Those who fast are the most conscious of Allah. They remember Him always by saying, “Glory be to Allah (SubhanAllah), all praise is due Allah (Alhumdulillah), Allah is the greatest (Allahu Akbar), and I ask Allah for forgiveness (Astaghfirullah).” If the day becomes long for the fasting, they make it shorter with their constant remembrance of Allah. If the pangs of hunger pain them, they overcome this through the remembrance of Allah. They find delight in their remembrance and happiness. They remember Allah and He remembers them. “So remember Me, and I shall remember you.” [Al-Baqarah 2: 152]
Likewise, when they give thanks and show gratitude to Him, He increases His favor upon them. “If you are grateful [to Me], I shall most certainly give you more and more.” [Surah Ibraheem 14: 7]
The truthful fasters remember Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala standing, sitting and reclining on their sides. Their hearts become contented with the remembrance of Allah, their spirits become happy with love for Allah, and their souls become relaxed with the longing to meet Allah. Prophet Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “The example of the one who remembers Allah and the one who does not remember Him is like the living and the dead.” There are many dead people who do not know the remembrance of Allah. They live, eat, drink, roam freely and rejoice. Yet they absolutely do not know life.
It was reported that the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Those who are singled out will arrive before others.” The companions asked, “Who are they that are singled out?” He replied, “The men and women who remember Allah often.” The fasting person who remembers Allah is foremost in doing good. Such a one is close to Paradise and far from the fire of Hell. His records are filled with good deeds and overflowing with righteousness. Congratulations and best wishes to him.
Toward this end, a man asked the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to inform him of a deed that he should cling to. Allah’s Messenger told him, “Keep your tongue always moistened with the remembrance of Allah.”
The following poem written originally in Arabic is an excellent expression of this sublime reverence. It reflects the peak of ingenuity. It tells of how a fasting person becomes hungry and yet always remembers Allah. How he thirsts and yet continues to glorify Allah:
Remember us as we remember You,
perhaps remembrance will shorten the distance.
Remember the searcher when he crosses Your path,
Shedding tears and yearning for happiness.
Those who remember Allah much, often do so with the exhaling of their breath, the meeting of their lips and the succession of every moment. They secure with their contemplation the greatest rewards, highest aspirations and most generous sacrifice. If some of the negligent turn away from the remembrance of Allah, they will be overcome by anxiety and trapped by distress and sadness. Surely, they have the remedy, but they do not take it. They have the cure but they do not know it. “Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” [Surah ar-R’ad Ayah 28]
The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “Whoever says glory and praise be to Allah, a date tree shall be planted for him in Paradise.” How many date trees, therefore, have eluded the people who indulge in heavy sleep and long hours of folly?
Will you feel sorry for the one who insists on wrong-doing,
Will you show mercy to him but you show no mercy to yourself?
You shun me always because of my thoughtfulness
And yet you spent your life in negligence.
On the virtues of Allah-consciousness, the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “I prefer to say glory be to Allah, praise to Allah, there is no God save Allah, and Allah is the greatest than to have all that the sun ever shone upon.” And what is this world anyway? Of what value is its gold, silver, and palaces? This is how the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam weighed and valued them. For all that the sun ever shone upon is not equal to ‘glory be to Allah, praise to Allah, there is no God save Allah, and Allah is the greatest.’ Is there not a conscious being who would fill his hours with these precious words so that he may find them on the Day of the Greatest Presentation a source of light, pleasure, and happiness?
The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Shall I inform you of your best and most precious deeds before your Master? It is better for you than to spend gold and money. It is better for you than to meet your enemy and you smite their necks and they smite your necks?” The Companions said, “Yes, tell us O Messenger of Allah.” He said, “The remembrance of Allah.”
Whenever the righteous predecessors prayed Fajr, they used to sit and remember Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala until day broke. Some used to spread their copies of the Qur’an after the morning prayer and devote their entire beings to the study of the signs and momentous rulings. They would fill their bosoms with lights and their records with rewards. The one who has suffered the worst kind of losses is he whom Ramadan passes and who does not attain happiness in it from the remembrance of his Lord and does not spend his time in glorifying his Master. Is there not, therefore, a diligent one who would seize every breath of his life and minutes of time?
[Excerpt from the book: 30 Lessons for Those who Fast by al-Aidh Abdullah al-Qarni]