The word ‘dhikr’ (often spelled ‘zikr’) means remembrance. In Islam, it has the specific meaning of referring to ‘remembering Allah’.
Why have you called the website New Muslim Dhikr?
The experience many Muslims have of Islam, and not just converts, is one where there is great emphasis on rules and following the Sunnah (which is obviously important), but which lacks a significant spiritual element. This is not peculiar to Islam; all religions are struggling to maintain authentic spiritual traditions. But there is no reason why Muslims should suffer the same reduction in their faith; Islam provides for Muslims’ spiritual yearnings and potential in a number of ways. The greatest of these is dhikr.
Where does it come from?
Dhikr is not something ‘invented’ or innovated by Muslims, It was the practice of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and the other prophets, and is mentioned many times in the Qur’an. The fact that so many Muslims are ignorant of its existence and importance is a one of the great tragedies of our religion in this age.
Dhikr in the Qur’an
“Truly dhikr is the most superior… ”
“Those men and women who engage much in Allah’s praise. For them has Allah prepared forgiveness and a great reward.”
“Those who believe, and whose hearts find comfort in the remembrance of Allah! ” Behold in the Remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction.”
Dhikr in Hadith
The “authority” or proof that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) practiced dhikr is to be found in the ahadith (the collected saying and practices of the Prophet).
Here are a few.
Abu Hurairah reports that the Prophet said that Allah says:
“I am close to the thoughts of My servant. When he remembers Me, I am with him. When he remembers Me in his heart, I remember him personally, and when he remembers Me in a gathering, I remember him in a gathering better than his”.
(Bukhari; Muslim; Mishkaat, pg. 196)
Abu Hurairah reports that the Prophet said that
“Groups of Angels keep looking for people engaged in dhikr. Whenever they find such a group they summon their companions, rejoice over their discovery and cover it with their wings, right up to Heaven. (When the Angels return to their Lord to describe the scene) they are commanded to bear witness to His forgiveness announced for every one in that gathering. One of them submits that a particular person was present only by chance and not for the purpose of dhikr. Allah says, “This is (such an august) assembly that no one present in it shall be deprived of My forgiveness.”
(Bukhari vol: 2, p: 948)
Imam Bahaiqi quoted the Prophet with reference to Hadhrat Ans (a Companion),
“To engage myself in dhikr with those so engaged from morning to sunrise and after ‘Asr to sunset is dearer to me than the entire world and everything within.”
Fatawah al-Hadithiah vol: 1, p 65
Abu Saeed Khudri records his conversation with the Prophet.
I asked him “what type of worship would be held in the highest esteem on the Day of Judgement?”
He replied, “Those who constantly remember Allah will be the most esteemed ones.”
I sought a clarification whether they would also surpass the one who strives in the way of Allah.
The Prophet replied, “If the said striver wields his sword against infidels till it breaks and is himself besmeared with blood, even then those who remember Allah would surpass him.”
(Kitab az-Zikr p: 19)
…and there are many more. These quotes are enough to see that:
- Dhikr is clearly authorised by hadith and Qur’an
- It was highly favoured by the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)
- The rewards of dhikr are great in this life (closeness to Allah) and the next (forgiveness).