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Remembrance, Even While the Soul Exits (14)

By Bintus-Sabeel on . Posted in Death and the Grave . Hits: 15306

qurandrawnAs one sits reciting the Qur’aan, contemplating and pondering over its verses and the meanings and signs found within it, one will find that the natural innate thirst and inquisitiveness found within the heart and mind is quenched by the exquisite, unparalleled, amazing, magnificent and unmatched Words of Allah, the Lord of the heavens and the earth. Each and every human being has a chance to undertake this spiritual journey, a choice to pick up the Qur’aan…if they are willing. Satanic whispers will be abated and ailments of the heart, soul and body can be cured.

This is because each verse glows and alights right inside the heart of the believer. It is at this point that the Muslim begins to truly realise how transitory this life is, how fleeting its enjoyments are, how tainted the love and friendships found within it really are in comparison to the love and friendships the people of before acquired and gained for their Lord, from their Lord and with the people of their Lord. It begins to dawn on the dark and filthy heart that everything besides Allah (Almighty) will perish, everything is in need of Him and everything exists because of Him. In this way a light begins to shine within the heart, a light which if allowed will continue to spread over the slave’s heart until it takes over the whole of the heart and then the slave’s perception and very being will be enlightened, truths will come to light and realities will begin to hit. Everything will have a new meaning and life will begin to change for the best even if there are hardships involved. It is at this stage that whoever comes in contact with this slave of Allah begins to benefit from the light contained within his words, his actions and his very pursuits. He becomes an example for all, a light to be followed within the dark confusions and difficulties of this life.

After a slave becomes used to Allah’s remembrance, then the heart and one’s being becomes repetitively thirsty for Allah’s remembrance, without which they will die and go astray, just as a fish without water. Both the heart and the soul need continuous doses of His remembrance during the day and within the night, even if this means forsaking one’s rest and comfort. For, true rest and comfort is found facing His House, standing in front of Him, similar to how one will stand in front of Him on the Day of Judgement.

Allah (the Glorious and Subtle) says, {… Verily, in the remembrance of Allaah do hearts find rest.} [Ar-Ra’d [13]: 28]

A person becomes free from the shackles of pursuing happiness merely from the creation to by way of the creation. This continues, until one thinks of only that which pleases the Lord, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, the Sustainer, Nourisher and Provider of all of His creation that existed, exists and will exist. For, why shouldn’t one please the Generous Lord, Who not only controls our affairs in this life, but will do so also in al-Barzakh and in the abode and realm of eternity thereafter. We will always be dependent on Him and in need of His Bestowal and Mercy and we will never be able to exist without being in need of Him. If only we would realise that if it wasn’t for Allah’s Mercy, we would not have tasted the breath of life. If only we would truly realise that He alone has the power to change our destiny, if He so Wills…

In truth, when one comes to realise these realities, which so evidently call out to us by way of our very own existence, and the existence of all that is around us, then all of one’s undivided worship, obedience, submissiveness, compliance, hope, fear and love are channelled towards Him and Him alone. But this can’t occur until and unless a person begins to realise that Allah (Almighty) is above the heavens and watches and hears all that a slave thinks, does and says, after which the straight path will become acutely visible to the slave, a path unlike any other…the path of those who remember, who remember their Lord sitting, standing and on their sides.

Once a Gnostic said,

“How pitiful, the worldly people! They leave this life without ever having tasted the sweetest thing in it.”

When asked what that was, he replied,

“The love of Allah, the knowledge of Allah and the remembrance of Allah.”

It is at this point that one begins to partake in the heaven found within this lowly world, the heavenly bliss that overtakes the heart and pushes it towards the straight path, the path which leads to Allah (Almighty). As a Gnostic said, 'There are times when I say,

“If the people of Heaven have anything like this, how truly sweet their lives (are)!”'

This is when one finds true joy, a felicity which makes one’s heart fill with immeasurable delight, unbounded happiness and joyful bliss. Just as someone once said,

'There are times when the heart dances in joy (i.e. due to the remembrance of Allah).'

While in this world, this state of peace and tranquillity affects the heart in such a way that one will become ready to sacrifice everything and anyone to continue in this state. In fact, if the people knew of what they experienced, then as a Gnostic so precisely stated:

'If kings and the sons of kings knew what we had, they would try to take it from us by the sword!'

This sense of quiet, peace and contentment, regardless of the circumstances one may have to face in the world, cannot be attained except by pushing oneself towards doing good deeds, keeping one’s slate clean and by asking Allah (the Most Forgiving) for forgiveness for what one may have committed in the past. There is also another side to it – restraining oneself, even if at that moment it may seem like the hardest thing to do, even if one knows in the back of one’s mind that it will only give a temporary sense of interest, pleasure and delight. Few indeed are those who can continue on this difficult path, pushing and restraining themselves along it, keeping their mind focused on the hereafter, Allah’s pleasure and constantly reminding oneself of the transient nature of this world, all that is within it – including one’s very own self.

Imaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) once said,

'Truly, there is a Heaven in this world, [and] whoever does not enter it, will not enter the Heaven of the next world.'

It is not surprising then, that he said his famous quote when persecuted:

“What can my enemies do to me?
I have in my chest both my Heaven and my Garden.
If I travel they are with me, and they never leave me.
Imprisonment for me is a religious retreat [khalwa].
To be slain for me is martyrdom [shahada].
And to be exiled from my land is a spiritual journey [siyaha].” (All the above quotes can be found in al-Waabil as-Sayyib by Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim.)

And as he stood within his prison cell, facing the wall he recited: 'And a wall between them is struck which has a gate. On the inside there is a mercy, on the outside punishment.' [al-Hadeed [57]: 13]

Such people are the ones that will truly be worthy of entering the paradise of delights and this is the difference between the living and the dead.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The example of the one who remembers his Lord in comparison with the one who does not remember his Lord is that of the living and the dead.” [Sahih al-Bukhari; 11:208, Muslim; 1:539]

Such people do not belong in this world, and hence are ever preparing for their journey towards their real home. When the time finally comes to meet one’s Lord, this soul, which was so quick to follow the command of its Lord, will come out easily. This extraction of the soul from the body will flow so easily, just as water flows from a glass when tilted. At this point, as the soul of the believer is extracted, it will be partaking in the action most beloved to it in this world, and that is the remembrance of Allah (the Almighty). The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

“The believer’s soul comes out from inside him, while he is praising Allah.” (Muslim)

This is because such people were used to calling upon Allah (the All-Hearing) within both their obligatory and supererogatory acts of worship, as they undertook the command of their Lord,

“O you who have believed, remember Allah with much remembrance. And exalt Him morning and afternoon.” [33:41-42]

Not only will the soul come out easily, but as mentioned in the previous article, it will be emitting a fine fragrance of musk, a musk unlike any scent smelt in this world, an aroma out of this world. In most instances it will be only smelt by the angels although, as has been stated previously, there are reports of how bodies of many Muslim martyrs have been reported to smell of a musk out of this world. Just as they fragranced their tongues with the remembrance of Allah, the One Worthy of Mention, so too will Allah fragrance their souls with a heavenly aroma of musk.

As you called upon Allah throughout the night and day,

He showed you the right way,

Enlightened your heart with light...

So you realised the truth within ignorance’s night.

So begin to remember Him first,

And in this way quench your spiritual thirst,

So that when death comes your way,

You’ll be remembering your Lord incessantly too on that hard day.

Light upon light, 

Fragrance upon fragrance,

And His unmatched Grace...

 

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