It is established that the gaze of the Ahlullah falls first on Allah Taala and thereafter upon themselves. Thus, to them Allah Taala is closer than their own nafs. If Allah Taala was not closer, no persons gaze would be directed firstly to Him. Hence, whoever forgets Allah Taala has forgotten himself. This is what is conveyed by the Quranic statement: ... thus, He (Allah] caused them to forget their ownselves. Such people are then classified by Allah Taala: Indeed, they are the faasiqoon (transgressors). This portion of the ayat is presently under discussion since the purpose of the discussion is to explain the remedy for the degenerate condition stated in the ayat. The word, ula-ikah in this portion of the ayat is a demonstrative pronoun (Ism Isharah). It indicates the word, faasiqoon (the transgressors), hence the meaning of fasiqoon is applicable to ula-ikah. According to the rule of ilme Balaghat (Rhetoric and Eloquence) the demonstrative pronoun is re-iterated in the ism Isharah (i.e, the demonstrative pronoun) and the order or conclusion of the musharun ilayhi is based upon the qualities of the musharun ilayhi stated previously. It is on the basis of this rule of rhetoric that the Ulama of Tafseer have said in the tafsir of the verse: These people (ula-ikah) are on guidance of their Rabb; and these people (ula-ikah) are the ones who are successful,  That the ism Isharah here establishes that the order of guidance and success is based and dependant upon the qualities stated prior to the ism Isharah, viz. Iman bil ghaib, Iqamate Salaat, Acceptance of the Divine Books, Spending wealth, etc.. In the same way, here in these are the people who are the transgressors., the quality of nisyan (forgetfulness) is repeated. This quality of nisyan has been stated previously in: Those who have forgotten Allah. Thus the conclusion of fisq (transgression) is based upon this quality of forgetfulness. The result, therefore, is that transgression is the consequence of being forgetful of Allah Taala. In actual fact, a faasiq and a transgressor is one who has forgotten Allah Taala.  


The meaning of fisq is to transgress commands, and this is the reality of sin in which we are involved. Alhamdulillah! This ayat quite clearly informs us of the original cause of the malady. The cause of our degenerate condition is our forgetting Allah Taala. According to the principle, cure by opposite (al-ilaj bidh-dhid), the remedy for our forgetfulness should be by its opposite, viz. remembrance. Since the cause of the degeneration is forgetfulness, the remedy should be remembrance. Thus the true and proper remedy for sins is the remembrance of Allah Taala. In other words, the curing of the disease will follow the elimination of the cause of the disease. Here the cause is nisyan, the elimination of which is necessary. And. this elimination of nisyan, stands in need of Zikrullah. Remembrance of Allah will result in the elimination of forgetfulness. Since these two are opposites, their co-existence is a logical impossibility. In the same way, the elimination of both is logical impossibility. The conclusion, therefore is: the cure for sin is remembrance of Allah.


How is Allah Taala to be remembered? A variety of mediums of remembering Allah Taala exists. For example: Remembrance by means of love; remembrance by means of fear; remembrance by means of shame. These mediums of remembrance are then divided into different types. Take, for example, remembrance by means of love. This love for Allah may be motivated by love for His being (Zaat) or it may be the result of the motive of sawab for good acts. Similarly is the case of fear. Fear may be for the Being of Allah or it may be induced by His punishment. Likewise, shame (haya) which may be haya for His Zaat or for His hasanat (bounties and blessings). With regard to the medium and form of remembrance, the dispositions of people vary. In some people the Muhabbat (love) for Zaat is dominant. In other words, their disposition is so much overwhelmed by the grandeur and splendour of Allah Taala that they are compelled into the muhabbat of Zaat. They are engrossed in Zikrullah neither for the acquisition of Jannat nor for salvation from Jahannam. They are motivated in their Zikr solely by the consideration of pure muhabbat for Allah Taala. Others again are motivated by the desire to acquire Jannat in their Zikrullah, as well as the motive of being savers from Jahannam. There is no wrong in this motive since the actual purpose is Zikrullah, and this motive or medium is lawful in its attainment. Should one commence ones Zikr even with this intention viz., acquisition of Jannat and salvation from Jahannam then, InshaAllah, a day will dawn when ones Zikr will be by the motive of the higher degree. Ones Zikr will then be solely as a result of true and pure muhabbat for Allah Taala. On that stage of Zikr one will be concerned with nothing but the pleasure of Allah Taala. The motives of Zikrullah could be better understood by means of an analogy. Consider two students engaged in acquisition of knowledge. One studies solely for the sake of acquiring knowledge, deriving pleasure out of his studies, and the other studies for the acquisition of some material gain which will be the ultimate consequence of him qualifying in his branch of study. Undoubtedly, the condition of the former student is superior since he has not been motivated by any greed or base desire. Although the second student is of a lower calibre, nevertheless, no intelligent person will advise him to discontinue his studies because of his lower motive. Any such advice will culminate in only being deprived of knowledge.  


The actual object is Zikrullah, and not the medium of its attainment. It is therefore wrong for certain people of shallow insight to criticize those who engage in Zikrullah because of their desire for Jannat and salvation from Jahannam. Such criticism is reprehensible since Allah Taala, Himself, encourages us towards Jannat: Hasten towards the magfirat (forgiveness) of your Rabb and towards Jannat, the vastness of which is like the vastness of the heaven and earth. Some critics have concluded that the motive of Jannat in Zikrullah is contemptible. In fact, they are leveling their criticism against Allah Taala, for He, Himself exhorts this motive for Zikrullah. All means and methods instructed by Allah Taala are of a superb quality and highly meritorious although one method is superior to another, nevertheless, all mediums instructed by Him are magnificent and worthy of acquisition. Zikrullah for the sake of only Divine Pleasure is the highest degree, but the motivation of Jannat is also a motive of a high degree. The motive of Jannat in Zikrullah should be that Jannat is the bounty of Allah Taala; its acquisition will be the consequence of His Pleasure and that He has commanded us to request it. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) also asked Jannat, hence viewing the motive from his angle, it is likewise of the highest degree. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:  O Allah! I ask You for Jannat and such acts and words which draw towards Jannat. This Hadith establishes that petitioning for Jannat is not an inferior motive or method of Zikrullah, If it was not a worthy motive, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) would not have made this dub. It was said earlier that to the ashiq, everything of the Mahboob is beloved, hence Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) supplicated for Jannat. Further, the Mahboob has instructed to ask of Him, hence supplicating in obedience to His Command is the cause of His Pleasure. When Allah Taala, Himself expresses a Desire for us to fulfill, then contentment and abstinence (qanaat) are to be confounded. The Arif kamil (perfect saint of Allah) is one who does not display independence from the slightest blessings of Allah Taala, not to speak of such a lofty nemat as Jannat. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) requested Jannat also because it will be the abode where man wilt see the Vision of Allah. Thus in reality, Rasulullahs (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) request was a supplication for the Vision of Allah Taala. Someone observed: Those who are ashiq, desire Jannat because it will be the meeting place of friends.

For this reason one saint said that since he discovered that friends will meet one another in Jannat, he became eager for Jannat. Jannat and all factors leading and encouraging towards it constituting the motive for Zikrullah, are therefore, among the highest of methods. Another subtle point in the request for Jannat is at times the request is not motivated by only the Vision of Allah Taala, which will occur in Jannat, but by the thought that one is not worthy of asking for something as lofty as the Divine Vision; at least it will be a great blessing if the abode of Vision is visited. This intention too is worthy of merit. Hadhrat Hajee Imdadullah (rahmatullah alayhi) said: Those who wish for the vision of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) are indeed fortunate. I do not regard myself worthy of even glancing at the green dome (of Musjid Nabawi).

It has been aptly said: A hair of your lock is sufficient for me. (O heart! Yearn not in greed, for even the fragrance is a blessing. Sometimes the request for Jannat is the result of tawadhu (humility) becoming dominant in one. The Ashiq does not consider himself worthy of his Mahboob. He therefore desires to be at least in an abode of proximity to the Mahboob. Sometimes, in order to exhibit dependence and need, Jannat is wished for. In short, different persons have different intentions in asking for Jannat, and effort is made in its attainment. The purpose of all is to finally obtain the Pleasure of Allah Taala. The difference is only in the difference of means and methods. It does not matter if the goal is attained by a direct method or an indirect one; whether we advance towards Him or He draws us towards Him.  


Like muhabbat has various forms, so too has khauf. Some have the fear of the Zaat (the Being of Allah, Himself). The fear is induced by the grandeur and splendour of Allah Taala. Others again have fear of reprimand and punishment in the Aakhirah. Both these forms are good in their appropriate places. The grandeur and splendour of Allah Taala do not manifest to some, hence fear of punishment acts as their protection against sin. Therefore, there is no criticism to be levelled against those who practice righteousness because of the fear for Divine Punishment. This condition of fear is not inferior, but on the contrary it is a lofty status, although the manifestation of Divine Splendour acting as the protection against sin is superior.

So far the kinds of Divine Remembrance have been explained. There are two such kinds, viz. through the medium of muhabbat and through the medium of khauf.