In the Name of ALLAH, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful

Fiqh-us-Sunnah
Fiqh 4.99
ADH-DHIKR

All words of praise and glory to Allah, extolling His Perfect Attributes of Power and Majesty, Beauty and Sublimeness, whether one utters them by tongue or says them silently in one’s heart, are known as dhikr or remembrance of Allah. He has commanded us to remember Him always and ever. The Qur’an says: O you who believe! Celebrate the praises of Allah, and do so often; and glorify Him morning and evening. Qur’an 33.41

If anyone remembers Allah, He remembers that person: “Remember me, I shall remember you.” Qur’an 2.152 In a hadith qudsi, the Prophet, peace be upon him, narrated: “Allah says: ‘I am to my servant as he expects of Me, I am with him when he remembers Me. If he remembers Me in his heart, I remember him to Myself, and if he remembers me in an assembly, I mention him in an assembly better than his, and if he draws nearer to Me a hand’s span, I draw nearer to him an arm’s length, and if he draws nearer to Me an arm’s length, I draw nearer to him a fathom length, and if he comes to me walking, I rush to him at [great] speed. (Bukhari and Muslim)

Allah has bestowed a special distinction upon those who remember Him. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “The devotees have surpassed all.” They asked, “Who are these exceptional people (Mufarridun), O Prophet of Allah?” He replied, “Those men and women who remember Allah unceasingly.” (Muslim) These are the people who are really alive. Abu Musa reported, “The likeness of the one who remembers his Lord and the one who does not remember Him is like that of a living to a dead person.” (Bukhari)

Remembrance of Allah is the foundation of good deeds. Whoever succeeds in it is blessed with the close friendship of Allah. That is why the Prophet, peace be upon him, used to make remembrance of Allah at all times. When a man complained, “The laws of Islam are too heavy for me, so tell me something that I can easily follow,” the Prophet, peace be upon him, told him, “Let your tongue be always busy with the remembrance of Allah.” The Prophet, peace be upon him, would often tell his Companions, “Shall I tell you about the best of deeds, the most pure in the sight of your Lord, about the one that is of the highest order and is far better for you than spending gold and silver, even better for you than meeting your enemies in the battlefield where you strike at their necks and they at yours?” The Companions replied, “Yes, O Messenger of Allah!” The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “Remembrance of Allah.” (Reported by Tirmidhi, Ahmad, and Al-Hakim, who considers its chain of narrators sound)

Remembrance of Allah is also a means of deliverance from Hell Fire. Mu’adh reported, “The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, ‘No other act of man is a more effective means for his deliverance from the chastisement of Allah than the remembrance of Allah.” (Ahmad) Ahmad reports that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “Whatever you say in celebration of Allah’s Glory, Majesty, and Oneness, and all your words of Praise for Him gather around the Throne of Allah. These words resound like the buzzing of bees, and call attention to the person who uttered them to Allah. Don’t you wish to have someone there in the presence of Allah who would call attention to you?”

Fiqh-us-Sunnah
Fiqh 4.102
Excellence of Assemblies of Dhikr

Joining the assemblies or circles of dhikr is a commendable practice as shown by the following hadith: 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 or circles 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’.”
Muslim reports that Mu’awiyyah said, “The Prophet, peace be upon him, went out to a circle of his Companions and asked, ‘What makes you sit here?’ They said, ‘We are sitting here in order to remember Allah and to praise Him because He guided us to the path of Islam and he conferred favors upon us.’ Thereupon he adjured them by Allah and asked if that was the only purpose of their sitting there. ‘They said, By Allah, we are sitting here for this purpose only. ‘ At this the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, ‘I am not asking you to take an oath because of any misapprehension against you, but only because Gabriel came to me and informed me that Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, was telling the angels that He is proud of you’.”

Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri and Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “When any group of men remember Allah, angels surround them and mercy covers them, tranquility descends upon them, and Allah mentions them to those who are with Him.”

Al-Muwatta Hadith
Hadith 15.24
Dhikr (Remembrance) of Allah, the Blessed and Exalted

Yahya related to me from Malik that Ziyad ibn Abi Ziyad said that Abu’d-Darda had said, “Shall I not tell you the best of your deeds, and those that give you the highest rank, and those that are the purest with your King, and are better for you than giving gold and silver, and better for you than meeting your enemy and striking their necks?” They said, “Of course.” He said, “Remembrance (dhikr) of Allah ta ala.”

Al-Muwatta Hadith
Hadith 15.20
Dhikr (Remembrance) of Allah, the Blessed and Exalted

Yahya related to me from Malik from Sumayy, the mawla of Abu Bakr, from Abu Salih as-Samman from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Whoever says ‘There is no god but Allah, alone, without any partner. The Kingdom and praise belong to Him and He has power over everything’ (La ilaha illa’llah, wahdahu la sharika lah, lahu’l mulku wa lahu’l hamd, wa huwa ala kulli shay’in qadir) one hundred times a day, it is the same for him as freeing ten slaves. One hundred good actions are written for him and one hundred wrong actions are erased from him, and it is a protection from Shaytan for that day until the night. No-one does anything more excellent than what he does except someone who does more than that.”

Fiqh-us-Sunnah
Fiqh 4.101a
Etiquette of Dhikr

The purpose of dhikr is to purify hearts and souls and awaken the human conscience. The Qur’an says, “And establish regular prayer, for prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds, and remembrance of Allah is the greatest thing in life, without doubt.” Qur’an 29.45 In other words, the remembrance of Allah has a greater impact in restraining one from shameful and unjust deeds than just the formal regular prayer. This is so because when a servant opens up his soul to his Lord, extolling His praise, Allah strengthens him with His light, increasing thereby his faith and conviction, and reassuring his mind and heart. This refers to “those who believe, and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah, for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction.” Qur’an 13.28

Fiqh-us-Sunnah
Fiqh 4.100
How Much dhikr is Required?

Allah, the Exalted, ordered that He should be remembered a lot. Describing the wise men and women who ponder His signs, the Qur’an mentions, “those who remember Allah standing, sitting and on their sides,” Qur’an 3.191 and “those men and women who engage much in Allah’s praise. For them has Allah prepared forgiveness and a great reward.” Qur’an 33.35 Mujahid explained, “A person cannot be one of ‘those men and women who remember Allah much’ as mentioned in the above verse of the Qur’an, unless he or she remembers Allah at all times, standing, sitting, or lying in bed.”

When asked how much dhikr one should do to be considered as one of “those who remember Allah much,” Ibn Al-Salah said that “much” is “when one is constant in supplicating, in the morning and evening and in other parts of the day and the night as reported from the Prophet, peace be upon him.” Concerning the above Quranic verses ‘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 obligation 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,’ 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.”

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