Sura 13 Aya 28

Those who have faith, their hearts find tranquility in the remembrance of God,
for undoubtedly, hearts do find tranquility in the remembrance of God.

No matter who you are, where you live, and what you do, life brings you problems every day. You can be a surgeon, a farmer, an office worker, a business person, a parent, or a student, every day you face challenges. You pursue what you think is good for you. Some of it you achieve, but some of what you want does not work. You experience resistance and opposition, and this creates frustration and disappointment every day. This is the universalhuman experience.

How you deal with the daily frustrations has a huge impact on your life. If you think of yourself as unfortunate and complain about what is happening to you, the difficulties will multiply and your life can spin out of control.

We need to find ways to dissolve the irritation, frustration, and pain that accumulate daily.

We can obtain relief through the use of chemicals. Tobacco, alcohol, sleeping pills, and other mind-altering drugs make us feel better. The release is temporary, but it works. A big downside is that the substance can be addictive, and it can severely damage your health.

We can also find relief from the pains of life by indulgences,such as eating a lot, sleeping a lot, watching lots of mindlesstelevision, or finding fault with what others are doing.

These activities also do make us feel better. These also have negative effects on our health and capabilities, and the relief they give lasts
only a short time.

This aya points out that you can find peace and tranquilityby remembering the presence of God. If you sit quietly for a few minutes and recall to yourself that God cares about you, protects you, and guides you, the turmoil and the fear will disappear, and you experience peace. This practice is called dzikr, or remembrance.

It requires faith. As the aya says, “Those who have faith, their hearts find tranquility in the remembrance of God.” Faith means you are certain that God loves you and cares about you. This means that the difficulties you have are also from God. He created them to improve you, to raise you to a higher level. The problems you are facing feel uncomfortable, but in them, God has hidden the doorways to a better life. My responsibility is to do my best and act with my best intentions. The outcome is up to the beneficent design of God. If you have such faith, remembering the presence of God will create peace and happiness in you.

To acquire faith is a learning process. A person may have been taught the principles of faith, but unless they are internalized, they do not form our spontaneous response to life. We can think we know about faith, but we can still feel that the difficulties we face are because of misfortune. We can complain and blame bad luck or bad people.

There are people who were taught about faith in God as children, but they did not pay attention to it as adults. They did not think about faith anymore. But one day, something terrible happens and they feel fear and panic. They then quickly turn to prayer, remembering God, frantically repeating the phrases they had learned a long time ago. Many find that this sudden turn to faith does not give solace. The words of prayer appear to be remote and meaningless. This is because they have yet to lay the groundwork for faith within themselves.

We increase in faith by consciously internalizing the concept of faith through prayer and remembrance and by interpreting the events in our lives through the concept of faith.

It is a remembrance, because each of us has alreadyexperienced the love of God in many, many ways, although we may have forgotten about them.

Recall that once you were a little fetus without shape, and it is through the nurture of God that you developed a form as a
human being.

You can remember that once you were a little child, without strength or power, and it is by the mercy of God toward you that you have become a functioning adult.

You can bring to mind that there was a stage in life when you were confused and without direction, and it is through the guidance from God that you have found direction.

You can consider that there was time when you were in want, and it is through the bounty of God that you now have means.

You can recall situations in life when you were stuck and you did not know what to do, and something happenedunexpectedly by the grace of God and your problem was resolved.

You can acknowledge that you are blessed because you can breathe, you can see, and you can hear. You can remember that you are fortunate you can swallow food and give thanks. You can feel grateful you can walk without limping. Dozens of muscles in your legs and thighs have to work together flawlessly to make it happen by the grace of God.

You can make a list of three things that happened today that pleased you and for which you feel grateful.

Remembering how God has interceded in your life to enhance you is a practice. It deepens our faith, removes anxiety
about the future, and creates peace in the heart.

Prayer is remembrance. Consider any of the well-known prayers. When you say them, you recall the benevolence of God for you and for the world. You affirm that God will grant what you ask.

Consider how we remember God in Al-Fateha, the most repeated prayer:

We are grateful to God because He is our Lord, He nurtures
us, protects us, takes care of us, and the whole world

He is Compassionate, Loving, Merciful, Gracious

God is the Compassionate Judge, He gives hundreds of
rewards for every step we take in the right direction, and He
limits the consequences of our mistakes

We serve only You and we ask You for help

The purpose of daily prayer is to consciously repeat this remembrance so the belief that God is our merciful Lord becomes entrenched in our hearts. We have then a strong faith and the vicissitudes of life do not overwhelm us. We can experience peace within ourselves anytime by remembering the presence of God.

For this prescription to work, it is essential that prayer be a conscious remembrance of the favors of God. Mindless repetition of prayer does not increase faith or create peace.

There are people who think that since the Quran is revelation, its language is holy. They believe that repetition of

Arabic phrases heals the heart and you don’t have to understand them or be conscious of their meaning. This is a false notion.

If your mind is undisciplined, it goes through many diverse thoughts and images continuously. You are thinking of one thing and then your mind jumps to something totally different, then you see an unrelated image in your mind and so on. Since your nervous system, your heart, and all parts of the body respond to what you are thinking, chaos in the mind causes stress and ill health. For people in such conditions, repetition or chanting of any phrase for a few minutes creates a relaxing effect because it arrests the mind’s waywardness and produces stillness. You do not require phrases from the Quran for this purpose. Psychologists have discovered that repetition of any phrase, such as “Rose,” or “Red,” “One,” or “Two,” can generate the stillness and relaxation.

Conscious remembrance of God as a nurturing presence is amethod of personal transformation. As we practice it more and more, faith is internalized in us and God becomes a reality for us. You feel protected and taken care of. Tranquility and peace replace stress and fear. You believe that everything that happens is good, and you find that it is.