DHIKR IS THE GREATEST OBLIGATION AND A PERPETUAL DIVINE ORDER
Dhikr (remembrance) of Allah is the most excellent act of Allah’s servants and is stressed over a hundred times in the Holy Qur’an. 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. It is the flag of Islam, the polish of hearts, the essence of the science of faith, the immunization against hypocrisy, the head of worship, and the key of all success. There are no restrictions on the modality, frequency, or timing of dhikr whatsoever. The restrictions on modality pertain to certain specific obligatory acts which are not the issue here, such as salat is clear, and everyone knows what they have to do. Indeed, the Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said that the People of Paradise will only regret one thing: not having made enough dhikr in the world!
WHAT THE QURAN SAYS ABOUT DHIKR ALLAH:
“Those who remember Allah while standing , sitting, and lying on their sides”
“Those men and women who engage much in Allah’s praise. For them has Allah prepared forgiveness and a great reward.”
“He is successful who purifies himself, and remembers the name of his Lord, and so prays.”
“And mention the name of your Lord and devote yourself to Him with a complete devotion”
“Those who believe, and whose hearts find comfort in the remembrance of Allah!” and “Behold in the Remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction.”
“O ye who believe let not your riches or your children divert you from the Remembrance of Allah if any act thus, the loss is their own.”
“Then do ye remember Me I will remember you.”
“Men whom neither traffic nor merchandise can divert from Remembrance of Allah nor from regular Salaat, nor from regular practice of Zakaat.”
“He who turns away from the remembrance of His Lord He will cause him to undergo a severe Penalty.”
WHAT HADITHS SAY ABOUT DHIKR ALLAH:
“Those that remember Me in their heart, I remember them in My heart; and those that remember Me in a gathering (i.e. that make mention of Me), I remember them (i.e. make mention of them) in a gathering better than theirs.”
The above hadith thus constitutes proof that dhikr done outloud in a gathering is an exalted kind of dhikr which is mentioned at the Highest Assembly (al-mala’ al-a`la).
Jabir (RadiyAllahu Anhu) reported that the Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam), said:
“The best remembrance of Allah is to repeat la ilaha illallah and the best prayer (du’a) is al-hamdu lillah (all praise belongs to Allah).”
[Narrated by Nasa’i, Ibn Majah, and Hakim who declared its chain sound]
In Bukhari and Muslim: The Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said that Allah has angels roaming the roads to find the people of dhikr, i.e. those who say La Ilaha Illallah and similar expressions, and then they find a group of people (qawm) reciting dhikr, they call each other and encompass them in layers until the first heaven — the location of which is in Allah’s knowledge. (This is to say, an unlimited number of angels are going to be over that group).
This is further indicated by the hadith qudsi which runs: “Allah says: I am to my servant as he expects of Me, I am with him when he remembers Me. If he remembers Me in his heart, I remember him to Myself, and if he remembers me in an assembly, I mention him in an assembly better than his…”
[Bukhari and Muslim]
Thus, silent dhikr is differentiated fron dhikr said outloud by His saying: “remembers Me within himself,” meaning: “silently,” and “in an assembly,” meaning “aloud.”
Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) hatta yaqulu majnun “Remember / mention Allah as much as you want, until people say that you are crazy and foolish”
[Narrated by Ahmad in his Musnad, Ibn Hibban in his Sahih, and al-Hakim who declared it sahih]; that is: do not care about them!
Ibn `Umar (RadiyAllahu Anhu) reported that the Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said:
“When you pass by the gardens of Paradise, avail yourselves of them.”
The Companions asked:
‘What are the gardens of Paradise, O Messenger of Allah?’
He (SAWS) replied:
“The circles of dhikr. There are roaming angels of Allah who go about looking for the circles of dhikr, and when they find them they surround them closely.”
Tirmidhi narrated it (hasan gharib) and Ahmad. Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri and Abu Huraira (RadiyAllahu Anhuma) reported that the Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said:
“When any group of men remember Allah, angels surround them and mercy covers them, tranquility descends upon them, and Allah mentions them to those who are with Him.” [Narrated by Muslim, Tirmidhi, Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and Bayhaqi]
Muslim, Ahmad, and Tirmidhi narrate from Mu`awiya (RadiyAllahu Anhu) that the Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) went out to a circle of his Companions and asked:
“What made you sit here?”
“We are sitting here in order to remember / mention Allah (nadhkurullaha) and to glorify Him (wa nahmaduhu) because He guided us to the path of Islam and he conferred favours upon us.”
Thereupon he (SAWS) adjured them by Allah and asked if that was the only purpose of their sitting there.
They said: “By Allah, we are sitting here for this purpose only.”
At this the Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said:
“I am not asking you to take an oath because of any misapprehension against you, but only because Gabriel came to me and informed me that Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, was telling the angels that He is proud of you!”
Note that the hadith stated jalasna — we sat — in the plural, not singular. It referred to an association of people in a group, not one person.
The Prophet, SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam, would often tell his Companions:
“Shall I tell you about the best of deeds, the most pure in the sight of your Lord, about the one that is of the highest order and is far better for you than spending gold and silver, even better for you than meeting your enemies in the battlefield where you strike at their necks and they at yours?”
The Companions replied:
“Yes, O Messenger of Allah!”
The Prophet, SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam, said:
“Remembrance of Allah.”
[Narrated by Tirmidhi, Ahmad, and Hakim who declared its chain of narrators sound]
The Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said:
“He who loves something mentions it much.”