As Muslims, it is our duty to perform Dhikr of Allah (SWT). The term Dhikr literally means to call back to memory, or to have something in concious mind. Therefore to perform Dhikr of Allah (SWT) actually implies that we ought to be God-concious OR concious of Allah (SWT) at all times. The term also means “to remember” or “a reminder”.
Some of the ways of performing Dhikr are as follows:
Prayer: Saying of prayer is a greatest form of Dhikr. Allah (SWT) says:
“…and establish prayer. Verily prayer keeps you away from the obscene and detestable and verily the remebrance of Allah is the greatest”. (29:45)
S V Mir Ahmad Ali states in his tafseer of this verse states:
Through the Holy Prophet (saww), the believers are addressed to pray “SALAT” regularly because it is the greatest remembrance of Allah (SWT).
Elsewhere, in the tafseer of verse 132 of Surah TA-HA (Chapter 20), he explains:
A faithful (Mumin) makes use of the SALAT as a ladder to reach the closest nearness of Allah (Mi’raj).
Contemplating on the creations, invoking Allah (SWT) and glorifying Him: These are also considered as Dhikr. Allah (SWT) says:
“Those who remember Allah, standing and sitting, and reclining, and reflect and contemplate on the creation of the heavens and the earth, (say): Our Lord! You have not created (all) these in vain! Glory be to You! Save us then from the torment of the fire”. (3:191)
“…and remember your Lord much and glorify Him in the evening and morning”. (3:41)
Verse 41 of Chapter 3 is addressing Prophet Zakariyya (as). When Zakariyya (as) was informed that his barren wife would give birth to a son, he (as) asked Allah (SWT) to appoint a sign for him. This was due to his curiosity to know as to when a son will be born in spite of their natural disability. The sign given to him was that he (as) will not speak to any people for three days and the command was to occupy himself in remembrance and glorification of Allah (SWT) at all time (evening & morning). Commenting on Dhikr mentioned in this verse, Aqa Mahdi Puya says:
Praise and glorification of Allah (SWT) takes man into the pure domain of spiritualism through which he overcomes physical disabilities and obstacles, and obtains grace and blessings of Allah. The laws of nature, known to man, can be controlled, modified or altered by the spiritual and divine agency. It is said that through the science of hypnosis the will of the living being can be controlled, then how can one deny the superior power of the spirit which can effect any change in any natural phenomenon?
Allah (SWT) refers to His book, the Glorious Quran, as al-Dhikr in numerous verses. Few examples have been given below:
“Verily We have sent down the DHIKR (reminder/Quran) and We will certainly be its Guardian”. (15:9)
“…and We sent to you the DHIKR (reminder/Quran) so that you may make clear to mankind what has been sent down to them, so that they may reflect”. (16:44)
“Verily those who disbelieve in the DHIKR (reminder/Quran) when it comes to them (should know) that, verily, it is an unassailable book.
Falsehood cannot come at it from before it nor from behind it; It is a revelation from the All-Wise, the Praised One”. (41:41/42)
So the Holy Quran is a Dhikr by itself hence it shares every benefit which other modes of Dhikr have and much more…
HOLY QURAN: DYNAMIC SOURCE OF KNOWLEDGE:
The extent to which Quran has glorified Knowledge and has encouraged people to pursue it is something which cannot be found in other heavenly books. There are numerous verses speaking of Knowledge, and praising and elevating the status of those who acquire it. For example:
“Allah will exalt those of you who believe and those who have been granted knowledge, to high ranks..” (58:11)
S V Mir Ahmad Ali explains this by stating:
Allah exalts some over others on account of merit. It is neither an arbitrary action nor it is due to worldly possessions or position. In Hujurat: 13 it is said that all human beings are equal in birth, came into existence from a male and a female, so those who have more intergrity (taqwa)-and according to this verse have belief and knowledge which are the inseperable essentials of taqwa-are exalted by Allah.
Furtheron, he states: In the light of Ankabut:49, Muhammad:16 and this verse those who have been given knowledge are exalted to the highest degree. All other created beings are inferior to them.
The Quran itself contains dynamic source of knowledge. Allah (SWT) says:
“And with Him are the keys (treasures) of the unseen. None but He knows them; and He alone knows what is in the land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but He knows it, and there is not a grain in the darkess (recess)of the earth, nor anything wet or dry but is in a clear Book” (6:59)
“We have not neglected anything in the Book” (6:38)
Imam Ali bin Hussayn (as) has said, “The Quranic verses are treasures of knowledge. Whenever a treasure is opened, you have to see what lies in it”. (‘Uddah al-Da’ee)
Allama Sayyid Mohammed Hussein Tabatabai in his book Quran in Islam writes:
The Quran, in many of its verses, invites reflection about heavenly signs, the brilliant stars and the extra-ordinary differences in their conditions and the systematic order which governs them. It encourages meditation concerning the creation of earth, seas, mountains, deserts, wonderful things in the interior of the earth, the changes of day and night and seasons. It recommends thinking about the wonderful creation of plants, the order governing them, the creation of animals and the conditions of their environment. It calls for reflection concerning the creation of human being and the mysteries and secrets inherent in its structure, and, above all, in its self, internal world and its relationship with the exalted heaven. It insists upon a journey to all parts of the earth, on the observation of the vestiges of those gone by and the inquiry about the nations, human societies and their history.
Thus it invites to a study of natural and mathematical sciences, philosophy, literature and all the branches of knowledge accessible to humanity, the learning of which is in the interest of humanity and brings happiness to humanity. The Quran invites to these branches of knowledge on condition that people are guided by this knowledge to truth and know the real world which is headed by Godliness. Otherwise a knowledge that serves as an amusement and hinders one from knowing God and truth is the equivalent of ignorance in the vocabulary of the Quran. God, the Almighty says,
“They know the outward of this world’s life but of the hereafter they are absolutely heedless” (30:7)
“Have you then considered him who takes his low desire for his god and God has made him err having knowledge and has set a seal upon his ear and his heart and put a covering upon his eye. Who can then guide him after God?” (45:23)
With the recommendations that the Quran has made for learning various kinds of knowledge, it has made itself the teacher of a perfect course of Divine teachings, general moral principles and Islamic jurisprudence.
Excerpts from “The Bible, the Quran and Science” of Maurice Bucaille about Quran:
“The relationship between the Quran and science is a priori a surprise, especially when it turns out to be one of harmony and not a discord. A confrontation between a religious book and the secular ideas proclaimed by science is perhaps, in eyes of many people today, something of a paradox. The mojority of today’s scientists, with a small number of exceptions of course, are indeed bound up in materialist theories, have only indifference or contempt for religious questions which they often consider to be founded on legend”.
“These scientific considerations, which are very specific to the Quran, greatly surprised me at first. Up until then, I had not thought it possible for one to find so many statements in a text compiled more than thirteen centuries ago referring to extremely diverse subjects and all of them totally in keeping with modern scientific knowledge”.
“The Quran does does not aim at explaining certain laws governing the universe, however; it has an absolutely basic religious objective. The descriptions of Divine Omnipotence are what principally incite man to reflect on the Works of Creation. They are accompanied with references to facts accessible to human observation or to laws defined by God who presides over the organization of the universe both in the sciences of nature and as regards man. One part of these assertions is easily understood, but the meaning of the other can only be grasped if one has the essential scientific knowledge it requires”.
HOLY QURAN: THE SOURCE OF GUIDANCE FOR MANKIND
“The month of Ramadhan is that in which the Quran was sent down, a GUIDANCE for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the criterion of right and wrong;” (2:185)
“Indeed there is a lesson in their narratives for men of understanding. It is not a forged tale but a confirmation of what went before it, and a detailed exposition of all things, and a GUIDE and a mercy for those who believe”. (12:111)
“These are the verses of the wise book. A GUIDANCE and mercy for the righteous”.
The Holy Prophet (saww) has said, “Whenever the affairs become dubious as a dark night on you, resort to the Holy Quran for it is an intercessor whose intercession is accepted and it is a witness which has been acknowledged. Whoever takes it as a GUIDE, it will lead him to paradise and anyone turning his back on it, it will push him to the fire. It is the most clear GUIDE towards the best ways. Whoever speaks by it shall be acknowledged and agreed with. And whoever judges on its basis, he will have done justice. And whoever acts upon it, he will be rewarded”. (‘Uddah al-Da’ee)
Harith al-A’war says: I came to Ameer al-Mumineen Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) and said, “O Ameer al-Mumineen! When we are in your company, we hear what strengthens our belief. But as soon as we depart from you, we hear different which we do not even understand it?” The Imam (as) asked, “Is this what they have done?” I said, “Yes”. He (as) then said, “I heard the Holy Prophet (saww) saying: ‘Jibrael came to me and said: O Muhammad! There shall be temptations in your nation. I said: What is the outlet from it? He said: The Book of Allah. In it, is the information before you, the news of after you and the regulation for whatever faces you’ ”
HOLY QURAN: CURE FOR ALL AILMENTS:
The Holy Quran is a cure for both: Physical as well spiritual ailments.
“We sent down the Quran which is a healing and a mercy for the believers” (17:82)
“Say: It (Quran) is to those who believe aguidance and a healing and (as for) those who do not believe, there is a heaviness in their ears and it is obscure to them” (41:44)
Shaykh Sadooq (ar) has reported on the authority of the Holy Prophet (saww): “The healing of my nation lies in three things: A verse of the Book of Allah, Eating honey and Cupper’s lancet”.
A man once complained about chest-pain to the Holy Prophet (saww). The Prophet (saww) said, “Seek healing from the Holy Quran, for Allah (SWT) says ‘..and a cure for that which is in your breasts’ (10:57) ” (‘Uddah al-Da’ee)
Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (as) has said, “Whoever cannot be cured by the Quranic chapter of AL-FATIHA, he cannot be cured by anything else”.
Imam Musa al-Kadhim (as) has said, “Whoever recites Ayatul-Kursi before sleeping, he will not be afflicted with paralyses and whoever recites it after each prayer, will not be stung”.
Asbagh bin Nubata reports that a man came to Imam Ali (as) and complained, “There is yellow water in my abdomen. Is it curable?” Imam (as) replied, “Yes, without paying any dirham or dinar, write Ayatul kursi on your abdomen. Also drink water mixed with inscription of Ayatul-Kursi, you will be cured by the permission of God”.
All the above traditions are from ‘Uddah al-da’ee
However, most important of all, Quran is a cure for all our spiritual ailments. In Nahjul-Balaghah Imam Ali bin Abi Talib (as) says, “You should also know that no one will need any thing after (guidance from) the Quran and no one will be sufficient without (guidance from) the Quran. Therefore seek cure from it for your ailments and seek its assistance in your distresses. It contains a cure for the biggest diseases namely unbelief, hypocricy, revolt and misguidance”.
By Mulla Mujaheedali Sheriff