Sent by: Brother Ramli Daawood, Malaysia            Part-(II)

Remembrance of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)
All of the various acts of worship contained in the Islamic Shari’ah are designed to help humans remember Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa). It is natural for human beings to sometimes forget even the most important things. Humans often become so engrossed in fulfilling their material needs that they totally forget their spiritual needs. Regular Salaah (Prayer) is ordained to organize the day of the true believer around the remembrance of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa). It interweaves spiritual needs with material needs on a daily basis. The regular daily need to eat, work and sleep is linked to the daily need to renew man’s connection with Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa). With regard to regular Salaah, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) states in the final revelation:

إِنَّنِي أَنَا اللَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدْنِي وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِذِكْرِي [طه: 14]

“Surely, I am Allah. There is no God but Myself, so worship Me, and establish Salaah for My remembrance.” (TaaHaa 20:14)

Regarding Sawm (Fasting), Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) stated in the Quraan:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ [البقرة: 183]

“O you who believe! Sawm (Fasting) have been enjoined upon you as they were enjoined upon those before you, so that you may be Allah-fearing.” (Al-Baqarah 2:183)

The believers are encouraged to remember Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) as much as possible. Although, moderation in all spheres of life, whether material or spiritual, is generally encouraged in divine law, an exception is made regarding the remembrance of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa). It is virtually impossible to remember too much. Consequently, in the final revelation, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) encourages the believers to remember Him as often as possible:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ ذِكْرًا كَثِيرًا [الأحزاب: 41]

“O you who believe! Remember Allah abundantly.” (Al-Ahzaab 33:41)

Remembrance of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) is stressed because sin is generally committed when Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) is forgotten. The forces of evil operate most freely when consciousness of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) is lost. The satanic forces seek to occupy people’s minds with irrelevant thoughts and desires to make them forget Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa). Once Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) is forgotten, people willingly join the corrupt elements. The final revelation, addresses this phenomenon in as follows:

اسْتَحْوَذَ عَلَيْهِمُ الشَّيْطَانُ فَأَنْسَاهُمْ ذِكْرَ اللَّهِ أُولَئِكَ حِزْبُ الشَّيْطَانِ أَلَا إِنَّ حِزْبَ الشَّيْطَانِ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ [المجادلة: 19]

“Shaitaan (Satan) has prevailed upon them; so he has made them neglect to remember Allah. They are the party of Shaitaan. Be assured that it is (the members of the) party of Shaitaan that are the losers.” (Al-Mujaadilah 58:19)

Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), through Divine law, has prohibited intoxicants and gambling primarily because they cause human beings to forget Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa). The human mind and body easily become addicted to drugs and games of chance. Once addicted, mankind’s desire to continually be stimulated by these leads them into all forms of corruption and violence among themselves. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) says in the Quraan:

إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَنْ يُوقِعَ بَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةَ وَالْبَغْضَاءَ فِي الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ وَيَصُدَّكُمْ عَنْ ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَعَنِ الصَّلَاةِ فَهَلْ أَنْتُمْ مُنْتَهُونَ [المائدة: 91]

“Shaitaan (Satan) wishes only to plant enmity and malice between you through intoxicants and gambling, and to prevent you from the remembrance of Allah and from Salaah. Would you, then, abstain?” (Al-Maaidah 5:91)

Consequently, humankind need to remember Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) for their own salvation and growth. All humans have times of weakness in which they commit sins. If they have no means of remembering Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), they sink deeper and deeper into corruption with every sin. However, those who follow the divine laws will be constantly reminded of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), which will give them a chance to repent and correct themselves. The final revelation accurately describes this process:

وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُوا فَاحِشَةً أَوْ ظَلَمُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ ذَكَرُوا اللَّهَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا لِذُنُوبِهِمْ [آل عمران: 135]

“…and those who, when they happen to commit a shameful act or wrong themselves, remember Allah, then, seek forgiveness for their sins” (Aale ‘Imraan 3:135)

The Religion of Islam
The most complete method and practice of worship available to human beings today is found in the religion of Islam. The very name ‘Islam’ means ‘submission to the Will of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa).’ Although it is commonly referred to as ‘the third of the three monotheistic faiths,’ it is not a new religion at all. It is the religion brought by all of the prophets of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) for mankind. Islam was the religion of Hadhrat Aadam (Adam), Hadhrat Ibrahim (Abraham), Hadhrat Moosaa (Moses) and Hadhrat Eesaa (Jesus). Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) addresses this issue in the Quraan with regard to Prophet Hadhrat Ibrahim, saying:

مَا كَانَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ يَهُودِيًّا وَلَا نَصْرَانِيًّا وَلَكِنْ كَانَ حَنِيفًا مُسْلِمًا وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ [آل عمران: 67]

“Ibrahim was neither a Jew nor a Christian. But he was upright, a Muslim, and was not one of Polytheists (those who associate partners with Allah).”(Aale ‘Imraan 3:67)

Since there is only One God, and humankind are one species, the religion which Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) has ordained for human beings is one. He did not prescribe one religion for the Jews, another for Indians, yet another for Europeans, etc. Human spiritual and social needs are uniform, and human nature has not changed since the first man and woman were created. Thus, no other religion is acceptable to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) besides Islam, as He clearly states in the final revelation:

إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ الْإِسْلَامُ [آل عمران: 19]

“Truly, the (recognized) religion in the sight of Allah is Islam.” (Aale ‘Imraan 3:19)

وَمَنْ يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الْإِسْلَامِ دِينًا فَلَنْ يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ [آل عمران: 85]

“And whoever seeks a faith other than Islam, it will never be accepted from him, and he, in the Aakhirah (Hereafter), will be among the losers.” (Aale ‘Imraan 3:85)

Every Act is Worship
In the Islamic teachings, each and every human act can be transformed into an act of worship. In fact, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) commands the believers to dedicate their whole lives to Him. In the Quraan, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) says:

قُلْ إِنَّ صَلَاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ [الأنعام: 162]

“Say: ‘Surely my prayer, my offering, my life and my death are for Allah, the Lord of all the worlds.” (Al-An’aam 6:162)

However, for that dedication to be acceptable to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), each act must fulfill two basic conditions:

1. First, the act must be done sincerely for the pleasure of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) and not for the recognition and praise of human beings. The believer also has to be conscious of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) while doing the deed to insure that it is not something forbidden by Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) or the last Messenger, Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam).

2. The second condition is that the act be done in accordance with the prophetic way, called in Arabic the Sunnah. All of the prophets instructed their followers to follow their way because they were guided by Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa). What they taught were divinely revealed truths, and only those who followed their way and accepted the truths would inherit eternal life in Jannah. Prophet Jesus, too, was reported in the Gospel, as saying:

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”(John 14:6 NKJV)