Spiritual Advices | Tazkiyah | Purification of the Soul |The Spiritual Effects of Dhikr
In order to ascertain what true proximity to Allāh Ta`ālā means and to feel the spiritual effects of Dhikr, one must put this worldly life into perspective. Abū Hurayrah (radiyallāhu `anh) reports: I heard the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ say,
أَلاَ إِنَّ الدُّنْيَا مَلْعُونَةٌ مَلْعُونٌ مَا فِيهَا إِلاَّ ذِكْرُ اللهِ وَمَا وَالاَهُ وَعَالِمٌ أَوْ مُتَعَلِّمٌ
“Lo! Indeed the world is cursed. What is in it is cursed, except for remembrance of Allah, what is conducive to that, the knowledgeable person and the learning person.”
To feel the true effects of Dhikr, one must empty one’s mind of all worldly thoughts and let oneself be submersed in the remembrance of Allāh the Almighty. As long as one continues to let worldly affairs drag oneself down, one will never be able to create a sincere connection with Allāh Ta`ālā through His Dhikr. Before you engage in Dhikr, focus on making yourself free from the burdens of this world. If you do so, then you will automatically make a greater connection with Allāh Ta`ālā, thus feeling more contentment in the heart. Shaykh Ibn `Atāillāh (rahimahullāh) states in his Kitāb al-Hikam:
الخذلان كل الخذلان أن تتفرغ من الشواغل ثم لا تتوجه إليه، وتقل عوائقك ثم لا ترحل إليه
It would be disappointing – really disappointing – if you were to find yourself free of distractions and then not head toward Him, or if you were to have a few obstacles and not move on to Him.
Furthermore, it is not enough to simply only make Dhikr without focusing on our Islamic obligations and severing ourselves from all types of sin. If one disobeys Allāh Ta`ālā all day and then assumes that only performing Dhikr will help one to gain contentment and satisfaction in the heart, then such a notion is incorrect. The books of Tafasīr state the gaining contentment of the heart through the Dhikr of Allāh also means that one must obey the commands of Allāh Ta`ālā as well. 
It is also our advice that one establishes a connection with a reliable Shaykh that may be able to help you in Tazkiyat al-Nafs (attaining purification of the heart) and establishing close proximity with Allāh the Almighty.
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Spiritual Advices of Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Mahmood | darulmahmood.net