Monday, 14 December 2009

Sunnah of our Holy Prophet (saw)

Bismi Allahir Rahmanir Raheem. All praise is for Allah, the Most High, the Lord of the Worlds. Allah's Peace and Blessings be upon all the Prophets of Allah, especially our Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wa aalihi wa as-haabihi wa sallam).

Muslims realize that Islam is more than a religion, it is a way of life. The demands, expectations, and benefits of being Muslim stem greatly from our ability to worship Allah and remember Him constantly. The aspect of Zikr, the remembrance of Allah, is part of "what sets apart the living from the dead" (Bukhari).

"Remembrance Of Allah"

'Dhikr Allah'

"O believers! Remember Allah as a frequent remembrance,
and glorify Him morning and evening."
Al- Quran [al-Ahzaab, 33:41-42]

"Therefore, remember Me, and, I will remember you,
be grateful to Me and never deny Me."
Al- Quran [al-Baqarah, 2:152]

Assalamu 'alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

Allahu Ta'ala says in the glorious Qur'an:

"O man (Insan)! What has lured you away from your gracious Lord [Rabbikal-Kareem] ?"
(Ya ayyuha al-insanu ma gharraka bi-rabbika al-kareem?) [Surah al-Infitaar - 82:6]

This world, the Dunya, will take a person away from Allah, who busies himself in the worldly businesses and who does not remember Allah in any time. Allah says:

"He who turns away from the remembrance of Rahman (Allah, the Compassionate) ,
We assign a Satan (Shaytan) for him, who becomes his intimate companion - and
turns such people away from the Right Path, while they think that they are guided aright."
[az-Zukhruf - 43:36-37]

We have reached to a point where even our Salah (prayer) is empty of Allah's remembrance. Allah said: "... worship Me and establish Salah for My remembrance." [Ta-ha, 20:14]. But unfortunately our Salah (prayer) is filled with the thoughts of this world rather than the Remembrance of Rahman.

If the worldly businesses take us away from Dhikr Allah ( Allah's Remembrance) , we will forget Him. And the one who has forgotten Allah, Allah will also forget him and He might not listen to his supplications (Du'a). So, what could be a cause of the unacceptance of our Du'a? Our hearts are preoccupied with Dunya rather than His Remembrance. Allah will say to those who forget Allah and do not prepare for the Akhirah: "Now taste the reward for your forgetting the meeting of this Day - We too have forgotten you now..." [32:14]. Therefore,

"O believers! Let neither your riches nor your children divert you from the remembrance of Allah.
Those who will do so, it is they who shall be the real losers."
[al-Munafiqoon - 63:9]

Allah mentions in the Quran about those true Muslims who prefer the hereafter over this Dunya. These people make Dhikr, perform Salah and observe other duties; and their worldly businesses do not affect their worship. Qur'an says:

"In houses, which Allah has ordered to be raised,
in them His Name is glorified in the mornings and
in the afternoons or the evenings,
(By) men whom neither trade nor sale diverts them
from the Remembrance of Allah (thikri Allahi),
nor from performing As-Salat (prayer),
nor from giving the Zakat.
They fear a Day (the Day of Judgement)
when hearts and eyes will be overturned."
[An-Noor - 24:36-37]

If we remember Allah, Allah will also remember us (listen to us). Allah says: "Therefore, remember Me, and, I will remember you, be grateful to Me and never deny Me." [al-Baqarah, 2:152]. Allah's remembrance (Dhikr Allah) should be observed in the Masajid and also when we are outside the Masajid. In fact, Allah's remembrance should be in the hearts of the believers at all times. And His glorification should be on our tongues at all times as well. Allah says:

"O you who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance,
and glorify Him morning and evening."
[al-Ahzaab, 33:41-42]

"And remember your Lord within yourself (deep in your soul, fee nafsika),
humbly and with fear without loudness in words
in the mornings, and in the afternoons and
be not of those who are neglectful.
[al-A'araaf - 7:205]

Who has created the sun, the moon, the heavens and this earth! It is Allah, therefore, Subhan Allah! Who has guided us to Islam, provided us with sustenance (food, drink, clothes etc)! It is Allah, therefore, Alhamdu-lillah! Who is the Most Powerful, the Majestic, Maliki Yawmi-Deen! Allahu Akbar! Who forgives the mistakes and the sins? It is Allah, we say Astaghfirullah. Therefore, a Muslim can remember his Rabb at all the times; while in the Masajid and while in the midst of this world. Rahman says:

"Behold! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day,
- there are indeed Signs for men of understanding,
- Men who celebrate the praises of Allah,
standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides,
and contemplate the (wonders of) creation in the heavens and the earth,
(with the thought): "Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You!
Give us salvation from the Chastisement of the Fire."
[Aal-e-Imran - 3:190-191]

Once we start to praise Allah with our hearts, then shall we be able to feel the sweetness of Rahman's Dikhr. For example, many of us pray Salah without knowing the meanings of what we say, and many of us know the meanings but we do not concentrate on what we say. We should pray with the certainty that we are standing in front of Rabbul 'Aalameen, standing with sincerity and devotion, with fear and hope of His Mercy. When we say anything in As-Salah, we should express that it is said directly to Him (Allah). We say:

{ Subhana ka-Allah humma
(You are Glorified, O Allah!)
wabi hamdika
(and Praised! )
watabara kasmuka
(Your Name is Blessed!)
wata'ala jad-duka
(Your Majesty is Exalted! )
wala ilaha ghairuk"
(and none has the right to be worshipped but You!) }

"Allahu Akbar"
(Allah is the Greatest)

"Sub-hana Rabbi Yal Atheem"
(Glory be to my Lord who is the very Greatest)

"Samee 'Allah hu liman hameeda"
(Allah listens to the one who praises Him)

"Rab-bana lakal hamd"
(Our Lord, all the praises be to You)

"Sub-hana Rabbi yal A'ala"
(Glory be to my Lord, the Most High)

Ibn 'Umar (radi Allahu anh) reported that the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) told them:

"A servant of Allah said 'My Lord! All praise is for You as much as Your Glory and Sublime Majesty rightly deserve. ' This was too much for the two angels to record. They did not know how to record it. So they soared to the heaven and said, 'Our Lord! Your servant has said something which we don't know how to record?' Allah asked them--and, of course, He knew what the servant had said--'What did My servant say?' They said, 'He has said, "My Lord! All praise is for You as much as Your Glory and Sublime Majesty rightly deserve." Allah said to them, ' Write it down as My servant has said until he should meet Me and I reward him for it'.' (Reported by Ahmad and Ibn Majah)

May Allah forgive us and accept our good deeds. May Allah guide us to the best ways in which we should Praise Him, Glorify Him. May Allah keep our hearts attached to Him. Once our hearts are filled with the Dhikr of Rahman, insha'Allah, we will have no interest of whatsoever in this Dunya. The light of Allah's Dhikr fills up the heart and the heart becomes satisfied with what it needs. Allah says "Beware! It is the remembrance of Allah which provides tranquility to the hearts!" [ala bithikri Allahi tatmainnu alquloobu!] (13:28). Anything other than His Remembrance or this Dunya will not satisfy our hearts!

"Therefore, remember Me, and, I will remember you, be grateful to Me and never deny Me." [al-Baqarah, 2:152]

Allah's Messenger (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said:
Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, thus stated: I am near to the thought of My servant as he thinks about Me, and I am with him as he remembers Me. And if he remembers Me in his heart, I also remember him in My Heart, and if he remembers Me in assembly I remember him in assembly, better than his (remembrance) , and if he draws near Me by the span of a palm, I draw near him by the cubit, and if he draws near Me by the cubit I draw near him by the space (covered by) two hands. And if he walks towards Me, I rush towards him. [Sahih Muslim]

While many aspects of Zikr are specifically defined for us, such as Hajj once in our lifetime, fasting in Ramadan once a year, praying in congregation at least once a week (on Friday) and praying five times a day, the times between are not meant to be void of thoughts of Allah.
Here are some ways to incorporate and ensure Zikr in our everyday lives:

1- If you want or need or desire something, regardless of what it is, ask Allah for it first

Allah says in the Holy Quran, "Call on Me. I will answer your prayer, but those who are too arrogant to serve me will surely find themselves humiliated in Hell" (40:60). Taking the time to remember and ask Allah, serves not only as humbling experiences, but forces you to realize that Allah wants us to remember Him, to ask of Him, and put our trust in Him.

Whether it is in times of distress or in times of joy, creating a habit of sincere supplication toward Allah increases your Zikr According to Abu Huraira, "The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, reported that, whoever wants Allah to answer his prayers during difficult times, should supplicate to Him more and more in times of ease."

2. Be aware of your words

It becomes second nature for many Muslims to say "Assalam Alaikum" (Peace and blessings be upon you) when they meet a fellow Muslim, or to say Alhumdu lillah (all thanks be to Allah) without ever really thinking about what it means. While it is good to say these words, if we put our hearts into them, we will be humbling ourselves and performing Zikr at the same time.

So use words like Insha Allah (God willing), Maa shaa Allah, when you are praising something and Bismillah (in the name of God) before you begin anything. Being aware of Allah at all times will help keep you from doing something unIslamic.

Abu Huraira reported that the Prophet said, "Renew your faith." "How can we renew our faith?" they asked. The Prophet replied, "say always, 'La ilaha ill-Allah' (there is none worthy of worship except Allah).".
Jabir reported that the Prophet said, "the best remembrance of Allah is to repeat La ilaha illa Allah and the best prayer is Alhumdu lillah (all praise is due to Allah).".

3.Surround yourself with those that remember Allah

What we discuss when we are in congregation can also be Zikr. Said b. Jubair said, "anyone engaged in obeying Allah is in fact engaged in the remembrance of Allah."

Some early scholars according to Fiqh us-Sunnah said, "the gatherings of Zikr are the gatherings where the lawful and the prohibited things are discussed, for instance, selling, buying, prayers, fasting, marriage, divorce, and pilgrimage."

The Prophet reportedly told ibn Umar that, "There are some angels of Allah who go about looking for such assemblies or circles of Zikr, and when they find them they surround them."

"When any group of men remember Allah, angels surround them and mercy covers them, tranquility descends upon them, and Allah mentions them to those who are with Him" (Abu Huraira and Abu Said Al Khudri).

Thus, surrounding yourself with other people remembering Allah contributes and heightens the purpose of Zikr, which is to purify ones heart and soul and to awaken the human conscience.

4. Do charity

Often times, we need to see how blessed we are, by helping those who are not as fortunate. Whether it is volunteering at a homeless shelter, teaching small children or visiting with the elderly, by taking time out of our lives to help others for the sake of Allah, we better ourselves.

The Holy Quran says, remembrance of Allah "is wider than Prayer: it includes silent contemplation, and active service of Allah and His Creatures. The regular Prayers and regular charity are the social acts performed through the organized community" (24:37).

We also need to realize the role we should play in our communities such as cleaning up a park, planting trees or helping our neighbors. By doing charity for those around us, we realize all the blessings bestowed upon us by Allah and remember Him in a more appreciative manner.

The Prophet said, "Charity is obligatory every day on every joint of a human being. If one helps a person in matters concerning his riding animal by helping him to ride it or by lifting his luggage onto it, all will be regarded as charity. A good word, and every step one takes to offer compulsory congregational prayer, is regarded as charity; and guiding somebody on the road is regarded as charity (Abu Huraira).

Keeping the importance of charity in mind and performing it for the sake of Allah, keeps Him in our thoughts and heart at all times.

Types of Zikr     
There are three types of Zikr:

1. Practical
2. Verbal
3. Silent

1. Practical

Practical Zikr, also known as "Zikr-e-Faily", is performed with one's obedient actions. It comprises of obedience to:

i) The commandments of Allah (swt)
i.e. Prayer, Fasting, Hajj, umrah, Zakaat, charity etc

ii) The Sunnah of our Holy Prophet (saw)
i.e. eating, drinking, sleeping, walking, talking, dressing etc.

2. Verbal

Verbal Zikr, also known as "Zikr-e-Lisani", is observed with one's tongue. It comprises of:

i) Loud zikr; i.e. Azan, Takbir, Collective zikr etc
ii) Low tone zikr, i.e. Tasbihat, masnoon duas etc

3. Silent

Silent Zikr, also known as "Qalbi Zikr", "Zikr-e-Khafi" and "Daimi Zikr" is performed within one self.. There are many stages to silent zikr. The first and foremost of which is Qalbi Zikr: Remembrance of Allah (swt) from within the heart.

According to the Quran, the miraculous properties of the earth, the sky shading-over without support, the innumerable species of creatures residing within, the alternation of day and night and the unfailing, vast, miraculous universal system, all point towards the greatness of their Creator; but only for the one blessed with wisdom, “Those who constantly remember Allah, standing, sitting or reclining.” A human being will always be in one of these postures. This Divine verse implies that they are always engaged in Allah's Zikr under all conditions, at all times. Religious scholars have thus concluded that the alluded to verse doesn't refer to oral Zikr because the tongue cannot do Allah's Zikr all of the time; it has to translate many other human requirements, besides doing Zikr. Even if somebody doesn't speak a word except Allah's Zikr, his tongue will certainly remain quiet during his sleep. The only organ that can permanently perform Allah’s Zikr is the human heart and only Zikr-e Qalbi (Zikr by the heart) can fulfil the condition of constant Zikr. Once the heart learns Allah's Zikr, it never stops at any time, under any circumstances.
 (Qalbi zikr is zikr of the heart it is where your heart does the zikr of Allah over and over again. To do this zikr just concentrate on you heart and with every beat imagine it is saying Al-lah, Al-lah,Al-lah. then you can do this through out the entire day and your entire life until you can hear with your own ears your heart saying Allah. Dahmi zikr is with your breath. When you breath in you say Allah and when you breath out you say hu. Once you have learned both types of zikr continue doing them for ever and the rest of you life. If you can multi task then do both. Dahmi and qalbi zikr and if you want to be more advanced in doing zikr then instead of doing both zikrs with just saying Allah you can change dahmi zikr to la illaha when you breath in and illah Allah when you breath out whilst your qalb is continuously saying Allah. Note: when you recite the zikr it should be in your head only not out loud. Soon you will naturally with your own ears hear your heart with every beat and your breath with every breath you take it will be doing the zikr of the name of Allah without you having to think about it.)

If we look into the Quran we will find that the word “ Zikr ”  occurs 268 times in the Quran and has 63 derivatives used in the Book, the Quran. This word “ Zikr ”  has many connotations in Islam. Its almost opposite is “ Nissiyane ”  (forgetting). This verb occurs 45 times in the Quran; and 28 of its derivatives have also been mentioned in the sacred Book.

The root of Zikr is Za-Kaf-Ra . Some of its meanings are:

   Az-Zikro Wattazk'aro : It means to preserve something, to keep alive in mind; this word is used opposite to NASYUN , which means to forget (6:68)

    At tazkerato : It means

    To remind something which is needed
 The Quran has also been called As-Zikro because it contains the history and Causes or Laws for the rise and fall of nations
Zikrun also means to remain steadfast in the battlefield and thus ensures the supremacy of Divine Laws. The Divine Laws are also called Zikrullah (39:23). It has also been used in the context of dignity, honour, respect, fame and saying something good (43:44)

      Verse (2:152) says Faz Kurunee Azkur Kum -‘You keep in view My Laws and I shall protect your rights and grace you with dignity and honour'
In short Zikr means

   1.To remain steadfast in the battle field
   2. Ponder over the secrets of nature
   3.Take lesson from the previous history of nations
   4.Keep in view the Divine Laws and take decisions accordingly
   5.Propagate or give publicity to the Divine Laws
   6.These are the steps which install peace of mind (13:28) and not the rotation of beads or retreating to the caves or hujras

Keep these meanings in view, study the Quran and grasp the places where this word has been used. You will understand the real perspective and get the action verbs commanding you to do the things practically.

Who says islam is demanding.Its so easy to folow. You can do zikr all the time, just saying assalamualaykum is a helping someone is a charity.its so easy . we can do it without any effort and one day it will become a way of our life without our knowing it. and then allah will start bestowing us with his mercy and he will show us the straight path. all we need to do is start doing zikr and small charities. make it a way of our lives. and inshallan all pieces will start falling into place automatically. all you need is an intention...that will be your deciding factor, that always is.

1 comment:

azumaj said...

Jazak Allah, Very nice info, need to practise, thanks brother