So what is Zikr? Sounds like a cool word. Zikr, looks pretty neat in Arabic script.
Zikr, according to the book Fiqh-Us-Sunnah by Sheik Sayyed As Sabeeq, mentions that, "All words of praise and glory to Allah, extolling His Perfect Attributes of Power and Majesty, Beauty and Sublimeness, whether one utters them by tongue or says them silently in one's heart, are known as Zikr or remembrance of Allah."
Allah is so great, every time I see the glittering stars in the sky, resembling diamonds and pearls, I call to mind the greatness of Allah. Every time I see the various creatures Allah has created I reflect upon the greatness of Allah, the rainbow-colored parrots in the Amazon Forest, the birds how they soar so high in the sky only by the will of Allah.
I have been given the chance to be able to work for Paradise, shelter and clothing, having a mother and father, the ability to communicate with relatives and friends across the world using e-mail, and the greatest blessing- the religion Allah has chosen for me, Islam!
These are just some of the things Allah has blessed me with, and if I were to try and name and count all of them, it would impossible. Just take a moment, try to name all the blessings Allah has bestowed on you, and you will know what I mean.
Don't you agree that remembering Allah is the least you could do in order to acknowledge the gifts and blessings He has bestowed you with?
Remembering Allah is the foundation of good deeds. The more we remember Allah, the closer we will get to Him. You can see that our greatest example, Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessings be upon him), used to remember Allah at all times. So you know Zikr is good, but what do you get in return for remembering Allah?
"Verily, the Muslims (those who submit to Allah in Islam) men and women... (up to)... And the men and the women who remember Allah much with their hearts and tongues. Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (i.e., Jannah).' (33:35)
The difference between the one who makes Zikr and the one who does not is well explained in this Hadith. Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet said, "The similitude of one who remembers his Lord and one who does not remember Him, is like that of the living and the dead.' (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
All right, so we know what Zikr means and why we should do it. Here are some more specific things we can say to remember Allah.
Abu Huraira reported that the Prophet said, "I love repeating Subhan Allah , Walhamdu lillah , wa La ilaha ill-Allah, wa Allahu Akbar (Glorified is Allah, all praise is due to Allah, and there is no God but Allah, Allah is the greatest) more than all that the sun shines upon.' (Muslim and Tirmidhi).
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah said, "He who recites after every prayer: Subhan Allah (Allah is free from imperfection) 33 times; Alhamdu lillah (praise be to Allah) 33 times; Allahu Akbar (Allah is Greatest) 33 times; and completes the hundred with: La ilaha illallahu, wahdahu la sharika lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamdu, wa Huwa `ala kulli shai'in Qadir (there is no true god except Allah. He is One and He has no partner with Him. His is the sovereignty and His is the praise, and He is Omnipotent), will have all his sins pardoned even if they may be as large as the foam on the surface of the sea.' (Muslim).
So, next time you're waiting for a bus or walking to school, remember to think about the greatness of Allah. "And remember Allah much, that you may be successful.' (62:10).
Photo Attribution: "Masbaha" by Bilal - My computer. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Masbaha.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Masbaha.jpg