We always need something or other every day. Sometimes we feel the need to be loved. Sometimes we feel the need to be entertained. Sometimes we feel the need to sleep. Even when we want to do “nothing” we’re doing so because we feel the “need” to not want anything (as weird as it sounds!). Life brings constant need.
However, every single moment in our life, we we really do need Allah.
We tend to forget that when we feel too self-sufficient. In our times of ease, we tend to forget our constant need of Allah. And that is why many scholars of the past and present have said that the test of ease is a much more difficult test than the test of difficulty.
Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi said,
Know that a man floating on a piece of wood in the sea is not in more need of God and His kindness than a person in his home, sitting between his family and property. When this meaning becomes ingrained in your heart, then rely on God like a drowning man who knows not any other means to salvation but God.
We need Allah as we rise and prepare for each new day. Not everyone wakes up. We need Him as we commute to work, study, shopping, and any social gathering. So many people die on the road every day.
We need Allah to protect our loved ones, granting them health, guidance, and forgiveness, and never letting them wander in the darkness of this world. Many family members of prophets (peace be upon them) died in disbelief. There are so many people, young and old, who are ill and in critical condition.
We need Him when we are in severe hardship and feel the world suffocating around us. We need Him through problems in our marriages, parental abuse, and pain of any kind. We need Him when our loved ones desert us, hurt us, and completely destroy us inside.
We need Allah when we feel forsaken and lose sight of what is real. We need Him when we see injustice and suffering around us but feel helpless to do anything.
We need Him with our struggles, our recovery, and when we are at breaking point. We need Him when we seek love, when we need success. We need Him to guide us when we are lost and find no guide.
We will need Him when our lives are snatched away from us and the life in the grave take its toll.
The prophet, peace and blessings be upon him said, Remember Allah in times of ease and He will remember you in times of difficulty. [Narrated by Tirmidhi]
We connect to Allah through our prayers, praise, and constant love. The power of remembering Him lies in our dua and dhikr. Allah says: Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest. [Quran, 13:28]
Our neediness is shown if we spend every waking moment in remembering Him. We remember Allah no matter what we are doing. We are in a social gathering and having fun, but we remember Allah when it’s time for prayer.
We remember Allah and refrain from saying something distasteful. We are outside and someone hurts us. We do not hurt back because we remember that Allah loves the doers of good. Similarly, throughout the day we keep Allah in our heads and hearts.
Remembrance of Allah and making dua to Him transforms our aching hearts into calm. It plays a huge part in re-writing destiny. The prophet, peace be upon him, said that the only thing that can change divine decree is dua.
Dhikr protects us, guides us, and changes our outlook on life. It gives us the strength to move forward beyond our painful tests because we know Allah is there as we say subhan Allah, Alhamdulillah, la ilaha illa Allah, and Allahu akbar. It is a constant reminder that life is nothing but a journey to a better home.
This life is all about our dedication to constantly remembering Allah, thanking Him, and seeking patience, for us and for those around us. Its trusted companion is dua: to seek His aid in times of both ease and hardship.
Don’t be disheartened if you feel that you are not properly remembering Him all the time. Start somewhere, even if you make the dhikr monotonously, without reflection.
Imam Ibn al-Qayyim says that dhikr “is sometimes performed with the heart and tongue, which is the best dhikr; sometimes with only the heart, which ranks second; and sometimes with only the tongue, which ranks third.” While dhikr with the tongue alone does not yield the fruits of knowing Allah, divine love, and intimacy as does dhikr with the tongue and heart combined, it still has its benefits. In fact, for most people it begins with dhikr of just the tongue.
Imam al-Ghazzali adds, “It starts with dhikr of the tongue; then by the heart being pressed into remembering; then the heart remembering spontaneously.”
Imam Ibn Ata-illah al-Iskandari said, “Do not abandon dhikr because you do not feel the presence of Allah therein. For your heedlessness of the dhikr of Him is worse than your heedlessness in the dhikr of Him. Perhaps He will lift you from dhikr with heedlessness to dhikr with vigilance; and from dhikr with vigilance to dhikr with presence; and from dhikr with presence to dhikr wherein everything but the One being remembered becomes absent (nothing other than Allah is in our hearts): ‘And that, for Him, is not difficult.’ ” [Quran 14:20]
These are our tickets to His love: remembering Him and making dua to Him.
Oh, Allah, shower us with your love!