SubhanAllaah wa bihamdihi…SubhanAllaah-l-Adheem. Two light sentences on the tongue, often chanted in praise and remembrance of our Creator; how mighty these words are in the scale of the believer! The remembrance of our Creator; Allah, the Most Gracious, - Ad-Dhikr, is one of the most recommended acts of worship a Muslim is encouraged to do often. It is an act that brings to mind the greatness of Allah, and that expresses our thankfulness for His uncountable blessings and mercies. An excellent, praiseworthy act that polishes the heart and awakens the soul! The prophet said; “the example of the one who remembers his Lord (Allah) in comparison to the one who does not remember his Lord, is that of a living creature compared to a dead one.”
Allah in His greatness encouraged dhikr in several verses of the Qur’an. He says: “O You who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance.”, and about its gain for the believers, He says: “…and the men who remember Allah often and the women who do so – for them Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward.” By constantly remembering Allah, our minds and hearts find satisfaction and comfort. Allah says; "Those who believe, and whose hearts find comfort in the remembrance of Allah! Aye! It is in the remembrance of Allah that hearts can find comfort." The Prophet (S.A.W) also encouraged us to do Dhikr regularly and even after every salah; Abu Hurayrah reported from the Messenger of Allah (swt): “Whoever glorifies Allah (says Subhaan Allaah) thirty-three times immediately after each prayer, and praises Allah (says Al-hamdu Lillaah) thirty-three times, and magnifies Allah (says Allahu akbar) thirty-three times, this makes ninety-nine, then to complete one hundred says Laa ilaaha ill-Allah wahdahu laa shareeka lahu, lahu’l-mulk wa lahu’l-hamd wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadeer (There is no god except Allah Alone, with no partner, His is the power and His is the praise, and He is Able to do all things) – his sins will be forgiven even if they are like the foam of the sea.” (Reported by Muslim, 939).
Unfortunately today, this act of worship is being performed mindlessly by many Muslims. Dhikr has become nothing but mere uttering of words for them, they do not reflect on the meanings of the expressions they utter. They speak with their tongues what their hearts do not feel. We find a good scenario in the masjid where after the teslim in salah, people rush through the tasbih; a form of dhikr. They chant words and count ‘epileptically’ with their fingers and almost immediately getting up from their sitting positions and dashing out of the masjid. While ‘rushing’ through these words of Dhikr, many chant phrases/words that are meaningless or say the wrong pronunciation thereby giving the words different meanings from those intended. Some people also do this while reciting the Qu’ran. Imagine that you want to request a favour from someone, and you rush through your request without the person making out the words of your sentence. Oh please! Slow down. Ad-Dhikr goes beyond mere uttering of words and keeping count of them. It is supposed to have a divine effect on our minds and to keep our hearts beating, to make us reflect on the vastness of Allah’s creation and building in us immunity against hypocrisy. “Those who remember Allah (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): “Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You! (Exalted be You over all that they associate with You as partners)…”
Let us make sincere effort to worship Allah in the right manner so that we can earn the rewards of our acts of worship. When doing dhikr, please stop reciting or chanting as if you are making some traditional ‘incantations’, let us be more relaxed. Let us make efforts to know the meanings, pronounce and reflect on the words of Dhikr in deliberate manner, it is only then that we can reflect on Allah’s greatness, glorifying and praising Him. And then, into our hearts the feeling of peace, tranquility and satisfaction will flow!
Hafsah Babatunde is a nutritionist, writer, poet, blogger and a social entrepreneur. She values good health and loves to share healthy tips for healthy living. With a passion for the pen, she believes ideas can be shared to make a difference and to create positive impact on many lives