Gaining Consciousness of Allah Ta’ala Through His Remembrance|Zikr
The field of Tazkiyah and Tasawwuf, the objective of which is purification of the soul, is amongst the primary missions of Rasulullah (ﷺ). The practices to purify the soul revolve around gaining consciousness of Allah Ta’ala through His remembrance (Zikr).
Zikr of Allah Ta’ala is the highest form of ‘Ibaadah. However, Zikr is not limited to one practice. It is concept which includes many forms and variations. Engaging in Salaah, recitation of the Qur’aan, Tasbeeh, learning Deeni knowledge, and listening to Deeni lectures are considered Zikr because these actions provoke one to introspect and therefore gain consciousness of Allah Ta’ala. Thus, the Azkaar/Ashgaal prescribed by the experts in the field of Tazkiyah and Tasawwuf fall under the category of Zikr. Zikr of Allah Ta’ala is greatly emphasized in the Qur’an and Ahadeeth. Consider the following:
ولذكر الله اكبر
The remembrance of Allah Ta’ala is the greatest (of all things). (Surah: 29- Ayah: 45)
. . .
ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَتَطۡمَٮِٕنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكۡرِ ٱللَّهِۗ أَلَا بِذِكر ٱللَّهِ تَطۡمَٮِٕنُّ ٱلۡقُلُوبُ
The ones who believe and their hearts are peaceful with the remembrance of Allah. Listen, the hearts find peace only in the remembrance of Allah. (Surah: 13- Ayah: 28)
. . .
فَٱذۡكُرُونِىٓ أَذۡكُرۡكُمۡ وَٱشۡكرُواْ لِى وَلَا تَكۡفُرُونِ
So remember Me and I will remember you, and be thankful to Me and do not be ungrateful. (Surah: 2- Ayah: 152)
. . .
وعن أبي هريرة، رضي الله عنه، أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، قال: “يقول الله تعالى: أنا عند ظن عبدي بي، وأنا معه إذا ذكرني، فإن ذكرني في نفسه، ذكرته في نفسي وإن ذكرني في ملإٍ ذكرته في ملإٍ خير منهم” ((متفق عليه)).
Abu Hurairah (Radhiyallahu Anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (ﷺ) is reported to have mentioned: “Allah Ta’ala says: “I am as my slave expects me to be, and I am with him when he remembers Me. If he remembers Me inwardly, I will remember him inwardly, and if he remembers Me in an assembly, I will remember him in a better assembly (i.e., in the assembly of angels).” (Bukhari and Muslim)
. . .
عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، قَالَتْ كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَذْكُرُ اللَّهَ عَلَى كُلِّ أَحْيَانِهِ
‘Aisha (Radhiyallahu Anha) says: “Rasulullah (ﷺ) used to remember Allah at all times.
وعن أبي موسى الأشعري رضي الله عنه عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم، قال مثل الذي يذكر ربه والذي لا يذكره، مثل الحي والميت
Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari (Radhiyallahu Anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (ﷺ) is reported to have mentioned: “ The similitude of one who remembers his Rabb and one who does not remember Him, is like that of the living and the dead.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
Although one can engage himself in the Zikr of Allah Ta’ala through various forms, such as Tilawah, Salah, Tasbeeh etc. it is recommended that one links himself to a shaykh to attain true closeness to Allah Ta’ala. This is done by means of the Bay’ah. The shaykh will then prescribe certain azkaar and a’maal for one to do consistently which in turn will play a great role in establishing and strengthening ones relationship with Allah Ta’ala.
When a person is ill, he knows that medication is beneficial for him and will help cure him. However, he does not have the knowledge of the compatible medication for the sickness and its dosage. He relies on the expertise of a medical doctor who will diagnose his sickness and prescribe the appropriate medication.
In the same analogy, a person that is perpetually ill knows that Zikr is beneficial. However, he may not know which Zikr is suitable for his condition and how much Zikr he should do. He has to consult a spiritual guide he has confidence in to adopt the appropriate Zikr for his spiritual cure.
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Mahmood | darulmahmood.net