The Difference between Reflection and Vigilance

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

What is the difference between reflection and vigilance?

Vigilance (muraqabah) is the result of a specific type of reflection. It is based on awareness of Allah’s majesty. It leads to having shame in front of Allah, prevents one from engaging in acts of disobedience and causes one to rush to do good. The word fikr (reflection), on the other hand, is general, and encompasses all types of reflection. One may reflect, for example, upon the greatness of Allah, on the path and the end of it, on one’s sins, and on the signs of Allah in His creation.

Some spiritual paths use the term vigilance (muraqabah) to mean reflecting on one’s connection with one’s shaykh or with those that one loves for the sake of Allah.