The following article was transcribed by a SeekersGuidance scholarship student, based on a lecture series: “Friday Circle of Remembrance & Reminders.” This is episode 58 of the series, delivered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, reminding us of the gifts and realities of dua. Shaykh Faraz Rabbani also re-awakens the reasons for one’s existence and Allah’s mercy towards His creation.
Before we begin and commemorate the event of the blessed birth of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), it is our profound honor to acknowledge a true giant of the Quranic science in our midst, Shaykh Abdullah Siraj. Who is a living reminder of true dedication to Allah Most High, His Holy Book, and His beloved Messenger Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace), who was himself an embodiment of the Quran.
Remembrance of the Divine
Remembering the divine is a sacred responsibility. It is upon us, male and female believers, to go through this worldly life accompanied with the remembrance of our Lord, and become avid to attend gatherings of remembrance such as these. Allah Most High ascertains this duty when he tells His believers, “Such are the ones who believe (in the Message of the Prophet) and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah. Surely in Allah’s remembrance do hearts find rest.” [Quran, 13:28]
The Best of Remembrance: La Illah Ila Allah
The best of remembrance is “La Illah Ila Allah” (There is no god truly worthy of worship except Allah). The repetition of this phrase of Divine unity contains abundant virtues, and it carries the degree of the Supreme Name, conveying the grandeur of oneness and the perfection of unity. As for supplication, we are encouraged to make much of it during prostration, as our beloved Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) has told us that the servant is closest to his Lord when he is prostrating, and the best of supplication is “Alhamdulillah Rabbil-‘Alamin (Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Universe.)”
Guarding Our Prayers
Through guarding and performing our five daily prayers regularly upon hearing the adhan, one can attain the serenity of self and spirit. As Allah Most High tells us, “Those who guard their prayers truly, they are the ones who are the inheritors, and what is their inheritance, they inherit the Gardens of Firdous, and it is there that they will eternally reside.” [Quran, 23:10]
Prayers open the door for blessings to enter one’s life; to fulfill their needs and redeem themselves from past sins. Such a gift allows each aspect of their lives to flourish; their careers, familial life, and physical and emotional wellness.
Through consistent prayer a Muslim can also attain righteousness; one of the prime objectives that each Muslim should strive to achieve in life. All the commandments, prohibitions, and teachings provided by Islam pave the path for a Muslim to become pious and follow the straight path. In this regard, prayer plays a significant role as it embeds taqwa into the mind and soul of the believer. Moreover, the blessings of prayers transcend into the next life, and Allah Most High affirms that those who are constant in their prayers, will be honored in the Gardens of Paradise.
The Unceasing Gift of Allah’s Love
It is important for us to attend the gatherings of remembrance in hope of attaining spiritual devotion and moral elevation. Through the remembrance of “La Illah Ila Allah” Allah Most High says, “Those that remember Me in their heart, I remember them in My heart, and those that remember Me in a gathering, I remember them in a gathering greater than theirs.”
Allah Most High conveys the intensity of His love for His servants saying, “My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant.” [Hadith Qudsi] We must guard this unceasing blessing.
From the modes of sending blessings on the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) is Salat al-Nariya, “O Allah! Send the most perfect blessings and peace upon our beloved prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace), by whom all knots are untied, by whom all stress is lifted and by whom all needs are fulfilled, and by whom all that is sought is attained. Rain and divine assistance are sought by the blessedness of his (Allah bless him and give him peace) noble face, and upon his folk and companions and every moment and breath at all times and moments to the extent of all that is known to You.”
To conclude, sacred gatherings are windows to direct all our energy and focus toward our All-compassing and All-powerful Creator, and in turn receive the fulfillment and inner peace we are in constant search of.
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani spent ten years studying with some of the leading scholars of recent times, first in Damascus, and then in Amman, Jordan. His teachers include the foremost theologian of recent times in Damascus, the late Shaykh Adib al-Kallas (may Allah have mercy on him), as well as his student Shaykh Hassan al-Hindi, one of the leading Hanafi fuqaha of the present age. He returned to Canada in 2007, where he founded SeekersGuidance in order to meet the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge–both online and on the ground–in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He is the author of Absolute Essentials of Islam: Faith, Prayer, and the Path of Salvation According to the Hanafi School (White Thread Press, 2004.) Since 2011, Shaykh Faraz has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.