By Nawal Aqil
Dhikr or the remembrance of Allah is an all-embracing term, in addition to ritual acts of worship it covers many activities of the tongue and heart. It involves remembering Allah at all times. This form of worship has no special time, it is to be performed constantly so that it permanently links up one’s life with Allah.
The importance of constant Dhikr cannot be emphasized enough. Through the Qur’an and Sunnah we come to know that Dhikr is an important component, it is the soul of Ibadah (acts of worship) - acts like Tawaf, Sa’y, Ramy of Jamarat are based on the Dhikr of Allah. (Tirmidhi and Abu dawood).
Salah is imbibed upon Muslims just for remembering Allah. Allah said, “Verily! I am Allah! Lâ ilâha illa Ana (none has the right to be worshipped but I), so worship Me, and perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât) for My Remembrance.” (Qur’an, Taha:14)
Dhikr actually means to fill one’s heart and mind with the remembrance of Allah to enliven ones self for verily a Muslim finds peace in remembering his Lord. Allah said, “Those who believed (in the Oneness of Allah - Islamic Monotheism), and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah: verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (Qur’an, 13:28)
It is the most preferred act for the servants of Allah and much emphasis has been given in the Qur’an for the same. It is the most praiseworthy work to earn Allah’s pleasure, the most effective weapon to overcome the enemy and the most deserving of deeds in reward. Apart from Salah one can remember Allah by reading, reciting, understanding and pondering over the words of the Qur’an. In the Qur’an Allah refers to ‘Adh-dhikr’ that is ‘The Remembrance’ or ‘The Reminder’ 55 times.
Allah said, “By the Qur’an, full of Dhikr.” (Qur’an, Saad: 1) In another verse He said, “This (the Qur’an) is no less than a Dhikr for all the worlds.” (Qur’an, Saad:49)
It also means to remember Allah in all daily activities which we undertake such as getting up in the morning, eating, walking, visiting, etc. Our Prophet (peace be upon him) has taught us the appropriate supplications for every occasion and we should understand and recite them with understanding. We should strive to learn those authentic supplications that were even recited by our Prophet’s (peace be upon him) companions for it is a source of blessing.
Allah said, “O Believers, make abundant mention of Allah!” (Qur’an, 33:41)
“The creation of heaven and earth and the changes of night and day are signs for people who have wisdom: — consider who is described as having wisdom — Those who remember (and recite and call) Allah standing up, sitting, and lying on their sides and throughout the day.” (Qur’an, 3:190-191)
A’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) said, that the Prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned/remembered Allah at all times of the day and night. (Muslim)
We should also remember Allah in gatherings, as Allah said, “I am with my slave when he thinks of Me and I am with him when he mentions Me. For if he mentions Me to himself, I mention him to Myself; and if he mentions Me in a gathering, I mention him in superior gathering. If he approaches Me by a hand’s width, I approach him by an arm’s length, I approach him by two arm’s length. And if he comes to me walking, I hasten to him swiftly.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever sits and does not mention the Name of Allah (before he rises) will find it a cause of sorrow from Allah. Whoever lies down to sleep and does not mention the name of Allah before rising, will find it a cause of sorrow from Allah.” (Abu Dawud)
Dhikr must be done in a way prescribed by Allah. Reciting something in numbers should be avoided as it will will lead to wastage of good deeds, until and unless it is mentioned in the Qur’an or the Sunnah.
Remembering Allah has many rewards and virtues. It cleans the heart of a Muslim from sins and keeps the tongue moist with words that are dear to Allah, hence avoiding backbiting and slandering. It instills love and fear of Allah in the heart of Muslims. Those who remember their Lord are always surrounded by the Angels of Rahmah (mercy and peace).
First published in Saudi gazzette