Every Sunday mornings, I conduct a class called “Knowing Islam Session” – where anyone from all walks of live can have an overview before deciding to learn more on Islam. Over the years, I have met people from various backgrounds and with different purposes – and each class can uniquely turn out to be either enlightening or difficult. In one such class last weekend, I was asked on the importance of “Zikr” in Islam.
Allah s.w.t. says in Surah Al-Ahzab: “O you who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance,” and when the companions learned of this revelation, were worried and asked our Beloved Rasulullah s.a.w. “How much is much?” The Prophet replied by saying: “Remember Allah until people say that you are crazy” [Ahmad]
If we pause to consider the importance of following the Sunnah in our lives, we will see some of its manifestations in the following ways: we wake up every morning with Alhamdulillah, walk into the bathroom for a shower with our left leg and exiting with our right leg – both accompanied with do’a of protection, put on clothes while looking in the mirror making a do’a for Allah to beautify our characteristics as He beautifies our physical bodies, perform our prayers, leave for work with our right leg out the door etc.
While all these can be described as following the Sunnah of our Beloved s.a.w., there is another way to describe them to make practical sense of the value of the Sunnah. If you consider carefully the process of following the Sunnah, it is about constantly being in a state of engagement with Allah and the Prophet, so that through this engagement, you are spiritually guided to choose a better way of doing things.
For example, while it is not a sin to eat with your left hand, Muslims do so with their right hand as it is the Sunnah. The effect of such action is to make us engage with the questions: what would the Prophet do in this situation? Which is a better way to eat so that we can achieve barakah (blessings)? It is through these lines of questioning, that we are subconsciously subjecting our minds to make better choices in life.
This is then, the purpose of the Sunnah. It is not simply a physical choice of your actions, but it demands from you to constantly mentally engaging yourselves with the preferences of Allah s.w.t. and Rasulullah s.a.w. above all else, in all of your choices.
In this way, following the Sunnah becomes an act of Zikrullah. And a Muslim who actively engages with the Sunnah, is always in a state of Zikrullah – complying with the command of Surah Al-Ahzab mentioned earlier.
Simply put, Zikrullah makes us become intimate with Allah s.w.t. and our Prophet s.a.w. Zikrullah puts us in the protection of Allah’s Guidance. Zikrullah softens our hearts so that we can love our Prophet s.a.w. enough to want to put him as the priority and model in our life. It is because of these basic reasons that Zikrullah leads to our success, both in this life and the next.
So, go ahead and let people call you crazy, for as long as your heart beats only for The Creator and His Beloved. Have a great week ahead!