We all know that the one message emphasized throughout the entire Quran is to devote our life and worship to the One God. This infallible scripture also lays out for us the many concepts that we must adhere to in order to achieve God's eternal bliss of Paradise (6:51.) One Concept worthy of reflecting on is "awareness." As sincere students of Quran, we can easily relate to the concept of awareness which is defined as the degree or the extent of being informed, alert, cognizant or knowledgeable.
Each individual has a certain level of awareness. However, a true submitter to God alone tends to be able to develop a deeper and more profound level of this awareness. This includes both self awareness and being cognizant of all surroundings and existing entities, seen and unseen. Therefore, truthful submitters are fully aware of the basic means of sustenance for both the soul and the body. Their cognizance of God's eternal existence, His creations and the very intricate and precise control of even the tiniest of the tiniest atom in His seven universes is a consequence of their spiritual journey with Quran.
It should be a goal for each one of us to increase our level of awareness through our commemoration, reflection and studying of Quran. The following are just a few verses to boast our recognition of God almighty and ourselves (souls and bodies):
[91:7] The soul and Him who created it.
[91:8] Then showed it what is evil and what is good.
[91:9] Successful is one who redeems it.
[91:10] Failing is one who neglects it.
[7:32] Say, "Who prohibited the nice things GOD has created for His creatures, and the good provisions?" Say, "Such provisions are to be enjoyed in this life by those who believe. Moreover, the good provisions will be exclusively theirs on the Day of Resurrection." We thus explain the revelations for people who know.
[2:255] GOD: there is no other god besides Him, the Living, the Eternal. Never a moment of unawareness or slumber overtakes Him. To Him belongs everything in the heavens and everything on earth. Who could intercede with Him, except in accordance with His will? He knows their past, and their future. No one attains any knowledge, except as He wills. His dominion encompasses the heavens and the earth, and ruling them never burdens Him. He is the Most High, the Great.
[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.
[10:61] You do not get into any situation, nor do you recite any Quran, nor do you do anything, without us being witnesses thereof as you do it. Not even an atom's weight is out of your Lord's control, be it in the heavens or the earth. Nor is there anything smaller than an atom, or larger, that is not recorded in a profound record.
[16:4] He created the human from a tiny drop, then he turns into an ardent opponent.
[16:5] And He created the livestock for you, to provide you with warmth, and many other benefits, as well as food.
[16:6] They also provide you with luxury during your leisure, and when you travel.
[16:7] And they carry your loads to lands that you could not reach without a great hardship. Surely, your Lord is Compassionate, Most Merciful.
[16:8] And (He created) the horses, the mules, and the donkeys for you to ride, and for luxury. Additionally, He creates what you do not know.
[56:63] Have you noted the crops you reap?
[56:64] Did you grow them, or did we?
[56:65] If we will, we can turn it into hay. Then you will lament:
[56:66] "We lost.
[56:67] "We are deprived."
[56:68] Have you noted the water you drink?
[56:69] Did you send it down from the clouds, or did we?
[56:70] If we will, we can make it salty. You should be thankful.
[56:71] Have you noted the fire you ignite?
[56:72] Did you initiate its tree, or did we?
[56:73] We rendered it a reminder, and a useful tool for the users.
[56:74] You shall glorify the name of your Lord, the Great.
For the sake of our souls, Quran provides us with a perfect set of elements to be fully aware of. One of these elements is the full consciousness of our utterances. The only route of uttering the correct utterances is the constant and persistent awareness of all the standards of righteousness according to God, making sure that our egos and personal opinions & feelings are not overcasting our words.
[33:70] O you who believe, reverence GOD and utter only the correct utterances.
[33:71] He will then fix your works, and forgive your sins. Those who obey GOD and His messenger have triumphed a great triumph.
Since our thoughts greatly dictate our actions and utterances, another basic element we must be fully cognizant of is the righteousness of our thoughts. If God is absolutely aware of of our innermost thoughts, would not this be an enough of a reason to be extremely self-conscious about them?
[2:284] To GOD belongs everything in the heavens and the earth. Whether you declare your innermost thoughts, or keep them hidden, GOD holds you responsible for them. He forgives whomever He wills, and punishes whomever He wills. GOD is Omnipotent.
A third element, that we must fully recognize and always keep in the forefront is the fact that each one of us is assigned a jinn companion that will keep presenting Satan's point of views, and will constantly try to influence our thoughts, actions and words. It is through our awareness of this companion, we can recognize the malice and seek refuge in God to guard for our souls:
[7:200] When the devil whispers to you any whisper, seek refuge in GOD; He is Hearer, Omniscient.
[7:201] Those who are righteous, whenever the devil approaches them with an idea, they remember, whereupon they become seers.
Prophet Joseph was almost seduced by his companion to commit evil, but because of his awareness as a righteous submitter to God, he averted from such behavior and sought refuge in God from Satan the rejected:
[12:23] The lady of the house where he lived tried to seduce him. She closed the doors and said, "I am all yours." He said, "May GOD protect me. He is my Lord, who gave me a good home. The transgressors never succeed."
It is only through our full awareness of God and all the unseen attributed to Him, that we value Him, reverence Him and observe Him the way it should be. We thus practice our submission and evolve from stage to another towards our certainty. Conversely, the moment we lose our awareness, we become more vulnerable to deviate and sin. No one is immune from temporarily losing the sense of awareness of God. In fact, Quran states few examples of certain prophets who have lost their awareness, thus sinned, but later on returned to God, repented and reformed. Muhammad (80:1-12, 33:37,) and Jonah (21:87) are only two examples among others for the believers to learn how to always strive in maintaining their awareness of God and meeting Him on the Last Day.
[3:102] O you who believe, you shall observe GOD as He should be observed, and do not die except as Submitters.
[22:32] Indeed, those who reverence the rites decreed by GOD demonstrate the righteousness of their hearts.
[64:16] Therefore, you shall reverence GOD as much as you can, and listen, and obey, and give (to charity) for your own good. Anyone who is protected from his own stinginess, these are the successful ones.
The following verses illustrate the depth of prophet Abraham's awareness of how awesome God is, and how He is the One and only Provider of all things and all blessings:
[26:77] "I am against them, for I am devoted only to the Lord of the universe.
[26:78] "The One who created me, and guided me.
[26:79] "The One who feeds me and waters me.
[26:80] "And when I get sick, He heals me.
[26:81] "The One who puts me to death, then brings me back to life.
[26:82] "The One who hopefully will forgive my sins on the Day of Judgment.
This is another group of verses that truly reflect how our cognizance/awareness of God almighty would help us enjoy our sense of belonging to God and His kingdom:
[6:161] Say, "My Lord has guided me in a straight path - the perfect religion of Abraham, monotheism. He never was an idol worshiper."
[6:162] Say, "My Contact Prayers (Salat), my worship practices, my life and my death, are all devoted absolutely to GOD alone, the Lord of the universe.
[6:163] "He has no partner. This is what I am commanded to believe, and I am the first to submit."
[6:164] Say, "Shall I seek other than GOD as a lord, when He is the Lord of all things? No soul benefits except from its own works, and none bears the burden of another. Ultimately, you return to your Lord, then He informs you regarding all your disputes."
[6:165] He is the One who made you inheritors of the earth, and He raised some of you above others in rank, in order to test you in accordance with what He has given you. Surely, your Lord is efficient in enforcing retribution, and He is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
With no doubt, being fully aware of returning to God and meeting Him in the Hereafter and being aware of our accountability on that day directly affect the consciousness of righteous believers. It dramatically change their style of thoughts, actions and words. Indeed, this blessing belongs to the true believers and was acknowledged by God almighty in Quran:
[38:45] Remember also our servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They were resourceful, and possessed vision.
[38:46] We bestowed upon them a great blessing: awareness of the Hereafter.
[38:47] They were chosen, for they were among the most righteous.
[2:3] who believe in the unseen, observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), and from our provisions to them, they give to charity.
[2:4] And they believe in what was revealed to you, and in what was revealed before you, and with regard to the Hereafter, they are absolutely certain.
[13:19] Is one who recognizes that your Lord's revelations to you are the truth equal to one who is blind? Only those who possess intelligence will take heed.
[13:20] They are the ones who fulfill their pledge to GOD, and do not violate the covenant.
[13:21] They join what GOD has commanded to be joined, reverence their Lord, and fear the dreadful reckoning.
[21:49] The ones who reverence their Lord, even when alone in their privacy, and they worry about the Hour.
[70:26] They believe in the Day of Judgment.
[70:27] They reverence their Lord's requital.
[70:28] Their Lord's requital is not taken for granted.
[76:7] They fulfill their pledges, and reverence a day that is extremely difficult.
Hopefully, God willing, as submitters to God alone, our positive awareness will always lead us on God 's straight path and will always advance our souls on that path. God willing, we can be among those who will utter the following on the Day of Judgment:
[69:20] "I did believe that I was going to be held accountable."
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.