In this post we are going to talk about the advice of another prophet, other than the Prophet ﷺ about how a person can guard the remembrance of Allah
There is a long Hadeeth wherein the Prophet ﷺ mentions that Yahya عليه السلام as he stands up in Jerusalem and Esa عليه السلام is standing next to him. So, imagine this scene, and the Prophet ﷺ says that everyone comes out to listen to Yayha عليه السلام and they fill their balconies and Yahya عليه السلام calls out to them with the commandments. The commandments of prayer , the commandments of fasting etc. The Prophet ﷺ says that Yahya عليه السلام said amongst the commandments, “And Allah commands you to remember him, for indeed the parable of the one who remembers Allah is like a man who is chased down by his enemy and as he is cornered by his enemy, he finds this fortress that cannot be penetrated and he jumps behind that fortress in which he protects himself from them until his enemy flees away from him out of despair.This is like the person when he remembers Allah. He does not protect himself from the Shaytaan except by the remembrance of Allah. This is why Dhikr of Allah is called Husnal Muslim. One of the most famous collections of remembrance of Allah in Duaa is “fortress of a muslim” because the Prophet ﷺ said that your remembrance of Allah is a fortress for you from the shaytaan. If you are constantly in a state of remembrance, then the shaytaan cannot have an entrance inside of you. Shaytaan cannot penetrate your faith in any way. A lot of times, people think that I have to be in an environment of a religious place so that I can remember Allah, but the fact of the matter is that the prophet ﷺ prescribed Dhikr for those places where the shaytaan is most likely to get to you. So, one of the most rewarding places to make dhikr is when you are entering into a market place, because Shaytaan can’t get you then in those places . So, saying the supplication when you enter a shopping centre. When you are doing remembrance of Allah in a gathering where people are likely to backbite and to gossip,
Basically, Ibn Al Qayyim رحمه الله says that the dhikr of Allah is most important in the places and times when Shaytaan is most likely to get your faith. Think about that. What is your most likely sin? What is your most likely action that distances you from Allah and how much do you remember Allah in those moments?
If we go back to the life of Umar رحمه الله , Nabi ﷺ said ” ‘O Ibn al-Khattab! By the One in whose hand my soul is, whenever Shaytan finds you taking a path, he only takes a path other than your path.’”
This occurred because Umar رحمه الله was always in the zones and always in the remembrance of Allah and that garment of Imaan that the prophet ﷺ saw is always there. He is always protecting himself and Allah describes the shaytaan as the one who whispers and the one who sinks away. Hassan al Basri رحمه الله said, “When you become heedless, Shaytaan whispers, and when you remember Allah, shaytaan sinks away and flees away.
Think about the fortress and how you are protecting your imaan when you remember Allah, and establish a regimen of the remembrance of Allah in places and times when shaytaan really gets you. If that is in the workplace, that is where you need to remember Allah, if it is the market place there, if it is in gatherings, that is where you need to remember Allah. If it is the privacy of your home when you are behind a computer screen, you need to have a regimen of dhikr, something that reminds you of Allah in those moments and start speaking or verablizing the dhikr of Allah so that it penetrates the heart so that shaytaan cannot lead you astray. May Allah protect us from him and grant us all that fortress of Imaan
Transcribed from Sheikh Omar Suleiman