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Zikrullah – Remembering ALLAH in Abundance

The Qur’aan Majeed and the Ahadith are replete with commands to remember Allah Ta’ala constantly and in abundance. The thawaab and significance of Zikrullah are indeed great. Zukrullah is not difficult. It is indeed a most simple duty. One who is neglectful of such an important, yet simple, and most rewarding practice is most unfortunate. Indifference to Zikrullah is an invitation to calamity upon oneself.
Zikr has been absolutely simplified. If is free from conditions and restrictions. Time, number, wudhu, place, etc. have not been made necessary conditions for Zikr. There is, therefore, no difficulty in making Zikr. There is absolutely no valid excuse for refraining from engagement in constant Zikr. For making Zikr, it is not necessary to have a Tasbeeh (rosary) in hand. The use of a Tasbeeh is permissible. One may therefore use it to facilitate the remembrance of the number of times one chooses to recite a particular form of Zikr. A Tasbeeh is also beneficial for inculcating in one the habit of constant Zikr. For this purpose the use of a Tasbeeh is therefore best. Some people who are not in the habit of making Zikr constantly, feel that by keeping a Tasbeeh in hand at most times, one will develop riya (show) since people will regard the holder of the Tasbeeh as a pious person, This thought prevents them from keeping a Tasbeeh at hand. The result of this attitude is that they do not develop the habit of Zikr. It should be realized that riya is an internal condition. If one’s niyyat is to attract people’s attention and to display piety then only will the question of riya arise. Riya is not what others think of one. One should not indulge unnecessarily in such suspicions which are merely traps of shaitaan to divert one from constant Zikr.
Shaitaan also endeavours to deceive the Believer and divert him from constant Zikr by whispering into him that Zikr merely with the tongue when the heart in engrossed in worldly affairs is useless. Know that this is a trap of shaitaan to divert one from the remembrance of Allah Ta’ala. As long as one’s niyyat at the commencement of the Zikr was to obtain thawaab and the Pleasure of Allah, one will continue to acquire these benefits even if the heart does not accompany the tongue in the Zikr. However, during one’s free time, when making special Zikr, endeavour to control the attention of one’s heart so as to concentrate on the Zikr. Do not indulge in futility useless activities for this diverts the heart from the Zikr of Allah Ta’ala. Some aayaat and ahadith will now be mentioned in regard to Zikrullah.
1. Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’aan Shareef:
“Remember Me, and I will (as a favour) remember you.”
                                                                                                                          (Surah Baqarah)
2. Praising those who constantly engage in Zikr, the Qur’aan Shareef says:
“They are such people who remember Allah Ta’ala while standing, sitting and laying down.”
                                                                                                          (Surah Aale Imraan)
3. Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’aan Shareef.
“Remember (make Zikr) your Rabb in your heart (i.e. silent Zikr) with humility and fear (and make Zikr) in a voice which is less than jahr (loudness), morning and evening; and, be not a among the indifferent ones.”                                                                                                 (Surah A’raff)
Zikr should be made at all times. This is clear from the command in the aayat to make Zikr morning and evening which means the whole day. Zikr should also preferably be made silently. The Zikr may also be made audibly, but not shouting and screaming. This is stated in the term, “less than jahr”. There is no merit in making Zikr by means of shouting. However, if some Shaikh of Tasawwuf who is steadfast on the Sunnah devises loud Zikr for his mureeds as some remedy for spiritual conditions, then such loud Zikr will be permissible. But, one should remember not to disturb the peace and sleep of others by one’s loud Zikr. Distrubing others is sinful.
4. Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’aan Majeed:
“(The people whom Allah directs towards Himself are) those who have Imaan and whose hearts find rest in the Zikr of Allah. Verily, in the Zikr of Allah do hearts find peace.”
                                                                                                                                (Surah Ra’d)
Zikr creates and strengthens a special bond between man and His Creator. As a result of this divine bond, the heart becomes enwrapped in peace and tranquility
5. (The people who narrate the glory of Allah in the Musaajid) are such men who are not diverted by commerce and trade from the Zikr of Allah, from establishing regular Salaat and from paying Zakaat. (They are such men) who fear a Day when the hearts and eyes (of men) will be upturned.”
                                                                                                                          (Surah Noor)
6. Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’aan Majeed:
“Verily, the remembrance of Allah is the greatest.”
                                                                                                                              (Surah Ahzaab)
7. Allah Ta’ala says:
“O people of Imaan! Remember Allah in abundance.”
                                                                                                                              (Surah Ahzaab)
8. Allaha Ta’ala says:
“O People of Imaan! Do not allow your wealth and your children to divert you from the remembrance of Allah.”
                                                                                                                        (Surha Munafiqoon)
9. Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’aan Majeed:
“And, remember the Name of your Rabb and turn yourself in entirety towards Him.”
                                                                                                                        (Surah Muzzammil)
10. Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’aan Majeed:
“Verily, he who has purified himself (from evil beliefs and practices) and remembers the Name of His Rabb and performs Salaat has achieved the goal (of success) and salvation).”
                                                                                                                    (Surah A’laa)
11. Hadhrat Abu Hurairah and Hadhrat Abu Saeed (radiallahu anhuma) narrate that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “The angels surround those people who sit down to make the Zikr of Allah Ta’ala; the Rahmat of Allah decends on them and peace decends on them.”
                                                                                                                         (Muslim)
12. Hadhrat Abu Musa (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“The comparison between a man who makes Zikr of his Rabb and one who does not make Zikr is like the comparison between a living person and a dead person.”
                                                                                                                    (Bukhari, muslim)
The one who engages in Zikr has been compared to a living person because the existence of the Rooh is in fact the remembrance of Allah. The one who refrains from Zikr has been compared to dead person.
13. Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“Allah Ta’ala says: ‘I am with My servant when he remembers Me.
When he remembers Me in his heart, I too remember him in Me. When he remembers me in a gathering. I remember (and mention) him in a superior gathering (i.e. the assembly of malaa-ikah and Ambiya).”
                                                                                                        (Bukhari, Muslim)
14. Hadhrat Anas (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“When you pass by the gardens of Jannat, eat of its fruits.”
People asked: “What are the gardens of Jannat.”
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) replied: Gathering of Zikr.”
                                                                                                                    (Tirmizi)
15. Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) narrates:
“Allah brings down loss on a man who sits in some place without engaging in Zikr and on a man who lays in some place without engaging in Zikr.”
                                                                                                        (Abu Dawood)
The exhortation in this hadith is to engage constantly in Zikr, in all conditions and circumstances.
16. Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Busr (radiallahu anhu) narrates that a man said:
“O Rasulullah! The ordinances of Islam are numerous for me (the reference here is to nafl practices). Instruct me in something I may easily adhere to.”
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“Maintain your tongue always fresh with the Zikr of Allah.”
                                                                                                                  (Tirmizi, Ibn Majah)
The optional (Nafl) acts of thawaab in Islam are numerous. A very great variety of Nafl practices exists for procuring thawaab and the proximity of Allah Ta’ala. The Sahaabi was referring to these numerous practices which he found somewhat arduous. He therefore, wished for a simple practice which he could easily adhere to while at the same time not missing out on the great thawaab which is attendant to other acts of Nafl Ibaadat. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) informed him that constant Zikr of Allah was such an act.
17. Hadhrat Abu Saeed (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was asked about the one who will be the noblest among people on the Day of Qiyaamah and the closest to Allah Ta’ala. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“Those men and women who remember Allah in abundance.”
Someone asked: “O Rasulullah! What about the one who wage jihaad in the Path of Allah?”
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) replied:
“The one who engages in (constant) Zikr of Allah is superior in rank to the one who wages jihad, even if he fights so vehemently against the kuffar and mushrikeen that his sword breaks and even if he is dyed red in blood,”
                                                                                                        (Ahmad, Tirmizi)
The reason for the superiority of the Zaakir (the one who makes Zikr) over the Mujaahid (the one who wages Jihaad) is obvious. Jihaad is waged purely for thesake of Allah Ta’ala – for the remembrance of Allah Ta’ala, much as Wudhu is performed for the sake of Salaat. In the aayat.
“(The Believers are) those who establish Salaat …….. Wow We grant them power on earth.”
The basis of Jihaad is thus, Zikrullah. This being the actual aim, its superiority should be apparent.
18. Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Everything has a polish, and the polish of the heart is the Thikr of Allah.”
                                                                                                                    (Baihaqi)
19. Hadhrat Ibn Abbas (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“Shaitaan sits glued to the heart of man. When man makes the Thikr of Allah, shaitaan abdicates (moves off); when man is negligent of Allah’s Thikr the shaitaan casts evil whisperings in man.”
                                                                                                                    (Bukhaari)
20. Hadhrat Ibn Umar (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“Do not increase speech other than Thikrullah because much speech besides Thikrullah hardens the heart; the furthest from Allah is one with a hard heart.”
                                                                                                              (Tirmizi)
The essence of the latter three ahadith cited above, is that actual purity of heart is by means of righteous deeds and hardness of heart is the result of evil acts. The basis of both forms of deeds in the intention of the heart while the origin of iraadah (intention) is the mind. Reduction in Thikr brings about the introduction of satanic thoughts in the mind. This in turn leads to evil intentions. Pious intentions are the effaced. Instead of practicing righteous deeds, evil is committed. Abundance of Thikrullah blocks the entry of evil thoughts. This in turn does not allow evil intentions to assert themselves. One then abstains from sin and engages in righteous deeds. Hardness of heart is thus eliminated and purity inculcated.
This state of purity of the heart is not automatically acquired, but requires effort and striving. To be contented with only Thikr without striving. To be contented with only Thikr without striving against the lowly desires, is only self-deception.
21. Hadhrat Abu Saeed Khudri (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“There are many people reclining on comfortable beds and making the Thikr of Allah Ta’ala on earth. Allah Ta’ala will grant them elevated ranks (in the Aakhirah).”
                                                                                                                                (Ibn Habbaan)
It should not be imagined that material possessions of comfort, wealth and luxury are negatory of Thikrullaah. Such possessions too are favours of Allah Ta’ala. Those indulging in luxury should not abstain from Thikrullah. They too should be constantly engaged in the remembrance of Allah Ta’ala whilst enjoying the comforts of the bounties which whilst enjoying the comforts of the bounties which Allah Ta’ala has bestowed on them.
22. Hadhrat Abu Saeed Khurdi (radiallahu anhu) also narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“Engage in the Thikr of Alah in such abundance that people comment that ‘you are insane’.”
                                                                     (Ahmed, Abu Ya’la, Ibn Habbaan)
23. Hadhrat Ibn Abbaas (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“Engage in the Thikr of Allah in such abundance that the munafiqen (hypocrites) comment: ‘You are a pretender’. (i.e. they accuse you of engging in thikr for creating the impression of piety).”
                                                                                                                                (Tibrani)
24. Hadhrat Muaaz Ibn Jabal (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“The people of Jannat will not grieve over anything but the moments in which they did not engage in Thikrullah (while they were on earth). They will regret for such (wasted) moments.”
                                                                                                                 (Tibrani, Baihaqi)
This type of regret will not be similar to regrets of the world. It will not cause hardship or sorrow.
An explanation of Thikr in general has been given so far. In the ahadith are mentioned many special forms of Thikr as well. For such specific forms of Thikr, great thawaab has been narrated. Some simple forms of special Thikr are mentioned here.

1. LAA ILAAHA ILLALLAH

2. LAA ILAAHA ILLALLAHO – MUHAMMADUR RASULULLAH-E-SALLALLAHU ALAYHI WASALLAM.

3. SUBHANALLAHE

4. AL-HAMD-O-LILLAHE

5. ALLAH-O-AKBAR

6. LAA HAWL-A-WA-LA QUWATA ILLA BILLAH

7. ASTAGHEFIRULLAHA WA ATOOB-O-ELAHI

8. ALLAHUMMA SALLE ALA MUHAMMADIN

SUMMARY: Never be negligent of Thikrullah, be it a special form of Thikr or any thikr in general. Thikr can be made at any time or at a specific time fixed to suit one’s convenience. Any number of ties Thikr may be made. Thikr may be made by using either the fingers (to count the number of times) or a tasbeeh. Thikr may be also made at all times without the use of a tasbeeh. The main purpose is to be constantly engaged in the remembrance of Allah Ta’ala. Ther are certain duas which have to be recited on special occasions. Such duas should be learnt. May Allah Ta’ala grant you taufeeq to practise accordingly.

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From Hayatul Muslimeen (Life of the Muslims) by Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Rahmatullahi Ala'ih) http://www.al-islam.edu.pk/hayatul/hayatulmuslim.htm