What are you thinking about right now? Did your car break down? Are you worried about a test score? Did you just get a promotion at work? Are you disappointed at someone? Did you get all the gifts on your wish list? Whether it is excitement, sadness, triumph, loss, laughs, or tears, our minds are continuously occupied by the thoughts of our everyday lives. God tells us:
[7:205] You shall remember your Lord within yourself, publicly, privately, and quietly, day and night; do not be unaware.* *7:205 Your god is whoever or whatever occupies your mind most of the day. This explains the fact that most of those who believe in God are destined for Hell (See 12:106, 23:84-90, and Appendix 27).
That is not to say you must go through your days distanced from the happenings of your life, but that you must try to use every moment and event of your life to remember God. This simple practice of commemoration, by itself, automatically enhances your relation with your Creator and grows your soul. If your car breaks down, ask God for help. Pray for God to relieve you of test anxiety. Thank God for a promotion at work. Implore Him to perfect His blessings upon you. These are all forms of worship for redemption, our sole purpose of existence:
Supplication: A Form of Worship* [40:60] Your Lord says, "Implore Me, and I will respond to you. Surely, those who are too arrogant to worship Me will enter Gehenna, forcibly." *40:60 Supplication, imploring God for anything, even material luxuries, is a form of worship. Hence the commandment to implore God whenever we have any need. An atheist will never implore God for anything.
[45:22] GOD created the heavens and the earth for a specific purpose, in order to pay each soul for whatever it earned, without the least injustice.* *45:22 God granted us this life as a precious chance to redeem ourselves, denounce ancient alliance with Satan, and rejoin God's kingdom. See Introduction and Appendix 7.
The Purpose of Our Existence [51:56] I did not create the jinns and the humans except to worship Me alone.
To fulfill this purpose of worshiping God alone, we must remember Him always:
[3:191] They remember GOD* while standing, sitting, and on their sides, and they reflect upon the creation of the heavens and the earth: "Our Lord, You did not create all this in vain. Be You glorified. Save us from the retribution of Hell. *3:191 Your god is whoever or whatever occupies your mind most of the time. The true believers are those who remember God most of the time. See 23:84-89 and Appendix 27.
God mercifully gives us many opportunities to remember Him and thank Him, making this seemingly daunting task quite simple. He teaches us through many examples how to use any moment for the benefit of our souls. Some examples include meditation, imploring, praying, giving to others, setting a righteous example, and Quran recitation.
[33:41] O you who believe, you shall remember GOD frequently.*
[33:42] You shall glorify Him day and night.
[33:43] He is the One who helps you, together with His angels, to lead you out of darkness into the light. He is Most Merciful towards the believers. *33:41-42 Your god is whatever occupies your thoughts most of the time. Hence the commandment to commemorate God and glorify Him day and night. See Appendix 27.
[18:23] You shall not say that you will do anything in the future,
[18:24] without saying, "GOD willing."* If you forget to do this, you must immediately remember your Lord and say, "May my Lord guide me to do better next time." *18:24 This important commandment gives us daily opportunities to remember God.
[3:17] They are steadfast, truthful, submitting, charitable, and meditators at dawn.
[17:79] During the night, you shall meditate for extra credit, that your Lord may raise you to an honorable rank.
[110:3] You shall glorify and praise your Lord, and implore Him for forgiveness. He is the Redeemer.
[2:45] You shall seek help through steadfastness and the Contact Prayers (Salat). This is difficult indeed, but not so for the reverent,
[2:46] who believe that they will meet their Lord; that to Him they ultimately return.
The Contact Prayers [29:45] You shall recite what is revealed to you of the scripture, and observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), for the Contact Prayers prohibit evil and vice. But the remembrance of GOD (through Salat) is the most important objective.* GOD knows everything you do. *29:45 Your god is whatever occupies your mind most of the time (see 20:14 & Appendix 27).
[18:27] You shall recite what is revealed to you of your Lord's scripture. Nothing shall abrogate His words, and you shall not find any other source beside it.
When your life evolves around something or someone other than God, it's considered idol worship. Egos, money, children, jobs, and properties are examples of idols given in the Quran.
[9:24] Proclaim: "If your parents, your children, your siblings, your spouses, your family, the money you have earned, a business you worry about, and the homes you cherish are more beloved to you than GOD and His messenger, and the striving in His cause, then just wait until GOD brings His judgment." GOD does not guide the wicked people.
Common Form of Idolatry: The Ego As A god [45:23] Have you noted the one whose god is his ego? Consequently, GOD sends him astray, despite his knowledge, seals his hearing and his mind, and places a veil on his eyes. Who then can guide him, after such a decision by GOD? Would you not take heed?
God tests our devotion to Him alone through our egos, families and material possessions. The story of the two gardens is a great example of idolizing property and ego. A simple acknowledgment of the true Provider of all blessings would have been purer for the soul of one of these two men:
[18:32] Cite for them the example of two men: we gave one of them two gardens of grapes, surrounded by date palms, and placed other crops between them.
[18:33] Both gardens produced their crops on time, and generously, for we caused a river to run through them.
[18:34] Once, after harvesting, he boastfully told his friend: "I am far more prosperous than you, and I command more respect from the people."
[18:35] When he entered his garden, he wronged his soul by saying, "I do not think that this will ever end.
[18:36] "Moreover, I think this is it; I do not think that the Hour (the Hereafter) will ever come to pass. Even if I am returned to my Lord, I will (be clever enough to) possess an even better one over there."
[18:37] His friend said to him, as he debated with him, "Have you disbelieved in the One who created you from dust, then from a tiny drop, then perfected you into a man?
[18:38] "As for me, GOD is my Lord, and I will never set up any other god besides my Lord.
[18:39] "When you entered your garden, you should have said, `This is what GOD has given me (Maa Shaa Allah). No one possesses power except GOD (La Quwwata Ellaa Bellaah).' You may see that I possess less money and less children than you.
[18:40] "My Lord may grant me better than your garden. He may send a violent storm from the sky that wipes out your garden, leaving it completely barren.
[18:41] "Or, its water may sink deeper, out of your reach."
[18:42] Indeed, his crops were wiped out, and he ended up sorrowful, lamenting what he had spent on it in vain, as his property lay barren. He finally said,"I wish I never set up my property as a god beside my Lord."
[18:43] No force on earth could have helped him against GOD, nor was it possible for him to receive any help.
[18:44] That is because the only true Lord and master is GOD; He provides the best recompense, and with Him is the best destiny.
Solomon was tested through his material wealth. Although he was extremely blessed with wealth and power, Soloman always remembered God. When he became distracted, he asked God for forgiveness. God is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
[38:30] To David we granted Solomon; a good and obedient servant.
[38:31] One day he became preoccupied with beautiful horses, until the night fell.
[38:32] He then said, "I enjoyed the material things more than I enjoyed worshiping my Lord, until the sun was gone.
[38:33] "Bring them back." (To bid farewell,) he rubbed their legs and necks. [38:34] We thus put Solomon to the test; we blessed him with vast material wealth, but he steadfastly submitted.
[38:35] He said, "My Lord, forgive me, and grant me a kingship never attained by anyone else. You are the Grantor."
[38:36] We (answered his prayer and) committed the wind at his disposal, pouring rain wherever he wanted.
[38:37] And the devils, building and diving.
[38:38] Others were placed at his disposal.
[38:39] "This is our provision to you; you may give generously, or withhold, without limits."
[38:40] He has deserved an honorable position with us, and a wonderful abode.
Imploring God and thanking Him for all the joys and blessings are forms of worship. We can ask God for anything, pray for anything, and He encourages this as one way to remember Him.
[6:41] The fact is: only Him you implore, and He answers your prayer, if He so wills, and you forget your idols.
[2:186] When My servants ask you about Me, I am always near. I answer their prayers when they pray to Me. The people shall respond to Me and believe in Me, in order to be guided.
Appreciative vs Unappreciative [14:7] Your Lord has decreed: "The more you thank Me, the more I give you." But if you turn unappreciative, then My retribution is severe.
We must never forget that God is the Creator of everything, and He controls everything.
[35:3] O people, remember GOD's blessings upon you. Is there any creator other than GOD who provides for you from the heaven and the earth? There is no other god beside Him. How could you deviate?
God is the Doer of Everything [4:78] Wherever you are, death will catch up with you, even if you live in formidable castles. When something good happens to them, they say, "This is from GOD," and when something bad afflicts them, they blame you. Say, "Everything comes from GOD." Why do these people misunderstand almost everything?
Almighty God [6:59] With Him are the keys to all secrets; none knows them except He. He knows everything on land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls without His knowledge. Nor is there a grain in the depths of the soil. Nor is there anything wet or dry, that is not recorded in a profound record.
Finally, we must remember that we are all returning to God, and this life was given to us as a chance to redeem ourselves. Our real lives will be in the Hereafter.
Death and Resurrection: Every Day [6:60] He is the One who puts you to death during the night, and knows even the smallest of your actions during the day. He resurrects you every morning, until your life span is fulfilled, then to Him is your ultimate return. He will then inform you of everything you had done.
[29:64] This worldly life is no more than vanity and play, while the abode of the Hereafter is the real life, if they only knew.
As young submitters, it's easy to laugh out loud for hours with our close friends and family...but while still remembering that God is the source of that joy. We can enjoy our favorite desserts...while still remembering God. We talk, play, study, cry, hug, watch TV, and love...while still remembering God. We must remember God so that God remembers us.
[2:152] You shall remember Me, that I may remember you, and be thankful to Me; do not be unappreciative.
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.