Remembrance of Allah (Adhikr) is one of the greatest forms of worship in Islam. It involves the use of the heart, tongue (or both) to praise Allah, seek forgiveness or produce any form of righteous deed leading to reward. Although it appears simple to do, yet powerful to gain a high rank in the sight of the almighty! For example, a two-word dhikr can massively increase the scale of righteous deeds of a believer and lead him to Jannah, as reported by a narration from Allah’s messenger;
“Two words that are light on the tongue and heavy in the balance and beloved to the Most Merciful: SubhaanaLLaah wabihamdihi SubhaanaLLaah il-‘Azeem”.
Remembrance of Allah is the secret of success of all messengers. The faith of a Muslim is not complete until dhikr becomes part of his/her daily life. It is greater than anything in the sight of Allah and his messenger and puts a believer on the list of special friends (Awliyaah) of his creator. So why will two best friends forsake each other?
Depending on the circumstances, dhikr may be obligatory (Waajib), encouraged (Mustahabb), or prohibited (Haraam). Obligatory dhikr include the first takbir in solat (Takbeeratu Al-Ihraam), recitation of the Qur’an, the call to prayer (Adhaan) and iqaamah, according to the view that they are a communal obligation (Fard kifaayah). It must be noted however that making dhikr can also be haram in certain situations, for example inside the restroom, when listening to Friday khutbah etc.
The benefits of dhikr are endless! Ranging from worldly rewards to heavenly gains, it is an indispensable opportunity an upright Muslim cannot afford to miss. There is a huge promise for those who always indulge in dhikr; “…..And men and women who remember Allah often—for ˹all of˺ them Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward [Al-Ahzab:35].
Dhikr guarantees peace of mind and there is nothing sweeter than trusting the ruler of the heavens and earth and leaving your affairs to Him in any situation you find yourself.
“Those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism), and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah, Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest”[Ar-Ra‘d:28]
Allah in His infinite wisdom has connected success to constant remembrance of Him; “….and remember Allah much, that you may be successful” [Al-Jumu’ah:10]. He has also praised those who always remember Him and described them as being those who benefit from His signs and the people of understanding. He also assured them that he will never forsake them in any situation they find themselves in, saying
“Therefore remember Me, I will remember you…”[Al-Baqarah:152].
In recent times, many of us are faced with challenges of managing our time as we seem to lack time and space to do certain acts of worship. However, our Lord has bestowed upon us all the benefit of dhikr. He wants us to remember Him frequently in all circumstances by either praising, glorifying or both, as this will validate the awareness of His might in our minds and hearts., He says:
“O you who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance……[Al-Ahzaab 33:41].
Conversely, not remembering Allah is highly discouraged and punishable. It is one of the features of the hypocrites (Munaafiquun), Allah says “ ……And they do not remember Allah except little” [Al-Nisaa’: 142]. In another verse, He says :”….woe to those whose hearts are hardened against remembrance of Allah! They are in plain error!” [Az-Zumar 39:22].
The pious predecessors also exemplified the virtue of dhikr. It was narrated by Sa‘d ibn Abi Waqqaas (May Allah be pleased with him) said: A Bedouin came to the Messenger of Allaah (May the peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) and said: Teach me some words that I may say: He said:
“Say: ‘Laailaaha illaLLaah wahdahu laa shareekalah, Allahu Akbar kabeeran, wal hamdu iLLahi katheeran, wa SubhanAllah Rabb il-‘Aalameen, wa la hawla wa la quwwata illa BiLLah il-‘Azeez il-Hakeem ( There is no god but Allaah alone, with no partner or associate, Allaah is most great, much praise be to Allaah, glory be to Allaah the Lord of the Worlds, and there is no power and no strength except with Allaah, the Almighty, the Most Wise).” He said: These are for my Lord; what is there for me? He said: “Say: ‘Allahumma aghfir li wa’rhamni wa’hdini wa’rzuqni (O Allaah, forgive me, have mercy on me, guide me and grant me provision).”Narrated by Muslim
It was reported that our Prophet Muhammad, said
“ shall I inform you of the best actions, which are purest before your Lord, which elevate you to high ranks, which are better for you than spending gold and silver, and better for you than encountering the enemy and striking their necks?” They said, “ yes, indeed” He said, “ remembrance of Allah, Almighty.“[At-Tirmidhi].
Indeed, the remembrance of Allah is a virtuous act to achieve peace of mind and tranquility in this life and hereafter. May Allaah grant us the strength to regularly remember Him and give Him all adoration.