November 2002: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Submitters Perspective

Page 3

Another great way
to worship God

God has created so many wonderful ways for us to worship Him and come ever closer and closer to Him. The religious duties and laws which form an integral part of our lives help us do this all the time. As yet another great way to worship God and strengthen their souls, God has enjoined believers to meditate, several times in the Quran. If believers wish to be raised to an honorable rank in God’s eyes and earn His mercy, they should make the most of this opportunity (25:64, 9:112).

[17:79] During the night, you shall meditate for extra credit, that your Lord may raise you to an honorable rank.
[39:9] Is it not better to be one of those who meditate in the night, prostrating and staying up, being aware of the Hereafter, and seeking the mercy of their Lord?…

The dictionary gives us several meanings for the word meditate, some of which are ‘reflect, contemplate, ponder and think over’, all of which indicate that meditation involves a state of conscious and focused thinking or reflection about something. Since our salvation is highly dependent on our thinking about God as much as we can (2:152, 33:41-42, 62:10), obviously, the requirement to meditate (or reflect) in the Quran means that we must meditate on God. The meditation can be upon His name, His great attributes or His wonderful creations; anything that makes us reverently conscious of Him, remember Him and love Him for what He really is.

[50:40] During the night you shall

meditate on His name, and after prostrating.
[3:190-191] In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day, there are signs for those who possess intelligence. They remember GOD while standing, sitting, and on their sides, and they reflect upon the creation of the heavens and the earth....

Meditate on God

It is necessary to realize that the objective of meditation talked about in the Quran, must be meditation (Zikr) on God. This is a very important aspect because when most people refer to meditation, they are not referring to a plan to meditate or reflect upon God. Some people spend hours and big amounts of money learning various forms of meditation in the hope that they can concentrate better on things or be more at peace with themselves because of pressures created by excessive worldly pursuits. The methods involve adopting rigid postures, reciting mantras, attempting trance-like states or even making the mind go completely blank, but never with the objective of consciously remembering or commemorating God. Why would believers want to deliberately make their minds go blank and unaware when they could use the same precious moments to consciously remember and be aware of God?

[7:205] You shall remember your Lord within yourself, publicly, privately, and quietly, day and night; do not be unaware.

On the other hand, believers get the best of all benefits when they meditate on God because they get to develop the soul as well as experience a sense of relaxation, assurance and happiness (20:130).

How does one meditate; what is the technique?

[3:191-194] They remember GOD while standing, sitting, and on their sides, and they reflect upon the creation of the heavens and the earth: "Our Lord, You did not create all this in vain. Be You glorified. Save us from the retribution of Hell....

As we see from the above verses, there is no particular position or technique for meditation or reflection upon God, and believers may have different ways to enjoy this. Some may prefer to lie down; some may choose to go for a walk or a drive in the car while thinking about all His wonderful creations; some may fall prostrate (recommended in the Quran) or be with a group of believers and sing His praises (15:98). While any time is always the best time to think or reflect upon God (3:41, 19:11), the Quran makes specific mention of meditation at night and dawn.

[3:17] They are steadfast, truthful, submitting, charitable, and meditators at dawn.
[73:2] Meditate during the night, except rarely....
[73:6] The meditation at night is more effective, and more righteous....
[73:20] Your Lord knows that you meditate during two-thirds of the night, or half of it, or one-third of it, and so do some of those who believed with you...

Though we are free to meditate as we wish, believers should also take note of the references in the Quran about falling prostrate before God and seeking His mercy, in addition to the requirement to meditate on God (3:113, 7:206, 9:112, 25:64, 39:9, 50:40, 53:62, 76:26, 96:19).

Cont’d on page 4