Saturday 9 December 2023

Remember the name of your Lord and devote yourself to Him with exclusive devotion

Surah Al Muzzammil, the 73rd chapter of Qur'an is exclusively themed at remembrance and worship of Allah. In this Surah, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ has been instructed to offer Tahajjad prayer in the last quarter of the night "Arise during the night and worship Allah" when one is  free from worldly affairs and concentrate on his worship. Besides, a Command has been given to read the Qur'an in the Tahajjud Prayer. when one reaches such level of devotion that one forgoes part of one's sleep to the worship of Allah, one moves closer and closer to one's Creator to know Him more and learns to rely on the Creator of the universe, rather than being afraid of the worldly lords and demagogues.

The direction to devote oneself to Allah and remembering Him as much as one can is the theme of the 8th verse of Surah Al Muzzammil being shared today in our series of posts on selected verses from Qur'an. Although, this entire Surah is exclusively addressed to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, yet it is equally applicable to all Muslims to follow what has been commanded to be close to Allah and to express our exclusive devotion to Allah.

وَاذۡكُرِ اسۡمَ رَبِّكَ وَتَبَتَّلۡ اِلَيۡهِ تَبۡتِيۡلًا ؕ‏ 
(73:8) So remember the name of your Lord and devote yourself to Him with exclusive devotion.
After making mention of the occupation of the daytime, the exhortation to remember the name of your Lord by itself gives the meaning: Never be heedless of the remembrance of your Lord even when you are deeply involved in your worldly occupations, and continue to commemorate His name in one way or another at all times. 

Same is the theme of the last part of the 35th verse / ayat of Surah Al Ahzab wherein Allah promises great reward for those who remember Allah much and that Allah has prepared forgiveness and mighty reward:

وَالذّٰكِرِيۡنَ اللّٰهَ كَثِيۡرًا وَّ الذّٰكِرٰتِ ۙ اَعَدَّ اللّٰهُ لَهُمۡ مَّغۡفِرَةً وَّاَجۡرًا عَظِيۡمًا‏
(33:35) ... the men who remember Allah much and the women who remember Allah much: for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and a mighty reward.
"Remember Allah much" means that one should mention Allah's name in one way or other at all times in every business of life. Man cannot develop such a state of the mind unless the thought of God becomes deeply embedded in his heart. When this idea has passed beyond his conscious mind and settled deep in his subconscious and unconscious mind, then only he will remember and mention God's name in whatever he does and in whatever he says. 
  • He will begin with bismillah (Bi-smi llāh; بِسْمِ ٱللَّٰهِ, "In the name of Allah") when he eats and say al-hamdu lillah (Arabic: ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّٰهِ, al-Ḥamdu lillāh) when he finishes; 
  • He will remember Allah when he goes to bed, and mention Allah's name when he gets up. 
One of the supplication as has been the practice of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is appended below:
"الْحَمْدُ للهِ الَّذِي أَحْيَانَا بَعْدَ مَا أَمَاتَنَا وَإِلَيْهِ النُّشُورُ".
(Alhamdu lillaahil-lathee 'ahyaanaa ba'da maa 'amaatanaa wa'ilayhin-nushoor.)
Praise is to Allah Who gives us life after He has caused us to die and to Him is the return.
  • In his conversation also he will again and again pronounce bismillah, al-hamdu-lillalh, in sha-Allah (Arabic: إِنْ شَاءَ ٱللَّٰهُ, meaning if Allah wills), ma sha Allah (Arabic: مَا شَاءَ ٱللَّٰهُ, 'God has willed it'), etc. 
  • And ask for Allah's help in every matter, and thank Him for every blessing. 
  • He will seek His mercy in every affliction, and turn to Him in every trouble. 
  • He will fear Him on encountering every evil, and ask for His forgiveness when he happens to have committed an error and will pray to Him for fulfillment of every need. 
In short, in every state and in every business of life his function will be to remember Allah.

This. In fact, is the essence of the Islamic life. For all other acts of worship there is a prescribed time when they are performed, and one is free when one has performed them. But this is the worship which has no special time; it has to be performed constantly so that it links up the man's life with Allah and His service permanently. The other worships and religious acts themselves also become meaningful only when the heart of man remains inclined to Allah not only at the time when the act is actually being carried out but at all times when the tongue is uttering Allah's name constantly. In such a state as this worship and religious acts develop and flourish in a man's life precisely in the same manner as a plant grows in a congenial climate and environment. Contrary to this, the example of the religious services and worships which are carried out only on special times and occasions in the life which is devoid of this constant remembrance of Allah is of the plant which has been planted in an un-congenial climate, and which is growing only due to the special attention and care of the gardener. This very thing has been explained by the Holy Prophet in a Hadith, thus:

"Mu'adh bin Anas Juhani relates that a person asked the Holy Prophet of Allah. who among those who fight in the way of Allah will get the highest reward? He replied: The one who remembers Allah the most. The man asked: Who among the observers of the fast will get the highest reward? He replied: The one who remembers Allah the most. The man then asked the same question about the offerer of the Prayer, the payer of the Zakat and charities and the performer of Hajj and the Holy Prophet in every case gave the same answer, saying: He who remembers Allah the most." (Musnad Ahmad)

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
It has been commanded that the Prophet (sws) must always bear in mind God’s attributes while remembering Him in abundance in his heart and submerging his tongue in celebrating His praises and extolling Him. This is because all the names of God actually signify His attributes. These attributes are the basis of our faith and religion. It is this remembrance of God by him which will protect his faith and determination to meet the demands of his exacting mission. Imām Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī writes:

… Just as for the material life of man, breathing is essential, for his spiritual life, remembering God is essential. The body dies if breathing stops. Similarly, if a person becomes indifferent to God, his soul becomes lifeless. It is God’s remembrance that keeps it fresh and alive, and the life of the heart is real life. (Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 9, 27)

And that he should disassociate himself from everything and devote all his attention to God alone and spend his time in remembering Him. Evident from this is the importance of the tahajjud prayer, the recital of the Qur’ān in it and remembering God in order to acquire steadfastness and perseverance in the effort to preach the religion of God.

Tafsir Qur'an Wiki:
Remembering God's name does not mean repeating His honoured name verbally, counting with a bead of one hundred or a thousand pieces. Rather, this is a heart-felt remembrance along with verbal mention, or it means prayer and reading the Qur'an while praying. Wholehearted devotion means concentrating all one's attention on God, addressing one's worship to Him, discarding all thoughts and feelings other than the bond with Him.
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

You may read more posts on similar theme in our series of posts related to: Compiled verses from Qur'an on specific subjects: Life

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages  and Understanding Al Qur'an for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
Photo | Tafsir References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that the exegesis of the chapters of the Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided, additional input has been interjected from the following sources: 
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Translation Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Qur'an Wiki
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
In addition, references of other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

Disclaimer: The material for this post has been collected from the references given above. If anyone differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

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