Dhikr, or remembrance of Allah, comprises of two main ideas: movement of your tongue and its effects in your heart. It should not only be felt as movement of your tongue, but also felt deep in your heart.
Uttering the blessed words of “Subhan Allah” and “Alhamdu lillah” is, of course, in itself a bounty. But when you become deeply engaged in the Dhikr of Allah, you are able to truly feel the pureness and love of Allah and His religion.
Dhikr not only resonates with the specific words, but in a wider scope, accommodates the recitation of the Quran, spreading kindness, and speaking good of others. From this, we learn that any good deed with the right intention is a form of Dhikr.
Allah mentions those who remember Him through Dhikr specifically in Surah Ale’ Imran, verse 181:
“Who remember Allah while standing or sitting or (lying) on their sides and give thought to the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying), ‘Our Lord, You did not create this aimlessly; exalted are You (above such a thing); then protect us from the punishment of the Fire’”.
Indeed, if Allah has mentioned those who engage in Dhikr, then He has truly bestowed uncountable and unimaginable rewards on them.
Benefits and Rewards
Dhikr, encompassing all good deeds like prayer, reciting Quran, and spreading Islam, carries the honor of being the best deed a Muslim can perform. As we can learn in this Hadith:
“Shall I not inform you of the best of your actions, the purest in the sight of your Lord, which raises your rank to the highest, which is better for you than spending gold and silver, better than meeting your enemy so that you strike at their necks and they strike at yours?’ They replied: ‘Yes, indeed,’ and he said: ‘It is the remembrance of Allah’” (Tirmidhi).
Subhan Allah! Engaging in Dhikr allows us to perform the best of actions and raises our rank to the highest in the eyes of Allah.
How to engage in Dhikr
Dhikr, in all of its benevolence, is not a hard task. Allah has eased everything in our religion for us, all for our benefit. He knows us inside and out, the weakness of the human we carry in ourselves, and He has made tasks simple and understandable for our ease. In order to attain the honorable level of a Dhakir, or a person who engages in Dhikr continuously, follow these simple but valuable steps:
Firstly, acknowledge Allah’s presence in your life. Allah has been your utmost caretaker. He controls your safety, your health, and your happiness. In order to develop a deep, pure love for our Creator, we must acknowledge that we are helpless without Him.
Every breath is in His control, and every heartbeat pumps with His permission. Answer these questions: How has Allah blessed me? How will I thank Allah and remember Him more often?
Next, you should engage in verbal utterances of Dhikr. Whenever you are free, for example, in the car, cooking, doing chores, you can gain reward by saying Dhikr like “Subhan Allah” and “Alhamdu lillah”.
These help you remember Allah’s Glory and thank Him. Allah loves those who engage much in His thanks. Also remember that it is not Allah Who is need of this Dhikr, but rather, it is you. You cleanse your heart, you purify your intentions, your mind is at utmost ease with constant Dhikr. And best of all, you are loved by Allah Himself.
Allah’s bounty is exemplified in this verse of the Quran about thanking Him: “If you are grateful, I will surely increase you (in favor)”.
Now that you have reached a stage of constant remembrance of Allah, you should be grateful to Allah for reaching this level of excellence (Ihsan). Every action you take and every word you utter is carefully crafted around the fear and love of Allah. You have perfected your religion as much as you can, and that in itself is something worthy of praise. Subhan Allah!
Last but not least, it is unbefitting of a Muslim to engage in a good act and not advise his or her fellow Muslims regarding it. Now that you have reached the valued stance of a Dhakir, you should spread your knowledge about the goodness of the Deen. Share with others the rewards of Dhikr in the world and the Akhirah, and you will see the positive change in yourself and those around you.
Remember, we are only human and at first, engaging in constant remembrance may be difficult. Our hearts will desire to stop and rest. And you may do so. Do not force yourself to do more than you are able to. Do not be discouraged by any setbacks, but see them as steps of the beautiful journey you have embarked upon.
Let us reap these rewards and incorporate Allah’s remembrance more often into our lives. Let us live the rest of our lives with the shining hope of reaping the benevolent reward in the Hereafter. Let us not forget that with every utterance of Dhikr, a tree is planted for us in Jannah. Let us not put off good deeds to the side, for on the Day where there is no turning back, we will regret all the chances we had to do good. Let us secure our wings of hope in the day that we, insha Allah, will be holding hands and entering our promised Jannah. Let us take advantage of every moment as a step on the staircase towards meeting Allah.