By: Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani (Chairman, Islamic Supreme Council of America), Shaykh Seraj Hendricks
Dhikr: the Remembrance of God
The Prophet peace be upon him said: “Shall I tell you something that is the best of all deeds, constitutes the best act of piety in the eyes of your Lord, elevates your rank in the hereafter, and carries more virtue than the spending of gold and silver in the service of Allah, or taking part in Jihad and slaying or being slain in the path of Allah?” They said: “Yes!” He said: “Remembrance of Allah.”21
Thus one finds the principles of the spiritual Jihad are based on eliminating the ugly, selfish and ferocious characteristics of the ego through spiritual training and mastery of dhikr, the Remembrance of God.
This remembrance takes many forms: each school of Sufism focuses on a different form of ritual dhikr to enable the seeker to approach the Divine Presence, varying from individual silent recitation and chanting to vocal group sessions. It is this spiritual struggle that raises humankind and instills in him the sense of relationship with His Creator, and the proper perspective in relating to all creation, always calling for love between humanity and striving in Allah’s Way for better understanding between various communities of all faiths. Through this spiritual Jihad the effect of the selfish ego on the soul of the seeker will be removed, uplifting his state from depression, anxiety and loneliness to one of joy, satisfaction and companionship with the Most High.
By: Yasmin Mogahed
Many people try to solve the problem of heartbreak by hardening their hearts. But the hardened heart is the most distant from Allah. So by hardening the heart, you aren’t protecting yourself. You’re killing yourself. The heart that’s alive is by definition entirely soft, fragile, and vulnerable. It is by definition breakable. That’s why we are taught to surround it with layers upon layers of protection. Thikr (remembrance of God) works to protect the heart, while at the same time softening it. And the more we remember Him, the more protection we build for a softer and softer heart.