BEST REMEMBRANCE OF ALLAH (DHIKR) – LA ILAHA ILLA ALLAH

Bismi Allahir Rahmanir Raheem. All praise is for Allah, the Most High, the Lord of the Worlds. Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon all the Prophets of Allah, especially our Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa aalihi wa as-haabihi wa sallam).

Muslims realize that Islam is more than a religion, it is a way of life. The demands, expectations, and benefits of being Muslim stem greatly from our ability to worship Allah and remember Him constantly. The aspect of Zikr, the remembrance of Allah, is part of “what sets apart the living from the dead” [Bukhari].

“Remembrance Of Allah”

‘Dhikr Allah’

“O believers! Remember Allah as a frequent remembrance, and glorify Him morning and evening.” (Al- Quran :al-Ahzaab, 33:41-42)

“Therefore, remember Me, and, I will remember you, be grateful to Me and never deny Me.” (Al- Quran :al-Baqarah, 2:152)

Assalamu ‘alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

Allahu Ta’ala says in the glorious Qur’an:

“O man (Insan)! What has lured you away from your gracious Lord [Rabbikal-Kareem] ?”
(Ya ayyuha al-insanu ma gharraka bi-rabbika al-kareem?) (Surah al-Infitaar – 82:6)

This world, the Dunya, will take a person away from Allah, who busies himself in the worldly businesses and who does not remember Allah in any time. Allah says:

“He who turns away from the remembrance of Rahman (Allah, the Compassionate) , We assign a Satan (Shaytan) for him, who becomes his intimate companion – and turns such people away from the Right Path, while they think that they are guided aright.” (az-Zukhruf – 43:36-37)

We have reached to a point where even our Salah (prayer) is empty of Allah’s remembrance. Allah said: “… worship Me and establish Salah for My remembrance.” (Ta-ha, 20:14). But unfortunately our Salah (prayer) is filled with the thoughts of this world rather than the Remembrance of Rahman.

If the worldly businesses take us away from Dhikr Allah ( Allah’s Remembrance) , we will forget Him. And the one who has forgotten Allah, Allah will also forget him and He might not listen to his supplications (Du’a). So, what could be a cause of the unacceptance of our Du’a? Our hearts are preoccupied with Dunya rather than His Remembrance. Allah will say to those who forget Allah and do not prepare for the Akhirah: “Now taste the reward for your forgetting the meeting of this Day – We too have forgotten you now…” (32:14). Therefore,

“O believers! Let neither your riches nor your children divert you from the remembrance of Allah. Those who will do so, it is they who shall be the real losers.” (al-Munafiqoon – 63:9)

Allah mentions in the Quran about those true Muslims who prefer the hereafter over this Dunya. These people make Dhikr, perform Salah and observe other duties; and their worldly businesses do not affect their worship. Qur’an says:

“In houses, which Allah has ordered to be raised, in them His Name is glorified in the mornings and in the afternoons or the evenings, (By) men whom neither trade nor sale diverts them from the Remembrance of Allah (Dhikri Allahi), nor from performing As-Salat (prayer), nor from giving the Zakat. They fear a Day (the Day of Judgement) when hearts and eyes will be overturned.” (An-Noor – 24:36-37)

If we remember Allah, Allah will also remember us (listen to us). Allah says: “Therefore, remember Me, and, I will remember you, be grateful to Me and never deny Me.” (al-Baqarah, 2:152). Allah’s remembrance (Dhikr Allah) should be observed in the Masajid and also when we are outside the Masajid. In fact, Allah’s remembrance should be in the hearts of the believers at all times. And His glorification should be on our tongues at all times as well. Allah says:

“O you who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance, and glorify Him morning and evening.” (al-Ahzaab, 33:41-42)

“And remember your Lord within yourself (deep in your soul, fee nafsika), humbly and with fear without loudness in words in the mornings, and in the afternoons and be not of those who are neglectful.” (al-A’araaf – 7:205)

Who has created the sun, the moon, the heavens and this earth! It is Allah, therefore, Subhan Allah! Who has guided us to Islam, provided us with sustenance (food, drink, clothes etc)! It is Allah, therefore, Alhamdu-lillah! Who is the Most Powerful, the Majestic, Maliki Yawmi-Deen! Allahu Akbar! Who forgives the mistakes and the sins? It is Allah, we say Astaghfirullah. Therefore, a Muslim can remember his Rabb at all the times; while in the Masajid and while in the midst of this world. Rahman says:

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“Behold! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day,

  • there are indeed Signs for men of understanding,
  • Men who celebrate the praises of Allah,
    standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides,
    and contemplate the (wonders of) creation in the heavens and the earth,
    (with the thought): “Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You! Give us salvation from the Chastisement of the Fire.” (Aal-e-Imran – 3:190-191)

Once we start to praise Allah with our hearts, then shall we be able to feel the sweetness of Rahman’s Dikhr. For example, many of us pray Salah without knowing the meanings of what we say, and many of us know the meanings but we do not concentrate on what we say. We should pray with the certainty that we are standing in front of Rabbul ‘Aalameen, standing with sincerity and devotion, with fear and hope of His Mercy. When we say anything in As-Salah, we should express that it is said directly to Him (Allah). We say:

{ Subhana ka-Allah humma (You are Glorified, O Allah!) wabi hamdika (and Praised!) watabara kasmuka (Your Name is Blessed!) wata’ala jad-duka (Your Majesty is Exalted! ) wala ilaha ghairuk” (and none has the right to be worshipped but You!) }

“Allahu Akbar” (Allah is the Greatest)

“Sub-hana Rabbi Yal Atheem” (Glory be to my Lord who is the very Greatest)

“Samee ‘Allah hu liman hameeda”(Allah listens to the one who praises Him)

“Rab-bana lakal hamd” (Our Lord, all the praises be to You)

“Sub-hana Rabbi yal A’ala” (Glory be to my Lord, the Most High)

Ibn ‘Umar (radi Allahu anh) reported that the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) told them:

“A servant of Allah said ‘My Lord! All praise is for You as much as Your Glory and Sublime Majesty rightly deserve. ‘ This was too much for the two angels to record. They did not know how to record it. So they soared to the heaven and said, ‘Our Lord! Your servant has said something which we don’t know how to record?’ Allah asked them–and, of course, He knew what the servant had said–‘What did My servant say?’ They said, ‘He has said, “My Lord! All praise is for You as much as Your Glory and Sublime Majesty rightly deserve.” Allah said to them, ‘ Write it down as My servant has said until he should meet Me and I reward him for it’.’ [Reported by Ahmad and Ibn Majah]

May Allah forgive us and accept our good deeds. May Allah guide us to the best ways in which we should Praise Him, Glorify Him. May Allah keep our hearts attached to Him. Once our hearts are filled with the Dhikr of Rahman, insha’Allah, we will have no interest of whatsoever in this Dunya. The light of Allah’s Dhikr fills up the heart and the heart becomes satisfied with what it needs. Allah says “Beware! It is the remembrance of Allah which provides tranquility to the hearts!” ala bithikri Allahi tatmainnu alquloobu!. Anything other than His Remembrance or this Dunya will not satisfy our hearts!

“Therefore, remember Me, and, I will remember you, be grateful to Me and never deny Me.” (al-Baqarah, 2:152)

Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:

Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, thus stated: I am near to the thought of My servant as he thinks about Me, and I am with him as he remembers Me. And if he draws near Me by the span of a palm, I draw near him by the cubit, and if he draws near Me by the cubit I draw near him by the space (covered by) two hands. And if he walks towards Me, I rush towards him. [Sahih Muslim]

While many aspects of Zikr are specifically defined for us, such as Hajj once in our lifetime, fasting in Ramadan once a year, praying in congregation at least once a week (on Friday) and praying five times a day, the times between are not meant to be void of thoughts of Allah.
Here are some ways to incorporate and ensure Zikr in our everyday lives:

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1- If you want or need or desire something, regardless of what it is, ask Allah for it first

Allah says in the Holy Quran, “Call on Me. I will answer your prayer, but those who are too arrogant to serve Me will surely find themselves humiliated in Hell” (40:60). Taking the time to remember and ask Allah, serves not only as humbling experiences, but forces you to realize that Allah wants us to remember Him, to ask of Him, and put our trust in Him.

Whether it is in times of distress or in times of joy, creating a habit of sincere supplication toward Allah increases your Zikr According to Abu Huraira, “The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, reported that, whoever wants Allah to answer his prayers during difficult times, should supplicate to Him more and more in times of ease.”

  1. Be aware of your words

It becomes second nature for many Muslims to say “Assalam Alaikum” (Peace and blessings be upon you) when they meet a fellow Muslim, or to say Alhumdu lillah (all thanks be to Allah) without ever really thinking about what it means. While it is good to say these words, if we put our hearts into them, we will be humbling ourselves and performing Zikr at the same time.

So use words like Insha Allah (God willing), Maa shaa Allah, when you are praising something and Bismillah (in the name of God) before you begin anything. Being aware of Allah at all times will help keep you from doing something unIslamic.

Abu Huraira (RadhiAllahu Anhu) reported that the Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said, “Renew your faith.” “How can we renew our faith?” they asked. The Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) replied, “say always, ‘La ilaha ill-Allah’ (there is none worthy of worship except Allah).”

Jabir (RadhiAllahu Anhu) reported that the Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said, “the best remembrance of Allah is to repeat La ilaha illa Allah.”.

3.Surround yourself with those that remember Allah

The Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) reportedly told ibn Umar (RadhiAllahu Anhuma) that, “There are some angels of Allah who go about looking for such assemblies or circles of Zikr, and when they find them they surround them.”

“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” [Abu Huraira and Abu Said Al Khudri].

Thus, surrounding yourself with other people remembering Allah contributes and heightens the purpose of Zikr, which is to purify ones heart and soul and to awaken the human conscience.

  1. Do charity

Often times, we need to see how blessed we are, by helping those who are not as fortunate. Whether it is volunteering at a homeless shelter, teaching small children or visiting with the elderly, by taking time out of our lives to help others for the sake of Allah, we better ourselves.

The Holy Quran says, remembrance of Allah “is wider than Prayer: it includes silent contemplation, and active service of Allah and His Creatures. The regular Prayers and regular charity are the social acts performed through the organized community” (24:37).

We also need to realize the role we should play in our communities such as cleaning up a park, planting trees or helping our neighbors. By doing charity for those around us, we realize all the blessings bestowed upon us by Allah and remember Him in a more appreciative manner.

The Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said, “Charity is obligatory every day on every joint of a human being. If one helps a person in matters concerning his riding animal by helping him to ride it or by lifting his luggage onto it, all will be regarded as charity. A good word, and every step one takes to offer compulsory congregational prayer, is regarded as charity; and guiding somebody on the road is regarded as charity [Abu Huraira].

Keeping the importance of charity in mind and performing it for the sake of Allah, keeps Him in our thoughts and heart at all times.

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