I ask You to enable me, and anyone who reads this to constantly remember You, be grateful to You and worship You in a better way.
اللَّهُمَّ أَعِنَّا عَلَى ذِكْرِكَ وَشُكْرِكَ وَحُسْنِ عِبَادَتِكَ
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Allah knows best.
Allahu Hafiz 🙂