The eighth obligation which the habit of congregating by the road side demands from us is remembering Allaah profusely. If one must sit by the roadside either for relaxation .or social gathering, then it is incumbent on him to constantly remember Allaah.
Dhikr (remembrance of ) is the greatest thing in our life and a well tried and excellent method for purification of our heart. It eradicates all diseases from the heart, produces in it the love of Allaah and creates the consciousness of His Greatness; it brings us divine peace and satisfaction.
Allaah Himself asked us to remember Him as much as possible. Aside from being a right of the road, doing this is a mark of wisdom and a cause for a great reward. Allaah says, describing the wise men and women who ponder His signs:
''those men and women who engage much in Allaah's praise. For them has Allaah prepared forgiveness and a great reward." (Q33[Ahzab]:35)
Before we proceed further, we need to know what is meant by remembering Allaah profusely. In explaining this, Mujahid (RAH) said, "A person cannot be one of 'those men and women who remember Allaah profusely' as mentioned in the above verse of the Qur'an, unless he or she remembers Allaah 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 Allaah much," Ibn AI-Salah (RAH) 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 (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam)."
Concerning the above Quranic verses 'Alib. Abi Talha relates that Ibn 'Abbas (RAH) said, "All obligations imposed upon man by Allaah are clearly marked and one is exempted from them in the presence of a genuine cause. The only exception is the obligation of dhikr (remembrance of Allaah).Allaah has set no specific limits for it, and under no circumstances is one allowed to be negligent of it. We are commanded to 'remember Allaah 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."
Importance of Remembering Allaah
Ibn Taimiyaah (RAH) said, "Remembrance of Allaah is to the heart what water is to fish. What happens to a fish when it is taken out of water?" Imam ibn al-Qayyim (RAH) wrote about nearly eighty benefits that come with remembering Allaah in his book al-Wabil al-Sayyib. The following are a few of them:
Remembrance of Allaah is sustenance for both the heart and the spirit. If the servant is deprived of it he becomes like a body which has been deprived of food.
Remembrance of Allaah also drives away Shaytan, suppressing him and breaking him; it is pleasing to the Merciful, Mighty and Exalted is He, dispels worry and melancholy from the heart, adorns it with delight and joy, fills the heart and face with light, and cloaks the one who remembers Allaah with dignity, gentleness and freshness. It in stils love for Allaah, fear of Him, and relating all matters to Him. It also enhances Allaah's remembrance of His servant, for as says:
"So remember Me-I will remember you." (Q2 [Baqarah]: 152)
Even if these were the only reward for the remembrance of Allaah, it would be mercy and honour enough, for such a heart is always aware and free from wrong actions.
Although remembrance is one of the easiest forms of worship, the mercy and 'honour that it brings cannot be achieved by any other means. Abu Hurairah (RA) reported that the Prophet (salu alayhi wa sallam) said:
"Whoever recites the words. "There is no god but Allaah [laa ilaaha iliaAllaah} the One. having no partner with Him [wahdahu laa shareekalahu). Sovereignty belongs to Him and All praise is due to Him. And He is Powerful over everything' [Iahu-Imulkwa lahu-I hamd wa huwa 'alaakulli shay'in Qadeer}. one hundred times every day there is a reward equal to freeing ten slaves for him and a hundred good actions are recorded for him and a hundred wrong actions are removed from his record. That is a safeguard for him against Shaytan on that day until evening. and no one brings anything more excellent than this. except the one who has done more than this (that is. who recites these words more than one hundred times)."(Bukhari)
Jabir reported that the Prophet (salu alayhi wa sallam) said:
"Whoever recites the words, "Glory be to Allaah and His is the praise will have a palm tree planted for him in the Garden." (Tirmidhi)
Ibn Mas'ud (RA) said: "To Praise Allaah, may He be Exalted, is more dear to me than spending the same number of dinars (as the number of times I praise Him) in the way of Allaah."
Remembrance of Allaah is a remedy for hard hearts. A man once told al-Hassan (RAH), "0 Abu Sa'id, I complain to you about the hardness of my heart." He said. "Soften it with the remembrance of Allah." Makhul (RAH) said, "Remembrance of Allaah is (a sign of) health, while remembrance of people is like a disease." A man once asked Salman. "Which deeds are the best?" He said, "Haven't you read in the Qur'an:
"And the remembrance of Allaah is greatest." (Q29[Ankabut] :45)
Abu Musa (RA) once related that the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
"The difference between the one who remembers his Lord and the one who does not is like the difference between the living and the dead." (Bukhari)
Abdullah ibn Busr (RA) related that a man once told the Prophet (salu alayhi wa sallam), "The roads to good are many and I am unable to take all of them, so please tell me something to which I can hold fast, but do not overburden me lest I forget it." He said:
"Make sure that your tongue is moist and supple with the remembrance of the Exalted."(Tirmidhi)
Continual remembrance of Allaah increases a servant's good witnesses on the Day of Resurrection. It is a means which prevents him from talking in the wrong way, such as backbiting and spreading tales and their like. Either the tongue is mentioning Allaah and remembering Him. Or it is talking incorrectly.
'Whoever has the gates of remembrance opened to him has an opening to his Lord, Mighty and Glorious is He, through which he will find what he seeks. If he finds Allaah, he has found everything. If he misses the opportunity, he has missed everything.
Types of Dhikr
Islam does not require anyone to torture himself in order to reach a high stage of spirituality. Nor doe she have to shun everything of this world. Rather, one can be close to Allaah by frequently remembering Him with his lips and heart, even as he is busy with his daily tasks.
There are several types of remembrance. It could be in the form of remembering the Names of Allaah, Mighty and Glorious is He, the remembrance of His Attributes, and praising Him and thanking Him. All of these can also take a more distinct form such as tasbeeh, which. is extolling and repeating phrases such as "Subhanallah " ( is Sublime), 'Al Hamdulillah" (all praise to) and 'AllahuAkbar" (Allaah is Greatest); "Laa ilaha ilia Wahdhu. La Shirika lahu Lahu almulk,wa lahu al-hamd, wa hua 'alakulli shay'inqadeer." (There is no god but Allah . He is One. He has no partner. To Him is the dominion and' all praise, and He has power over all things.}
A servant can also remember Allaah by talking about His blessings, while the best type of remembrance is the recitation of the Qur'an, because this contains remedies to cure the heart from all illnesses. Allaah, the Exalted, says:
"0 mankind, there has come to you a protection from your Lord and a healing for what is in your hearts, and for those who believe, a guidance and a mercy."(Q10 Yunus:57)
The desirable degree of Dhikr is to acquire such a solemn state of mind and heart in which were main continuously full of consciousness and awareness of Allaah and be never without His thought. The state of permanent and all pervading Allaah's consciousness is achieved only through continuously engaging the tongue and heart in Dhikr and devout servant of no doubt, achieve this state. We are surrounded by evil forces that are trying to make us deviate from the right path. To save ourselves from their grips we must remember Allaah in every possible way. The more we remember Him the more benefitted-we are. The real dhikr is that in whatever profession, state or circumstances a Muslim may be, he should do his best to observe the commands of Allaah that are intended for such a situation. Allaah says:
"0 you who believe! Let not your wealth and your children distract you from remembrance of Allaah."(Q63 [MunafiqunJ :9)
Thus whoever observes the commandments of Allaah applicable to any given time under all circumstances and observe his responsibilities toward his family and in other worldly affairs like buying and selling, carries out the dhikr of Allaah even while he engages in them. Sa' id b. Jubair (RAH) said, "Anyone engaged in obeying Allaah is in fact engaged in the remembrance of Allaah.
Some of the earlier scholars tied it to some more specified form. 'Ata (RAH) said, "The gatherings of dhikr are the gatherings where the lawful and the prohibited things are discussed, for instance, selling, buying, prayers, fasting, marriage, divorce, and pilgrimage.”
AI-Qurtubi (RAH) said, "Gatherings of dhikr are the gatherings for knowledge and admonition, those in which the Words of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger, accounts of our righteous predecessors, and sayings of the righteous scholars are learned and practiced without any addition or innovation, and without any ulterior motives or greed."
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited