THE VIRTUE OF THIKR
(Remembrance Of Allaah)
All praise is due to Allaah. I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah. May peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him, his household and companions.
Dear Muslims! Fear Allaah and obey Him. Beware of His wrath and retribution, for His punishment is severe and none of your actions or deeds are hidden from Him. Allaah says, “O you who believe! Remember Allaah with much remembrance.” (Al-Ahzaab: 41).
Fellow Muslims! Allaah enjoins you to remember Him, commands you to be consistent in your remembrance, makes His remembrance a means to achieve His pleasure, and promises a great reward and safety from punishment for those who remember Him. He says, “And the men and women who remember Allaah much (with their hearts and tongues), Allaah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (i.e. Paradise).” (Al-Ahzaab: 35).
Remembrance of Allaah, though easy to do is nevertheless heavy on the scale (of one’s good deeds). The Prophet of Guidance told us that remembrance of Allaah is the best and the purest deed. Aboo Dardaa narrated that the Messenger of Allaah said, “Shall I tell you of the best and purest of your deeds before your King, the one that elevates your position the most; that is better for you than meeting your enemies whose necks you strike and they also strike your necks?” The companions said, “O Yes.” The Prophet then said, “Remembrance of Allaah, the Exalted.” (Ahmad, Tirmithie and others).
The meaning of remembrance of Allaah is to Praise Him with His names and perfect attributes, to supplicate to Him and to deem Him free from all that does not benefit His greatness. Remembrance of Allaah can be through physical acts of worship, or it can be with the tongue or in the heart. The best Thikr (remembrance of Allaah) is the one done with the body, tongue and heart; like prayer, hajj and Jihaad (fighting in the cause of Allaah) followed by the one done with the tongue and heart alone. The best oral act of remembrance is recitation of the Glorious Qur’an, for the Qur’an is the life of the hearts and minds and the guide to Allaah’s pleasure and the blissful Paradise. It is also the protection against the accursed Satan. Recitation of it is an act of worship; reflecting on its meanings is victory and happiness. Ibn Mas’ood narrated that the Prophet said, “Whoever reads a letter of the Book of Allaah will have a good reward for that and ten more like it. I do not say that Alif-Lam-Mim is one letter, rather that Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter and Meem is a letter.” (Tirmithie).
Aboo Sa’ied Al-Khudrie said, “The Messenger of Allaah said, ‘Our Lord, the Exalted says: Whoever is distracted by the recitation of the Qur’an from doing Thikr and asking me (of his needs), I shall give him what is better than what I give those who ask me. The superiority of Allaah’s Word (Qur’an) over other words is like the superiority of Allaah over His creatures.” (Tirmithie).
Dear Brothers! The form of your Thikr should be in accordance with what is authentically reported from the Messenger of Allaah, like saying Subhaan Allaah (Glory be to Allaah), Alhamdu Lillah (Praise be to Allaah), Laa Ilaaha Illa Allaah (there is no deity worthy of worship except Allaah), Allahu Akbar (Allaah is the Greatest), Laa Hawla wa laa Quwwata Illaa Billahil Aliyyil Adheem (there is no power and no strength except with Allaah, the Most High, the Most Great), and the like.
The Messenger of Allaah said, “The most beloved words to Allaah are four: ‘Subhaan Allaah, Al-Hamdu Lillah, Laa Illaaha Illa Allaah and Allahu Akbar.’ It does not matter with which one you start, nor in what order you say them.” (Muslim). He also said, “They (those four statements) are the best word after the Qur’an and they are from the Qur’an.” (Ahmad).
Aboo Moosa Al-Ash’aree narrated that the Messenger of Allaah said, “Say Laa Hawla Wa Laa Quwwata illa Billaah, for it is one of the treasures of Paradise.” (Bukhaarie & Muslim).
Further, invoking blessings and peace upon the Prophet is also a form of Thikr but it should be noted that acts of remembrance of Allaah should be done according to the authentically reported forms and not in innovative forms. ‘Aa’ishah narrated that the Messenger of Allaah said, “Whoever performs a deed upon which there is no command from us will have it rejected.”
Brothers in faith! There are some Thikr that are restricted to certain periods like the ones said after the five obligatory prayers, the ones said in the morning and the evening and the ones that have specific reasons. Also, there are some Thikr that can be made any time. A Muslim should therefore remember Allaah as frequently as possible in all conditions he may be.
Mu’aath Ibn Jabal narrated that the Messenger of Allaah said, “The Son of Aadam (i.e. man) does not do a deed that saves him from the punishment of Allaah more than remembrance of Allaah.” The companions said, “Even Jihad in the way of Allaah?” He replied, “Even Jihad in the way of Allaah except in the case of one who fights with his sword until it is broken.” (Ibn Abee Shaibah). It is recommended for a Muslim to be constantly reciting Thikr in its authentically reported forms. JuwayIriyah (a mother of the faithful) narrated that the Messenger of Allaah went out of her apartment after performing Fajr prayer while she was making Tasbeeh (i.e. Subhaan Allaah etc.) then came back after performing Duhaa supererogatory prayer and still found her sitting. He then said, “Are you still in the same position in which I left you?” She answered, “Yes.” He said, “Since I left you I have said four statements three times; if weighed against all that you have been saying today, it will outweigh it. They are, “ Subhan Allaah Wa BiHamdihi, ‘Adada Khalqihi, Warida Nafsihi, Wa Zinata ‘Arshihi, Wa Midaada Kalimaatihi.” (Muslim).
Aboo Umaamah narrated that the Messenger of Allaah told him, “Shall I inform you of what is more and better than remembering Allaah in the night and day? You say, ‘Subhan Allaah Wa BiHamdihi, ‘Adada Maa Khalaqa, Subhan Allaah mil’a maa Khalaqa fiss-Samaa’, Wa Subhan Allaah ‘adada maa Ahsaa Kitaabuh Wa Subhan Allaah ‘adada maa Ahsaa Kitaabuh Wa Subhaan Allaah ‘adada Kulli Shay’in, wa Subhaan Allaah Mil’a Kulli Shay’in, Wal Hamduliilaahi Mil’a Dhaalik.’
Meaning, “Glory be to Allaah, as much as the number of all that He created; glory be to Allaah, as much as His creatures can fill; glory be to Allaah as much as the number of His creatures in heaven; glory be to Allaah as much as his Book can keep count of; glory be to Allaah as much as the reckoning of His Book can fill; glory be to Allaah as much as the number of all things; glory be to Allaah as much as all things can fill; praise be to Allaah in the like manner.”
Dear Brother! Know that however much you remember Allaah and praise Him, you cannot enumerate His praise and cannot praise Him as is due. Also remember that all that is in the heavens and the earth do remember Him and glorify Him and there is nothing but glorifies His praise.
“But you understand not their glorification. Truly, He is ever-forbearing, Oft-forgiving.” (Al-Israa’: 44).
He also says, “And remember your Lord by your tongue and within yourself, humbly and with fear, without loudness in words, in the morning and in the afternoon and be not of those who are neglectful.” (Al-A’raaf:205).
Fellow Muslims! Fear Allaah and do not be misled by your whims. Know that Allaah gives in recompense for remembering Him inestimable rewards in this world and the next.
Among the rewards of the remembrance of Allaah is what He says in this verse: “Remember me (by praying, glorifying, etc.) I will remember you, and be grateful to me (for my countless favors on you) and never be ungrateful to me.” (Al-Baqarah: 152).
Further, the Messenger of Allaah said, “Allaah says, ‘Indeed I am as my servant presumes Me to be, and I am with him when he remembers Me. So if he remembers Me to himself, I remember him to Myself, and if he remembers Me amongst a company, I remember him among a company greater than it’” (Bukhaarie & Muslim).
Of the rewards of the remembrance of Allaah is peace of mind. Allaah says, “Those who believe and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allaah. Verily, in the remembrance of Allaah do hearts find rest.” (Ar Ra’d: 28).
Among the rewards of remembrance of Allaah also is that it makes one love Allaah, increases him in faith, makes his affairs easy, and protects him from tricks and evil doings of Satan. The Prophet said, “Allaah commanded Yahyaa son of Zakariaa to enjoin five words on the children of Israel, one of which was the remembrance of Allaah. A parable of that is like a man who is being hotly pursued by the enemy, who then enters a well-fortified enclave and thereby protects himself from them. A servant does not protect himself against Satan except with the remembrance of Allaah.” (Tirmithie).
It is also part of the rewards of remembrance of Allaah that it erases one’s sins and removes distress.