What does it mean for the heart to be with Allah at all times and in all places?
What must one do to be with Allah at all times and in all places?
Some people never consider the great blessings they enjoy throughout their lives. Yet starting the day in good health every morning, being able to breathe and see, being able to enjoy scents and food and all beautiful things and being able to appreciate love, respect and friendship are all great blessings. In addition, possessing the judgment with which to distinguish between good and evil, right and wrong or beauty and ugliness is another great blessing bestowed by Allah because that judgment enables one to avoid wickedness and the evil whisperings of one’s earthly desires and to choose goodness and beauty instead. What one needs to do in return is properly appreciate our Lord, to give proper thanks to Him and for one’s heart to be full of love and fear of Him at all times.
One’s heart being with Allah at all times does not mean withdrawing from all the preoccupations of the life of this world. "The heart being with Allah at all times means";
Being aware of the greatness, might and power of our Lord at all times,
Knowing that He sees, hears and watches oneself and all the other entities one sees, and that He encompasses the entire universe,
Being aware that Allah is the sole judge and sole Lord of all things, and that He is mighty enough to do what He wants when He wants,
And knowing that everything that happens in the life of this world, whether it appears to be good or bad, is actually the functioning of the destiny ordained by Allah.
A Person Whose Heart Is Always Full of Remembrance of Allah Has a Clear Mind and Awareness
It is easy to recognize the clarity of mind of someone whose heart is always full of remembrance of Allah from his face and behavior because there is a great difference between the face of someone who believes and knows that Allah sees him at all times and someone who is heedless. No matter how attractive the face of someone who has forgotten Allah, it will never reflect any spiritual beauty or an expression full of love and meaning, humanity, humility and intelligence. In contrast, the luminosity, beauty, intelligence and nobility bestowed by faith and clarity of mind are striking in someone whose heart is with Allah. In the Qur’an, Allah notes these features of those who sincerely believe and exhibit an unsullied devotion to Him and reveals it is easy to recognize them by "...the traces of prostration" in their faces:
“Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are fierce to the unbelievers, merciful to one another. You see them bowing and prostrating, seeking Allah’s good favor and His pleasure. Their mark is on their faces, the traces of prostration. That is their likeness in the Torah. And their likeness in the Gospel is that of a seed which puts up a shoot and makes it strong so that it thickens and grows up straight upon its stalk,”
(Surat al-Fath, 29)
In addition, when we look at the lives of those whose hearts are heedless of Allah, we see that it is these people who suffer the worst consequences of their heedlessness. These people, who do not believe in our Lord, Who created them from nothing and has bestowed so many blessings upon them, avoid everything that might remind them of their responsibilities to Him. They try to ignore the way that they and the universe were brought into being from nothing, they ignore the fact of death and the Day of Reckoning afterward, the countless blessings of paradise or the infinite torments of hell because they realize that only by heeding their consciences, they will have to reflect on Allah and come to faith. They know that if they think about the existence of Allah, they will remember His commandments and prohibitions and therefore be unable to follow their own earthly desires and passions.
Hearts Only Find Peace and Ease through Remembrance of Allah
True peace, joy and happiness can only come when people believe in Allah and their hearts are with Him. One can never attain true joy and happiness so long as remains heedless of Allah. Contrary to popular opinion, all pleasures flee away if one does not have faith because people cannot live by moral virtues in places where the fact that Allah is closer to one than one’s own jugular vein is ignored, and where there is no fear of His wrath. Lack of fear of Allah brings with it ignorance of all bounds and lawlessness, and thus a degenerate structure. Everyone behaves as they please. For example, taking care over one’s honor and chastity, not wasting the blessings bestowed by Allah, thinking the best of people around one (not looking for secret flaws), not showing off, not talking behind people’s backs, treating the people around one with love and respect rather than with the aim of seeing what one can get out of them, displaying the moral values of which Allah approves and being gentle, kind and polite are all important examples of moral virtues. However, someone who denies the fact that Allah enfolds and surrounds him (surely Allah is beyond that) will keep as far away from these moral virtues as possible and find himself living a degenerate life.
It is for these reasons that one of the worst mistakes people make is to imagine they can avoid their responsibilities to Allah and build tranquil lives by not thinking and by erecting walls around their consciences. But the fact is that no matter how much one may be reluctant, or outright refuse to think, the existence of Allah is still an absolute reality. Allah is there as we have fun, watch the television, read the newspapers, eat, talk, walk down the street, sleep, go to school and everywhere. He is closer to us than our own jugular vein. Wherever one looks, one encounters manifestations of Allah. He creates and maintains all events. Someone who thinks along those lines can appreciate the true nature of the life of this world and the absolute existence and might of Allah, grasp the concepts of paradise and hell and be punctilious over their religious obligations. Unlike the majority of other people, he knows he must be a servant of whom Allah approves, and therefore begins to think and live by religious moral values revealed by Allah in the Qur’an and embodied by the prophets and true believers. In consequence, he will take much more pleasure from beauties and blessings than other people do, and Allah will bestow a fine life on him in this world and the hereafter. This is revealed as follows in the Qur’an:
“Those who believe and do right actions and establish prayer and pay alms, will have their reward with their Lord. They will feel no fear and will know no sorrow.” (Surat al-Baqara, 277)
The finest way of turning to our Lord is to begin every task by reciting Bismillah (in the name of Allah). Embarking on every task by invoking the name of Allah establishes a healthier power in terms of evoking an effect on the heart and also increases a person’s proximity to Allah, because someone who embarks on a task with the name of Allah will know that everything happens under His control and that he will be successful if Allah so chooses. There is no doubt that this leads to a very deep closeness between Allah and His servant. Such a person has comprehended his own weakness and the fact he has no power to do anything without Allah’s leave, and has thus fully submitted himself to Almighty Allah. This position of believers is described as follows in the Qur’an:
“Say: ‘Nothing can happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us. He is Our Master. It is in Allah that the believers should put their trust’.”
(Surat at-Tawba, 51)
A sincere, deep and uninterrupted bond established with Almighty Allah at every moment further increases a believer’s faith, fervor, submission to Allah and love and respect for Him. It causes a person to avoid behavior that will be displeasing to Allah, restrains the excesses of earthly desires and evils that know no bounds, and constantly encourages one to behave in a way that may be hoped to be pleasing to Allah. This closeness bestows a great spiritual delight on the believer by drawing him closer to Allah's approval, mercy and paradise. It makes the believer scrupulous when it comes to maintaining the bounds set by Allah, and bestows a great awareness and care in seeking His approval.
The Worthy Islamic Scholar Imam Al-Ghazali Expresses His Closeness to Allah:
"He [Allah] cannot be fettered by quantities; continents cannot contain Him, He is not bounded by directions and neither the earth nor sky can hold Him. He is settled on the earth in the sense commanded by Him. He neither touches the earth, nor makes His abode there, nor settles there, nor is included in it, nor proceeds towards it, He is beyond all these. The earth cannot carry Him, but He bears the earth and the angels that bear the earth with His might, and these are mastered as a manifestation of His title of the Punisher. In the same way that His being on the earth and sky does not require Him to be distant from the ground and soil, so it does not require proximity to the earth and sky. On the contrary, in the same way as He is far from under the ground, so He is far from the earth and sky. In addition, He is closer to the servant than his own jugular vein. Indeed, in the Qur’an Allah says “He is witness of everything” (Surat al-Saba’, 47)
." (IHYA-U ULUMUDDİN, Vol. 1 p. 201, Hacetü’l İslam, Imam Gazali)
What One Needs to Do to Be with Allah at Every Moment
To Take Allah, the All-Mighty, As One’s Friend and Guide
Our Lord tests His servants by creating events they perceive as difficulties, in which they face troubles, or experience joy and happiness. Devout Muslims seek help from Allah alone under such circumstances and trust in Him alone. They place no hope in natural causes, intermediaries or other people. They do not regard Allah's creation as having any power, will or effect independently of Him. Seeking shelter in Almighty Allah, Who creates one and is aware even of the secrets one conceals from others is a major consequence and sign of proximity to Allah.
Prayer is a very important means by which someone who is utterly powerless in the face of our Almighty Lord can turn to Him, confess his sins to Him, seek help from Him alone, feel His existence and power and maintain that awareness at every moment of his daily life.
To Turn to Allah in All Tasks
One of the greatest signs of faith is to be aware that all blessings belong to Allah alone, and to express this with a pure heart and tongue. It is also one of the most sincere ways of establishing a deep bond with Allah and "serving Him alone.”
To Always Give Thanks
By examining the proofs of creation, believers reflect on how it is Almighty Allah, Who bestows such blessings as the Earth’s atmosphere which protects them against dangers from space, how the Earth’s crust protects them from the boiling magma beneath, how drinking water is created, the fruits of the earth, the creation of night and day, life, health, consciousness, the five senses, the air we breathe and countless other examples at every moment. And by giving thanks for these they once again turn to Allah alone.