Qushairi Manifest

Dhikr (Divine Remembrance)

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Allah has said: O ye who believe! Celebrate the praises of Allah, and do this often. (Koran [33:41])

Abu Dardā’ narrates from the Prophet: Should I not inform you about the best & most cleansed & nearest to Allah & loftiest of the deeds, even better than giving away gold and silver to the poor? People responded what is that O Prophet? Prophet replied: Dhikr (Remembrance) of Allah The Almighty & The Momentous.

Anas said: There is no Day of Judgment for as long as someone stands on this earth saying “Allah Allah” i.e. Dhikr.

Ostād Imam Abul-Qāsim said: Dhikr (Remembrance) is a powerful & firm foundation for the Tariqa (Path) towards Allah The Sublime. No one can reach Allah unless by maintaining Dhikr (Remembrance). And there are two kinds of Dhikr:

1.    Dhikr for the tongue
2.    Dhikr for the heart

By perpetually maintaining the Dhikr (Remembrance) of the tongue the slave can reach the Dhikr of the heart (affecting his heart). And once the slave is Dhākir (Rememberer) by both tongue & heart, has reached the Kamāl (Perfection) within the Hāla (Momentary States of he Heart) upon the Sūlūk (Journey).

People said that in the beginning of the Shebly’s affair (traveling upon the Divine Path), he used to retire to a cellar while holding a stick, and if for a moment he was negligent of Allah’s Dhikr (Remembrance) he would hit himself by that stick to the point that when he finally emerged from the cellar nothing of the stick was left! And if he was still suffering from the negligence (forgetting Allah) he would slap his hands & feet upon the ground or the wall. (Shebly had reached the ultimate state of Drunkenness when the Sufi is in deep attention of the Divine Presence and lost all contact with this world. His speech was altered as well, as we notice in what is left of his words. But the Murid (Seekers) should understand that Shebly was an extreme and unique member of Sufi Nation and such descriptions of self torture should not be taken as a norm for teachings of Sufism.)

Some have said that the sword of Murids (Seekers) is the Allah’s Dhikr (Remembrance) within the hearts. Indeed with this weapon they can battle their enemies to defy the evil plague of enmity. And if there are hardships befallen the slave, his heart in full Dhikr (Remembrance) would remove the hardship.

Wāseti said: Dhikr (Remembrance) is to exit the arena of the negligence in order to enter the (patent) plain of Mushāhidah (Divine Perception).

Dhan-nun Al-Masri said: Whoever does the Dhikr (Remembrance), and does so truly (not just repeated words), he would forget everything, and along this Dhikr (Remembrance) all things support him. (Translation? When he forgets all worldly things, those very things would support him as long as he is maintaining the Dhikr. Previously he forgot Allah and remembered those worldly things, and yet those worldly things forgot him in return left him forsaken.)

Abu ‘Uthmān was asked: We are doing the Dhikr (Remembrance) but no sweetness enters our hearts? He replied: Offer your gratitude to Allah that at least one organ of your body is obeying Allah (meaning the tongue). (Any form of Dhikr be it a word on the tongue is a great blessing bestowed upon the slave and s/he must offer much gratitude)

A famous Hadith (Narration) from the Prophet states: Graze within the meadows of Paradise, someone asked what is the ‘meadows of Paradise’? Prophet responded: The gatherings for Dhikr (Remembrance). (Chain of narration from Jābir ‘Ibn Abdullah)

Prophet peace be upon him said: From dawn to dusk do the Dhikr (Remembrance) of Allah, and whosoever would like to know his/her status with Allah tell them to look upon the status of Allah with themselves since Allah keeps the status of the slave as the slave keeps the status of Allah. (If you remember Allah it means Allah remembered you nicely, if you offer gratitude to Allah it means Allah is offering gratitude for your deeds, if you forgot Allah means Allah is not remembering you, if you are not offering gratitude means Allah does not appreciate your deeds, and so on so forth)

Abdullah Ibn Musā said that once Shebly had a meeting and versed this poem:

I remembered you and not even negligent for blink of an eye
And indeed the easiest of all remembrance that of the tongue

And I without consciousness killed by desires
And the sufferance upon my heart palpitates

And when I became conscious of Your Presence
I eye-witnessed your being-ness in every place

I spoke with some-One without talking
I met with some-One without seeing

One of the characteristics of the Dhikr (Remembrance) is that it is time and circumstance independent i.e. the slave is obliged/encouraged to remember Allah no matter what. Even the most noble of all worships meaning the Salāt (Obligatory 5 daily prayers) is not allowed in certain times or circumstances, yet Dhikr (Remembrance) is required/encouraged at all times. (For example after the mid-afternoon Salāt there is no prayer allowed, or immediately after intercourse (prior to bathing), or during the women’s menses, but during all these times (even the intercourse) Dhikr is allowed and encouraged)

Men who celebrate the praises (Dhikr) of Allah, standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides”. (Koran [3:191])

Ostād Abu Abdul-Rahman asked from Ostād Abu Ali: Is Dhikr (Remembrance) better or thinking (about Allah)? And the sheikh responded: For me Dhikr (Remembrance) is better than thinking, since Allah is attributed by Dhikr (i.e. Allah has allowed to be remembered by humans or angels, and Allah does do Dhikr for us humans) but not attributed by thinking (Allah does not think, and our minds are forbidden to think about Allah’s nature).

Kattāni said: Had it not been obligatory I would not have made Dhikr (Remembrance) for Allah, how could someone (lowly) like I remember Allah possessor of such Momentous Glory!? Unless a thousand times rinsing the mouth with water (of repentance).

I heard Ostād Abu Ali quoting these poems from the Sufi Grand Sheikhs:

Just when remembered You suffering from guilt
My heart sirr  & soul while in Your remembrance

Until a caller from Your side called upon I loud
Be aware! Woe unto you! Not remembering your faults

A characteristic of Dhikr (Remembrance) is that Hu (IT) has placed, side by side, our Dhikr next to Hus (ITs) Dhikr: Then do ye remember Me; I will remember you. (Koran [2:152]) (This is an incredible observation! What we call Dhikr has a Divine counterpart in the other universe a similar form of remembrance by Allah for us! This means this Dhikr is a Divine object of some kind and not a few chants rolling down the tongue. Therefore there is a difference between a recorder chanting Dhikr and a human being make Dhikr i.e.the machine’s has no counterpart in the other universe)

It is in the Hadith (Prophetic Narration) that Arch Angel Gabriel informed the Prophet: Allah has given your nation something that has not given any other nation! Mohammad peace be upon him asked the angel: O Gabriel what is that (unique offering)? The angel replied: Then do ye remember Me; I will remember you. (Koran [2:152]) (Again the Sufis listened carefully to the conversation between the Prophet and the angel, and they understand the immense importance of Dhikr given exclusively to this nation!)

Some said that angels need special permission to take the life of a Dhākir (Rememberer).

In some books it is mentioned that Moses asked Allah: O Lord where are you? Lord replied: Within the heart of the believing slave. (Meaning Allah’s Dhikr within the heart of slaves since Allah is afar away and cleansed from anything of Hus (ITs) creation—Ostād Imam)

Sahl Abdullah said: There is not a single day passing that Allah does not say: O slave be just, I remember you and you forget me, I call you to myself and you go to the doors of others, I block the afflictions and you serve the sins with devotion, O son of the Adam tomorrow when you shall reach close by Me, what excuse you shall fabricate?

Abu Solaimān Dārāni said: In Paradise there is a desert that once the Dhākir (Rememberer) does Dhikr (Remembrance) the angels start planting trees, and when the angel stalls it is asked: why did you stopped? And responds: The one for whose sake was planting trees has stopped! (Meaning the person stopped the Dhikr. “Seest thou not how Allah sets forth a parable? - A goodly word like a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches (reach) to the heavens … It brings forth its fruit at all times, by the leave of its Lord…” (Koran [14:24-25]). Dhikr’s nature is botanical i.e. one seed bears 100 and so on. Dhikr is a tree roots in this world i.e. our tongue & heart but its branches in heavens bearing fruits for all humanity to benefit from)

Some said: There is sweetness in three things 1) Dhikr (Remembrance) 2) Salāt (5 daily prayers) and Koran, that is if you find doing them with ease, else (if you found them hard) some door is closed. (Translation?)

Hāmid Aswad said: I was in a trip by Ibrahim Khaw-wās and reached a point to rest but this place was filled with snakes. So we both sat down, as night approached so did the snakes coming out. I called upon the sheikh (to do something about the snakes) so he instructed to make Dhikr (Remembrance). I did make Dhikr, and the snakes went back to their nests. After a while the snakes came back again, again I called upon the sheikh and he made the same advice. I made Dhikr and the snakes went back to their nests. And the night passed doing this again and again. At dawn I went to the Shiekh when I discovered a coiled snake close by (the sheikh). So I asked the Sheikh: Didn’t you know there was a snake here? Sheikh replied: There was no night ever as good as last night. (Meaning he slept so well since someone was keep remembering Allah and all the safety descended upon them to the point that snakes did not harm them)

Abu ‘Utham said: If the person has not tasted the horrors of negligence, s/he would never taste the sweetness of the Dhikr’s (Remembrance’s) intimacy.

Junaid quotes Serri: That Allah has revealed in some of the scripture that once My Dhikr (Remembrance) conquers the slave, he will fall in love with Me and I in love with him.

Nuri said: For everyone there is retribution and the retribution for ‘Aref (Divine Cognoscente) is the halt of his Dhikr (Remembrance).

It is in Injil (The book sent to Prophet Jesus): Remember Me when you are enraged so that I remember you when I am enraged (remember you not to punish you) and My victory suffices for you since my triumph is far better than victory you obtain. (Make Dhikr when you are angry at people and things, and Allah’s victory/revenge is far superior to anything you can muster up)

A monk was once asked: Are you fasting? He replied: I am fasting by Hus (ITs) Dhikr (Remembrance) since my breaking of the fast is remembering other than Hu (IT).  

Some said when the Dhikr (Remembrance) resides within the heart; if Satan comes close to the heart some form of epileptic fit befalls the Satan, similar to the human epilepsy. The devil monsters then gather around the Satan and wonder what happened to it.

Sahl said: I found no sin worse than forgetting Allah The Almighty The Momentous.

Some said that silent & hidden Dhikr (Remembrance) cannot be raised to the heavens by the angels, since they cannot sense this Dhikr which is a secret between the salve and Allah.

Someone said: I was shown a Dhākir (Rememberer) in a bamboo forest, I went close by him and he was sitting. Suddenly I saw a large wild beast appeared attacking him and tore up a piece of his flesh. Both of us swooned. When we came to I asked him what happened and he replied: Allah has sent this beast over me, any moment I forget Hus (ITs) Dhikr (Remembrance) the beast attacks me as you witnessed.

Ja’far Bin Nusair heard from Jurairi: One of his people perpetually was saying “Allah Allah” and one day a stick hit his head and his blood gushed on the ground scribing: Allah Allah!


© 2005-2002,  Dara O. Shayda