Abu Ad-Darda’ (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet said: “Shall I not inform you of the best of your actions, the purest in the sight of your Lord, which raises your rank to the highest, which is better for you than spending gold and silver, better than meeting your enemy so that you strike at their necks and they strike at yours?’ They replied: ‘Yes, indeed,’ and he said: ‘It is the remembrance of Allah.” (At-Tirmidhi)
Nowadays, the main thing that most conscious Muslims are worried about is how to keep remembering Allah (SWT) throughout the normal course of your day without withdrawing from the routine of their daily worldly affairs. Most Muslims find it very challenging to balance this: ensuring that their personal, family, social and professional life does not flood away remembrance of Allah (SWT).
Scholars therefore believe that balancing the two requires being in the right state of mind.
So what’s the best way(s) to achieve this?
1- Say to yourself: I am in Allah’s presence; He is watching me.
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet said: “Allah says, “I treat My servant as he hopes that I would treat him. I am with him whenever he remembers Me: if he thinks of Me, I think of him; if he mentions Me in company, I mention him in an even better company. If he draws near to Me a hand’s span, I draw near to him an arm’s length; and if he draws near to Me an arm’s length, I draw closer by a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Always remember that if ever you are alone, Allah (SWT) is always there with you. He sees and hears what you do openly and secretly. This is why he’s called omnipresent and omnipotent.
Be constantly reminded about his presence whenever you want to say anything or act in any way. Abdullah ibn Busr (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that one of the Prophet’s Companions said, “O Messenger of Allah. I am overwhelmed by the so many injunctions of Islam. So tell me something to which I may hold fast.” The Prophet replied, “Keep your tongue wet with the remembrance of Allah.” (At Tirmidhi)
2- Say to yourself: Everything I have has been given to me by Allah.
As Muslims, we are expected to believe in the term ‘destiny’, as it is part of the articles of Islamic faith. We believe that whatever happens to us is part of our qadar (destiny) and that it’s only Allah than can give and take without any query. Hence, we are advised to always reflect upon all the blessings Allah (SWT) has created for us and be thankful to Him.
As long as we keep appreciating Allah in every aspect of our life, remembering Allah will forever be part of us. Take Prophet Muhammad as your role model and you’ll always be remembering and appreciative to Allah. For instance, Prophet Muhammad woke up in the morning, he would say Alhamdulillah ladhi ayanaa bada ma atana wa ilaehi nusur (Thanks to Allah who gives us lives after temporarily taking our souls, and to Him we shall all return), whenever he ate or drank he would say Alhamdulillah ladhi at’amani (thanks to Allah who fed me…); and even when he relieved himself he would give thanks to Allah.
More so, always remember the promise of Allah on all his creatures that appreciate him. He says in the Qur’an: “If you appreciate Me, I’ll increase you bountifully”. Likewise, if ever you appear to be short of things to be thankful for, recall the hadith of the Prophet (PBUH): ‘There are 360 joints in the body and for each joint you must give a sadaqa (thanks or charity) each day.’ ( Al-Bukhari)
Also, if you feel that there is nothing else to thank Allah for, then thank Him for the life that He has given you – for, so long as there is life, there is hope.
3- Say to yourself: Nothing in this world can happen without His permission.
If God should touch you with misfortune, none can remove it but He; and if He should touch you with good fortune, He has power over all things. He alone holds sway over His creatures; He is the All- Wise, the All-Aware. (Al-An`am 6:17-18)
Everything lies in the hands of Allah. No harm can befall you and no benefit can reach you except as Allah ordains.
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) would supplicate to Allah after each Prayer: O Allah, whatever You want to give me, no one can stop it from coming to me and whatever You want to prevent from coming to me, nobody can give to me. (Al-Bukhari)
Prayer after Prayer, you should recite these beautiful words.
And beyond that, remind yourself as much as you can and throughout the day, especially as you expect something to happen, or not to happen, that everything happens only as He commands, and by His permission.
4- Always remember that you can die any time
You do not know when you will leave this world. It may be that the coming morning is your last morning, or perhaps the coming evening is your last evening.
Indeed, it may be that this hour is your last hour, or even, that this moment is your last moment. Such an uncertainty does not, of course, justify a complete withdrawal from this life so as to prepare for the next in some monastic fashion.
It is important, however, that you are always conscious of this uncertainty, to the extent that it motivates you to spend every moment of your remaining life seriously, considering it as a gift from Allah and spending the resources He has blessed you with – time, ability and energy as He has advised. Then, and only then, will your life have achieved what is required of it, and your return will achieve what is required of it.
To help you attain this state of consciousness, recall and reflect upon the following Quranic verse as much as you can and throughout the day: “…From Allah we came and to Him we shall return.” (Al-Baqarah 2:156)
5- Fill your tongue with quest for forgiveness and praises of Allah (SWT)
Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet said: He who repeats after every prayer: Subhan Allah (Glory be to Allah) thirty-three times, Al-hamdu lillah (praise be to Allah) thirty-three times, Allahu Akbar (Allah is Greatest) thirty-three times;
and completes the hundred with: La ilaha illallahu, wahdahu la sharika lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamdu, wa Huwa `ala kulli shai’in qadir (There is no true god except Allah. He is One and He has no partner. His is the sovereignty and His is the praise, and He is Omnipotent) will have all his sins pardoned even if they may be as large as the foam on the surface of the sea.” (Muslim)
In another hadith, Abu Hurairah also reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: He who says, ‘Subhan-Allahi wa bihamdih‘ (Glory and praise be to Allah) one hundred times a day, his sins will be obliterated even if they are equal to the extent of the foam of the sea. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Additionally, Zaid ibn Harithah narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: Whosoever says: ‘Astaghfirullaha al-`Azeem al-ladhi la ilaha illa howa Al-Hayy al-Qayyum wa atubu illayh (I ask forgiveness of Allah, the Magnificent, than Whom there is no deity, the Living, the Sustainer of existence, and I turn to Him in repentance,) his sins will be forgiven even if he should have run away from the battlefield (while he was engaged in fighting for the Cause of Allah, which is a grave sin in Islam). (Abu Dawud)
In conclusion, remember that the best way to have rest of mind in this complicated complex world is to always remember Allah (SWT). Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet said: “The similitude of someone who remembers his Lord and someone who does not is like that of the living and the dead.” (Al-Bukhari)
“Whoever prays Fajr Prayer in congregation, and then sits and remembers Allah until the sun rises, then (after a while) prays two rak`has, he will gain a reward equal to that of making perfect Hajj and `Umrah. [The Prophet repeated the word “perfect” thrice.] (At-Tirmidhi)