c. Remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala
Remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is the next step which confirms the gratitude for the favor of proceeding on His way. For this reason, heedlessness is among the most important snares in which the devil causes the believers to fall after Ramadan. Thus, you find yourself heedless of considering your state as you were earlier, and there is no strength and no power save in Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. Where is the Qur’an? Where are the morning and evening Athkaar? Many long hours elapse during which you do not remember your Lord, but rather become heedless of the state in which you were. The devil occupies you so much as you see when you sit in seclusion with your Lord and discover how your day elapses in vain, on which you do nothing, even what you used to do before Ramadan.
Of course, you see how your day skips by, and your night is about to skip by, and the heart gets so tired that it fails to resume the way toward Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, and rather relies on sleep or any deed of heedlessness.
Meanwhile, the devil comes to you, and tries to occupy you with things that may divert your heart and mind, with the signs of that being visible on your tongue, heart and mind.
He stimulates the heart to remember such-and-such, such-and-such, and such-and-such, until the heart becomes corrupt and possessed by heedlessness.
The next step to encounter this state of heedlessness after showing your Lord your standing (at night in prayer) and recitation of the Qur’an, is to show Him that you are one of those who remember Him more often.
This good state is mentioned by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala in His Statement (which means): “O you who have believed, let not your wealth and your children divert you from remembrance of Allah. And whoever does that – then those are the losers.” [Qur’an 63:9] The Qur’anic ayah confirms the concept of loss. If one is heedless of, and distracted from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, no doubt, he will see the loss, failure, recession and retreat of his states, and the slackening of his affairs with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. The result is that he would not be able to gather his concerns together, or even focus his heart on Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, or find his mind pure, in a state of approach to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. That is because he sees his heart and mind fully occupied by worldly affairs, children, property, his past and future states, journey, study, and so on.
Two causes lie behind our concern with this state:
The first is that remembrance (of Allah) always guards the heart, as stated by the Messenger of Allah ﷺ in connection with the remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala: “Its example is like a man after whom the enemies are running (to seize), until when he comes to an impregnable fort, he fortifies himself from them.” [At-Tirmithi] Similarly, man is fortified from the devil by the remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. If this remembrance is even no more than words repeated by the tongue and adornment, this is better than the state in which he is heedless, by heart and tongue, of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. It may be that the remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala by the tongue causes the heart to join it, so much that both the heart and the tongue come to feel the meanings and sweetness of remembrance of and approach to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. In this way, the believer would rise in rank and be fortified as he demands from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, “like a man after whom the enemies are running (to seize), until when he comes to an impregnable fort, he fortifies himself from them.”
One may remember his Lord most with the statement “There is no strength and no power save in Allah;” it is one of the treasures of Paradise, as mentioned by the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. If one feels its meaning, without doubt, it will protect him from the evil scheme of the devil, guard him against his whispers, and help him do what he likes and hopes of good deeds and acts of worship. The more one says it, i.e. “There is no strength and no power save in Allah” after his remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala with the help of Tasbeeh (Alhumdulillah), Tahleel (SubhanAllah) and Takbeer (Allahu Akbar) of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, and invocation of blessings and peace of Allah upon the Messenger of Allah ﷺ the more his heart would be joined (in love) for Him.
The other cause is to prevent himself from slackening and distraction of the heart. That is the significance of the statement of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, “The one upon whom the morning comes, with the Hereafter being his only concern, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala gathers all of his affairs together for him, makes him fully satisfied, and the world comes to him in willing submission.” [Ahmad and At-Tirmithi] How could one turn all his concerns into only one? It is this one concern with which he should do his best to have in the heart, approach his Lord The Almighty, gather together all his affairs on it, and keep away from heedlessness, evil intentions, and worldly occupations which cause him to forget the Hereafter and readiness to meet Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. Failing to abstain from this world, and rather abstaining from and being heedless of the Hereafter, not knowing that he may be seized on his current day or night, with his day and night being the last to live, will cause one to leave the world in a very bad state.
This is the significance of remembrance (of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala), and saying, more often, “There is no strength and no power save in Allah.” It is one of the statements of Thikr, with which the heart gathers, one brings together all his affairs and approaches Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, and turns all his concerns into only one, i.e. his concern for the Hereafter. No doubt, the most important concern is to stand before Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, just as wanted by Him. He, upon whom the morning comes, with the world being his main concern, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala disperses all his affairs from him.
Thus, see the state which you are in: that is, he, upon whom the morning comes, with the world being his main concern, no doubt, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala disperses all his affairs from him, makes him see nothing except poverty, and he will take from this world only what is decreed by Allah for him. This state shows you why your affairs scatter from you, and you come to see only poverty and fear of tomorrow and today, and how you would do. Thereby the believers are distracted from their Hereafter, their Lord, their remembrance (of Allah) and lack the purity of hearts and minds to receive those meanings from the Light of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala that is cast into those believing and loving hearts. This is stated by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala Who says (what means): “And thus We have revealed to you an inspiration of Our command. You did not know what is the Book or [what is] faith, but We have made it a light by which We guide whom We will of Our servants. And indeed, [O Muhammad], you guide to a straight path – The Path of Allah.” [Qur’an 42:52-53]