Part 7: Dzikr (2-3)

That is what we see typified in the life of our Prophet, Sall Allaahu `alayhi wa sallaam. His heart was always imbued in Dzikr of Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala and that state of his mind showed in every word he spoke at every move he made. The Ahaadeeth describe all those beautiful words that used to emanate from our Prophet Sall Allaahu `alayhi wa sallaam’s lips. We can excel in remembering Allaah at all occasions by learning those gems of Allaah’s remembrance that reflected the Prophet’s feelings, by understanding the sentiments they represented and then by using them to express our own inner feelings. It is from his Sunnah that we learn what frequent remembrance and glorification means and how to do it. There is a lovely way he has shown us to remember Allaah for every action a human being can take. His way of remembrance also indicates that the real meaning of remembrance is being totally absorbed in thinking about Allaah, feeling His presence and then vocalizing those feelings in words. He would not even open his mouth to address people without first praising and thanking Allaah and He would not end his talk but with His praise and thanksgiving. 

Every believer should learn his words and use them to express their feelings about Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala. However, until we learn those Arabic phrases, we can remember Allaah in our own language or in our own thoughts. The meaning of some of those phrases and supplications are as follows:

  • Starting every activity with the name of Allaah: Bismillaah.
  • Going to bed: Reciting Your Name, O Allaah, I sleep and get up.

You can also add: I seek Your forgiveness, there is no God but You, the Living, the Self-Sustaining. Please save me from Your punishment the day You resurrect Your slaves.

  • Getting up in the morning: All praise and gratitude is for Allaah Who gave us life after our death and to Him we will be presented.

Or
All praise and gratitude is for Allaah Who gave comfort to my body, returned my soul and gave me opportunity to remember Him.

  • Going to the washroom, and getting out:

Going: O Allaah I seek Your refuge and protection from both male and female Shayaateen. After: Your forgiveness, please.

And/or: All praise and gratitude is for Allaah Who took away my discomfort and gave me relief

  • Looking into the mirror: O Allaah, You have made my face beautiful, please make my personality beautiful as well.
  • Putting on new clothes: All praise and gratitude is for You, O Allaah. You provided me with this clothing. I ask You for its blessings and the goodness for which it was made; and I seek Your refuge and protection from its evil and the evil for which it was made.
  • After Eating: All praise and gratitude is for Allaah Who fed us, provided us drinks and made us Muslims. 
  • Leaving home: In the name of Allaah; I believe in Allaah, give myself in His protection, and rely on Him; no one has ability to avoid or power to achieve, without Allaah.

And/or

O Allaah I seek Your refuge and protection from going astray or being misled, from slipping or being duped and from misbehaving or being ill-treated. 

  • Embarking on a transport: Infinitely perfect and glorified is He who made it subservient to us, otherwise we did not have the means to do so; and to our Lord we are going to return. 
  • Entering a neighbourhood: O Allaah bless us in it. 
  • Concluding a meeting or get-together: Infinitely perfect and glorified You are, O Allaah, and Yours is all praise and gratitude; I testify that there is no God except You. I seek Your forgiveness and turn to You in repentance. 
  • Coming home: O Allaah, I ask You for the most blessed entry and the most blessed exit. With Allaah’s Name we enter, with Allaah’s Name we exit, and on Allaah we rely. 
  • Finishing wudhoo: I testify that there is no God except Allaah, the one and unique, without any equals; and I testify that Muhammad is His slave and messenger. O Allaah, make me on those who repent and who are pure.
  • Entering a Masjid, leaving a Masjid: O Allaah, open the doors of Your mercy for me. O Allaah, I seek Your bounty from you.
  • Sneezing / Responding: All praise and gratitude is for Allaah (Al-ĥamdulillaah, instead of or before ‘excuse me’). May Allaah bless you with His Mercy.
  • Stormy weather: Thunder: Infinitely perfect and glorified is He Whom thunder glorifies with praise and angels glorify out of awe.
    Winds: O Allaah, make them good winds, not bad. And make them source of Your mercy, not punishment.

As you can see, a Muslim can remember Allaah all day while living a normal life, and performing one’s day-to-day tasks, without having to increase or decrease or to change any of those activities. A lot of remembrance, especially remembering and glorifying Allaah in thoughts and in words, can be done just by changing one’s attitude. All it takes is being conscious of Allaah, feeling His presence with oneself and acknowledging His magnificence, sublimity and Glory. 

We also have many other opportunities when we are not doing any mental activity; for example, when exercising, driving a car, riding a bus, train or plane; and during our “dead time” waiting for an appointment, for a meal at a restaurant, for the next bus, train or flight, etc. During all these activities and many others you can identify in your daily life, it is possible to concentrate on Allaah’s remembrance through your thoughts and corresponding words to express your feelings. Some recommended words are the following:
Astaghfirullaahal-‘Azheem-aladzi laa ilaaha illaa huwal ĥayyul qayyoomu wa atoobu ilayhi.

I seek forgiveness from and turn back to Allaah, the Tremendous, besides Whom there is no God, He is Living, Self-sustaining. (Istighfaar)

Subĥaanallaah – Absolutely free of all imperfections, Glorified and Sublime is Allaah (Tasbeeĥ — To express general sentiments for Allaah’s glorification).

Al-Ĥamdulillaah — All praise and gratitude is for Allaah (Taĥmeed — This is the main vehicle of expressing gratitude and appreciation is by praising Him).

Laa ilaaha illallaah — There is no god, lord, authority, power, protector, sustainer, helper, provider or ruler except Allaah (Tahleel — [4]The best remembrance is negating every other entity or thing that takes people’s attention away from Allaah and reaffirming one’s allegiance to Him by reciting Kalimah with full consciousness of its meaning and implications).

Allaahu-Akbar — Allaah is the Greatest (Takbeer — This should free a believer from fear of anyone else in the world).

Laa ĥowla wa laa quwwata ilaa billaahil ‘aliyyul ‘azheem [5]

Neither the capacity to avoid, nor power to accomplish is possible without it being from Allaah, the Most High, the Tremendous.

All five of these can be uttered together as one complete sequence of Dzikr:

Subĥaanallaahi walĥamdulillaahi wa laa ilaaha illallaahu wallaahu akbar[6] wa laa ĥowla wa laa quwwata ilaa billaahil ‘aliyyul ‘azheem.

Subĥaanallaahi wa biĥamdihee, subĥaanallaahil ‘azheem. [7]

Infinitely Perfect and Glorified is Allaah and for Him is all the praise and gratitude, infinitely Perfect and Glorified is Allaah, the Tremendous.

  • Radheetu billaahi rabban wa bil-Islaami deenan wa bi-Muhammadin nabiyyan/rasoolan.

I am delighted with Allaah as Lord, Islam as Deen and Muhammad as Prophet/Messenger. [8]

Recitation of the Qur-aan and reflecting upon its meaning and message to learn how Allaah wants us to live is one of the most excellent ways of remembering Allaah. [9]

Naturally, during frequent Dzikr of Allaah in different environments and places, it is impossible to always maintain engagement of sentiments, full attention and presence of mind. What is desired is that whenever, during Dzikr, our mind wanders away, we bring it back to focus on remembrance of Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala. Otherwise, mindless repetition of words will not be of much benefit. To qualify as Dzikr, words of remembrance must be expressions of inner feelings of the conscious mind.

We can also turn our social gatherings into occasions of Allaah’s remembrance by talking about Allaah or Islamic topics instead of talking about weather, sports, movies, TV programs or other people. These opportunities are what appear to be alluded to by Allaah SWT in the following verses:

Certainly, during the day you have ample opportunities to glorify Allaah. So remember the name of your Lord and devote yourself to Him with exclusive devotion.”

Similarly, one quality of believers mentioned in the Holy Qur-aan is:

The people who are not distracted by the business or shopping from the Dzikr of Allaah.” 

Surely, a believer will find opportunities to remember Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala and perform Dzikr even during the busy day of business or shopping, just as people with a will find a way and time to think and talk about whatever is important to them or whatever is their passion or obsession. The frequent remembrance can be described as being pre-occupied with thoughts about Allaah. This is alluded to in the Hadeeth when the Prophet, Sall Allaahu `alayhi wa sallam said,

Frequent the remembrance of Allaah so much that people call you crazy.

——————————————————————————–
[4] The Messenger of Allaah said, “The best Dzikr is: Laa ilaaha illallaah.” Reported by Tirmidzi and Ibn Maajah from Jaabir. 

[5] The Messenger of Allaah said to Aboo Moosa Al-Ash’riyy, “Should I guide you to a phrase from the treasures of Jannah?” When he affirmed, the Prophet said, “laa ĥowla wa laa  quwwata ilaa billaah.” Reported by Bukhaaree and Muslim.

[6] The Messenger of Allaah said, “Four most superior (or most beloved to Allaah) phrases are: Subĥaanallaahi walĥamdulillaahi wa laa ilaaha illallaahu wallaahu Akbar. Reported by Muslim from Samurah Bin Jundub.

[7] The Messenger of Allaah said, “Two phrases easy on the tongue, heavy in the scale, beloved to the Gracious are: Subĥaanallaahi wa biĥamdihee, subĥaanallaahil ‘azheem. Reported by Bukhaaree and Muslim from Aboo Hurayrah.

[8] Whoever says this is said to have really tasted flavour of the faith. Reported by Bukhaaree and Muslim from ‘Abbaas. Also by Tirmidzi.

[9] The Messenger of Allaah said that Allaah SWT said, “If a person is too busy with Qur-aan to do any other Dzikr or Du’aa, I give him better than what others asked. The superiority of the Qur-aan over everything else is like the superiority of Allaah over His creations.” Reported by Tirmidzi, Daarimi and Baihaqi from Aboo Sa’eed.

 


(Al-Muzammil 73:7-8)


(An-Noor 24:37)


(Reported in Musnad Ahmad from Aboo Sa’eed Khudri)

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