We live in a time of distraction and restlessness. The ease of travel and communication has brought with it new challenges, among them an endless barrage of stimuli. Due to the extensive mental and spiritual strain people now face, psychologists and mental health practitioners advocate for “mindfulness,” which, according to their definition, is “the awareness of one’s own state and surroundings.” The dictionary defines mindfulness as “the state or quality of being mindful or aware of something.” From a Qur’anic perspective, however, mindfulness equates to an awareness of the presence of God, God’s limitless knowledge of our inward states and outward actions, and our ultimate destination: death and resurrection. The Qur’an states,
“Know that Allah knows what is within yourselves, so beware of Him, and know that Allah is Forgiving and Forbearing” (2:235).
The mindful Muslim maintains a consistent remembrance of God throughout the day and of God’s Messenger ﷺ through emulation. No one practiced mindfulness more than the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, and he was also The Reminder (al-Mudhakkir). “To remind” means “to cause a person to remember,” and, in this case, one who calls the minds of others back to God. The Qur’an says, “And remind them, for surely reminders benefit the believers” (51:55). The Prophet ﷺ gifted us with a collection of situational prayers for every human action and occasion unparalleled in world religions. These prayers have been preserved and transmitted by his family and companions in unbroken chains to the present time and offer the practitioner a perfect practice of Muslim mindfulness.
The Prophet’s ﷺ unwavering mindfulness of God serves as an example for us today.