Zachariah asked for a mark of his child’s existence. It was said to him, “The mark is that I will stop your tongue from talking to the people for three days so that all your secret whispering will be with Me, and all on your tongue will be the talk of Me.”
3:41 He said, “My Lord, appoint for me a sign.” He said, “Your sign is that you shall not speak to the people for three days, except by closeness. And remember thy Lord often and glorify Him at evening and dawn.”
By way of allusion, He is saying, “I will give you a child whom I will cut off from this world and the creatures and the face of whose heart I will turn toward Me. Then he will know that his kiblah is nothing but My Presence and he will be at ease only in talking with Me.”
This is why He commanded Zachariah, “And remember thy Lord often and glorify Him at evening and dawn.”
He commanded the faithful in general to the same thing: “And remember your Lord often” [8:45].
He is saying, Remember God and carry out your days in obedience and service to Him. Belong totally to Him, calling upon Him and knowing Him in every state and every work! If you are at ease, be at ease with His remembrance and message, and if you are joyful, be joyful in His name and mark. And remember thy Lord often.
It is said that remembrance of God has three degrees: The first is outward remembrance with the tongue of laudation and supplication. God says, “And remember thy Lord often.”
The second is concealed remembrance in the heart. Thus God says, “Or with more intense remembrance” [2:200]. The Prophet said, “The best remembrance is the concealed and the best provision the sufficient.”
The third is true remembrance, which is witnessing God’s remembrance of you. That is His words, “And remember thy Lord when thou forgettest” [18:24]. In other words, you should forget your own soul in your remembrance, then forget your remembrance in your remembrance, and then forget every remembrance in the Real’s remembrance of you.
Think! “O God, why should I remember when all I am is remembrance? I have given the haystack of my marks to the wind. Remembering is acquiring, and not forgetting is life. Life is beyond the two worlds, but the acquisition is as You know. O God, for a while I performed Your remembrance through acquisition, then for a while I delighted in my own remembrance of You. My eyes fell upon You and I became busy with gazing. Now that I have recognized remembrance, I choose silence, for who am I to be worthy of this rank? I seek refuge from measured remembrance, temporal vision, familiarity through marks, and friendship by mail!”