Dhikr or Remembrance is one of the vital actions leading to the development of a strong relationship with Allah swt.
The remembrance is the action of heart. Not of tongue.
However, vocalizing by tongue is a stepping stone towards this.
The reality of remembrance is to abstain from all disobedience of Allah swt.
There are various modes of accomplishing it.
The dhikr formulas prescribed in ahadith (Prophetic sayings) carry a lot of merit (thawab). They have great message in them and their thoughtful repetition creates a special respect and love of Allah swt. They are for all Muslims to use. However, it is recommendable to ask the Sheikh before including them into one’s daily routine. Sheikh by his experience can decide how much and how many of these will be beneficial for a specific mureed, taking into consideration his other obligations. Our Sheikh usually recommends reciting:
1. SubhanAllah e wa behamdihi subhanAllah e azeem
2. SubhanAllah wal Alhumdulillah, wala illaha illalAllah walAllah o akbar
3. Istegfirullaha raby min kule zambiyu wa atoobo eleh
4. Durood shareef
5. Lahawla wala quwata ila billah il aliul azeem
All of them 100 times. Preferrably after fajar salah.
And reciting the “la illaha illalAllah” with occasional “Mohammadur rasoolAllah salallaho alehey wasalm” 500 times after isha salah.
These are usually the initial actions prescribed for a mureed and precede the Dhikr mentioned below. And they continue for life.
B. Dhikr of Tareeqa:
Most famous of it being the audible repetition of the Divine name “Allah” swt. In enormous numbers. Previous shuyukh use to prescribe this one hundred and twenty four thousand times daily for each mureed. This was supposed to be done in private with special concentration and preferably in one sitting.
However, with changing lifestyles and increasing complexity of every day life this did not remain practical in our times for everyone. Hazrat Thanvi ra who was the mujaddid of Tasawwuf, simplified the matter for us. Now the usual daily practice is of “dowazdah tasbeeh”. It is usually prescribed to sincere mureed who is really progressing on the path (tareeq) and expresses explicitly to advance.
These sufistic dhikr are effective in creating this desired effect only when they are taken personally from the Sheikh.
On this note, Khawaja Azizul Hasan Majzoob ra inquired Hazrat Thanvi ra, why was it like this? Dhikr should be effective itself. Why do you need to take it from a Sheikh? Hazrat quddus sirrahu replied, dhikr’s similitude is that of a sword. The sword is for slashing. But to slash effectively without harming oneself or others unintentionally it has to be handled by an expert sword user.
This dhikr varies widely in our tareeq. Based on the condition/aspiration/obligations/free-time of the mureed. It is a private thing specific for each individual. Formal gatherings for group dhikr for it are not done.
continued……….. Dhikr 2