"Those men and women who engage much in Allah's praise. For them has Allah prepared forgiveness and a great reward." ~ Al-Quran 33:35
In what I have learnt of my faith so far, one of the thing that seems most precious to Allah seems to be Dhikr, or remembrance. When we think of Dhikr, we think of people in seclusion, sitting up through the night remembering Allah and reflecting on his greatness. I love this thought, but as a busy mother the reality is far from it. I am mortified by the thought that I might meet my maker tomorrow and then sorely regret the fact that I spent all my time being busy instead of remembering my Rabb.
"O ye who believe let not your riches or your children divert you from the Remembrance of Allah if any act thus, the loss is their own." (63:9)
My response to this has been to make dhikr a part of my everyday life. This sounds very virtuous, but I can be very absent-minded and lapse from dhikr into day-dreaming astagfirullah unless I work hard to be present. A lady once told me that making dhikr whilst cleaning your home is equal to cleaning the Kaabah, I don’t know the source of this, but the thought is nice. I also try to walk part of the way to work in the morning, so in good-old working mother multi-tasking fashion I try to do my dhikr at the same time.
What has also helped me is another woman’ advice to learn the small everyday prayers. The book I use is called Fortress of the Muslim, a small pocket book with dua’s (supplications) for every occasion. I tried to remember the ones pertinent to being a mum, such as the one for drinking milk, or bed time – you’ll find that if you get the children to repeat them, they will pick them up quicker than you. Then there are the prayers for waking, eating, looking in the mirror, for when it rains, going to the bathroom and visiting the ill just to name a few. Before long it becomes second-nature (insh’Allah) to make some small dhikr before every act and in doing so we become aware of the presence of Allah in our lives which leads us away from what displeases Allah insh’Allah.
As well as all the supplications is the recitation of Bismillah al-rahman al-rahim (In the name of Allah, the most Merciful, the most Beneficent) which every one of us knows. When I do not know the dua for something, I turn to these seemingly-small and simple words, which are so immense in stature as to turn our everyday actions into worship. Our small necessary acts become dhikr and we too can hope that when we meet our makers our scale will weigh a little heavier with words that pleased Allah (SWT) so much.
"Truly Allah leaves to stray whom He will, but He guides to Himself those who turn to Him in penitence -- Those who believe, and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah, for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction. [Qur'an 13:27-28]
Abu Huraira (RA) narrates that the Prophet (PBUH) said Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, stated: "As my servant thinks about Me so will I be for him. I am with him if he will remember Me. If he calls on Me by himself I will call him by Myself, and if he calls on Me in a group of people, I mention him in a better group in My presence. If he approaches Me one handspan, I will approach him one arm's length; if he approaches Me one arm's length, I will approach him by a cubit; if he comes to Me walking, I will come to him running." [Bukhari and Muslim]
Abu Hurairah (RA) reported:The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said,"He who recites in the morning and in the evening the statement:'Subhan-Allahi wa bihamdihi' (Allah is free from imperfection and I begin with praising Him) one hundred times, will not be surpassed on the Day of Resurrection by anyone with better deeds than one who utters the same words or utters more of these words.'' [Muslim].