by Anonymous

“… and remember the Name of Allah much (both with tongue and mind), so that you may be successful.” (8:45).

By 11am at work a couple of days ago, I was already having a bad day. I couldn’t find my USB that had on it 6 hours of typed work I had done late the night before, computers in my classroom decided they had done enough work for us and started randomly switching off, causing students’ mock exams to be repetitively interrupted, my phone charger stopped working (or, should I say, required wire manipulation to function, which, at this particular moment in my day, I had not the energy to resolve), I received an email informing all tutors that Ofsted were round the corner to observe unannounced and another email requesting a fresh pile of paperwork for a new system of exam bookings, which I simply would not have had the time to turn in by the stipulated deadline.

Anyway, as I rummaged through my bags in attempt to locate my USB, whilst running around the classroom reviving computers, seeing to students and responding to countless emails at the same time, I tried hard to reflect on what I had, or hadn’t done, that morning that may have caused this chaotic and stressful day, especially since I had only seen four hours of it by this point and there were a few more hours to come!

After that teaching session, I made wudu and prayed 2 rak’as for Duha, as I left home in a rush this morning and didn’t get time to perform this at home. I asked Allah to recover my USB and help me get through the busy day ahead with ease and success.

After I finished praying, a thought came to my mind that, despite already emptying my bag and not finding my USB there, it just was somewhere in there. So, I emptied it again completely, but I still couldn’t find it. Only after I tipped my entire bag upside down could I hear a piece of rattling plastic… The USB had fallen through a virtually invisible gap in the seam of the internal pocket of my handbag. I actually cried in relief. I glanced upwards in gratitude and prostrated sujood alshukr that The Merciful returned my work to me and relieved me of the burden of reconstructing what I had spent hours initially putting together. I felt that Allah was directly reminding me of His effortless mercy and power when I most needed it .

Alhamdulillah, my day steadily improved since praying salat Al-Duha, but I still felt unusually stressed. I sought forgiveness from Allah and, again, attempted to identify what it was that I seemed to have been missing on this day in particular.

Approximately an hour later, I received a text message from a friend which led to the the epitome of a lightbulb moment. She had kindly forwarded a dua for seeking aafiyah (to be saved from afflictions), which I will share with you below. I realised that, on this day, I had not read this dua which is normally part of my daily morning and evening dhikr.

I came to the realisation that I had now experienced a very different kind of day. A day where a number of things turned out complicated, inconvenient and quite testing. A day, perhaps, unadorned with aafiyah from Allah that we so desperately need but sometimes forget to ask for.

We are reminded that we need our daily adkaar (morning and evening duas) more than food and water, yet sometimes simply forget to read them. Ibn Alqayyim said: “I was always surprised by the strength of Ibn Taymiyyah. It amazed me how much strength and Iman he had.” One day, he asked Ibn Taymiyyah about his ability to do all of this, and Sheikh Al-Islam replied that the supplications he said every morning and evening were what gave him the strength to write, read, teach and debate to the extent that one time, one of his students said that Ibn Taymiyyah would sit doing dhikr from after fajr until close to Duhr time, and he asked him if he did this every day. Ibn Taymiyyah replied that, without it, he could not function.

The Prophet (PBUH) said, “… ask Allāh for aafiyah for wallahi, you cannot be given anything better than aafiyah.”

Dua for aafiyah:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْعَفْوَ وَالْعَافِيَةَ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ، اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْعَفْوَ وَالْعَافِيَةَ فِي دِينِي وَدُنْيَايَ وَأَهْلي، وَمَالِي، اللَّهُمَّ اسْتُرْ عَوْرَاتِي، وَآمِنْ رَوْعَاتِي، اللَّهُمَّ احْفَظْنِي مِنْ بَيْنِ يَدَيَّ، وَمِنْ خَلْفِي، وَعَنْ يَمِينِي، وَعَنْ شِمَالِي، وَمِنْ فَوْقِي، وَأَعُوذُ بِعَظَمَتِكَ أَنْ أُغْتَالَ مِنْ تَحْتِي“.

O Allah, I seek Your forgiveness and Your protection in this world and the next. O Allah, I seek Your forgiveness and Your protection in my religion, in my worldly affairs, in my family and in my wealth. O Allah, conceal my secrets and preserve me from anguish . O Allah , guard me from what is in front of me and behind me , from my left , and from my right , and from above me . I seek refuge in Your Greatness from being struck down from beneath me.

On that reflection, I end with but a few of the numerous verses in the Quran which urge the remembrance of Allah:

﴿يَاأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ ذِكْرًا كَثِيرًا(41) وَسَبِّحُوهُ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلًا(42) هُوَ الَّذِي يُصَلِّي عَلَيْكُمْ وَمَلَائِكَتُهُ لِيُخْرِجَكُمْ مِنْ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ وَكَانَ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَحِيمًا(43)﴾ 

41. “O you who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance.
42. And glorify His Praises morning and afternoon [the early morning (Fajr) and ‘Asr prayers].
43. He it is Who sends Salat (His blessings) on you, and His angels too (ask Allah to bless and forgive you), that He may bring you out from darkness (of disbelief and polytheism) into light (of Belief and Islamic Monotheism). And He is Ever Most Merciful to the believers.” (33:41-43).

﴿وَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ﴾

“… and remember the Name of Allah much (both with tongue and mind), so that you may be successful.” (8:45).
﴿وَالذَّاكِرِينَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا وَالذَّاكِرَاتِ أَعَدَّ اللَّهُ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةً وَأَجْرًا عَظِيمًا﴾. {الأحزاب:35}.

“… and the men and the women who remember Allah much with their hearts and tongues Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward.” (33:35).

اللهم اعنا على ذكرك وشكرك وحسن عبادتك.

O Allah, aid us in remembering You, praising You and effectively worshipping You.

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