Prophet Muhammad




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Chapter 8 of The Book of Assistance of


Translated by: Dr. Mostafa al-Badawi

You should have a wird of remembering God [dhikr], which you must define with either a determined time or number. Under these circumstances there is no harm in using a rosary to keep count.

Know that remembrance is, as a gnostic once said, the pillar of the Path, the key to realization, the weapon of the seekers, and the unfolding of sainthood.

God the Exalted has said: Remember Me and I shall remember you, [II:152] and: Remember God while standing, sitting, and on your sides, [IV:103] and: O you who believe! Remember God abundantly! [XXXIII:41]

The Messenger of God, may blessings and peace be upon him, has said: ‘God the Exalted says: “I am as My servant thinks Me to be, and am with him when he remembers Me: when he remembers Me within himself I remember him within Myself, and when he remembers Me in a company I remember him in a better company.” ’ And: ‘Shall I not inform you of the best of your actions, the purest in the sight of your Lord, and the most elevating to your degrees, which is better for you than spending gold and silver, and than meeting your enemy so that you strike at their necks and they strike at yours?’ They said: ‘Yes,’ And He said: ‘The remembrance of God.’

Remembrance has fruits and consequences which those who persevere in it with good manners and attentiveness find. The least of these is to find it so sweet and pleasurable that every worldly pleasure that one knows becomes insignificant. The highest is to become extinct in the Remembered, to the remembrance, and to all else.

The one who sits in a secluded place, in a state of purity, facing the Qibla, keeping his limbs still and his head down, and then remembers God with an attentive heart and complete courtesy, will see in his heart a manifest influence of the remembrance. If he perseveres, the lights of proximity will descend upon his heart, and the secrets of the unseen will become unveiled for him.

The best remembrance is that which involves both the tongue and the heart. The remembrance of the heart is to be fully aware of the meaning of that which flows from the tongue, for example the meaning of transcendence and unification when one utters the words of glorification and unification [tasbīh and tahlīl].

Out of remembering and reciting aloud or silently, what is most useful for the invoker is that which is better for his heart.

Remembrance is the continual, permanent wird, so strive to keep your tongue moist with it in all circumstances, except at times where another wird, for example recitation or reflection, is due which cannot be done at the same time as dhikr. These and other devotions are, however, included in a more general sense of remembrance.

Do not confine yourself to only one kind of dhikr; you should rather have a wird of every variety.

Be careful to keep to the textually transmitted invocations and prayers which follow the ritual prayers, and morning and evening, before going to sleep and on waking, and at all other specified times and recurrent occasions, The Messenger of God, may blessings and peace be upon him, made them sunnas only so that his nation would find in them the means for obtaining the goodness and escaping the evil which occur at these times and occasions. The one who, having neglected them, suffers something he dislikes, and is separated from his Beloved, should blame only himself. Anyone who wishes to practice that which we have mentioned should consult the imām al-Nawawī’s book, al-Adhkār (The Invocations); may God have mercy on him and reward him well on behalf of all Muslims. The most emphasized of that which is reported as following the ritual prayers is to say after each prescribed prayer: Allāhumma a‘innī ‘alā dhikrika wa shukrika wa husni ‘ibādatika! [O God! Help me to remember You, thank You, and worship You well!] and to recite the tasbīh, tahmīd, and takbīr thirty-three times each, and to complete the count to a hundred by saying: Lā ilāha illa’llāhu wahdahu lā sharīka lahu, lahu’l-mulku wa lahu’l-hamdu, wa huwa ‘alā kulli shay’in qadīr.’ [There is no god save God alone, He has no partners, His is sovereignty, and His is all praise, and He has power to do all things.] Repeat this sentence ten times after the dawn, afternoon and sunset prayers, before moving your legs and before talking, and add to it: yuhyī wa-yumīt, [He gives life and He gives death] after lahu’l-hamdu. Say also morning and evening: Subhān Allāhi, wa’l-hamdu lil’llāhi, wa-lā-ilāha il-la’llāhu, wa’l-llāhu akbar, [Transcendent is God, all praise belongs to God, there is no god but God, and God is Greater], one hundred times, and: Lā ilāha illa’llāhu wahdahu lā sharīka lahu, lahu’l-mulku, wa lahu’l-hamdu, wa huwa ‘alā kulli shay’in qadīr’ one hundred times each day.

Adopt a wird of prayers for the Messenger of God, may blessings and peace be upon him, for this will be a connection between you and the Prophet, and a door through which assistance from his presence flows in abundance to you. He has said, may blessings and peace be upon him: ‘The one who prays on me once, upon him God prays ten times.’ And: ‘The most beloved to me and the nearest in sitting to me on the Day of Rising are those of you who pray on me the most.’ God has exhorted you to do this, so obey, do it abundantly if you wish, add salutations [salām], and include his family. In particular, repeat it frequently on Thursday night and on Friday, for he has said, may blessings and peace be upon him: ‘Increase the number of your prayers on me in the White Night and the Bright Day.’ May God bless him and his family, and grant them peace. And praise belongs to God, the Lord of the Worlds.

Source: Imam ‘Abdallah ibn ‘Alawi al-Haddad, “On Remembrance”, Chapter 8 of The Book of Assistance, translated by Dr. Mostafa al-Badawi, The Quilliam Press, England, 1989, p. 28-30.