Allah legislated the religion for His remembrance: Imam al-Sa’di

In his short compilation of miscellaneous tafsir benefits, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di brought the following point regarding remembrance (dhikr) of Allah:

شرع الله الدين والعبادات والأوامر والنواهي لإقامة ذكره ، ولهذا يذكر أن العبادات ناشئة عن ذكره ، كما قال تعالى : [ قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَن تَزَكَّىٰ * وَذَكَرَ‌ اسْمَ رَ‌بِّهِ فَصَلَّىٰ ] فجعل الصلاة ناشئة عن الذكر ومسبَبَّة عنه ، كما جعل الصلاة لإقامة ذكره ، فقال : [وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِذِكْرِ‌ي] ، وقال في ترك الذنوب والاستغفار منها : [وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُوا فَاحِشَةً أَوْ ظَلَمُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ ذَكَرُ‌وا اللَّـهَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُ‌وا لِذُنُوبِهِمْ] فجعل الاستغفار ناشئا عن الذكر ، فدل ذلك على أن الذكر لله هو الأصل الجامع الذي يتصف به المؤمن الكامل ، فيصير الذكر صفة لقلبه ، فيفعل لذلك المأمورات ويترك المنهيات ، ناشئا عن تعظيم الله تعالى وذكره ، وهو دليل على ذلك وهو أعظم المقصودات في العبادات . ـ

Allah legislated the religion, the acts of worship, the commands and the prohibitions for the purpose of the establishment of His remembrance (dhikr), and it is for this reason that He mentioned that the acts of worship arise out of His remembrance, for example as He said:

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَن تَزَكَّىٰ * وَذَكَرَ‌ اسْمَ رَ‌بِّهِ فَصَلَّىٰ

He has certainly succeeded who purifies himself * And who remembers the name of his Lord and prays [87:14-15]

So He made the prayer to emanate from remembrance and to be a force that brings that about, just as He made the prayer for the purpose of establishing His remembrance, for He said:

وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِذِكْرِ‌ي

and establish prayer for My remembrance [20:14]

And in regards to abandoning sins and seeking forgiveness for them, He said:

وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُوا فَاحِشَةً أَوْ ظَلَمُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ ذَكَرُ‌وا اللَّـهَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُ‌وا لِذُنُوبِهِمْ

And those who, when they commit an immorality or wrong themselves [by transgression], remember Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins [3:135]

So He made seeking forgiveness something which arises from remembrance. This indicates that remembrance of Allah is a comprehensive foundation which characterizes the complete believer; remembrance becomes an attribute of his heart and so because of that he performs the commandments and leaves off the prohibitions – all of this emanating from the magnification and remembrance of Allah. And those actions are then a proof of that magnification and remembrance, and that is the greatest of the objectives for the acts of worship.

[al-Mawaahib al-Rabbaaniyyah fi Ayaat al-Qur’aaniyyah pg. 17-18]

And Imam al-Sa’di then immediately followed up the above point with another related point, writing:

قال تعالى [ إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ‌ ۗ وَلَذِكْرُ‌ اللَّـهِ أَكْبَرُ‌ ] ، وقال [ إِنَّ الْحَسَنَاتِ يُذْهِبْنَ السَّيِّئَاتِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ ذِكْرَ‌ىٰ لِلذَّاكِرِ‌ينَ ] ، وقال [  إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضِ وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ‌ لَآيَاتٍ لِّأُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ * الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُ‌ونَ اللَّـهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِهِمْ … ] الآيات ، فكل من كان في عبادة فهو في ذكر الله ، ومن ترك منهيا لله فهو في ذكر الله ، وهذا هو المعنى الذي خلق الله لأجله ، وشرع الشرائع لأجله ، وجعل النعم الظاهرة والباطنة مقصودة لأجله ومعينة عليه ، فنسألة تعالى أن يعيننا على ذكره وشكره وحسن عبادته ، ويجعلنا من الذاكرين الله كثيرا والذاكرات ، آمين . ـ

Allah said:

إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ‌ ۗ وَلَذِكْرُ‌ اللَّـهِ أَكْبَرُ‌

Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater [29:45]

And He said:

إِنَّ الْحَسَنَاتِ يُذْهِبْنَ السَّيِّئَاتِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ ذِكْرَ‌ىٰ لِلذَّاكِرِ‌ينَ

Indeed, good deeds do away with misdeeds. That is a reminder for those who remember. [11:114]

And He said:

إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضِ وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ‌ لَآيَاتٍ لِّأُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ * الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُ‌ونَ اللَّـهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِهِمْ … ـ

Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding: * those who remember Allah while standing or sitting or [lying] on their sides … [3:190-191]

until the end of the passage. So whoever is engaged in an act of worship, then he is in remembrance of Allah, and whoever leaves something which is prohibited for the sake of Allah, then he is in remembrance of Allah. And it is for this very reason [i.e. His remembrance] that Allah created the creation, and He legislated the Divine legislations for its sake, and He made the blessings – both the apparent and hidden ones – designed for its sake and as an assistance therein. So we ask Allah that He would aid us in remembering Him and being grateful to Him and in performing beautiful worship of Him, and that He would make us from among those men and women who remember Allah prolifically – Ameen.

[al-Mawaahib al-Rabbaaniyyah fi Ayaat al-Qur’aaniyyah pg. 18]

See also: The purpose of Allah’s creation: Imam al-Shinqitee

See also: The Deen is Built on Two Foundations: Dhikr and Shukr – Ibn al-Qayyim

See also: “So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: “O you who have believed, remember Allah with much remembrance”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

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10 thoughts on “Allah legislated the religion for His remembrance: Imam al-Sa’di

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