Benefits of Thikr (Mentioning Allah) - II
The following are more of the benefits of mentioning Allah that the slave will harvest in this world as well as the Hereafter:
 The mentioning of Allah plants the trees of Paradise. Ibn Mas`ood, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that Allah's Messenger said: “I met Ibraaheem, may Allah exalt his mention, on the Night of Israa' [i.e., the night journey from Makkah to Al-Quds (Jerusalem)]. He said: `Convey my greetings to your nation, O Muhammad, and tell them that Paradise consists of vast plains of pure soil and sweet water. The plants grow there by (the utterance of): 'Subhaanallaah' (i.e., Glory be to Allah), 'Al-Hamdulillaah' (i.e., All praise is due to Allah), 'Laa Ilaaha Illallaah' (i.e., There is none worthy of worship but Allah); and 'Allahu Akbar' (i.e., Allah is the Greatest).`” [At-Tirmithi]
Jaabir, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Messenger of Allah said: “He who says: `Subhaanallaah Al-‘Atheem Wa Bihamdih' (i.e., Glory be to Allah, and to Him belongs all praise) will have a palm-tree planted for him in Paradise.” [At-Tirmithi]
 The continuous mentioning of Allah by His slaves protects them from being neglected by Allah, which is the direct cause of their misery in this world and the Hereafter. Forgetting Allah (by failing to mention and glorify Him) leads to forgetting one’s own self and what benefits it, as Allah Almighty Says (what means): “And be not like those who forgot Allah, so He made them forget themselves. Those are the defiantly disobedient.” [ Quran 59: 19]
By forgetting one’s own soul, a person becomes oblivious of taking care of its interests, which inevitably causes its degradation and destruction. Had there been no other benefit of mentioning Allah than guarding oneself against this, it would have been reason enough. Whoever forgets Allah Almighty will be made to forget his own soul in this world, and the Lord will leave him in the torture of the Hellfire in the Hereafter; Allah Says (what means): “And whoever turns away from My mention – indeed, he will have a depressed [i.e., difficult] life, and We will gather [i.e., raise] him on the Day of Resurrection blind. He will say: 'My Lord! Why have you raised me blind while I was [once] seeing?' [Allah] will say: 'Thus did Our signs come to you, and you forgot [i.e., disregarded] them; and thus will you this Day be forgotten.'" [Quran 20: 124-126]
Meaning, such a slave will be forgotten in the torment just as he forgets the Lord’s proofs, verses, signs and revelations, neither reciting them nor acting upon them. The depressed and difficult life mentioned in the verses refers to the difficulties, privation and sufferings he will face in this world, the grave and the Hereafter. Opposite to this is what the righteous people will lead, which is a happy life in this world, the grave and the Hereafter; Allah Says (what means): “Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer – We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do.” [Quran 16: 97] This applies both to his stay in the grave as well as the Hereafter.
Speaking about his teacher Imaam Ibn Taymiyyah Imaam Ibn Al-Qayyim said: “Allah is my witness that I have never seen anyone living in a better condition than him, despite the hardships he faced including lack of welfare, imprisonment, constant threat, and exhaustive suffering. He was very tranquil (in his heart), optimistic, cheerful and radiant.”
 The mentioning of Allah is a deed that has a unique and distinctive sweet taste that other good deeds cannot come close to producing. Maalik bin Deenaar said: “Nobody ever found more sweetness and enjoyment than in mentioning Allah.” Imaam Ibn Al-Qayyim said: “I heard Shaykh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah saying: `There is a Paradise in this worldly life (i.e. the mention of Allah); he who does not enter it, will not enter the Paradise of the Hereafter.`” Imaam Ibn Al-Qayyim also quoted Imaam Ibn Taymiyyah as saying: “What can my enemies do to me? My Paradise (i.e. the mentioning of Allah) is in my heart; it moves with me wherever I go. Imprisonment for me is a religious retreat. To kill and be killed (for me) is martyrdom, and to be expelled to another land is a spiritual journey" and also: "If I were to pay them (i.e., his enemies who imprisoned him) as much as the weight of this fortress (where he was imprisoned) in gold, that would still not repay them for the great favour they have done to me by imprisoning me; they cannot realise the great benefit I have gained from being in seclusion.”
 It is a light for the one who mentions Allah in this worldly life, in his grave and on the Day of Resurrection. It will illuminate his way on the Siraat (i.e. the bridge over Hell) to pass it easily; Allah Says (what means): “And is the one who was dead and We gave him life and made for him light by which to walk among the people like one who is in darkness, never to emerge therefrom?...” [Quran 6: 122] The first person mentioned in the verse is he who mentions Allah and is thus granted the light of faith and the love of Allah, while the second is he who is heedless of doing so.
 It makes the person closer to Allah and worthy of His love, support, and company, as Allah says in a Qudsi narration: “I am with My slave when he mentions Me and his lips move with My utterance.”[Al-Bukhari]
 It is superior to spending in charity for the sake of Allah and better than fighting Jihaad. Abu Ad-Dardaa’, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Messenger of Allah said: “Shall I not inform you of the best of your deeds which are the purest to your Lord, which exalt you to the highest ranks, which are more efficacious than spending gold and silver (in charity), and better for you than encountering your enemies whose necks you will smite and who will smite your necks?” The people replied: "Certainly!'' He said: “The mentioning of Allah the Exalted.” [At-Tirmithi]
 It is the highest form of expressing gratitude; one who does not mention Allah is certainly of the ungrateful. Mu`aath bin Jabal, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Messenger of Allah once held him by the hand and said: “O Mu`aath! I swear by Allah that I love you. I advise you not to miss supplicating after every prayer saying: `Allahumma a`inni `alaa thikrika, wa shukrika, wa husni `ibaadatika,' (i.e., O Allah! Assist me in mentioning You, expressing gratitude to You, and worshiping You in the finest manner).” [Abu Daawood & An-Nasaa'i] Here, the Prophet combined between gratitude and the mentioning of Allah, because they are the means of attaining true felicity.