Bismi’Llāhi ir-Ramān ir-Raīm

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


Humanity was created by Allāh ﷻ with certain challenging qualities—agitation, forgetfulness, and heedlessness. We are called by Allāh ﷻ to dig deep during this spiritual sojourn through the life of the world to overcome these tendencies, to prove that we are worthy of the Presence of the Sublime and Exalted ﷻ, Who ﷻ created us out of love.

The varieties of spiritual practice are the means of training the soul to work through these limiting tendencies of human nature and establish taqwa’Llāh (God-conscious presence). One of the most challenging qualities to develop on the path is consistency in spiritual practice. A sincere seeker on the path of Allāh ﷻ should be patient and steadfast until consistency is established. It is no accident that Allāh ﷻ says in the Holy Qur’ān, “Safeguard the [ritual] prayer [al-Ṣalāt], especially the middle prayer [al-‘asr].” Again, Allāh ﷻ does not need anything from us. So, why are we commanded to guard the prayer? All Divine Injunctions ﷻ are ultimately a Divine Mercy ﷻ intended to help us navigate the many challenges of life in the best possible way, to afford us the possibility of being shaded by Allāh ﷻ from the harshness that life sometimes brings. Unless we have the presence of mind to hold fast to Allāh ﷻ wherever and whenever possible, we are bound to suffer.

The lovers of Allāh ﷻ, however, are in another category altogether. They are not content to stop with the outer forms of religious life that shade us from the harshness of existence. Out of sincere longing and love for Allāh ﷻ, they persist further until they are in a state of consistent remembrance of their Lord ﷻ. It is no accident that we are given the practice of the dhikr (remembrance or invocation) as a remedy for our forgetfulness. May we be inspired and motivated to reach such heights! And Allāh ﷻ knows best.


© Ḥakīm Ilyās Kāshānī