REMEMBRANCE OF ALLAH
"Living Islam – East & West"
The basic principle of
dhikr (remembrance or invocation of Allah) is to bring
oneself into a state in which there are no thoughts, thereby
becoming neutralized and cleansed. At first it is difficult. We are
distracted by many thoughts and memories. Eventually, we should
reach a point in which we are clear and without thoughts.
There are many
techniques which may be used to achieve this state. One which I find
very useful is thinking of the word 'Allah' in Arabic. As an aid you
can picture yourself writing it. But remember, it is just a
technique to exclude thoughts. ...
The only way that the
thoughts in one's mind can be controlled is through awareness.
The reason for the
circles in the recitation of dhikr (invocation,
remembrance) is to help us to practice being in a state of full
alertness and wakefulness, yet without thoughts. It is very
refreshing and rejuvenating. It is energizing and it gives us a
new state of elation. That is the purpose of dhikr. It is
not a superstitious exercise, rather it has a direct effect, that
of purifying our hearts, making them turn. The dhikr causes
us to turn from a state of thought to one of non-thought and back
again. By this we are neutralized, refreshed, and ready to accept
anything again in life.
Remembrance is a
technique for overcoming the self which is constantly under
strain. As a matter of course, the self manifest a certain measure
of doubt. Allah's statement:
Now surely by
Allah's remembrance are the hearts set at rest (13:28)
propensity of the self. Thinking of Allah means not thinking of
other than Allah. In a way, everything else we can think of can be
considered other than Allah. This is not Allah, and yet it is
created by the decree of Allah.
Through subtlety we
find that we only see Allah. Even when hit upon the head we are
wont to say, 'Praise be to Allah! Yes, I realize I should not be
here. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.' To reach this
state a neutralizing factor is needed. When people do dhikr
– if they are the right people, performing it for the right
purpose, in the right way – this is the result.