Benefits of The Remembrance of Allah

Ibn Rajab Al-Hanabali

Taken from “Jami Al Uloom wal Hikam” of Ibn Rajab Al-Hanabali

Hadith No. 50 (Continued)

1. Allah ordered us to remember Him five times during every day and night by performing the prayer in its appointed time period.

2. He added to that many forms of remembrance, which are naafilah. This word means ‘extra’ or ‘additional’. Some of them are tied to the five prayers. It is preferable to prayer these prayers in the house over praying them in the Masjid. They can be ‘made up’ later if one is in the habit of doing them and misses one. The most important of them are (a) through e) are the most important):

a) Witr prayer which consists of an odd number of rakaat and is performed between Isha and Fajr preferably after sleeping and making an even number of rakaats (in pairs) of the night prayer or tahajjud.

b) Two rakaat before Fajr prayer – after the time comes in but before the Fajr prayer.

c) Two or four rakaat before the Dhuhr prayer. The Prophet (sas) did both. If doing four, it preferable to do two sets of two, but four all together is also permissible.

d) Two rakaat after Maghrib prayer.

e) Two rakaat after the Isha prayer.

f) Two rakaat between the adhan and the iqama (any of the 5 prayers).

g) Two rakaat to ‘greet’ the masjid – should always be made upon entering the Masjid before sitting down.

3. These sunnah prayers can make up for any shortcomings in the five obligatory prayers.

4. The longest gaps between obligatory prayers is from Isha to Fajr and from Fajr to Dhuhr. During the first period, the Prophet (sas) practiced and recommended the night prayer and the Witr prayer. During the second, he recommended the Dhuhaa prayer. Dhuhaa prayer is two or more rakaat, in pairs.

5. The strongest of all of these is the Witr prayer such that some of the scholars gave it a new ‘obligatory’ category between the ‘fardh’ prayers and the other voluntary prayers.

6. As for mentioning Allah other than with prayer: it is commended at all times and more strongly indicated at some times than others. It is especially recommended after the two prayers which have no attached sunnah prayer after them: after Fajr until the sun comes up and after Asr until the sun goes down. Allah mentioned this many places in the Qur’an:
{Exalt Him in the morning and in the afternoon} Al-Ahzaab: 42
{Mention the name of your Lord in the morning and in the afternoon.} Al-Insaan: 25
Also: Aal-Imraan: 41, Maryam: 11, Ar-Rum: 17, Ghaafir: 55
{Remember your Lord to yourself in humility and fear and in less than an open voice in the afternoon and the morning and do not be among the forgetful.} Al-A’raaf: 205

7. The best remembrance in these two periods is the fardh prayers of Fajr and Asr and they are the best of the five prayers. Both of them have been called the ‘middle prayer’ (two opinions) and they are the ‘two cool times’ referred to in the hadith that: whoever maintains them enters paradise.

8. Night time is the next best time for remembrance after these two.

9. Remembrance of Allah is not just prayer and verbal mention of Allah. It also includes:

a) Reciting the Qur’an

b) Teaching it and learning it

c) Teaching and learning other knowledge of Islam

10. It is desirable to go to sleep in a state of wudhu and to say subhaana Allah, Allahu akbar and al-hamdu lillahi 33 times each and complete 100 with the shahadah (just like after each prayer) before sleeping).

11. If you wake up during the night:
The Prophet (sas) said: “Whoever wakes up in the night, let him say:
Laa ilaha illa Allah wahdahu laa sharika lahu. Lahu al-mulku wa lahu al-hamdu wa huwa ‘alaa kulli shai’in qadeer. Subhaana Allah wa al-hamdu lillahi waa laa illaha illa Allah wa Allahu akbar wa laa hawla wa laa quwwata illa billahi… rabbi ighfir liy.
The meaning is: “There is no deity but Allah alone and with no partner. His is the dominion and His is all praise and He is in power over all things. Exalted is Allah and praise to Allah and there is no deity but Allah and Allah is the Greatest and there is no power nor any movement except by Allah… and then say: O Allah forgive me – or make any other du’a which one wishes to make. After that if one makes wudhu and then prays, his prayer is accepted.”

12. Or, when one wakes in the night, they may say:
Al-hamdu lillahi allidhiy ahyaaniy ba’da maa amaataniy wa ilaihi an-nashur.
The meaning is: “All praise is to Allah who brought me to life after making me dead and unto Him is the resurrection.”

13. As for the rest of the ordinary things which one does during the day, the mentioning of Allah is prescribed for most of it. This includes eating and drinking, going to bed with one’s spouse, entering the house an leaving it, entering the bathroom and leaving it, mounting one’s animal (or car), killing an animal, etc.

14. Praising/thanking Allah (al-hamdu lillahi) is prescribed upon sneezing, seeing those in a bad condition in the affairs of this life or in their deen, when greeting one another and asking about each other’s condition and when receiving the bounties of Allah or getting relief from some test in this life. The best of that is to thank Allah in good times and bad whether times of plenty or scarcity and to thank Allah in ALL conditions.

15. It is prescribed to beseech Allah (du’a) upon entering the marketplace, hearing a rooster at night, hearing thunder, when it rains, during a strong wind, upon seeing the new moon and upon seeing the beginnings of ripe fruit.

16. It is also prescribed to mention Allah and to beseech Him when afflicted by hardships in this life, when leaving on a trip and when returning from a trip.

17. It is prescribed to seek refuge in Allah when one becomes angry, after having a bad dream and upon hearing the sounds of dogs and donkeys at night (because they can see roaming Jinn which we cannot).

18. And it is prescribed to ask Allah for a wise choice (istikhaara) when confronted with an important decision.

19. Tauba is prescribed after all forms of sin, major and minor. Allah said:
{And those who, when they have committed some sin or wronged themselves remember/mention Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins.} Aal-‘Imraan: 135.

20. Seeking to maintain all of the above is the way to become one of those whose “tongue remains moist from the remembrance of Allah.”

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