Let’s face it. Everybody―that includes me too―remembers Allah most when a great calamity befalls them. Or when we need to pass our exams, or when we need to be saved from situation of utmost embarrassment. This is not a problem, however. In fact, this is what we should do and continue to do.
The problem is something else: Not remembering Him at other times. In not doing so, you and I both are losing on a hefty deal of reward which is otherwise so easily gained. You just might grasp how great this loss is if you reflect upon all the free time wasted on doing virtually nothing or even thinking about what to do.
The Virtue of Remembering Allah
Verily, in the remembrance of Allâh do hearts find rest. [The Holy Qur’aan, 13:28].
This great verse of the Qur’aan provides the cure of one of the most notorious diseases we see today, namely depression. Is not the resting of the hearts the precise definition of the cure of depression? If one remembers Allah, in the right way it should be done, constantly and frequently, one will never get depressed, no matter how great a calamity befalls them in this world.
The renowned Islamic Scholar al-Allaamah Ibn al-Qayyim described remembrance of Allah as a paradise of this world and he (may Allah have Mercy on him) said that he heard his teacher Shaikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah say: ‘Indeed, there is a paradise in this world’ [‘al-Wãbil as-Sayyib’ (p.44)]. Ibn al-Qayyim continued, saying that some people of the knowledge would say that if the kings and their sons knew what they were experiencing, they would have fought them with swords over it [‘al-Wãbil as-Sayyib’ (p.44)].
If one remembers Allah, Allah Himself will remember him, for Allah says in the Qur’aan:
فَاذْكُرُونِي أَذْكُرْكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لِي وَلَا تَكْفُرُونِ
Therefore remember Me (by praying, glorifying). I will remember you, and be grateful to Me (for My countless Favors on you) and never be ungrateful to Me. [2:152]
Allah says about this remembrance of you by Him in Chapter 29 of the Holy Qur’aan: and the remembering (praising) of (you by) Allâh (in front of the angels) is greater indeed [than your remembering (praising) of Allâh in prayers] [29:45]
You will be rewarded for remembering Allah in the Hereafter as well as in this world. And the part where you will be rewarded in this world will be not be delayed i.e. it will be rewarded instantaneously.
Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said commenting on a hadheeth [narrated by Imam al-Bukhari] that the meaning of remembering Allah (in that hadheeth) is to constantly pronounce the words that are encouraged to be said. He continued to say that it (i.e. remembrance of Allah ) also includes doing the actions that Allah has made obligatory or supererogatory, and that it can sometime occur [only] with the tongue without even having to know the meaning of the words one is saying [provided that one does not mean anything other than what it means].
He elaborated on this by saying that if one adds to this pronouncement the presence of his heart (i.e. this means to be conscious of what he is uttering, even if he does not know the meaning), then it is better. Likewise, if he adds the understanding of what the dhikr means to it, then it is even better [see ‘Fath al-Bãrî (11/212)].
Even if we might not be able to remember Allah that frequently, let’s all make it a habit to set aside a specific time (start short!) for the remembrance of Allah , and in sha Allah , as we realize the benefits of it, we will start doing it more often.
For a few examples of some dhikrs that are recommended to recite, have a look at this post by me.
May Allah bless us with the ability to remember Him constantly and forgive us our sins.