The Methods of Dhikr, Remembrance of Allah

There are a number of hadiths which are directly relevant to the methods of dhikr used by various Sufi turuq. I have grouped them below, under the titles
“Posture is Irrelevant to Dhikr,” “Dhikr in Assembly and in a Circle,” “Dhikr Saying `La ilaha illa Allah,” “Dhikr by saying `Allah,” and “No Limits to doing
Dhikr.”

Posture is Irrelevant to Dhikr

The Qur’an says in meaning: Lo! In the creation of the Heavens and the earth and in the night and day are tokens (of His sovereignty) for men of understanding, such as remember Allah, in standing, sitting,and reclining. [Qur’an 3:190-191]

What this part of the Qur’an establishes is that posture is not important in performing dhikr standing, sitting, or reclining. Presumably other postures are also okay, so criticisms about posture during dhikr is irrelevant.

Dhikr in Assembly and in a Circle

The following hadiths is about those Sahaba who did dhikr in assembly and in a circle, and were praised by
Rasulullah (s.a.w.) for it:

Hadhrat Abu Sa`eed Khudri relates that once Hadhrat Mu`awiyah visited the mosque and saw a circle (of reciters). He asked, “What has made you sit?” They said, “We have assembled here to remember Allah.”
He [Mu`awiyah] said, “By Allah you did not sit except for this purpose?”They affirmed, “We did not sit except for this.” Hadhrat Mu`awiyah then told them, “I did not ask you to swear on account of any malice. None of you can match me for scanty narration of the
Prophet (s.a.w.) (and as such have narrated very few traditions about him). The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) once visited a gathering of his companions
and inquired, `What has made you assemble here?’ They answered, `We have gathered to remember Allah and praise Him for having led us to Islam and granted this favour to us.’ The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) inquired, `Do you affirm by Allah that it is so?’ The Holy Prophet’s Companions affirmed, `By
Allah we are sitting here for this purpose only.’ He [the Prophet s.a.w.] said, `I have not put you on oath on account of any doubt, but angel Jibreel had visited me and told me that Allah felt proud of you among the angels.'”
[From Sahih Muslim, and also in the Riyadh us- Saliheen of Imam Nawawi.]

Here is another hadith, which shows the benefit of doing dhikr in assembly.
Ibn `Umar reported, “The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, `When you pass by a garden of paradise, avail yourselves of it.’ The Companions asked, `What are the gardens of Paradise, O Messenger of Allah?” The Prophet, peace be upon him, replied,
`The assemblies of dhikr. There are some angels of Allah who go about looking for such assemblies of dhikr, and when they find them they surround them.'”
[Quoted from Fiqh us-Sunnah compiled by As-Sayyid Sabiq, vol. 4, ch. 6.]

There is also this important hadith about dhikr in general, and dhikr in an assembly:

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Prophet (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said:
Allah the Almighty says: I am as My servant thinks I am. I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assembly
better than it. And if he draws near to Me a hand’s span, I draw near to him an arm’s length; and if he draws near to Me an arm’s length, I draw near to
him a fathom’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.
[It was related by al-Bukhari, and also by Muslim, at- Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah. From “Forty Hadith Qudsi,” selected and translated by Ezzeddin Ibrahim and Denys Johnson-Davies (Dar Al-Koran Al-Kareem, Lebanon, 1980), hadith no. 15.]

Doing Dhikr by saying “La ilaha illa Allah”

One of the ways of doing dhikr is by saying “La ilaha illa Allah.” Here are some hadiths which mention this….

Hazrat Jabir relates that he heard the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) having said: “The best remembrance of Allah is `La ilaha illa Allah.'” [From Tirmidhi, also related in the Riyadh us-Saliheen of Imam Nawawi]

Another hadith about saying `La ilaha illa Allah’ for dhikr is this….

Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “Renew your faith.” “How can we renew our faith?” they asked. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “Say always, `La ilaha illa Allah’.” [From Ahmad, with a sound isnad. Quoted in Fiqh us- Sunnah compiled by as-Sayyid Sabiq, vol. 4, ch. 6.]

Doing Dhikr by saying “Allah”

Regarding using the names of Allah in dhikr, the hadith I am aware of at present regarding this topic is the
following….

The Prophet said, “The Hour will not arise before `Allah, Allah’ is no longer said on earth.” [Sahih Muslim]

No Limits to doing Dhikr

Now, some criticize those on the Sufi path for doing too much dhikr.
However, Ibn Abbas (r.a.) is related as
having said there is no limit to dhikr. The following quote I took from the book “Fiqh us- Sunnah” by as-Sayyid Sabiq. The saying of Ibn Abbas goes….

Ali b. Abi Talha relates that Ibn Abbas said, “All obligations imposed upon man by Allah are clearly marked and one is exempted from them in the
presence of a genuine cause. The only exception is the obligatin of dhikr. Allah has set no specific limits for it, and under no circumstances is one allowed to be negligent of it. We are commanded to `remember Allah standing, sitting, and reclining on your sides,’ [Qur’an 3:191] in the morning, during the day, at sea or on land, on journey or at home, in poverty and in prosperity, in sickness or in health,
openly and secretly, and, in fact, at all times throughout one’s life and in all circumstances.”

Dhikr is a very blessed practice, praised in the Qur’an and hadiths. May Allah help bring us satisfaction in our hearts through remembrance of Him.

Say: “Truly Allah leaves to stray whom He will, but He guides to Himself those who turn to Him in penitence — Those who believe, and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remebrance of Allah, for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction . [Qur’an 13:27-28]

Source: http://www.haqq.com.au

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Equality of Men and Women

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My brothers and sisters everywhere! Islamic law [Shari’ah] – that Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) sent down to His Messenger Muhammad – came to announce that women (exactly like men) are full human beings. Women (like men) are therefore required to
follow the way appointed by Allah.

A woman (like a man) is therefore obligated with all three degrees of this religion: Islam (outward submission to Allah), Iman (inward faith in Allah), and Ihsan (perfection of worship of Allah).

Islam (outward submission to Allah)

It is thus required for every woman to testify that there is none deserving worship but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger; to pray; to give charity; to fast; and to make a
pilgrimage to Allah’s House if she has the means.

Iman (inward faith in Allah and the unseen [Al Ghaib])

It is likewise required for every woman to believe in Allah, His angels, His scriptures, His messengers, the Last Day, and to believe in Allah’s decree (and that the good and evil consequences thereof are from Allah).

Ihsan (perfection of worship of Allah)

It is likewise required for every woman to worship Allah as if she sees Him. For although she cannot see Allah, she must believe that He sees whatever she does in secret and in public.

Women (exactly like men) have been commanded with these three levels of the religion ( Islam, Iman, and Ihsan).

Women, like men, are also obligated to enjoin good and forbid evil; to strive and struggle by saying that which is truthful; and to adhere to all noble behavior, like: truthfulness, trustworthiness, courage, modesty, and self-respect.

Every Muslim woman, just like every Muslim man, is commanded to be steadfast in her religion and not to be negligent with her faith. It is not permissible for her – under any pressure or compulsion – to open her heart to accept the word of disbelief. Hence every Muslim woman, like every Muslim man, falls under Allah’s statement:

“Whose disbelieves in Allah, after he has believed – excepting him who has been compelled, and his heart is still at rest with the Faith – but whosoever’s breast is expanded in unbelief, upon them shall rest anger from Allah, and there awaits them a mighty
chastisement.” [Noble Quran 16:106]

Clearly when Islam charged women with all these duties and in all these obligations made her equal to men, the intent was to honor her and permit her to reach the highest degree of perfection of her being.

The duties that Allah has obligated humanity with are but a means to honor us. Prayer, as well as fasting, is an honor for the servant and a means to raise his rank. To adhere to Allah’s straight path and the manners of Islam are, without doubt, a means to honor us
and not to humiliate us as imagined by those who are ignorant of Allah and follow their desires.

Such people think and imagine that a human being who does not believe in Allah, does not uphold the trust of these duties, and does not perform what Allah has commanded him is of a higher standing than the believer who adheres to the obligations of Islam. Such an
idea is ignorance and renders human beings on par with the animals.

Humans have been created to be tried by Allah and have been charged with fulfilling these duties to Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) and His creatures. As for animals, while they have been
created by Allah, they have not been charged with this trust.

Whoever considers that a human being who does not uphold what Allah has obligated as equal to those who fulfill what Allah has obligated is like those who consider humans and animals to be equal. For this reason, Allah has said:

“Shall we treat that those who have surrendered (as Muslims) as We treat the guilty?” [Noble Quran 68:35]

And He has said:

“We have crated for Hell many of the jinn and humanity; they have hearts, but understand not with them; they have eyes, but perceive not with them; and they have ears, but they hear not with them. These are like cattle; nay, rather they are further astray! Those – they are the heedless.” [Noble Quran 7:179]

The disbeliever in Allah (whether a man or a woman) is a guilty criminal, for he or she does not know whom to worship, i.e.,The Creator, The Protector, The Lord, and He Who created this universe in which he or she lives. The disbelievers enjoy what Allah has blessed them with and yet they forget the One Who blessed and preferred them with such blessings. As for the believers, they are the honorable servants who know their Lord and Creator, Allah, Whom they worship. They fulfill what Allah has obligated and travel upon the path that Allah has delineated for them.