Khutbah Transcript: Blessings of Dhikr
It is human nature that when we desire something, that when we are in need of something, we will constantly be thinking about that object of need and that object of desire. When we are hungry we cannot but think about food. When we are thirsty we cannot help think about something to quench our thirst. When we are in love we are always thinking of the object of our love. This is human nature and it is not possible to go against this nature because this is the way that Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala created us.
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, therefore, the one who truly loves Allaah, the one who understands his need of Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala will always, ever, constantly, incessantly, be thinking about Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala. It is not possible that a person loves Allaah except that he is thinking about Allaah. It is not possible that a person realizes his need; a person realizes his poverty to the mercy of Allaah; except that he will incessantly be thinking about Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala. Such is human nature; such is the way Allaah created us.
Therefore a sign of eemaan is to be ever thinking of Allaah, is to be always remembering Allaah. And the concept of remembrance in our religion is called dhikr.
A sign of eemaan is to be constantly engaged in the dhikr of Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala. And Allaah praises the believers and Allaah tells us that a sign of the believer is that such a believer is always doing dhikr.
Who remember Allaah while standing or sitting or [lying] on their sides [3:191]
and the men who remember Allaah often and the women who do so – for them Allaah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward. [33:35]
O you who have believed, remember Allaah with much remembrance. And exalt Him morning and afternoon. [33:41-42]
O Muslims, the concept of dhikr is one that is central to our religion and Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala and His Prophet salAllaahu alayhi wa sallam have praised the blessings of dhikr in numerous ayaat and ahadith. And in this short khutbah, we will summarize some of those blessings and some of the privileges that come about to those who do the dhikr of Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
Of the blessings of dhikr, of the greatest of the blessings of dhikr, the one who engages in dhikr frequently proves to himself, to Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala that he has eemaan. As I said, true eemaan, true love of Allaah, it must be manifested in a number of ways, and of those ways it will be manifested in ones constant remembrance of Allaah. If you remember Allaah all the time, if you do dhikr of Allaah frequently, rejoice, be happy, take this as a positive sign, and thank Allaah for this blessing He has given you.
Conversely, my dear brothers and sisters, if you find yourself hardly ever thinking of Allaah, if you find yourself hardly ever remembering Allaah, if you find yourself and the days and the weeks and the months go by, and you have no relationship with Allaah, your tongue does not mention or glorify Allaah, the question arises then, where is that eemaan? Where is that claimed faith? Where is that statement I am a believer in Allaah, I need Allaah, when this need is never manifested in your daily life?
The Prophet salAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said, hadith in sahih Bukhari, powerful hadith,
“The example of the one who remembers his Lord (God) in comparison with the one who does not remember his Lord is that of the living and the dead.”[Sahih al-Bukhari; 11:208, Muslim; 1:539]
The difference between life and death is the same difference between the one who does dhikr vs. the one who doesn’t do dhikr. Because, my dear brothers and sisters, a sign of true life, a sign of spiritual life, a sign of real life is that you need the Giver of life. You need the mercy of the One who gives you this life and that is Allaah. If you truly have spirituality, if your heart is alive, it will be manifested in dhikr. If you remember Allaah you are alive and if you don’t remember Allaah, where is that spirituality? Where is that eemaan? You are as if you have no faith, as if you have no eemaan, as if you are spiritually dead.
And that is why one of the great scholars of medieval Islam, Shaykhul Islam ibn Taymiyyah rahimAllaahu ta’ala, he said, the example of dhikr to the heart is that of fish to water. So how do you think fish can live without water? If you don’t have water, the fish will die. Ibn Taymiyyah is commenting on this hadith and he said, if you don’t do dhikr, your heart will die.
And therefore of the blessings of dhikr is that it purifies the heart and makes it alive.
Of the blessings of dhikr is that it protects you from your worst enemies (plural). And your enemies are this world, your desires, shaytan. Dhikr protects you from all of them.
The Prophet salAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said in a beautiful hadith, he gave an analogy, he gave a parable, an image, a metaphor. He said, that the one who does dhikr, it is as if, a similar concept, if somebody is running away from the enemy, fleeing in hard pursuit, you have people behind him, trying to kill him. The one who does dhikr, he said, is like this man who finds a protective fortress (hisnul haseen), a protective fortress, that he can then shut himself inside and his enemies cannot harm him. And he doesn’t care, the Prophet salAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said, from whichever side his enemy attacks from, he is protected. This is the example of dhikr in your daily life. When you do dhikr, this will protect you from all of your enemies - from shaytan, from the problems and temptations of this world, and from your own desires. And this is of the blessings of dhikr.
Of the blessings of dhikr is that dhikr removes the rust from your heart. Allaah says in the Qur’aan,
No! Rather, the stain has covered their hearts [83:14]
The heart becomes rusted, rust comes onto their heart. And the Prophet salAllaahu alayhi wa sallam was asked, what is of the ways to remove this rust? And he said, of the ways to remove this rust is the dhikr of Allaah. The dhikr of Allaah makes this rust of this duniya go away, makes you more spiritual, makes you more conscious of Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
Of the blessings of dhikr is that dhikr trivializes the problems of this world. Dhikr is a source of refuge from the problems of this world. We all have problems, financial problems, family problems, social problems, national problems, we have problems and these problems grieve us, these problems hurt us. We are human beings, they will hurt. But of the ways to minimize this hurt and pain, of the ways to get rid of this suffering, is to be constantly engaged in dhikr. Because when you remember Allaah and the mercy of Allaah, when you remember the infinite, then these finite problems will become trivial to you. Dhikr of Allaah trivializes any worldly problem. And that is why Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,
Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured. [13:28]
We are all searching for that ever-elusive goal of tranquility. We all want to be happy, brothers and sisters, we all want to be happy, and Allaah says the only way to achieve that happiness is only through the dhikr of Allaah. Only. This is the way this verse translates. When we find this tranquility, the problems of this world, they don’t get solved, they get prioritized. When we prioritize, we understand that the problems of this world can never ever make me depressed. A problem of this world will not change my life around. I have Allaah, I have the mercy of Allaah, Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala is on my side, inshaAllah, how do I care, why do I care, who cares who is on the other side? Who cares what other problems are facing me when Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala inshaAllah is on my side. When I am always remembering Allaah, when I have a good relationship with Allaah, who cares what I have or what I don’t have of this world? This is what dhikr of Allaah does.
Of the blessings of dhikr O Muslim, it opens up a channel of communication, a dialogue between you and Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala. The one who constantly does dhikr has an open door, has a direct channel in which he is always communicating with Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala and by this I mean he feels he has a relationship with Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala. And this will only come about through dhikr, when you don’t have dhikr, you don’t have this relationship. And anybody who has experienced this knows this reality from his own personal life.
And of the blessings of dhikr is that dhikr brings about blessings in any gathering where we are present. The Prophet salAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said, never the groups of people gather together, reciting the Qur’an, remembering Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala, (this applies to any religious gathering, any gathering of knowledge) never do a group of people come together doing this, except that Allaah’s mercy comes down upon them, and Allaah’s angels surround them and Allaah mentions them in a gathering better than their gathering.
And this is of the blessings of dhikr. And in fact, the opposite also applies. Whenever we are at a gathering where nothing of the religion is discussed, where nothing of Allaah and His Messenger is ever said, that gathering will be a source of regret on the Day of Judgment.
The Prophet salAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said, never does a group of people come together… pay heed to this hadith O Muslims, because how many of us fall into it, in our gatherings and our social functions… never do a group of people come together and they do not mention Allaah and His Messenger at all. You come and you gossip, you come and you talk about everything, politics and this and that but you don’t think about the most important thing and that is your religion, Allaah, the Qur’an and sunnah, at least some dhikr… never do they come together and do not mention Allaah and His Messenger except that gathering will be a source of regret for them on the day of judgment. They will remember that gathering and they are going to regret why did we waste that time? Why did we not utilize it for something beneficial? In other words, you come together, sure, you talk about politics, you talk about things that are halaal to talk about, but a few minutes, a little bit of time, a certain percentage also mention something of the religion. And this will bring about blessings of Allaah. And this is of the blessings of dhikr.
Of the blessings of dhikr is that dhikr brings about inshaAllaahu ta’ala a good ending to this world. The Prophet salAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said whoever says La Ilala Illa Allaah as his final statement, last breath, shall enter jannah. May Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala make us amongst them. Now how do we guarantee that we say La Ilala Illa Allaah? There is no guarantee. But of the ways we can strive is that we are of those who frequently mention and do dhikr of La Ilala Illa Allaah when we are alive. If you make it a habit to do dhikr of Allaah, if you are always doing dhikr of Allaah, this is of the best ways to bring about a good ending a husn al khatim. This is of the blessings of dhikr.
Of the blessings of dhikr is that dhikr protects you in the Day of Judgment. The Prophet salAllaahu alayhi wa sallam told us that seven are the people that shall be sheltered on the day that there is no shelter other than the Allaah’s shelter. One of them a man who remembered Allaah, he did dhikr, and no one else was looking at him. He didn’t do it to boast, he didn’t do it to show off, he was doing it all alone, and he became so overwhelmed with emotion, that he began to cry. And this is of the blessings of dhikr.
Of the blessings of dhikr is that dhikr brings about a heaviness in the scales on the day of judgment. We don’t have much to show for our lives, brothers and sisters. We have very meager deeds to show. But the deeds that we do, let us make sure that they are big and heavy. And of the heaviest things on the scales on the Day of Judgment is the dhikr of Allaah.
Two sentences are beloved to Allaah, easy upon the tongue and verily heavy in the scales, SubhanAllaahi wa bi hamdihi subhanallaahil atheem.
In another hadith, the Prophet salAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said that Alhamdulillaah fills up the scales. In another hadith he said that Subhanallaah and Alhamdulillah fills up between the heavens and the earth. Very easy thing and yet it is very heavy on the scales.
Of the blessings of dhikr, dhikr is the easiest act of worship you can do. You don’t need to have wudhu, you don’t need to face a direction, you don’t need to take time out of your schedule, each and every moment of your life, even in the state of janabah you can do dhikr. Dhikr can be done in any state. Dhikr can be done at any place and time. You are waiting in line, you are waiting for your turn, you are sitting in traffic, don’t just waste those timings, spend it in the dhikr of Allaah. This is a bountiful treasure Allaah is blessing you with. There is no such thing as free time for the Muslim. The Muslim can always take advantage of time. Dhikr can be done at any time, at any place, in any state. Ayisha radhiAllaahu anhu states that the Prophet of Allaah salAllaahu alayhi wa sallam would do dhikr of Allaah in all states. No matter how he was he would do dhikr of Allaah and this is of the blessings of dhikr.
Of the blessings of dhikr is that dhikr beautifies your place in jannah. Dhikr beautifies your place in jannah. The Prophet salAllaahu alayhi wa sallam went up on the night journey of Israa wal Meraj and he met the prophet Ibraheem alayhis salaam. And the prophet Ibraheem said to our Prophet Muhammad salAllaahu alayhi wa sallam, Ya Muhammad, give my salaams to your ummah. The prophet Ibraheem alayhis salaam gave us his salaam through the prophet Muhammad salAllaahu alayhi wa sallam. And he said, tell them, I want you to tell your ummah that jannah is made of beautiful sand, it is musk, the sand of paradise is musk, and the land is flat and fertile but it doesn’t have anything growing on it. It is ready to take those seeds but there is nothing on it. So what do we do to get those seeds? And the plantlings, a plantling is a small plant, it is not a seed, it is already sprouting, so it is almost guaranteed to grow and in jannah it is guaranteed to grow. The plantlings that you will put in this sand are SubhanAllaah wa Alhamdulillaah wa la ilaha illa Allaah wa Allaahu Akbar. The plantlings that will give you the gardens of jannah. We all want large gardens of jannah. These things that will be planted will be your dhikr. The more your dhikr, the larger, the more bountiful, the more luscious your gardens. And the less your dhikr, then the less your gardens.
My dear brothers and sisters, there is much to say about the blessings of dhikr. And another very famous scholar Ibn Al Qayyim wrote an entire book talking about the blessings of dhikr as found in the Qur’an and Sunnah. And he found over a hundred specific different blessings mentioned in the Qur’an and Sunnah. And this book is called Al-Wabil al-Sayyib and it has been translated into English as well and I encourage you to read it to find out even more about the blessings of dhikr.
One hadith, truly summarizes the blessings of this great act of worship. It is reported in an authentic hadith that an old man came to the Prophet salAllaahu alayhi wa sallam, and he said, O Messenger, the rulings of Islaam are very very many, there are a lot of things I can do in this religion, so many rulings and Islaam has come and I am a very old man and I cannot do all of these things. Tell me one act of worship that I should stick to and that should suffice me the rest of it. So the prophet salAllaahu alayhi wa sallam held on to his tongue and he said make sure that your tongue is always wet, always engaged with the dhikr of Allaah because there is nothing equal to that. Make sure you are always doing the dhikr of Allaah because there is nothing that is equivalent to that.
O Muslims, doing dhikr of Allaah is not just repeating phrases by the mouth or tongue. Many of us sit after our salawat, we sit down doing the dhikr that we are supposed to do, 33 times SubhanAllah Alhamdulillah Allaahu Akbar La Ilaha Illa Allaah, we do this, but it is as if we are trying to break a world speed record, trying to finish it up. This is not the real dhikr of Allaah. Ultimate dhikr of Allaah is to combine between the body and soul, is to combine the tongue with the spirit. You do dhikr understanding what those phrases mean.
SubhanAllah… Allaah is exalted and majestic. Allaah is above having a partner. Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala is not like us and no evil is attributed to Him.
Alhamdulillah… All praise is due to Allaah. No one is worthy of such praise other than Allaah. He is worthy of being praised because of who He is, because of what He has given me.
Allaahu Akbar… Allaah is bigger and better. Allaah is more powerful and more knowledgeable. Allaah has the best of all attributes. Compared to anything else, Allaahu Akbar.
La Ilaha Illa Allaah… Nothing is worthy of my worship, my dedication, my hope, my love, my fear, my prostration other than Allaah.
We do dhikr combining the body and the soul. This is the ultimate perfection of dhikr.
Also, my dear brothers and sisters, the perfection of dhikr is to follow the adhkar of the Prophet salAllaahu alayhi wa sallam and the sunnah and methodology that he employed when he did that dhikr. There are many books out there that tell us the adhkar that we should do. Some of them are based on the experiences of other people and a few are based upon the sunnah of the prophet salAllaahu alayhi wa sallam. But the reality is, that there is no wird, there is no wazifah that is better than the wird and the wazifa of the prophet salAllaahu alayhi wa sallam. Why then, should we substitute his for any other person? Even if there is a little bit of good in it, certainly the best wazifah and the best wird will be that which the prophet salAllaahu alayhi wa sallam did. Let us stick to that.
What did he say when he left the house? What did he say when he comes into the house? What did he say when he comes outside the Masjid? What did he say in the morning, what did he say in the evening? What did he say after the salawat? What did he say when he entered into his house, even when he was intimate with his wife there is a dhikr. And we all know these adhkar or some of them. Why don’t we memorize the ones that we don’t know and make it a habit to follow the wird of the prophet salAllaahu alayhi wa sallam.
There is a very good book a small book that in your pocket you can put it, it is called Fortification of the Muslim through dhikr and dua. One of the scholars of our time has just compiled ahadith. That’s it. Not one word from him. And he has translated it into English. I encourage you to get this book because it is a simple book containing only ahadith and you can put it in your pocket. Just in wird of the prophet salAllaahu alayhi wa sallam. What did he say in the morning, in the evening, after salawat, after eating. You can look it up in the table of contents and memorize those athkar.
Also, the perfection of dhikr comes about when we realize that true dhikr is a blessing from Allaah. Therefore Allaah must give it to us. So if we want to do dhikr perfectly, the first thing we need to do is to be sincere for the sake of Allaah and raise our hands up to Allaah and ask Allaah, O Allaah make me amongst those who do dhikr perfectly. And this is not coming from me. The Prophet salAllaahu alayhi wa sallam himself told Mu’adh ibn Jabal, the famous companion, I love you I swear by Allaah. And very few sahabah the Prophet salAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said this to, and Mu’adh is one of them. Therefore, O Mu’adh, never forget to say after your salawat, memorise this dua brothers and sisters and never forget to say it. Allaahumma a inni ala zikreka wa shukreka wa husni ibadatik. After every salaah say this dua. We should say it as well. O Allaah, help me to do dhikr and to thank you and to worship you perfectly.
Brothers and sisters these are some of the blessings of dhikr and these are some of the ways that we can approach this concept of dhikr to perfect it in our lives. And I conclude this khutbah by quoting a very powerful ayah in the Qur’an, an ayah that should give all of us food for thought, we should pause and think about this ayah and make sure that we take heed of it.
O you who have believed, let not your wealth and your children divert you from remembrance of Allah. And whoever does that - then those are the losers. [63:9]
Make sure these halaal things don’t cause you to forget the dhikr of Allaah. Whoever forgets the dhikr of Allaah because of this world, they have lost everything, this world and the next and that is the ultimate loss, may Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala not make us among them.
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