Bismi’Llāhi ir-Ramān ir-Raīm

In the Name of God, the Universally Merciful, the Singularly Compassionate


One of the oft repeated verses in the Holy Qur’ān is the Divine imperative to be mindful of Allāh ﷻ (taqwa’Allāh, i.e. God-conscious presence). It is so crucial that one can hardly read a page without coming across the reminder. Mindfulness is protection itself, shielding us from the dangers of the world as well as that which lurks inside of our own souls. It is a prerequisite for everything that pertains to spiritual consciousness, not the least of which is seeking refuge in Allāh ﷻ — your Protector, Trustee, and Friend ﷻ. Without Him ﷻ, there is no possibility of facing the trials of life successfully, remaining psycho-emotionally intact, and advancing in knowledge and capacity. Spiritual possibilities are realized through humility, rendering one worthy of virtue. Arrogance is like a fire that consumes virtue like brush and closes the eye of the heart; we become deaf, dumb, and blind, as Allāh ﷻ says in the Holy Qur’ān.

Mindfulness is far more than mere observation with the gross senses. Nor is mindfulness simply a process of being with your Lord ﷻ in thought, though this is a fine practice and accomplishment. In the first stage of mindfulness, we bear witness to Reality ﷻ. With continued practice, mindfulness becomes meditation (murāqabah), an extra-sensory experience. One begins to feel the Divine Presence ﷻ (as sanctity, for example), thus awakening a subtle ability we have each been endowed with.

Mindfulness is a manifestation of presence itself, which is only possible through the Presence of Allāh ﷻ. The sacred is not merely a good idea. For example, when you step into a sacred space, such as the Inviolate Precincts of Prostration (masjida’l-haram) in Mecca, or approach a holy person, such as the Prophet Muḥammad ﷺ in his tomb in Medina, there is a palpable grace or beatitude (barakah). In the Zabur, the psalms of the Prophet David (Daoud), Allāh ﷻ says, “Be still, and know that I am God…” (46:10). This succinct and potent injunction is a golden key to profound mysteries. It offers a means to ontological realization, i.e. realizing your existence in Allāh ﷻ. Nevertheless, words ultimately cannot do justice to the sublime mysteries of being. Suffice it to say that the way is in practice.

May we all be inspired by love for the Beloved ﷻ as we persist in our devotions. And Allāh ﷻ knows best.


© Ḥakīm Ilyās Kāshānī