“Do not stop mentioning God just because your heart is not present.
Forgetting Him completely is worse than being inattentive while you are mentioning Him; perhaps you will elevate you from being inattentive to being attentive, and from being attentive to being fully present with Him, and from being fully present with Him to being fully absent from anything but Him.
This is not difficult for God.”
Here the sheikh is talking about the quality of mentioning Allah Almighty. If the quality of mentioning Allah is not there, he is asking you not to stop mentioning Him. Don’t stop reading the Quran if you don’t feel it in your heart. Don’t stop your prayers if you don’t feel the prayers in your heart…
Because when you continue to pray and you continue to read, and you continue to mention Allah Almighty, He will move you from a state of forgetfulness to a state of awareness. And if you continue to mention Him, He will move you from a state of awareness to a state of absence from anything but mentioning Him. He said:
Remember Me and I shall remember you.
Oh you who believe, remember Allah a lot.
Keep Mentioning Him
Don’t stop when you feel that you aren’t really aware of what you are doing, or not really concentrating much with what you are doing. Don’t stop because Allah will open the doors of understanding and awareness and feelings for you in the right time.
When you persevere, when you continue to reflect, when you continue to read the Quran and try to struggle to reflect, He will open the doors for you.
When you continue to pray and when you continue to do the good deeds, even if you don’t feel that in your heart, because this is a universal law.
3 Steps of Islam
And these three steps that the sheikh is talking about here i.e. forgetfulness, awareness, and then absence from anything else are actually the three steps of Islam, which are called: Islam, Iman, Ihsan.
Islam is the body and the actions, and the outlook. Iman is the heart and the feelings. Ihsan is the highest level of feelings, that you worship Allah as if you see Him; and if you don’t see Him, then you’re very aware that He is seeing you.
These three levels of Islam, Iman, and Ihsan are three levels in everything, not just in the remembrance of Allah. When you give charity, there is one level of just doing the outlook of it, and there is a second level of sympathizing with the poor etc., and there is the highest level of really humbling yourself when you give the charity and you feel the blessing of Allah that He is looking at you as you are giving the charity, and so forth.
So any good deed that you do has the potential to go through these three steps of awareness: the step of the body, the step of the heart, and then the higher step of the spirit, of the feeling of what you are doing.
Therefore, in this step of the journey, do not stop remembering Allah, do not stop the good deeds that you do and Allah Almighty will open your heart to the light as you wish when He wishes.