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Adab of The Mureed - Dhikr

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By: Hajj Mustafa Ali

About the “Dhikr” 

The Dhikr is made up of three of the following stages:

  1. Dhikr 

  2. Fikr

  3. Himma


1.     Dhikr 

Dhikr has three degrees. The first is Dhikr by the tongue, than Dhikr of the heart and lastly       

Dhikr by the ‘sirr’, the secret of being ness. 

We all begin with the Dhikr of the tongue, and it is represented by Huwa (He) the Arabic pronoun of absence. It is the state of the common people. For the wayfarer, it is only the first stage in his remembrance of Allah. The second stage in represented by Anta (You) the pronoun of presence. Here the mudhakkir contemplates the presence of Allah, His Lordship and his heart and mind is scintillating in its realization. The third is represented by ‘Ana’ (I) the pronoun of Tawhid. Here the mudhakkir is no longer ‘doing’ dhikr but the dhikr has become him. He is no longer in the illusion of separation from the divine. 

Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri says: ‘Any (other) awareness during remembrance of Allah is a hindrance to entering into the realm of pure consciousness. Pure consciousness cannot be talked about. It must be experienced. It is the state of being ness.’

Shaykh al-Fayturi says:  ‘What a wonderful thing! There you were looking for the dhikr! And there was the dhikr looking for you!’

Ibn ‘Ata-llah, may Allah be pleased with him, says in his “Hikam”:

‘Do not abandon the dhikr because you fail to sense the Presence of Allah in it. Your forgetfulness of the dhikr of Him is worse than your forgetfulness in the dhikr of Him. Perhaps He will take you from a dhikr of forgetfulness to one with attention, and from one with attention to one with Presence, and from one with Presence to one in which everything but the Invoked is absent. And that is not difficult for Allah.’ 


2.  Fikr 

All creational forms are manifest with purpose and contain intentional meanings designed to reflect to the human being aspects of themselves.’ 

Allah says in the Qur`an: ‘There are signs on the horizon and in the themselves.’

We have been created to know Allah, the Reality. The path to His knowledge is through the experience of life as it has been designed to optimize our journey to His realization. The creation is nothing other than a reflection of ourselves. It is like, when a powerful light is focused on a diamond, the light refracts outward through the facets of the stone, displaying unique patterns. We are like that diamond, each one of us unique and cut to the nature of the stone itself. The light is the source of our consciences. It is one light, yet we experience its reflection in multiplicity.

The purpose of reflection is to transcend multiplicity and witness Allah’s unity in the creation. 

‘Allah says in the Qur`an: “look out in the creation you will see no fault in it, your eye sight will return back tired in trying to see and fault in it”.

The first step to this realization is to come to know that you are the center of the universe; that all experience, no matter how great or small, is within you.  You are the book that must be read, each moment of experience is another word, sign and sentence, containing a meaning designed and directed at you, so as to bring you to realization and intimacy with the Creator of all.  Make no mistake about it, you are the world. In order to reap the optimum benefit from this experience reflection is required.  The depth and clarity of that reflection depends upon the purity of heart. If the heart is full of yourself, expectation of the future, regret for the past, fear and false hope, then the world will meet you with a reflection of what your heart contains. If the heart is without all this mentioned above than it has nothing other than the divine presence. 

Allah says in a hadith Qudsi: ‘The whole universe cannot contain me, but the heart of the one with Iman contains Me.’

As Shaykh Abdal Qadi al-Jilani says: 

‘The world is a market place which will soon be closed. Close the door through which you see the creation and open the door through which you can view the Truth, the Most Glorious and Mighty. Close the door to earning and seeking provision from transactions, which apply only to you, while you are in a pure hearted state and close to the innermost secret. However, do not close that door on those transactions, which include others, such as your family and those that depend upon you. Let the benefit of that which you have obtained through your labor be for others. Seek that which concerns you from the banquet of His Grace. Leave your nafs with the world, your heart with the Hereafter and your innermost secret with the Master'


3.  Himma

Shaykh Muhammad Ibn al-Habib says in his Diwan: 

Whoever has got dhikr, fikr and himma will in each moment rise above otherness. He will attain gnosis beyond his desire and fast realise the secrets if existence.’

Himma is born of knowledge and direct tasting of the benefits of dhikr and inspiration from the words of the Shaykh. It is like after tasting a most delicious drink you develop a taste for it and will search the bazaar until you have more and more of it and you are annihilated in it. Himma is pure energy and without it there is no achievable benefit. 


Some Other Points on Dhikr 

In a typical session of  dhikr the stages are as follows: 

In the first stage the Diwan is being recited. It contains instruction regarding the wayfarer’s journeying on the path. In this stage the mureed’s state is raised by the meaning contained within the Diwan, turning his awareness away from worldly concerns. He is filled with longing to have direct experience of the meanings contained within the diwan, and is now ready to move on to the next stage of the dhikr. 

The second stage is the Hadra (Divine Presence). This can be in a sitting or standing position. It contains the repetitive recitation of divine attributes. At this stage the mureed is emptying his heart and purifying it with the Divine Presence. When the heart is purified it reflects the attributes being recited. When this is done the heart is emptied of all, other it now contains the meaning of the divine attributes being recited. The mureed is now empty of himself and ready to receive his portion of the divine succor from Allah. 

At the end of the Hadra the mureeds are quickly seated, remaining still, poised to receiving the Shaykh’s divinely inspired darse (teaching). This is the third and most intoxicating stage of the halaqa.  Here the Shaykh inspires the hearts of the mureed’s with words containing the transmission of his divinely inspired state. The mureed’s himma is elevated and he takes away from this last stage a provision, for his journeying further on his path of illumination.


Recommended Wazifah for Mureeds 

This Dhikr is to be done after every salat.

The formula below encompasses the entire panoramic path to Allah, in an ascending arch to His Presence. 

  1. Astaghfiru’ullah     X 40

  2. Ma sha Allah        X 40

  3. Subhan Allah        X 40

  4. Allah                    X 100

  1. Beginning with Astaghfirullah (in repetition) one turns to Allah, seeking covering from the results of wrong actions.

    We repeat this formula visualizing our shortcomings.

    We open ourselves to Allah’s divine mercy. We seek His covering us directly from Himself.

    We see our insignificance in the face of His awesome beingness and empty ourselves of vanity
    and recognize our inability to affect anything.

    We beg Allah to wipe our balance clean and to come to Him without any need for reckoning our wronging others or ourselves 

  2. The second is Ma sha  Allah! All is from Allah, in Allah, and to Allah! In this stage of the dhikr we look out with the hearts eye at all creation and will fully submit to Allah’s total lordship over all.  Our own ability to seek Him is from Him. As the Shaykh says:

Oh Noble and Generous Lord,
You created these servants of Yours
And brought them into being
Out of a drop of fluid.
We dare not presume to love You,
And we could not have loved You,
If you had not loved us.
Had You not remembered us.
We could not have remembered You.
Just as our loving You
Is due to Your loving us,
Our remembering you
Is surely due to You remembering us,
And to Your Divine Help.

We abandon any claim of power or determination. We implode ourselves in His presence and escape from the labor of self-affirmation.

  1. Next is Subhan Allah! After handing all over to His divine Majesty and Power, one can only look out at all things with humility and awesome appreciation of witnessing the splendor of. Allah’s creation. All the discernible intricate patterns of life, one upon the other in a masterful web reflecting the divine unity. You are inwardly intoxicated by the vision and at the same time held in place by the order of His decrees.

  2. Allah

    It is self explanatory.


Dhikr After Salat

  1. As’staghfirullah althi la ilah ha il Allah hu er Rahman er Raheem, al Hayul ya Qayyum wa a tubu ilahy. (5 times)

    I seek covering from Allah, from the results of my wrong actions. There is no God but Him, the all-Merciful the all-Compassionate, the ever living the eternal. I turn to you.

  2. Allahu Akbar (34 times)

    Allah’s greatness in not quantifiable and beyond any conception.

  3. Alhamdu lillah (33 times)

    Praise belongs to Allah.

  4. Subhan Allah (33 times)

    Glory is Allah’s. All is swimming in His never-ending attention.

  5. Ayat al Kursi (1 times)

  6. Salat nabuwi (3 times)

    Allahuma sali ala Muhammadin wa ahli Muhammad
    (3 times)

    Peace, blessings and connection upon Muhammad and his family.

  7. Sajdat al Shukr (1 time)

    Prostration of Gratitude.

All the above can be performed after each salat period. 

After Fajr and Maghrib add the following: 

In the Sajdat ul Shukr, while still in prostration, lift your head slightly and place your thumb and middle finger on your forehead. Your fingers should be on both sides of the head in the place where if you had horns they would emerge from there. Then recite the last ayat of surat ul Hashir

This was given to us by the late Shaykh Osman Beshir Osman (R.A.). Whoever perseveres in this practice at fajr and maghrib, they will be spared death from a serious illness. 


Adab Between the Fuqara 

Do not look for faults in each other, there is no end to it, so don’t to it. 

Our Prophet says: “Whoever covers the faults of his brother, Allah will cover him from his own faults on the day of judgment”

He also says: “If you start seeking faults in the Muslims, you will cause dissent among them or you will at least start dissension.”

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Adab of The Mureed  Foreword ] Adab of The Mureed  Introduction ] Adab of The Mureed  Adab ] [ Adab of The Mureed - Dhikr ] Adab of The Mureed - Advice ]