`Zikr`; Remembrance of God

By Farhan Jumani

The word Zikr means remembrance. In Pre-Islamic Arabic poetry, poets were using this concept for remembering of their beloved. However, when Islam was introduced, the concept embraced the meaning of remembering Allah. It was through the recitation of one and more than one beautiful names and attributes of Allah.

However, if reflected on the literal meaning of word “Zikr”, it is a remembrance (Yad). The proper and correct moment of using this word is when a person has experienced a forgotten thing or it is not in his concentration. In contrast, Anything which a person not even experience and out of his information circle, for this situation the use of word Zikr is inappropriate.

Even though, in every Abrahimic religion the concept of God exists, for example according to Gospel of Matthew Hazrat Essa (P.B.U.H) says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”(11:28) In Islam, about the oneness of God the Holy Quran says; when thy Lord drew forth from the Children of Adam “Am I not your Lord (who cherishes and sustains you)?”– They said: “Yea! We do testify!” (7:172)

However but today in this material life human being has forgotten his commitment because of over-involvement in materialistic desires (self surviving, in pressure of social relationships and worldly problems) perhaps the only solution is Zikr remembrance of God in the light of divine guidance.

Allah says to the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) in the Holy Quran “Therefore do remind them, for you are only a reminder. (88:21) this shows the role of the prophet is to make people remind of their promise which they made to God in the spiritual realm before their birth in the material world. Moreover, it also makes them realize the importance of divine guidance. However, if a believer believes that this mediation and divine guidance is not important and one can achieve this status from own efforts. He is mistaken. A wonderful sub continent literature prose tells us “Everybody takes the name of a beloved, but nobody can find a beloved, by taken name it can found nobody will offer their heads in love of submission.

This passage itself shows parallel with Zikr; Actions in the form of good deeds and to obey the divine guidance are also important in Holy Quran Allah says: “O believers! Remember Allah as a frequent remembrance, and glorify Him morning and evening.” This whole Surah Al-Ahzab teaches us the list of good qualities of men and women to obey. The most important lesson of this chapter is to obey the commands of God according to his guidance. Surely God has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (33:35).

Surely, a key for happiness and peace is prayers and God affirms this in Holy Quran: `Alaa, bezikrillahe tatmainnul qulub` `by recollecting God, hearts are assured. ` (13:28); in fact happiness comes within the heart, This world is full of examples of names who keep running for the worldly goods reach a point when they realize that all this achievements’ has not brought and happiness and satisfactions.   

Remembering him from the heart has its own benefits Allah says in Quran `Fazkurni, azkurkum``remember me, and I will remember you` (2:152). It has the energy to counter the evils. According to narrations once Hazrat Fatima Khatoon-e- Janat requested her father, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) for the helper in order to help her in household works. At that time her father asked her if she would like a gift which was better than servants and worth more than everything in this world, upon her ready agreement. Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) told her to recite this Tasbhi at every difficulty the Great Ecstasy. Say “Sub-han-al-lah“, “Alhamdu-lillah” and “Allahu Akbar” thirty three times each after every (compulsory) prayer.”

For spiritual practices Quran provides innumerable sets of Dua, Prayers and Tasbhiyat each word function as the word of God, everything relates to its divine author is of great importance. In this regard Sufi masters have composed countless collections of Prayers in Arabic in order to attain spiritual happiness and peace.

In many Sufi orders, the use of prayer for protection from natural and man-made disasters is more prevalent.  The master of Sufi order gives different instructions and teaches Tasbhiyat to chant after prayers which bring great spiritual and physical benefits. To increase love for God, to be forgiven of sins, to exile evil thoughts, to ease a woman’s birth pangs, and for solving financial issues etc.

Of the countless formula of God Remembrance, many traditions can be found in every form of genre such as devotional literature, sayings of saints, Hadiths, In fact Holy Quran tell us “The seven heavens and the earth, and all beings therein, declare His glory: there is not a thing but celebrates His praise; And yet ye understand not how they declare His glory! Verily He is Oft-Forbear, Most Forgiving!” (17:44).

In contemporary societies; why one should need the Zikr. This contemporary era is full of temporal problems such as economic recession, inflation, unemployment, financial stresses, family disharmony etc. In these circumstances Human being needs the inner strength in order to cater these challenges of life. The continuous Zikr is a source which gives inner satisfaction and power to face with temporal problems. Furthermore, it flourishes body and soul so that one can get peace and happiness.

The writer is an educationist. farhanjumani@gmail.com

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  1. This is true, in today’s era, Zikar is the only source to get the inner strength , in fact in Holy Quran there are many ayats which tell us to constantly prayer to remain safe from difficulties and troubles.

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