109: Never forget God

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Jesus answered: `Even so I tell you that ye ought to watch with the soul by the sun of justice [which is] our God, and not to boast yourselves of the watchings of the body. It is most true, therefore, that bodily sleep is to be a voided as much as is possible, but [to avoid it] altogether is impossible, the sense and the flesh being weighed down with food and the mind with business. Wherefore let him that will sleep little avoid too much business and much food.

`As God liveth, in whose presence standeth my soul, it is lawful to sleep somewhat every night, but it is never lawful to forget God and his fearful judgement: and the sleep of the souls is such oblivion.'

Then answered he who writeth: `O master, how can we always have God in memory? Assuredly, it seemeth to us impossible.'

Said Jesus, with a sigh: `This is the greatest misery that man can suffer, O Barnabas. For man cannot here upon earth have God his creator always in memory; saving them that are holy, for they always have God in memory, because they have in them the light of the grace of God, so that they cannot forget God. But tell me, have ye seen them that work quarried stones, how by their constant practice they have so learned to strike that they speak with others and all the time are striking the iron tool that worketh the stone without looking at the iron, and yet they do not strike their hands? Now do ye likewise. Desire to be holy if ye wish to overcome entirely this misery of forgetfulness. Sure it is that water cleaveth the hardest rocks with a single drop striking there for a long period.

`Do ye know why ye have not overcome this misery? Because ye have not perceived that it is sin. I tell you then that it is an error, when a prince giveth thee a present, O man, that thou shouldst shut thine eyes and turn thy back upon him.

Even so do they err who forget God, for at all times man receiveth from God gifts and mercy.'
 
An Islamic Perspective and Commentary
by
Aykut Firat

 

Remembrance of God is also stressed in Quran in numerous verses. Just like Jesus (peace be upon him) talks above about sleeping less, and remembering God during night, the Qur'an instructs prophet Muhammad, and the believers in his example, to pray during night:

073.002
Stand (to prayer) by night, but not all night,-
 
and to remember God whole-heartedly:

073.008
But keep in remembrance the name of thy Lord and devote thyself to Him whole-heartedly.

The Qur'an also mentions that there are among the People of the Book (includes Jews and Christians) who do stand up during the night, and remember God:

3:113 Not all of them are alike: Of the People of the Book are a portion that stand (For the right): They rehearse the Signs of God all night long, and they prostrate themselves in adoration.

According to Qur'an, Remembrance of God is the greatest (thing in life):

29:45 Recite what is sent of the Book by inspiration to thee, and establish regular Prayer: for Prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds; and remembrance of God is the greatest (thing in life) without doubt. And God knows the (deeds) that ye do.

and believers are expected to remember God virtually all the time:

while standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides:

3:191 Men who celebrate the praises of God, standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and contemplate the (wonders of) creation in the heavens and the earth, (With the thought): "Our Lord! not for naught Hast Thou created (all) this! Glory to Thee! Give us salvation from the penalty of the Fire.

when Satan assaults them:

7:201 Those who fear God, when a thought of evil from Satan assaults them, bring God to remembrance, when lo! they see (aright)!

when they face a difficulty:

8.45 O ye who believe! When ye meet a force, be firm, and call Allah in remembrance much (and often); that ye may prosper:

when they want the satisfaction of their heart:

13:28 "Those who believe, and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of God: for without doubt in the remembrance of God do hearts find satisfaction.

often, morning and evening:

33:41-42 O ye who believe! Celebrate the praises of God, and do this often; And glorify Him morning and evening.

As Jesus (peace be upon him) calls forgetting God a sin, the Qur'an talks about the consequences of forgetting God:

059.019  And be ye not like those who forgot Allah; and He made them forget their own souls! Such are the rebellious transgressors!

009.067 ...They have forgotten Allah; so He hath forgotten them.

43:36 If anyone withdraws himself from remembrance of (God) Most Gracious, We appoint for him an evil one, to be an intimate companion to him.

39:22 ... Woe to those whose hearts are hardened against celebrating the praises of God! they are manifestly wandering (in error)!

63:9 O ye who believe! Let not your riches or your children divert you from the remembrance of God. If any act thus, the loss is their own.
 
We also find in Qur'an the equivalent of  "for at all times man receiveth from God gifts and mercy"

014.034 And He giveth you of all that ye ask for. But if ye count the favours of Allah, never will ye be able to number them. Verily, man is given up to injustice and ingratitude.

The following verse summarizes it all:

2:152 Then do ye remember Me; I will remember you. Be grateful to Me, and reject not Faith.


 

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1: True Gospel of Jesus
2: Joseph
3: Jospeh Visits Bethlehem
4: The Angel and the Shepherds
5: Circumcision
6: Herod Affrighted
7: The Magi Warned
8: Herod Massacres Children
9: Jesus at 12
10: The Gospel to Jesus at 30
11: A Leper Cured
12: First Sermon of Jesus
13: Gabriel Comforteth Jesus
14: Forty Days of Fasting & Twelve Apostles
15: Water into Wine
16: The Sermon on the Mount
17: The Doctrine Concerning God
18: Render Good for Evil
19: Betrayal Foretold & Lepers Healed
20: Miracle on the Sea
21: Swine Cast into the Sea
22: Uncircumcised As Dogs
23: Origin of Circumcision
24: Rich and Poor
25: Despise Flesh
26: Abraham's Father
27: Abraham's Prudence
28: Abraham Escapes Fire
29: Then Spake God
30: Eternal Life
31: Priests and a centurion
32: Statues of Flesh
33: The Greatest Sin
34: Be Humble
35: Satan Rebels
36: True Prayer and its Significance
37: A Prayer
38:Ablution Before Prayer
39:Adam Gets Life
40: Adam and Eve Fell in Temptation
41:They Leave Paradise
42: I am not the Messiah
43: Promise to Ishmael
44: Sacrifice Ishmael
45: Who is a Hypocrite
46: Laborers in the Vineyard
47: The Widow's son of Nain
48: Tumult at Nain
49: Jesus Preacheth at Capernaum
50: Concerning Judgment
51: Jesus Hath Pity on Satan
52: Dreadful Day
53: Signs of the Judgment Day
54: Of the Judgment Day
55: Muhammad at the Judgment Day
56: The Book is Opened
57: The Reprobates at the Judgment Day
58: No Pity on Reprobates
59: Concerning Hell
60: Torment of Hell
61: A Parable
62: Example of the Merchant
63: Warning Against Vengeance
64: Against Vengeance
65: The Probatica
66: God alone is good
67: Corrupted Sacrifice
68: Reward or Punishment for Priests
69: On Priests Preferring This World
70: Peter Rebuked
71: Healings in Galilee
72: Prophecy When Gospel is Annulled
73: Four Ways by Satan
74: Sin in Thought
75: A Recipe For Clean Thoughts
76: Three Kinds of Husbandmen
77: Right Use of Knowledge
78: Value of Learning
79: Law Not For Love of Law
80: Learn to Work Well
81: A Woman of Samaria
82: Woman- a Truth Seeker
83: The Other Food
84: Purity in Prayer
85: True Friends
86: Qualities of Friends
87: Put Off Fleshly Prudence
88: Man is amended with mercy
89: Never cut off from mercy
90: Of Faith
91: Disturbance Regarding Jesus
92: Hailed as God near Jordan
93: Jesus: I'm like other men
94: Miracles of other Prophets
95: Attributes of God
96: Mercy to the World
97: Muhammad is his blessed name
98: Decree of Roman Senate
99: God is Jealous for His Honor
100: Eighty-Two Sent for Preaching
101: Penitence for pure love of God
102: Mourning for Sins
103: Weep for Sins only
104: Measure sorrow not tears
105: Universe before God is like a small grain
106: The Body, the Soul and the Sense
107: Fast of Penitence
108: Sleep of Body and Soul
109: Never forget God
110: Desire for good
111: Weep, Fast and Watch
112: A Secret revealed to Barnabas
113: Parable of a barren fig tree
114: Man is born to work
115: Lust
116: The Lust of Eye may blind you
117: Elijah and the blind man
118: Guard the Eye
119: Prayer is the medicine of the soul
120: Vain talk weakens Intellect
121: Talk only as necessary
122: Evils of Avarice
123: On the Composition of Man
124: The Faith is One
125: Give for love of God
126: Disciples preach throughout Judaea
127: Jesus Preaches at Jerusalem
128: Prayers of a pharisee and a publican
129: Jesus at Simon's house
130: Simon and a public sinner
131: John at Herod's table
132: Sower and the tares
133: Infidel fathers, faithful sons
134: Regarding preachers
135: Seven Centers of Hell
136: Every one shall see Hell
137:Faithful without Deeds
138:Miracle of the Harvest
139: Betrayal Foretold
140: Measure Life by Death
141: Contemplate on Death
142: Judas Confers with Priests
143:Disciples arrive at Damascus
144:Of The Origin of Pharisees
145:The Little Book of Elijah
146:The Prodigal Son
147:The Prodigal Son ...
148: The Two Hermit-Pharisees
149: The Two Hermit-Pharisees...
150: The Two Hermit-Pharisees...
151: The Marks of a True Pharisee
152: Roman Soldiers
153: Miracle Wrought on Soldiers
154: Jesus and a Doctor
155: On the Forbidden Fruit
156: A Man Born Blind Receives his sight
157: The man born blind marvelled at their unbelief
158: The World of Three Kinds
159: Of the Nature of Sin
160: Ahab and Micaiah
161: Of Nature of Sin
162: Of Predestination
163: Muhammad-the White Cloud of Mercy
164: No Predestination unto Reprobation
165:The Elect
166: Predestination and Freedom
167: Predestination Inscrutable
168: The Clear Mirror
169: Of the Glory of Paradise
170: Wages Forever
171: Abundance of Rewards in Paradise
172: Grain of Sand to the Sea
173: Abundance in Paradise
174: Body without Putrefaction.
175: God says this in Isaiah the prophet
176: No Envy in Paradise
177: Sun and Moon of Paradise
178: Flawed Logic of Peter
179: God thru Eye of Paradise
180: Man's Merit
181: Shun: "I Merit"
182: Call me Brother not Lord
183: True Humility
184: Left with False Pharisees
185:Haggai and Obadiah
186:Haggai's Prayer
187:Haggai and Hosea
188:Hosea in Jerusalem
189: The Sun Stood Still for 12 Hours
190: Do not Offend God at all costs
191: Book of Moses on the Messiah
192: God has not locked up his mercy in Israel alone
193:Jesus at the tomb of Lazarus
194: Life is Death if no Perception of God
195:Jesus in the house of Lazarus
196: Lazarus has died once only
197: The Similitude of a good Axe
198:On death and its teaching
199: Worth of a single tear in repentence
200:Jesus Entereth Jerusalem
201:The Woman taken in adultery
202: Great is the number of the righteous unrighteous
203:God's Judgement on Jerusalem
204:Judgement on Jerusalem (cont)
205: In the House of Simon the Leper
206: Jesus Confronts the high Priest
207: Jesus Confronts the high Priest (contd)
208: Priests Try Stoning Jesus
209: Gabriel Comforts Mary
210: They Search for Jesus
211: Jesus Consoles his Disciples
212: Jesus Prays
213: Jesus Washes Disciples' Feet
214: Judas Betrays
215: Divine Rescue of Jesus
216: Judas Transformed
217: Judas was Crucified
218: Body of Judas Stolen
219: Jesus appeareth to his mother and his disciples
220: Jesus and the Four Angels
221: Jesus Chargeth Barnabas to Write
222: Jesus Carried Up to Heaven