Message Of Peace
(Zikrullah i.e Remembrance of Allah)
This portion highlights the importance and method for Zikr-e-Qalb (Remembrance of
Allah in heart) in the light of Holy Quran and Sunnah (life & teachings) of
Holy Prophet (S.A.W). Zikr-e-Qalb is undoubtedly the basis of the most important
objective of all Islamic Sufi orders that is spiritual purification of the soul.
1. Zikrullah is a form of Ibadah (Worship)
Allah has ordained all Muslims in Holy Quran to perform Zikr:
“O ye who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance”
(Soorah Ahzab Aya 41)
Following is a quote by Allama Ibn-e-Kathir interpreting this verse of Quran:
“Hadhrat Ibne Abbas R.A (Companion of the Prophet S.A.W) while interpreting this
verse pointed out that all forms of worship have two characteristics. First, there
are certain exceptions in terms of time and situation that serve to limit the extent
of such worship. Second, personal incapacity or inability to perform the worship
has been accommodated. The only exception is Zikrullah which is limited by no condition
or incapacity. All Muslims are ordained to perform Zikrullah at all times, in all
conditions: while traveling; both in happy and troubled times, in health and in
sickness; while walking,standing. Do Zikr in every condition.”
2. Various Forms of Zikrullah (Remembrance of Allah)
1) Zikrullah through Pious deeds: All form of worship such
as offering Salah (Prayers), Zakat (Obligatory Charity), Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca),
Fasting and even working honestly to earn livelihood etc are all forms of Zikrullah
(Remembrance of Allah). Further details can be found in books of Islamic Jurisprudence.
2) Zikrullah through Supplications: Remembering Allah through reciting
His book The Holy Quran as well as other recitations such as Durood Sharif and Kalima.
Many such supplications (tasbeehaat) are recorded in books of Hadith.
3) Zikr-e-Qalb (Remembrance in heart): Remembering Allah quietly
in the heart. It is also called Zikr-e-Khafi (Hidden Zikr) because it involves no
recitation of words through tongue but only in the heart. Not even the Kiraman Katibeen
(Two Angles recording human deeds) can know about it. This kind of ZirkuAllah will
be explained further. However it is important to understand the concept of Noor-e-Nubuwwat
SAW (Prophetic Lights) before that.
3. Noor-e- Nubuwwat (Prophetic Lights)
Noor-e-Nubuwwat is also referred to as Baraket-e-Nubuwwat (Prophetic blessings).
Receiving these Prophetic blessings is an important objective of all Sufi orders.
Following illustration comprise detail of Noor-e-Nubuwwat.
“Can he who was dead, to whom We gave life, and a light whereby he can walk amongst
men, be like him who is in the depths of darkness, from which he can never come
(Al Anaam, Section 15)
Maulana Zakriya has explained the meaning of this verse as following:
“The person mentioned first is a faithful and his soul is illuminated with the Noor
(Light) of love and cognition of Allah. The person mentioned later is devoid of
these. This Noor is infact a great blessing of Allah. Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W)
used to pray to Allah to receive this Noor in all aspects of his life. Many prayers
of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) have been recorded in Hadith requesting Allah for this
Noor. It is this Noor which brings Noor (blessings) of Allah in all human acts.
Pious Deeds reflect this Noor as these are lifted to the heavens (to Allah).
The same Noor will be reflected from the faces of the faithful on the Day of Judgment.”
(Fazail-e-Aamal Page 446)
Hadith Sharif written in Bukhari related by Hazrat Abdulla Ibne Abbas is as
“O Allah, fill my heart with Noor, and fill my eyes with it, and my ears. And put
(this) Noor on my right and my left. Below, on top of me and ahead of me. Make this
Noor a (source of) big light for me.”
( Kitab-Dawat, Bukhari Volume III Hadith 1243)
What! Is he whose heart Allah has opened for Islam so that he is in a light from
his Lord (like the hard-hearted)?
(Az Zumar Section 3)
Shaikh-ul-Mukarram Ameer Muhammad Akram Awan has explained the meaning of this verse
of Quran as following:
“(Zikr of Allah) makes effects of Remembrance of Allah and Noor-e-Nubuwat
(Prophetic Lights) permeate deep in the heart. The heart is thus illuminated creating
feelings and desire for piety and righteousness. Such feelings motivate a person
to follow the Shariah in practical life. But in case Zikr Allah does not illuminate
the heart then such deprivation of Prophetic Light is a sure sign of a misguided
Allah (However) is merciful and has provided humanity with guidance through this
Holy Book (Quran) which reiterates its wisdom in a manner that those who are blessed
with the light of faith are deeply influenced by it. So much so that Zikrullah
(Remembrance of Allah) permeates their body and soul.
Hadhrat Isma binnat Abu Bakar has related that most companions of the Holy Prophet
(S.A.W) were blessed with these spiritual feelings. Whenever they heard recitation
of Quran, they shed tears of love of Allah and even hair on their bodies resonated
with these emotions.
May Allah again bless faithful Muslims with the desire to obtain this Noor-e-Nubuwat
(Prophetic blessings) and thus illuminate their hearts with His Zikr (Remembrance)
“Allah guides to His light whom He pleases”
(Al Noor Section 5)
Every faithful Muslim is blessed by Allah to have a natural ability to illuminate
his soul with Noor-e-Nubuwat (Prophetic blessings). Whenever the light of faith
touches his heart, his soul is illuminated as if a lamp is lighted. Such a person’s
life is indeed on the right path. What can be more; he also becomes a source of
guidance for humanity. When such a person reaches in the company of an accomplished
Sufi Sheikh then this illumination of soul is increased manifold. Then his heart
is illuminated like a bright sun and he becomes a source of spreading these blessings
in the world. This is the essence of Islamic Tasawuff (True Islamic Sufism); that
inner souls be purified and illuminated with this Noor-e-Nubuwat (Prophetic blessings)
to turn people into better human beings. A Sufi is thus an example of following
the Shariah (Islamic way of life) and making best efforts to spread the light of
4. Outcome of Zikrullah
I- Faith and pious deeds lead to the spiritual state of Zikr-e-Katheer (Continual
Remembrance of Allah). Continuous Zikrullah spiritually purifies the heart in a
way that values of virtue and piety are imbibes in a person. He turns into a living
example of following verse of Holy Quran.
“Surely the men who submit and the women who submit, and the believing men and the
believing women, and the obeying men and the obeying women, and the truthful men
and the truthful women, and the patient men and the patient women and the humble
men and the humble women, and the almsgiving men and the almsgiving women, and the
fasting men and the fasting women, and the men who guard their private parts and
the women who guard, and the men who remember Allah much and the women who remember--
Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a mighty reward.”
(Al Ahzab, 35)
These values of virtue can be listed as:
- Understanding the reality of Islam;
- Understanding the meaning of faith;
- Humility towards Allah;
- Being truthful;
- Patience in all circumstances;
- Devotion in all pious deeds;
- Spending energy and resources in the right causes;
- Comprehending the reality of Fasting;
- Being able to guide temporal temptations in the right direction;
- Continuous remembrance of Allah.
II- Developing Wisdom & Insight
Those who remember Allah standing and sitting and lying on their sides and reflect
on the creation of the heavens and the earth: Our Lord! Thou hast not created this
in vain! Glory be to Thee; save us then from the chastisement of the fire:
(Al-e Imran, 191)
III- Contentment of Heart
"Those who believe, and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah:
for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction.
(Ar ra’ad V 28)
True contentment can only be achieved by something when it is at peace with its
reality, when it achieves its true objective. The only objective of the spiritual
heart is the remembrance of Allah. Hearts are at peace only when they are filled
with the light of remembrance of Allah. All manifestations of material success such
as wealth, power, and knowledge can be means to achieve this end but not an end
IV- Avoiding Negligence (from remembrance of Allah)
Remembrance of Allah helps a person avoid the state of negligence. Holy Quran ordains
all Muslims to remember their Lord with humility in their hearts without raising
their voice; at both ends of the day that is morning and evening thus making best
effort to avoid being a negligent (from Remembrance of Allah)..
V- Receiving Continual blessings of Allah
Therefore remember Me, I will remember you, and be thankful to Me, and do not be
ungrateful to Me.
(Al Baqarah 135)
Continuous remembrance of Allah invokes continuous blessings of Allah in terms of
fulfilling all material and spiritual needs of a person and awarding him or her
with the greatest reward of His love.
VI- Gentleness of Heart
“(Such People, that) when Allah is remembered before them, their hearts melt in
(feeling of) His splendor and magnificence”
Zikrullah also helps in anger management and stress relieving as it softens the
heart and turns a person into humble man or woman.
VII- Love of Allah
Continual Zikr Allah blesses a person with exalted feelings o f love of Allah
“….He loves them and they love Him...”
VIII- Wisdom of Understanding the Truth
Holy Quran links wisdom with the ability of heart to perceive the truth. Illumination
of heart through Zikr Allah imbibes in it the ability to understand the ability
to comprehend the truth. He/she can understand the rationale behind correct beliefs
and virtuous deeds. An illuminated heart blesses a person with the wisdom to understand
the true meaning of life.
“They have hearts with which they do not understand…
(Al Araaf section 22)
XI- Differentiation of right and wrong
Holy Prophet (S.A.W) has said, “What (an act or a thought) strikes as doubtful in
your heart is a sin”. An illuminated heart develops the perceptive ability
to recognize every act that can invoke displeasure of Allah and then it guides a
person to quickly repent over it.
“And those who when they commit an indecency or do injustice to their souls re-member
Allah and ask forgiveness for their faults"
(Surah Ale Imran, section 14)
X- Close Relation with Allah
An accomplished Shaikh guides a person to build a very close and personal relationship
with Allah. Following the Sunnah (teachings) of Holy Prophet (S.A.W) is the only
method for building such a relationship. Zikrullah provides a person with the energy
to pursue such a relationship. Stages of sulook (spiritual path) all reflect different
stages of development of this relationship, which is the essence of a successful
5. Importance of Zikrullah
“Hadhrat Ayesha (R.A) has related that Prophet Muhammed (S.A.W) said that Zikr-e-Khafi
(hidden Zikr), which even the Angles cannot hear, is seventy times superior to other
forms of Zikr. On the day of judgment Angels will present record of every deed of
people. Allah will ask the Angles if there is any other deed left to be presented.
Angles will reply that there is nothing left anymore. Allah will then inform them
that there is still one deed of people remaining and that is the Zikr-e-Khafi (hidden
(Tafseer-e-Mazhari. Quoted in Dalael-e-Sulook Page 99)
“Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) once said to his companions,” Should I tell you of something
that is the best of the deeds and is most pure and raises you stature highest before
your Lord. It is even better than spending Gold and Silver (in the way of Allah)
and fighting the enemies (of Islam) in a way that you kill them and they kill you.
It is the Zikr of Allah.”
(Ahmad & Tirmidhi)
Shaikh-ul-Hadith Mualana Zakriya has illustrated, “Some Sufies have pointed out
that above mentioned Hadith refers specifically to Zikr-e-Qalb (Remembrance of Allah
in heart) and not Zikr through recitation of supplications. The essence of Zikr-e-Qalb
is that the heart feels like fully absorbed in Allah. The author of Majaalis-e-Abrar
writes that this Hadith refers to Zikr-e-Qalb as higher form of worship than charity
and Jihad because charity, Jihad and all such acts are means for an end and that
end is the Zikr of Allah.
6. Learning Zikr –e-Qalb
Zikr-e-Qalb (Remembrance of Allah in heart) is learnt by staying in the company
of an accomplished Sufi Shaikh. Company of the Shaikh leads to spiritual purification
of soul. This is in accordance with the example set by the Holy Prophet (S.A.W).
“Hadhrat Abi bin Ka’ab has related that once I was in the mosque and a man entered
(the mosque). He offered salat(obligatory prayer) but I could not comprehend his
recitation of Quran. Then another person came in and he also offered salat. He recited
Quran in yet another different manner. After we all had finished our prayers we
went to the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) and I told him (S.A.W) what I had seen. The Prophet
(S.A.W) asked both of them to recite Quran again and when they did, he (S.A.W) appreciated
both of them. I felt a kind of revulsion in my heart which was a characteristic
of me before I had accepted Islam. The Holy Prophet (S.A.W) immediately realized
how I felt and he (S.A.W) put his hand on my chest. I started sweating and my feelings
changed so much that I felt as if I was in audience with Allah.”
(Muslim, Hadith 1904)
Auther of Mirqat has explained the above hadith by writting that blessed hand of
the Holy Prophet(S.A.W) caused all negative feelings of revulsion dissipate and
instead extremely pure feeling of having an audience with Allah were created.
- Spiritual attention of the Shaikh can purify the soul;
- A brief time spent in the company of the Shaikh can lead to greater spiritual progress
than years of worship alone.
7. Method of Zikr-e-Qalb (In Naqshbandia Owaisiah)
Zikr-e-Qalb is the source of receiving spiritual blessings from the Shaikh. This
process constitutes three parts.
- Zikr through recitation;
- Dua (Prayer)
- Sit facing the direction of the Ka’aba;
- Recite the third Kalima once;
- Recite Asthagfar once:
- Recite second Kalima once:
- Tauz (Auzu Billah……)
- Tasmia (Bismillah……)
Close you eyes and clear your mind of all thoughts and concentrate on the heart.
Recite the name of Allah repetitively in the heart as ordained in the Holy Quran
as, “And remember the name of your Lord”. So it is the repetition of “Allah Hu”
coordinated with your breath. That is why this method of zikr is also called “Pas-e-Infas”
i.e. guarding your breath.
Breathing is only used to coordinate the thought process of repeating “Allah Hu”.
Zikr is done in the heart. Breathing helps coordinate and doing Zikr fast and with
momentum and thus results in quick progress.
Explained simply, Zikr-e-Qalb (Remembrance in heart) involves focusing the mind
on the heart and thinking that when the breath goes in, the word “Allah” penetrated
the depth of the heart. When the breath goes out, the word “Hu” strikes the heart.
This process is continuously repeated.
In this manner, Zikr can be performed on all Lataif (sutle points in the soul) for
some time and then finally Zikr is again perfomed on the heart that is the first
Now stop coordinated breathing and let your breath pass in a natural way. Ignore
your physical being for a while and focus on the heart. The word “Allah” rises from
the heart and the word “Hu” strikes the Arsh (Devine throne). This is called Rabta
(Connection). This creates a spiritual connection between heart and the Devine and
forms the basis for further meditations.
Part three constitutes praying to Allah and this finished the Zikr-e-Qalb.
8. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Zikr
Question: How is it possible to do Zikr with breath?
Answer: Breathing is only used as a mechanism for Zikr-e-Qalb (Remembrance
in heart). Just as any means of transport can be adopted for proceeding for
Hajj such as Ships and airplanes or horses and camels as in the old times, however
Hajj is still performed in the same manner as it was performed during the lifetime
of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W). So the essence of spiritual blessings received through
Zikr-e-Qalb and spiritual connection with the Shaikh can be found in the life of
Holy Prophet (S.A.W).
The method of Zikr illustrated above is only a means to receive the same spiritual
blessings that were spread by the very person of Holy Prophet (S.A.W) during his
lifetime in the material world. Now these are received from his soul (S.A.W) through
the Zikr-e-Qalb under the guidance of an accomplished Shaikh.
“There is no concept of tasawwur-e-Sheikh (Contemplating the person of Sheikh) in
Silsilah Naqshbandia Owaisiah. We consider recitation of Holy Quran as the best
verbal supplication. Besides recitation of Holy Quran, Astaghfar and Durrood Sharif
are also prescribed. The only Zikr in the company of the Shaikh or members of tariqa
is Zikr-e-Qalb (Remembrance of Allah in heart). There are some Quranic verses which
are recited in some meditations but at all other spiritual stations, only the word
“Allah” is contemplated.”
Gatherings for receiving spiritual blessing from the Shaikh and using breath for
Zikr are only means to an end. A preface to the real the content. Following the
teachings of Holy Quran and Sunnah of Holy Prophet (S.A.W) is end objective of all
“Sometimes people get confused about doing zikr with breath. Actually Zikr is not
done with the breath; it is done in the heart. Breath is only taken in a manner
so as to coordinate it with the Zikr. This helps achieve quick progress otherwise
what can be achieved in a day may take years.”
(Shaikh ul Mukarram Maulana Akram Awan)
Further details can be seen in ‘Dalael-e-Sulook’ by Maulana Allah Yar Khan (.R.A)
9. Company of an Accomplished Shaikh
“The Holy Prophet (S.A.W) said that there are some beloved people of Allah, who
are not Prophets but even the Prophets and Shuhada will envy them on the Day of
Judgment. The Holy Prophet (S.A.W) was asked (by Companions) about these people,
so the may also be loved (by companions). He (S.A.W) replied that these people had
no kinship or blood relation between them but they befriended each other only for
the sake of (love of) Allah. Their faces will be lighted with the Noor (light) of
Allah and they will be seated on Pedestals of Noor (light). When others will be
worried; they will have no anxiety. When other will be gloomy; they will have no
worry. Then the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) recited the Quranic Verse,” Lo, the Aulia Allah
(friends of Allah) neither feel scared nor worry”
(Targheeb 4:5 Nisai and Ibne Huban. Qouted from Dalael-e-Sulook)
Outwardly, Importance of having a Shaikh (Spiritual Guide)
lies in the fact that:
- It helps avoid negligence of the heart towards Allah.
Negligence of heart is a spiritual state which is difficult to perceive. Surah Takathur
of Holy Quran hints that the reason behind ‘negligence of heart’ is greed.
Greed of wealth. Greed to increase the material status through extensive socializing
etc. This greed absorbs a person’s mind in a way that his heart becomes negligent
Only death ends such a sorry state of mind. That is why it is very important to
treat this disease of ‘negligence of heart’.
It is this ‘negligence of heart’ that makes a person persists on a wrong course
of action and ultimately deprives him/her of religious values and faith. People
of all strata of life can be affected with this negligence. Even those who regularly
undertake religious obligation can be afflicted with this problem. May Allah protect
us from this problem.
- It helps a person realize that his or her life will end one day and then he or she
will be asked about his and her conduct in life.
He/She will be made liable for all the blessings of Allah that the person enjoyed
during the life.
Spiritually, an accomplished Shaikh helps attain high
spiritual stations of (Sulook) the Sufi Path.
10. Stages of Sulook (The Sufi Path)
“The heights that Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) reached in his Ma’a’raj (known as his
physical journey to the heavens) can also be reached by his followers spiritually
by receiving spiritual blessings from the Holy Prophet (S.A.W). This spiritual journey
is called sulook and the stations that come on the way are referred to as stages
of sulook (the spiritual Sufi Path).”
“With Allah’s blessings His beloved persons can undertake this journey according
to their own efforts and ability even while they live physically in this material
world. Even a fraction of spiritual purity that was characteristic of Holy Prophet
(S.A.W) is enough to enlighten a soul to be able to rise to these high stations
of Allah’s love and achieving His pleasure.”
(Asrar-u-tanzil, Surah Bani Israel)
“When Lataif (sutle points in the soul) of a seeker are illuminated this means
that he has developed the ability to start his spiritual journey. The Accomplished
Shaikh then guides him/her through the stages by teaching him Istaghraq (Absorption
in Zikr Allah), Raabta (Spiritual Connection with the Devine throne) and then Maraqbat-e-Thalatha
(meditations of unity, companionship and nearness of Allah), followed by three circles
of devine love, meditations of Allah’s names of Zahir (outward) and Ba’atin (Inward),
Sa’air-e-Ka’aba (Spiritual journey to Ka’aba), Sa’air-e-Salat and Sa’air-e-Quran
(Contemplating the deep meaning of Prayer and Quran ). Finally the stage of Fana
fi Rusool comes.”
Fana Baqa is followed by Salik Almajzoobi. Thereafter the stages of sulook are very
subtle. In other Sufi tariqas Salik Almajzoob is the last station of the Path but
in Naqshbandia Owaisiah tariqa this is just the beginning. The last station of Wilaya
–e-Auliah is Maqam-e-Taslim.”
(Dalael-e-Sulook, Chapter 8)
(Original names of these stations have been referred to as they do not find an exact
meaning in another language. For detail understanding further readings of Dalael-e-Sulook
11. Characteristics of an Accomplished Shaikh
An Accomplished Shaikh can be recognized by following Characteristics:
- He is an Alim of Shariah. Taking guidance from an ignorant is forbidden;
- His fundamental Islamic beliefs are according to Quran and Sunnah;
- He follows Holy Prophet’s Sunnah (S.A.W) in his life;
- He does not involve himself in Shirk and Bidaa’ (Innovations in religion);
- He is not driven by worldly material desires;
- He is an expert in Knowledge of Tasawwuf (True Islamic Sufism);
- He has the taken spiritual guidance from an authentic Teacher and is himself capable
of spiritually guiding his students;
- Can help create a spiritual connection between the Seeker and Holy Prophet (S.A.W).
This spiritual connection is the basis of all spiritual progress.
12. A source for Learning Zikrullah
Allah guides everyone who has a desire to know about Him.
He guides such people to the company of those whose hearts are filled with His love
through Remembrance of Allah. Real success in worldly and afterlife is to follow
the Sunnah (Teachings) of Holy Prophet (S.A.W).
It helps build the correct relationship with Allah and blesses a person with the
exalted wisdom to make the best of his or her life.
Dar-ul-Irfan at Munara (Pakistan) is such a source these spiritual blessings. It
invites everyone to a life of such success. An open invitation to come and illuminate
the hearts with the Noor of Allah, a heart filled with love of Allah and his Holy