The Good Life: Remembering Not to Forget Allah
I’ve always loved marketing, most importantly the consumer psychological/behavior aspect of it which is extremely interesting when you start studying it deeply. I’ll give you one example. Pepperidge farms sells many products but one of their most successful ones are Goldfish crackers, yea they are cute, tasty and are shaped just like little goldfish. When the company first started selling them in grocery stores, the goldfish crackers didn’t sell too well.
After researching they discovered the goldfish needed to be changed in appearance. Rather than leaving the face blank, eventually they stamped a smile on each goldfish cracker and this directly increased their sales. It’s no secret, consumers love seeing smiles. It gives them a sense of peace and happiness.
Anyways, I’ve come to the realization that every advertisement serves as a reminder to buy a certain product or service. It’s not surprising, humans are naturally inclined to forget. The solution? Reminders! Companies that spend the most on brand awareness tend to influence consumers purchasing habits more on a subconscious level.
It’s true, they basically want us to do constant dhikr of what they sell. How many advertisements does the average American expose to in one day? Take a guess, to relax your brain cells I’ll tell you what it is. Anywhere between 3,000-5,000 ads a day!
This leads me to my next part of the blog post. Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about relationships and I came to the conclusion that if you really value someone in life then you’ll remember them not only when you need them but on a regular basis.
Zooming out even more, as Muslims we believe the one who deserves the most remembrance in life is Allah. The Holy Qur’an reminds us “And the men and women who remember Allah frequently, Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and great reward.” (33:35).
The above verse highlights frequency. The challenge for all of us is arriving at a high level of consciousness where you are remembering Allah throughout your daily affairs and ultimately before you do any beneficial act. There is no doubt certain elements of the dunya distract us but when your going to sleep after a long and tiring day, you need to remind yourself that the next morning isn’t promised and only with Allah’s permission your life continues.Yea it’s easier said than done, but progress is a slow process. We all need to evaluate ourselves and take the necessary steps practically to improve our relationship with Allah. If you aren’t completing your five daily prayers, get on top of it. If you are then move on to developing a strong relationship with the Qur’an, there is always room for improvement.
When I was flipping through the dua book “Fortress of the Muslim” today, Subhan’Allah the amount of dua’s prescribed by our Beloved Prophet was amazing. There is a dua for just about anything in life. A dua for when you wake up, when the wind blows, before you put your new clothes on, for a good or bad dream, for a full moon, when it rains, pretty much anything and everything in life.
So how does this all relate to the original introduction of advertisements? Simple, Allah shows us through many ways that we should remember him. There are many signs of his existence. The order of the universe, the way your body functions, the endless blessings you receive. It’s clear in the Qur’an, “And if you would try to count the favors of Allah, you would never be able to count them. Truly, Allah is Forgiving, Most Merciful”. [16:18]
In conclusion, don’t have that half relationship with Allah where you turn to him only when you need him. We don’t need 3,000 ads to remind us to remember Allah. If you truly love Allah, you would want to remember him. He is worthy of praise through your times of trials and times of ease. That wraps it up like a mummy, forgive me if I wrote too much and because I haven’t posted lately. insh’Allah (God willing) I’ll write again real soon.
One last ayah from the Holy Qur’an before I bounce.
“And establish regular prayer, for prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds, and remembrance of Allah is the greatest thing in life, without doubt.” (Surah al-Ankabut 29:45)