• Riyadh-us-Saliheen, published by Darussalam
  • Sharh Riyad-us-Saliheen by Shaikh Muhammad ibn Salih al-Uthaimeen
  • Belief in Allah by Shaikh ‘Umar al-Ashqar, published by international   Islamic Publishing House.

The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said:

يقول الله تعالى: أنا عند ظن عبدي بي, أنا معه إذا ذكرني, فإن ذكرني في نفسه ذكرته  في نفسى, و إن ذكرني في ملأٍ ذكرته  في ملأٍ خير منهم , وإن تقّرب إليّ شبراً تقربت إليه ذراعاً, وإن تقّرب  إليّ ذراعاً تقربتُ إليه باعاً و إن أتاني ىمشي أتيته هرولة

“Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) says: ‘I am just as My slave thinks I am i.e. I am able to do for him what he thinks I can do for him) and I am with him if he remembers Me. If he remembers Me in himself, I too, remember him in Myself; and if he remembers Me in a group of people I remember him in a group that is better than them; and if he comes one span nearer to Me, I go one cubit nearer to him and if he comes one  cubit nearer to Me, I go distance of two outstretched arms nearer to hi m, and if he comes to Me walking I go to him running.” [Reported by al-Bukhari]


1-      “I am what My slave thinks of Me.”

This means one should have the conviction that he (Allah) accepts repentance, grants pardon, relieves people of their tensions and emancipates from their troubles. Along with this conviction one should do good deeds which are pleasing to Allah and avoid such deeds which are prohibited by Him. With this conduct, one should hope for the best from Allah.

2-       It is unwise to associate good hope with Allah, when one does not establish the foundation of  faith and good deeds for it. A slave rather than serving his master , runs away or annoys him and still hopes his master, being so kind will not take him to task for his excesses, would be called stupid by the people

The same is true of Allah, Who is certainly the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful and Forgiving. But for who is He so? The answer is, for his faithful and obedient slaves and not for the followers of Satan. For Satan and his followers, Allah’s Decision is that:  “I will fill Hell Fire with you (Iblis) and those of them (mankind) that follow you together.” [Surat Saad 38:85]

3-      The Hadith also highlights the merits of Dhikr (remembrance of Allah) and that is when the person remembers Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) in his self, Allah will remember him in His self. However, that is attained by remembering Allah by the tongue secretly, without anyone hearing him, or by remembering Allah in one’s heart.

Moreover, if one remembers Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) in a group of people (mentioning His names and Attributes, remembering His laws and prohibitions, remembering the blessings of Allah etc,), Allah will remember him in a group better than them, i.e. a group of angels to whom Allah will mention the person and praise him.

4-      This Hadith also emphasizes that remembering Allah in a group of people is better for a person  than remembering Allah in his own self, except if he fears Riya’ (show off.) if he fears Riya’, then he should not say the remembrance loudly (openly). However, one should be aware of the shaytan’s wispers, suggesting that, “If you remember Allah openly, then this is considered Riya’.” Accordingly, the person leaves the remembrance. Let the person seek refuge with Allah from Shaytan’s whispers and remember Allah in his self as well as openly in a group of people, in order for Allah to remember him.

5-      This Hadith highlights the means of attaining Allah’s Companionship necessitates help, support, protection, preservation, etc. for His faithful believers, in addition to His Encompassment by His Knowledge, Hearing , Seeing and Ability for them.

Abu Hurairah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said:

إنّ الله يقول : “أنا مع عبدي إذا ذكرني و تحركت بي شفتاه.”

“Verily, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) says: ‘I am with My slave if he remembers Me and his lips move with My remembrance (i.e. My remembrance incites him to move his tongue).” [Al-Bukhari]

6-      Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) has affirmed in this Qudsi Hadith that He has a “Self” in a manner that befits his Perfection and Majesty; a “Self” which nothing like the slaves if His creation. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) has told us about this in his Book.

He (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) said in Surat al-An’am (6:12):

“Say (O Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam))! To whom belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth? Say: ‘To Allah, He has prescribed Mercy for himself. Indeed He will gather you together on the Day of Resurrection, about which there is no doubt….’”

All the Messengers عليهم السلام affirmed that Allah has a “Self”. Isa (Jesus (‘Alayhissalaam)) said to the Lord of Might:

….You know what is in my inner-self though I do not know what is in Your Self; truly, You , only You, are the All-Knower of all that is hidden [ and the unseen].” [Surat al- Ma’idah 5:116]

And Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) said to His Messenger Moosa (Moses)(‘Alayhissalaam):

“……Then you came here according to the fixed term which I ordained (for you), O Moosa! And I have chosen you, for Myself.” [Surat Ta-Ha 20:40-41]

Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) warned us against Himself, as He (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) said:

“….And Allah warns you against Himself [His Punishment] and Allah is full of kindness to [His] slaves.” [Surat Aal-‘Imran 3:30]

7-      Remembering Allah pleases the “Self” of our Lord (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala). According to a Hadith narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhuma), the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) left his wife Juwayriyyah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anha) in the morning for offering Fajr prayer, and she was in her prayer-place in her house. At mid- morning he came back, and she was still sitting there. He (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Are you still as you were when I left you?” She said: “Yes.” The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “After I left you , I said only four words three times, but if they were weighed against what you have said since this morning, they would out weigh it. They are:

سُبْحانَ الله وَ بِحمْدِهِ عَدَدَ خَلْقِهِ وَرِضَا نَفْسه وَزِنَةَ عَرْشهِ وَمِدادَ كَلِمَاتِهِ

Subhan-Allahi wa bihamdihi ‘adada khalqihi wa rida Nafsihi wa zinata ‘arshihi wa midaada Kalimaatihi.”

“Glory and praise  be to Allah, as many as His creations are, as much as pleases him, as much as His throne weighs and as many as his words are.” [Muslim]


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