Remembrance of God — Commentary by A. Helwa

“There are those whom neither business nor striving after gain can turn from the remembrance of God.”   (Qur’an 24:37)

“The friend of God buys and sells in the market and marries and takes part in social interaction and never for gets God for a single moment.”    ~ Abu Said ibn Khayr

In Islam, the path of self-surrender has three stations: islam, iman and ihsan. The station of ihsan – or as it is sometimes called, “spiritual excellence” – is achieved when we transcend the duality of the outer and the inner, and enter into the singular presence of God.  In defining ihsan, the Prophet famously said: “It is to worship God as though you are seeing Him, for even if you cannot see Him, you know that He sees you.”  

Even at the higher levels of spiritual awareness, our sight will falter, but our refuge from our fallibility and faltering is to trust that God will never falter in His witnessing of us.  Ihsan is when you are in a constant state of awareness of Allah’s all-encompassing love for you.  When we understand that God sees us even when we don’t see Him, we are reminded that His mercy and love are not dependent on our fragile vision of Him, but on His All-Encompassing Sight (Al-Basir).

Seekers in the state of ihsan are like servants before a loving king, conscious of every step they take and every word they say, beautifying their actions out of gratitude for being welcomed into the king’s palace of kindness.  Linguistically, ihsan is “to make something beautiful,” for when we are truly aware of God’s all-encompassing goodness, we cannot help but reflect the beauty of His presence.  In this transcendent state of being we manifest “spiritual excellence” – not from the ego or in order to be praised, but out of being in love with God.

Ihsan is a state of goodness which is independent from the creation and seeks no reciprocity or applause.  When someone is living in a state of ihsan they see the creation as nothing but a reflection of the Creator.  In a sense, then, ihsan has two main dimensions: being consistently present, and being God-conscious in all of our states.  A Muhsin or one with ihsan is constantly striving to be present with whatever face God meets them with moment to moment.  A Muhsin is not only constantly turning to God for guidance through prayer and remembrance, but also constantly seeking opportunities to serve God’s creation.  To be in a state of ihsan is to know that God is everywhere by His knowledge, that He is reflected in everything by His names, and that His love is the breath behind all that exists.

This blog is an excerpt from A. Helwa’s recently published best-selling book, “Secrets of Divine Love: A Spiritual Journey into the Heart of Islam.” Her book is available on

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About A. Helwa
A. Helwa believes that every single person on Earth is deeply loved by the Divine. She is a writer who has inspired hundreds of thousands of readers through her passionate, poetic, and love-based approach to spirituality. Her popular blog @quranquotesdaily, was established while obtaining her Masters in Divinity, as a means of helping others overcome personal and spiritual struggles on their journey of experiencing divine love. 

With over 15 years of experience writing and speaking on Islam and spiritual development, A. Helwa draws from her personal experiences and traditional sources to help her readers access ‘Divine love in everyday life.’

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