The Quran

Commentaries for 2.152

Al Baqara (The cow) - البقرة

2.152 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Therefore remember Me) through the performance of acts of obedience, (I will remember you) by granting you Paradise; and it is also said that this means: remember Me in time of ease, I will remember you in times of hardship. (Give thanks to Me) for the blessings I bestowed upon you, (and reject not Me) do not stop giving thanks for these blessings.
2.152 Asrar - Kashf Al-Asrar
So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful for Me and not ungrateful toward Me.
This is to remember the lovingly kind Friend, the heart's ease and the spirit's food. Remembrance is the polo-ball and familiarity with Him is the bat. Its steed is yearning and its field love. Burning for Him is the rose, and recognizing Him the garden.
This remembrance makes the Real apparent. It is joined with the Haqiqah and separate from mortal nature. This remembrance is the watering place for the tree of tawḤīd, the fruit and produce of which is friendship with the Real. This is why the Lord of the Worlds said, “My servant does not cease remembering Me, and I remembering him, until he is passionate for Me and I passionate for him.”
This is not the remembrance of the tongue that you know-this is inside the spirit. The time came when Abū Yazīd was remembering little with the tongue. When he was asked about that, he said, “I am in wonder at this remembrance of the tongue, and I am more in wonder at him who is a stranger. What would a stranger be doing in the midst? Remembrance of Him is in the midst of the spirit.”
In the story of passion for You, many are the hardships. I'm with You, but many are the stations between us.
I wonder at him who says, “I remember my Lord.” Should I forget, then remember what I forgot?
That great man of his time said in a whispered prayer, “O Lord! How can I remember You when You Yourself are remembering and I am crying out from forgetfulness. You are the remembrance and the remembered, You are the help in finding Yourself.
“O Lord! When someone reaches You, his sorrows are finished; when someone sees You, his spirit laughs. Who has more joy in the two worlds than he who remembers You? Who is more worthy of happiness in You than the servant?”
O poor man, you are remembering yourself. What do you know about remembering Him? Not having traveled, what do you know about the way stations? Not having seen the Friend, how can you be aware of His name and mark?
You are your own object of worship-you worship yourself: whatever you do, you do it for yourself.
If you pass into the spirit, you will gain dignity. If one day you pass by the street of the Haqiqah and remember Him in your secret core, you will see “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what has never passed into the heart of any mortal.”
Just once pass by Our street
and gaze on Our subtle artisanry.
If you want roses, pass into the spirit
and make the heart aware of union with Us.
It is written in one of God's scriptures, “'My servant! You will remember Me when you have tried out the others. I am better for you than anyone else.' My servant, when you have seen and tested others, then you will know My worth and recognize My rightful due. In other words, once you have seen their lack of loving kindness and you have grasped My loving kindness and loyalty, then you will know that I am more lovingly kind to you than anyone else and I am more useful.
“'My servant, did I not remember you before you remembered Me?' My servant, one mark of My loving kindness is that I remembered you first, then you remembered Me.
“'Did I not love you before you loved Me?' First, I wanted you, then you wanted Me.
“'My servant, have you turned away from Me and toward another because you are ashamed to face Me? Where are you going? My door is open, My gifts are bestowed on you.'” This is as someone said:
You have all your brightness from Me,
you wander around, then you come back to Me.
By the exaltation of the Exalted! If you take one step in His path, a thousand generosities will reach you from Him. “From you a little service, from Him much blessing! From you a bit of obedience, from Him great mercy!”
The Prophet alluded to this in recounting from God: “When someone remembers Me in himself, I remember him in Myself; and when someone remembers Me in an assembly, I remember him in an assembly better than his. When someone comes near to Me by a span, I come near to him by a cubit, and when someone comes to Me walking, I come to him rushing.”
And be grateful for Me and not ungrateful toward Me. It has been said that “I was grateful for Him” is gratitude at seeing blessings and in respect of activity.
But “I was grateful to Him” is gratitude at seeing the Patron of Blessings and contemplating the Essence. The latter is the gratitude of the folk of the end, and the former is the gratitude of the companions of the beginning.
The Lord of the Worlds knew that most servants do not have the capacity for the gratitude of the folk of the end. He made the work easy for them and put aside the great gratitude. He did not say, “Be grateful to Me,” but rather, “Be grateful for Me.” In other words, be grateful for My blessings, recognize what is rightfully due for them, and then, by recognizing what is rightfully due, despair of what is rightfully due for Me in the contemplation of My Essence. That is not the work of water and clay, nor the talk of spirit and heart. Indeed, what weight has clay, what trace has heart, in this talk? Throw both into the ocean, and give union with the Beloved access to yourself!
How long with low aspiration will we make our homes in the spirit?
Let us pack our bags from spirit and aim for the Beloved!
The mark of “Fear not!” [41:30] has come out from behind the mask.
Lift your heads, cloak-wearers, so that we may throw away our spirits!
2.152 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
So remember Me, through prayer, glorification and the like, I will remember you: this is said to mean, ‘I will reward you’; in a hadīth about God [that He says]: ‘whoever remembers Me in himself, I will remember him in Myself, and whoever remembers Me in an assembly, I will remember him in an Assembly more excellent than his’; and be thankful to Me, for My grace, by being obedient, and be not ungrateful towards Me, through disobedience.
2.152 Kashani - Kashani
So remember Me, by responding [to the call], through obedience and out of [a positive] will, and I will remember you, by granting you more and successive wayfaring and the effusion [from Me] of the light of certainty, and be thankful to Me, for the grace of sending a Messenger and guidance by wayfaring along the path to Me out of love, and I will increase you in gnosis from Me and love of Me, and be not ungrateful towards Me, by being indifferent and veiling yourselves by the grace of religion from the Grace-giver, as this is ingratitude, nay, disbelief [itself].
2.151-152 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
Muhammad's Prophecy is a Great Bounty from Allah
Allah reminds His believing servants with what He has endowed them with by sending Muhammad as a Messenger to them, reciting to them Allah's clear Ayat and purifying and cleansing them from the worst types of behavior, the ills of the souls and the acts of Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic era). The Messenger also takes them away from the darkness (of disbelief) to the light (of faith) and teaches them the Book, the Qur'an, and the Hikmah (i.e., the wisdom), which is his Sunnah. He also teaches them what they knew not. During the time of Jahiliyyah, they used to utter foolish statements. Later on, and with the blessing of the Prophet's Message and the goodness of his prophecy, they were elevated to the status of the Awliya' (loyal friends of Allah) and the rank of the scholars. Hence, they acquired the deepest knowledge among the people, the most pious hearts, and the most truthful tongues. Allah said:
لَقَدْ مَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَى الْمُؤمِنِينَ إِذْ بَعَثَ فِيهِمْ رَسُولاً مِّنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ يَتْلُواْ عَلَيْهِمْ ءَايَـتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ
(Indeed, Allah conferred a great favor on the believers when He sent among them a Messenger (Muhammad ) from among themselves, reciting unto them His verses (the Qur'an), and purifying them (from sins).) (3:164)
Allah also criticized those who did not give this bounty its due consideration, when He said:
أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ بَدَّلُواْ نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ كُفْرًا وَأَحَلُّواْ قَوْمَهُمْ دَارَ الْبَوَارِ
(Have you not seen those who have changed the favors of Allah into disbelief (by denying Prophet Muhammad ) and his Message of Islam), and caused their people to dwell in the house of destruction) (14:28)
Ibn `Abbas commented, "Allah's favor means Muhammad.'' Therefore, Allah has commanded the believers to affirm this favor and to appreciate it by thanking and remembering Him:
فَاذْكُرُونِى أَذْكُرْكُمْ وَاشْكُرُواْ لِي وَلاَ تَكْفُرُونِ
(Therefore, remember Me. I will remember you, and be grateful to Me, and never be ungrateful to Me.)
Mujahid said that Allah's statement:
كَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا فِيكُمْ رَسُولاً مِّنْكُمْ
(Similarly (to complete My favor on you), We have sent among you a Messenger (Muhammad ) of your own,)
means: Therefore, remember Me in gratitude to My favor.
Al-Hasan Al-Basri commented about Allah's statement:
فَاذْكُرُونِى أَذْكُرْكُمْ
(Therefore remember Me. I will remember you), "Remember Me regarding what I have commanded you and I will remember you regarding what I have compelled Myself to do for your benefit (i.e., His rewards and forgiveness).''
An authentic Hadith states:
«يَقُولُ اللهُ تَعَالَى: مَنْ ذَكَرَنِي فِي نَفْسِهِ ذَكَرْتُهُ فِي نَفْسِي وَمَنْ ذَكَرَنِي فِي مَلَأٍ ذَكَرْتُهُ فِي مَلَأٍ خَيْرٍ مِنْه»
(Allah the Exalted said, `Whoever mentions Me to himself, then I will mention him to Myself; and whoever mentions Me in a gathering, I will mention him in a better gathering.)'
Imam Ahmad reported that Anas narrated that Allah's Messenger said:
«قَالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ، إِنْ ذَكَرْتَنِي فِي نَفْسِكَ ذَكَرْتُك فِي نَفْسِي، إِنْ ذَكَرْتَنِي فِي مَلَإٍ ذكَرْتُكَ فِي مَلَإٍ مِنَ الْمَلَائِكَةِ أَوْ قَالَ: فِي مَلَإٍ خَيْرٍ مِنْهُ وَإِنْ دَنَوْتَ مِنِّي شِبْرًا دَنَوْتُ مِنْكَ ذِرَاعًا، وَإِنْ دَنَوْتَ مِنِّي ذِرَاعًا دَنَوْتُ مِنْكَ بَاعًا، وَإنْ أَتَيْتَنِي تَمْشِي أَتَيْتُكَ هَرْوَلَة»
(Allah the Exalted said, `O son of Adam! If you mention Me to yourself, I will mention you to Myself. If you mention Me in a gathering, I will mention you in a gathering of the angels (or said in a better gathering). If you draw closer to Me by a hand span, I will draw closer to you by forearm's length. If you draw closer to Me by a forearm's length, I will draw closer to you by an arm's length. And if you come to Me walking, I will come to you running).
Its chain is Sahih, it was recorded by Al-Bukhari. Allah said:
وَاشْكُرُواْ لِي وَلاَ تَكْفُرُونِ
(...and be grateful to Me (for My countless favors on you) and never be ungrateful to Me.)
In this Ayah, Allah commands that He be thanked and appreciated, and promises even more rewards for thanking Him. Allah said in another Ayah:
وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكُمْ لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ وَلَئِن كَفَرْتُمْ إِنَّ عَذَابِى لَشَدِيدٌ
(And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: "If you give thanks (by accepting faith and worshipping none but Allah), I will give you more (of My blessings); but if you are thankless (i.e., disbelievers), verily, My punishment is indeed severe.)
Abu Raja' Al-`Utaridi said: `Imran bin Husayn came by us once wearing a nice silken garment that we never saw him wear before or afterwards. He said, "Allah's Messenger said:
«مَنْ أَنْعَمَ اللهُ عَلَيْهِ نِعْمَةً فَإِنَّ اللهَ يُحِبُّ أَنْ يَرَى أَثَرَ نِعْمَتِهِ عَلَى خَلْقِه»
، وَقَالَ رَوْحٌ مَرَّةً:
«عَلَى عَبْدِه»
(Those whom Allah has favored with a bounty, then Allah likes to see the effect of His bounty on His creation), or he said, "on His servant'' - according to Ruh (one of the narrators of the Hadith).
2.149-152 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
That is, "We have reiterated this Commandment lest anyone of you should turn his face to any other direction in the prayer and give to opponents cause to say, `These people of the ummat wasat claim that they are witnesses of the Truth but their behaviour falsifies it. While they profess that the Commandment about the change of the giblah has come from their Lord, they do not act upon it'.
The blessing refers to the blessing of leadership which Allah had wrested from the children of Israel and invested in the Muslims. This is the greatest reward which is given to any community when it adopts and follows the righteous way and is entrusted by Allah with the work of guiding the world on the path of virtue. Here Allah tells the Muslims, "The change of giblah is symbolic of the change of leadership. You should, therefore, observe this Commandment strictly, lest leadership should be wrested from you on account of your disobedience or ingratitude. This favour will be conferred on you in perfection, if you obey the Commandment
That is, "You should expect this blessing if you submit to this Commandment about the change of the giblah." This promise is very encouraging for a servant of Allah. The assurance gives him great consolation that he should expect such a great reward from his King, if he obeys His Commandments with all his heart and soul.
2.152 Qushairi - Al-Qushairi
So remember Me I will remember you; and be thankful to Me and be not ungrateful toward Me. Remembrance is the immersion of the one who is remembering in the witnessing shuhūd of that which is remembered and then [it is] being consumed in the existence wujūd of that which is being remembered until no trace athar remains of the remembering so that it is said “so and so” once was. So remember me I will remember you that is “be consumed in Our existence wujūd and We will remember you after your annihilation from yourself.” God most high said “For indeed formerly they had been virtuous” [51:16]. They were here for a time but they have become perpetually separate bānū dāÌiman: The world is a beautiful [passing] event so be a beautiful event for the one who is aware. The path of the people of literal expression ʿibāra is So remember me by acts of conformity muwāfaqāt [to the divine command] I will remember you with special gifts karāmāt. The path of the people of allusion ishāra is “So remember me in abandoning every worldly concern ḥaẓẓ I will remember you by raising you up in My reality ḥaqq after your annihilation from yourselves.” “So remember me by being content with Me instead of with My gifts and favors afḌāl and I will remember you by being pleased with you regardless of your actions af ʿāl.” “So remember me-and it is by My remembrance of you that you remember for without My prior remembrance your remembrance would not occur.” “So remember me by cutting off attachments ʿalāÌiq and I will remember you by the attributes of realities ḥaqāÌiq.” It is said that “remember Me belongs to everyone you meet and I will remember you belongs to those whom I address.” Whoever remembers Me in a congregation I will remember him in a congregation better than theirs. It is said that “and be thankful to Me for the tremendous blessing to you [refers to when] I said to you 'So remember me I will remember you.'” It is said that gratitude is a kind of remembrance. In His words and be not ungrateful the prohibition against ingratitude kufrān is a command to be grateful. Gratitude is a remembrance so He repeated for you the command to remember.
Three is the first term of multiplicity. The command to remember much is a command to love for that is in the tradition “One who loves something remembers it often” so this is in truth a command to love that is “Love me I will love you.” So remember me I will remember you that is “Love me I will love you.” It is said “So remember me by being humble tadhallul I will remember you with favor tafaḌḌul.” “So remember me by being broken inkisār I will remember you in acts of beneficence mabārr.” “So remember me with the tongue lisān I will remember you with the gardens jinān.” “So remember me with your hearts qulūbikum I will remember you by fulfilling what you seek maṬlūbikum.” “So remember me at the door with respect to service khidma I will remember you by responding on the carpet of nearness by completing the blessing niʿma.” “So remember me with the purification of the innermost self bi-taṣfiyati al-sirr I will remember you by giving kindness bi-tawfiyati al-birr.” “So remember me with effort and care bi-l-jahdi wa-l-ʿināÌ I will remember you with generosity and giving bi-l-jūdi wa-l-ʿaṬāÌ.” “So remember me with the attribute of soundness salāma I will remember you on the Day of the Resurrection yawm al-qiyāma a day on which remorse nadāma will not benefit.” “So remember me with awe rahba I will remember you by making [your] wish raghba come true.”