Dhikr (Remembering Allah): Meaning & Blessings

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(part 1 of 2) Description:  Two lessons will discuss the meaning and benefits of a special Islamic concept of connecting with Allah through ...

(part 1 of 2)

Description: Two lessons will discuss the meaning and benefits of a special Islamic concept of connecting with Allah through a worship known as dhikr.
Objective
·       To understand the meaning of dhikr
·       To learns seven benefits of dhikr.
Arabic Terms
·       Deen - the way of life based on Islamic revelation; the sum total of a Muslim’s faith and practice.   Deen is often used to mean faith, or the religion of Islam.
·       Dhikr - (plural: adhkar) remembrance of Allah.
·       Hadith - (plural: ahadith) is a piece of information or a story.    In Islam it is a narrative record of the sayings and actions of Prophet Muhammad and his companions.
·       Shaytan - sometimes spelled Shaitan or Shaytaan.    It is the word used in Islam and the Arabic language to denote the devil or Satan, the personification of evil. 
·       Imaan - faith, belief or conviction.
·       Sunnah - The word Sunnah has several meanings depending on the area of study however the meaning is generally accepted to be, whatever was reported that the Prophet said, did, or approved.
·       Tawheed - The Oneness and Uniqueness of Allah with respect to His Lordship, His Names and Attributes and in His right to be worshipped.

Introduction

It is human nature that when we desire something or are in need of something, we constantly think about it.  When we are hungry, we cannot but think about food.  When we are thirsty, we cannot help think about something to quench our thirst.  When we are in love we are always thinking of the beloved.  This is human nature.  Allah created us this way.  Similarly, one who truly loves Allah, the one who understands how much he is in need of Allah will constantly think about Allah.  That is why one of the signs of imaan is to constantly think of Allah, to always remember Allah.  The importance of constant dhikr cannot be emphasized enough, particularly if we desire to be on the receiving end of Allah’s Grace and Mercy.

Meaning

Dhikr, in Islam, is remembering Allah in the heart and mentioning Him by the tongue.
It is an all-embracing term that, in addition to including the ritual acts of worship, covers an array of activities of the tongue and heart.  It involves thinking of and making mention of Allah at all times and in every area of our lives.  This is the worship that has no special time, but is performed constantly so that it permanently links up man’s life with Allah and His service.
What do we say when we leave or enter the house? What do we say when we enter or leave the mosque? What do we say in the morning and in the evening and after the five daily prayers?  We may know some of these adhkar, but let us memorize the ones that we don’t know and make it a habit to follow the teachings of the Prophet.

Significance in the Quran & Sunnah

Dhikr is central to our deen and Allah and His Prophet have praised the blessings ofdhikr in numerous verses and ahadith

1.  Allah praises the believers who perform dhikr.

Allah says in the Quran:
“…and the men who remember Allah often and the women who do so – for them Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward.”(Quran 33:35)

2.  Allah tells us that a sign of the believer is that he is always doing dhikr.

Allah says in the Quran:
“Who remember Allah while standing or sitting or [lying] on their sides…”(Quran 3:191)
“O you who have believed, remember Allah with much remembrance.  And exalt Him morning and afternoon.” (Quran 33:41)

3.  The difference between the one who does dhikr and the one who does not do dhikr.

This difference was explained by Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him:
“The example of the one who remembers his Lord in comparison with the one who does not remember his Lord is that of the living and the dead.”[1]
A sign of true life – the life of the heart, a living heart - is that you need the Giver of Life (al-Muhyee).  You need the mercy of the One who gives you this life and that is Allah.  If your heart is alive, then it will be show in dhikr.  If you remember Allah you are alive and if you don’t remember Allah, then your heart is dead. 
Perhaps that is why the well-known classical scholar, Ibn Taymiyyah, said, the example of dhikr to the heart is that of fish to water.  Just like fish cannot live without water, your heart cannot live without dhikr and will die.

4.  Dhikr protects you from your worst enemies.

Your enemies in this world are your desires and Shaytan.  The Prophet in a beautifulhadith draws a parable.
He said, that the one who does dhikr is like someone running away from the enemy, there are people behind him, trying to kill him.  He finds a fortress, a protective fortress, where he can then shut himself in and his enemies cannot harm him.  He doesn’t care, the Prophet said, from whichever side his enemy attacks from, he is protected.  This is the example of dhikr in your daily life.  When you do dhikr, this will protect you from all of your enemies – from Shaytan, from the temptations of this world, and from your own desires.

5.  Dhikr removes the rust from your heart.

Allah says in the Quran:
“No! Rather, the stain has covered their hearts of that which they were earning.” (Quran 83:14)
Hearts becomes rusted.  The Prophet was asked, what is the way to remove this rust? He said that one of the ways to remove this rust is the dhikr of Allah.  The dhikr of Allah makes the rust of this wordily life (dunya) go away.  It makes you more spiritual and more conscious of Allah.

6.  Dhikr trivializes the problems of this world.

Dhikr is a source of refuge from the problems of this world. 
We all have some sort of problems in our life - financial, family, social, ethnic, and racial.  Our problems grieve and hurt us, they make us sad.
One of the ways to minimize this hurt and pain and to get rid of this suffering, is to be constantly engaged in dhikr.  Because when you remember Allah and that the mercy of Allah is infinite, then these finite problems will become trivial to you.  Dhikr of Allah trivializes worldly problem.  That is why Allah says,
“…Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.” (Quran 13:28)

7.  Dhikr opens up a channel of communication, a dialogue between you and Allah.

The one who constantly does dhikr has an open door, a direct channel through which he is always communicating with Allah.  He feels he has a relationship with Allah.  When you don’t have dhikr, you don’t have this relationship.


Footnotes:
[1] Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim

Dhikr (Remembering Allah): Meaning & Blessings (part 2 of 2)

Description: Two lessons will discuss the meaning and benefits of a special Islamic concept of connecting with Allah through a worship known as dhikr.
Objective
·       To learn 10 easy words of adhkar with immense rewards for daily life.
Arabic Terms
·       Dhikr - (plural: adhkar) remembrance of Allah.
Below is a short list of some adhkar that you can incorporate in your day.

1. Reciting Quran: the best dhikr

Reward:
You will be rewarded 10rewards for everyletter read. This incentive should set your priority in life and the importance you should give to the Book of Allah.

2. Subhan Allahi wa bi-hamdihi(Glory be to Allah and may He be Praised)

Rewards:
1.     No one will come on the Day of Resurrection with anything better than the person who said these words 100 times at morning and evening, except someone who said the same or more.[1]
2.     A tree will be planted for you in Paradise for saying it one time.[2]
3.     Whoever says this 100 times a day, his sins will be forgiven even if they were as much as the foam of the sea.[3]
4.     Saying it 100 times will earn 100 good deeds or 1000 sins will be struck off from your record.[4]

3. Alhamdulillah (All praise and thanks are for Allah)

Rewards:
These words are the best supplication.[5]
They fill the Scale of good deeds.[6]
These words fill the space between earth and the heaven.[7]

4. La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah (There is no might or power except from Allah)

Reward:
These words are a treasure of Paradise.[8]

5. Subhan Allah (Glory to be Allah or How Perfect is Allah!) [33 times],Alhamdulillah  (All praise and thanks are for Allah) [33 times], Allahu akbar(Allah is the Greatest) [34 times]

Can be recited after the formal prayers and before you go to bed/sleep.
Reward:
We know that this dhikr is said after each formal prayer, but when Fatima the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessing of Allah be upon him, came to her father requesting a servant to help with the household, the Messenger of Allah told her to repeat this  dhikr before her sleep and the results would be better than having a servant.

6. Astagh-fi-rullah (I seek Allah’s forgiveness)

Rewards:
“Allah will provide you with children and wealth.” (Quran 72:10-12)
“Allah will add to your strength.” (Quran 11:52)
“Allah will grant good provisions for a specified term.” (Quran 11:3)
It is cure for a heart that becomes busy with thoughts. (based on a hadith in Sahih Muslim)[9]

7. Subhan Allah, wa alhamdulillah, wa la ilaha illa Allah, wa Allahu Akbar (Glory be to Allah, all praise and thanks are for Allah, there is no true deity but Allah, Allah is the Greatest)

Rewards:
These words were dearer to Prophet Muhammad than everything the sun rose upon.[10]
Saying these words is like giving charity for every joint.[11]

8. Subhan Allah, wa alhamdulillah, wa la ilaha illa Allah, wa Allahu akbar, wa la hawla wa la quwwata illa billah (Glory be to Allah, all praise and thanks are for Allah, there is no true deity but Allah, Allah is the Greatest, there is no might or power except from Allah)

Rewards:
These words are sufficient to repeat for a person who cannot learn anything of the Quran.[12]
The above are “good deeds which endure”[13]
Abraham (Ibrahim) told Prophet Muhammad that Paradise is of pure land, its water is sweet, and its expanse is vast, spacious and the above words are its plants. [14]

9. La ilaha illa Allah, Allahu akbar, wa la hawla wa la quwwata illa billah (There is no true deity but Allah, Allah is the Greatest, there is no might or power except from Allah)

Reward:
No one says these words except that his sins are forgiven even if they were as much as the foam of the sea.[15]

10. Subhan Allah wa bi-hamdihi, Subhan Allah al-Adheem (Glory be to Allah, and Praise, Glory be to Allah, the Supreme)

Reward:
Two words which are light on the tongue, weigh heavily on the Balance of good deeds, and are loved to the Most Merciful.[16]



Footnotes:
[1] Saheeh Muslim
[2] Tirmidhi
[3] Saheeh Al-Bukhari
[4] Saheeh Muslim
[5] Saheeh Muslim
[6] Saheeh Muslim
[7] Saheeh Muslim
[8] Saheeh Al-Bukhari
[9] ‘My heart becomes busy (with thoughts) so I ask Allah for forgiveness 100 times a day.’ (Muslim)
[10] Saheeh Muslim
[11] Saheeh Muslim
[12] Abu Daud
[13] al-baqiyatus-salihat (Nasai)
[14] Tirmidhi
[15] Tirmidhi
[16] Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim

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