In the name of Allah , the Beneficent, the Merciful
Indeed, mankind is in loss,
Except for those who have believed, and done righteous deeds, and advised each other to truth, and advised each other to patience. [Qur’an: Chapter 103, Verses 1-3]
Time is our most valuable asset. As Muslims, we are responsible and accountable for each and every second of our life. If our love towards Allah is true, it would be easy to handle time spiritually, by converting all our daily work, thoughts and deeds into the worship of Allah .
It is very important to start utilizing each and every second for the sake of Allah , as The Almighty has clearly mentioned in surah Al-Asr that “time” is a witness for all the acts of human life. As the servants of Allah , it is important for Muslims to use this time for the sake of our Creator.
Today’s era has made us a real slave to our surroundings in such a way that we find no time for ourselves.
We keep running cooking, cleaning, teaching, working, meetings etc., complaining that we have “no time”. Even after all this multitasking, we still have more work to finish.
Therefore, It is very important for one to work smarter and to use time more productively.
We all know different types of dhikr and the rewards promised by Allah for each. So why do we not incorporate this simple act, where specific effort is not required, in every moment of our lives? Time is making us its slave, but we are going to make it run as per our wish. Let us go through 3 simple steps to make dhikr our best friend so we can be closer to Allah .
ACTIVE PARTICIPATION = TONGUE + MIND + HEART
Step 1 - Dhikr with Tongue: Most of us keep humming different types of dhikr. But the reality is, our tongue is the active participant. Our mind is busy completing our task list or wandering somewhere else.
Result: This is the lowest level. Of course, one does get rewards for this. As they say, something is better than nothing. However, it is just like we love something, but not able to give ourselves to it.
Step 2 - Dhikr with Tongue and Heart: In this step, one’s heart joins with the tongue during recitation. For example, when we go through surah Al-Fatihah, reciting with our tongue and being mindful of every word with our heart, the list of tasks to do later will not rush into our thoughts. To achieve this level, it is always best to go with simple dhikr, knowing the meaning of each and every word you recite, starting with one dhikr a day, second day second dhikr and so on. Once you have started using that particular dhikr many times, then that dhikr becomes your friend. Even without any extra effort, it will start tuning in you.
Result: This acts like meditation, which gives you a sense of calm, peace and balance, benefiting both your emotional well-being and your overall health. When the meditation is done with constant dhikr, you will find your level of concentration, patience and the urge to do good deeds increase. Experience and feel it.
Step 3 - Dhikr with Heart: Here, you stand, sit, lay or do whatever you wish, as your heart keeps doing dhikr. Constantly remembering and being aware of Allah . Even if you try to stop, it will automatically keep playing like a beautiful song flowing through nature.
Result: This is a supreme level, where nothing comes as a barrier between you and your Creator.
Now the question is, how do we make these our best friends so as to strengthen our bond with Allah ?
Let us start incorporating the 3 steps into our lives:
- Step 1: Are you cooking? Are you cleaning? Are you washing the car? Let your soul also work with your body. You do not need your complete focus for these actions, unlike writing an assignment. Use just your tongue for the spiritual treat. Although we cannot concentrate on each and every meaning, remember that something is better than nothing.
- Step 2: Standing in a long queue? Waiting for someone? Killing time during the morning commute? Come. Do not stop yourself. Who knows if you will be alive the next minute or not. Stop killing your precious time with expensive gadgets. Instead, go for Step 2. Since your mind is now available, use both your tongue and heart for dhikr. Concentrate and repeat it. Become a soldier and attack any intrusive thoughts hitting your mind.
- Step 3: Now after incorporating the above two steps into your life, you will find Step 3 become second nature to you. You do not need to spend special effort for this. When you are ill or too tired for anything, you will find Step 3 healing you, because you have become friends with the first two steps.
- Make a list of adhkar you want to recite for 1 week. Start with a short dhikr so you can learn its meaning and pronunciation. Recite 1 or 2 each day. Gradually start learning more adhkar and use them on alternate days.
- Decide how many times you want to recite each dhikr. Do not be overly ambitious and exhaust yourself. Instead go for a reasonable number and do it consistently. Aisha said Prophet Muhammad said: “The deed liked most by Allah is one to which the doer adheres constantly even if it is small.” [Muslim]
- Make a chart. You could prepare an Excel sheet and keep a record of your daily dhikr. An example of the titles you can use for the columns are: date, dhikr (e.g., Subhanallah), first step (e.g., while cooking/cleaning/commuting), second step (e.g., 150 x after Asr prayer), and third step (e.g., whenever it comes to mind naturally).
- At the end of every week, go through the list and make sure you have met your target. If you fall short, go through your record sheet. Either you were exhausted reaching your goal or maybe you were a little lazy. When you get lazy, remember death in front of you.
Now that you have learnt some tips for increasing your remembrance of your Creator, start your daily dhikr ritual now!
About the Author:
Jasmin Mohammed Saleem, a working woman and a mother of two, who finished her Master in English Language and Literature, is a continual seeker of Islamic knowledge. She is currently studying the seerah of Prophet Muhammed and trying to know Qur’an through numerous translations and the speeches of great scholars. She is also trying to learn and implement simple ways in which Islam can be practiced effortlessly and with priority in this busy age. In sha Allah, she is also publishing simple methods to practice Islam easily in various aspects in one’s life, thus becoming dearest to Allah .
About the Prezi Designer:
Mohammed Patel is a 17-year-old student in London currently studying Computer Science, Economics, Geography and Mathematics.