Appropriately benefiting from the quintessential example of the Blessed Prophet (pbuh) and thereby acquiring a nearness to the excellent morals of the Companions, requires, first of all, the attainment of a blend of the heart. The relevant ayah speaks loud and clear:
“Certainly you have in the Messenger of Allah an uswat’ul-hasanah –a quintessential example- for him who hopes in Allah and the Hereafter and remembers Allah much.” (al-Ahzab, 21)
As can be seen, ‘hoping in Allah and the Hereafter’ and ‘remembering Allah much’, constitute the imperative steps in receiving an appropriate share of the exemplary character of the Prophet (pbuh).
Unlike deeds of worship which are fulfilled during certain times, the safeguarding of belief in the Almighty is something that is required constantly. Each moment is a time to pay the price for believing in Allah, glory unto Him, and seeking His pleasure. Being in the state of dhikr’ud-daim, a constant remembrance, is therefore of necessity, to shield the heart from falling weak, to reinforce its resistance against Satanic and self oriented whispers and, most of all, to ensure there is not a moment in which the Almighty is forgotten.
The Almighty commands, throughout numerous verses:
“O Believers! Remember Allah with much remembrance!” But because verses of the kind do not set a limit on the required number of remembrances, the command of dhikr, remembrance, is to be understood as alluding to the greatest amount possible. Required of the Believer therefore is to remember Allah at all times and places possible, to the utmost of capacity.
Stated in another verse:
“And those who disbelieve say: Why is not a sign sent down upon him by his Lord? Say: Surely Allah makes him who will go astray, and guides to Himself those who turn to Him. Those who believe and whose hearts are set at rest by the remembrance of Allah; now surely by Allah’s remembrance are the hearts set at rest.” (ar-Rad, 27-28)
Remembering Allah, without a doubt, is not simply the literal repetition of the name ‘Allah’, much rather it is to facilitate the Divine Name in the heart, the focal point of the capacity to feel, to let it find its place therein, and infuse the heart thereby with its serenity and zest. Engrossing the heart in Divine remembrance rids it of all its maladies, purifies its ingrained dirt and rust for light to enter; and then having been refined to sensitivity, it becomes all set for Divine mysteries. When each heart beat is attuned to the Truth, intentions and deeds are uplifted to greater worth.
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) professes:
“The sign of loving Allah is to love His remembrance.” (Suyuti, II, 52)
Lovers never cease thinking of their beloved; forever talking about them, never letting them slip out of their hearts. Indeed, souls bent on living the delightful life of iman perpetuate Divine remembrance deep within their hearts. Standing, sitting or laying on their sides, they plunge into deep contemplation about the delicate and subtle wisdom behind the creation the skies and the Earth, and remark, in awe:
“Our Lord…You have not created this in vain! Glory be to You; save us then from the punishment of the fire!” (Ali Imran, 191)
Allah wants little to do with a heart that has not acquired such depth and elegance, as attested by the below ayah:
“…then woe unto those whose hearts are hardened against remembrance of Allah.” (Zumar, 22)
Standing aloof from dhikr, as indicated by the verse, is tantamount to a loss of human integrity.
Thus in a word, adherence to the Blessed Prophet and aptly benefiting from him demands hearts be filled with Divine Love, and by virtue of slipping away from mortal desires, be adorned with the remembrance of Allah, coupled with the yearning to meet Him and the Hereafter.
. al-Ahzab, 41; Also see, al-Jum’a, 10
. Given that a certain quantitative command is not followed by a further clarification to spell out its limit, then, as a rule, the command is taken to imply the utmost or most virtuous amount possible.