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January 20, 2021

Zikrullah – Islamic Meditation

Zikrullah – Islamic Meditation

“Everything has its polish and the polish of hearts is Zikrullah.” (Baihaqi)

Remember Me, I will remember you,

Give thanks to Me, and reject Me not.

O God these are Thy words:

“alastu bi rabbikum” – am I not thy sovereign Lord?

“Qaloo bala shahidna”– lest we forget!

Wala zikrullahi akbar, Thy remembrance is

Those whose celebrate Allah’s praise

Standing, sitting, and lying on their sides

Contemplate creation of heavens and earth

“O Lord! not for naught Hast Thou created,

Glory be to Thee, save us from blazing penalty.

Remember the Lord in thy soul,

With humility and awe, below thy breath

Without words, in the morning and evening

wala takun min al ghafileen.

Baihaqi has quoted on the authority of Hazrat Aisha radhiallahu anha that the Zikr that is not heard even by the angels is seventy times superior to the Zikr that is heard by them.

Hazrat Saad radhiallahu anh quoted Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam as having said, “The best Zikr is the Khafi (silent) one, and the best livelihood is that which just suffices”, (i.e. it should neither be too insufficient to make ends meet, nor too abundant as to drive one to vanity and vice). In another Hadith, Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam is reported to have said, “Remember Allah through Kamil Zikr’. When asked what Kamil Zikr was, He replied, “Khafi (silent) Zikr.”

Anas radhiallahu anh reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “When you come upon the meadows of the Garden, graze in them.” He was asked, “What are the meadows of the Garden?” “Circles of Zikr,” he replied. [at-Tirmidhi)

Abu Hurayra radhiallahu anh reported from Abu Sa’id al-Khudri radhiallahu anh that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “There are no people who remember Allah without the angels surrounding them, mercy covering them, tranquillity descending on them, and Allah mentioning them to those who are with Him.” (Muslim, at-Tirmidhi)

Abu Hurayra radhiallahu anh reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Allah Almighty has angels who travel the highways and by-ways seeking out gatherings of Zikr in the earth. When they find a gathering of Zikr, they enfold them with their wings stretching up to the heaven. Allah asks them, ‘From where have you come?’ They reply, ‘We have come from Your slaves who are glorifying You, praising You, proclaiming Your oneness, asking of You and seeking refuge with You.’ He says – and He knows better than them, ‘What are they asking Me for?’ They reply, ‘They are asking You for the Garden.’ He says, ‘Have they seen it?’ They reply, ‘No, our Lord.’ He says, ‘How would it be if they were to see it?’ Then He asks – and He knows better than them, ‘What are they seeking refuge from?’ ‘From the Fire,’ they reply. He asks, ‘Have they seen it?’ ‘No,’ they reply. Then He says, ‘How would it be if they were to see it?’ Then He says, ‘I testify to you that I have forgiven them, I have given them what they ask Me for, and I given them the refuge which they ask of Me.’ They say, ‘Our Lord, among them is a wrongdoer who is sitting with them, but is not one of them.’ He says, ‘I have forgiven him as well. The one sitting with these people will not be wretched.'” (Muslim, at-Tirmidhi, al-Hakim)

“Shaitaan sits glued to the heart of man. When man makes the Zikr of Allah, shaitaan abdicates (moves off); when man is negligent of Allah’s Zikr the shaitaan casts evil whisperings in man.” (Bukhaari)

Imam Nawawi, may Allah have mercy on him, said, “Allah is with the one who remembers Him and calls Him in his heart, and calls Him on his tongue, but we must realize that the Zikr of the heart is more perfect. The rememberer made Zikr of the tongue in order to reflect the occurrence of the Zikr in his heart. When the love of Allah and His Remembrance overwhelms the heart and the spirit, the tongue is moved and the seeker brought near.”

The great saint Junaid, may Allah have mercy on him, said:. The most honourable and highest assembly is to enjoy the air of Ma’rfat (gnosis) sitting in a meditative mood in the field of Tauhid (oneness), to drink in a cup of love from the sea of-fikr (contemplation?) and to look having a good idea of God.

Imam Shafeyi, may Allah have mercy on him, said: Think before solemn promise, think before action, consult before proceeding. He also said: Four things are useful – (1) wisdom and its provision is thought, (2) patience and its provision is greed, (3) power and its provision is anger. (4) and sense of judgement and its provision is to keep the strength of passion in the middle path.

Imam Ghazali, may Allah have mercy on him, said, “You must know that Allah removed all the veils of ignorance and brought people to the state of vision through their continuous Zikr. The first stage of Zikr is the Zikr of the Tongue, then the Zikr of the Heart, then the Appearance of the Divine Presence in the reciter of Zikr, making him no longer need to do Zikr.” 1

Shaykh al-Munawi , may Allah have mercy on him, said, “For the seeker in Allah’s Way, the thing of highest benefit to him is zikr with the name, ‘Allah,’ whereby he will taste and see the Love of the Divine Presence

[adh-dhawq wal hubbu fillah]


Imam Junaid, may Allah have mercy on him, said, “Whoever made zikr with the all- encompassing Name, ‘Allah,’ is the one who left himself behind, connecting to His Lord, existing in His presence, looking at Him through his heart, where the Light of Allah has burned away his physical body.”3

(1. Imam Ghazzali, Kitab al-arba in fi usul ad-din, pp.52-55.

2. Shaykh al-Munawi, Fayd ul-qadir, vol.2, p. 309.

3. Farid ad-Din Attar, Mystics and Saints, p.102.)

Imam Ghazali, may Allah have mercy on him, describes the method and effects of Zikr in a passage which Macdonald has summarized as follows:

“Let him reduce his heart to a state in which the existence of anything and its non-existence are the same to him. Then let him sit alone in some corner, limiting his religious duties to what is absolutely necessary, and not occupying himself either with reciting the Koran or considering its meaning or with books of religious traditions or with anything of the sort. And let him see to it that nothing save God most High enters his mind. Then, as he sits in solitude, let him not cease saying continuously with his tongue, ‘Allah, Allah,’ keeping his thought on it. At last he will reach a state when the motion of his tongue will cease, and it will seem as though the word flowed from it. Let him persevere in this until all trace of motion is removed from his tongue, and he finds his heart persevering in the thought. Let him still persevere until the form of the word, its letters and shape, is removed from his heart, and there remains the idea alone, as though clinging to his heart, inseparable from it.

So far, all is dependent on his will and choice; but to bring the mercy of God does not stand in his will or choice. He has now laid himself bare to the breathings of that mercy, and nothing remains but to await what God will open to him, as God has done after this manner to prophets and saints. If he fo11ows the above course, he may be sure that the light of the Real will shine out in his heart. At first unstable, like a flash of lightning, it turns and returns; though sometimes it hangs back. And if it returns, sometimes it abides and sometimes it is momentary. And if it abides, sometimes its abiding is long, and sometimes short.”

(The Mystics of Islam by Reynold A. Nicholson)

Acts of worship performed in a group – which include Zikru’llah – are more excellent than acts of worship done alone. The hearts meet in the group, and in the group people find mutual help and harmony. The weak can take from the strong, those in darkness from those with light, the dense from the diaphanous, the ignorant from those with knowledge, and so forth.

(p. 163, Haqa’iq at-Tasawwuf, Shaykh ‘Abdu’l-Qadir ‘Isa)

“All knowledge is but a branch of worship and all worship is but a branch of abstinence, and all abstinence is but a branch of trust in God and trust in God has neither limit nor finite end.” – Imam Abu Talib Makki

“..My servant does not come closer to Me with anything more dear to Me than that which I made obligatory upon him. My servant keeps coming closer to Me with more volunteer deeds, until I love him. When I love him, I become His ear by which he hears, his eyes by which he sees, his hand by which he holds and his foot by which he walks. If he asks Me any thing I shall give him. If he seeks My protection I shall grant him My protection… “(Al-Bukhari 6021)

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