Say thou (O Muhammad) "This is my way, I do invite unto Allah on an insight clear as the seeing with one's eyes, I and the one who followeth me. Glory be to Allah! and I am not of the polytheists!" Al-Quran 12/108

The Emphasis On Zikr In The Teachings Of Hazrath Mahdi Maud (A.H.S)

By Zahida Mahmood

Almighty Allah in a number of verses of Holy Quran orders us to remember Him much. Allah says:
 

Ya ay yuhal lazina amanuz kurul laha zikran katsira
Translation: “O! Ye, who believe, remember Allah with much remembrance.”
(Surah Ahzab V-41).
 

Good tidings are for them who obey His commands and the threat of punishment is for those people who do not pay attention to His orders. Many traditions are there which tell us about the supremacy of Zikrullah (remembering Allah) over all other acts of worship. That’s why Hazrath Mahdi Maud (AHS), the caliph of Allah, made much emphasis upon doing zikrullah and by the command of Almighty declared it as an essential obligation on his followers. So it is known as one of the most important Faraiz-e-Vilayat.

The Holy Quran abounds in verses which throw light on the importance of Zikrullah. Here are a few verses with translation by reading which we can easily understand the significance of Zikr as an obligation for us. In Surah Nisa, verse no. 103, Allah says:




Fa iza_ qadaitumus sala_ta fazkurulla_ha qiya_maw wa qu'u_daw wa 'ala_ junu_bikum, fa izatma'nantum fa aqimus sala_h(ta), innas sala_ta ka_nat 'alal mu'minina kita_bam mauqu_ta_(n)
Translation: “When you have finished your prayer (namaz), remember Allah standing, sitting and lying on your sides, and when you are free from danger, offer prayers perfectly, verily the prayer is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours.”
(Surah Nisa, V-103).
 

About this verse Mohammed Ibn-e-Jareer Tabri (who died in 310 Hijri) quoted Hazrath Ibn-e-Abbas(RZ) as saying: Remember Allah day and night, on land and sea, in station or in journey, in health and sickness, in public and in private.(Taken from Muqaddam-e-SirajulAbsar by Hazrath Mustafa Tashrifullahi (RH). Further in Tafseer Mualim-ul-Tauzeel it is written that Allah has set a limit on all obligations, He has imposed on the people as Allah says: “Verily the prayer (namaz) is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours.” Hence all obligations have their own conditions to be carried out, but there is no limit to the remembrance of Almighty and under no circumstances one is allowed to breathe without His remembrance .The solitary exception is lunatic.

In Surah Al-Imran Allah says:




Inna fi khalqis sama_wa_ti wal ardi wakhtila_fil laili wan naha_ri la'a_ya_til li'ulil alba_b(i). Allazina yazkuru_nalla_ha qiya_maw wa qu'u_daw wa 'ala_ junu_bihim
Translation: “Verily! In the creation of Heavens and the Earth, and in the alternation of day and night, there are indeed signs for men of understanding who remember Allah (always) standing, sitting and lying down on their sides.”
(Sura.Al.Imran V.190, 191)
 


About these verses Hazrath Ibn-e- Abbas (RZ) says that we have been ordered by Allah to perform Zikrullah always in all the three postures i.e., standing, sitting and lying and every person is bound to be in these three states only. If any fourth posture were to be there then Zikrullah must have been enjoined on us in that posture also. Imam Fakhruddin Razi (RH) (died in 606 A.H) says about the above mentioned explanation of Hazrath Ibn-e-Abbas (RZ) that

“Hazrath Ibn-e-Abbas (RZ) means to say that our God orders us for His continuous remembrance (Zikr-e-dwam) and every command of Allah is an obligation for us.”

In a famous book of traditions, ‘Abu-Dawood’, there is a hadith narrated by Hazrath Abu Hurrairah(RZ) that Prophet Mohammed(SAS) has once said that if a person sits at a place and does not remember Allah, he is in loss. Any person if lying any where without the remembrance of Almighty is a loser and any person while standing (walking) and is not remembering Allah is also put to loss. Hence in total conformity with the Quranic verses and the traditions, Hazrath Mahdi Maud (AHS) stresses so much on Zikrullah that he called negligence (ghaflath) towards the remembrance as forbidden (haram).

In the light of these Quranic verses, their elucidations and the great sayings of Hazrath Mohammed Mustafa (PBUH) and Hazrath Mahdi (AHS), it has become clear that perpetual remembrance of Omnipresent Allah is obligatory on every believer and he ought not be neglectful of Allah even for a moment.

Moreover we can see that remembrance of Allah is the most exalted among all other prayers. As in a Quranic verse Allah says:



Utlu ma_ u_hiya ilaika minal kita_bi wa aqimis sala_h in nas sala_ta tanha_ anil fahsa_i wal munkar wa lazikrul la_hi akbar wal la_hu yalamu ma_ tasnau_n
Translation:  “recite (o! Mohammed (SAS) what has been revealed to you of the Book and offer prayers perfectly. Verily prayer (namaz) prevents you from evil deeds and the remembrance of Allah is the greatest indeed.” (Al-Ankaboot ,V-45)

 

Thus from this divine order it can be concluded that Zikrullah is not only an essential obligation but it is greater than others as Allah Himself has called it “ the greatest .

( Akbar ) . And why not? When in another verse Allah says:



Faz kuru_ni azkurkum ……
Translation: “You remember Me, I will remember you.” (Sur. Al Baqra v.152)

 

Hence His remembering will be of the highest degree of Grace, which is bestowed on the believers who practice Zikrullah. Now what else more does a believer need when his Creator is remembering him. In other words it will be the greatest achievement for him as in Surah Jum’ah Allah says:



“……….. …….wazkurul la_ha katsiral la al lakum tuflihu_n”
Translation:  “……remember Allah much, that you may be successful.”
(Sur.Al Juma v.10)
 

Hence the condition of being successful is only with the abundant remembrance of Almighty. it is the only path of salvation .
 

Now we will see what our beloved Prophet (SAS) has said about Zikrullah. Here are a few traditions from some famous books:

1. Hazrath Abu Darda (RZ) narrated that Hazrath Rasoole Maqbool (SAS) once asked his companions: “Shall not I inform you about the act of worship which is of the highest rank; better than giving gold and silver in charity and even participating in the Holy War(Jihad)? Then he himself replied that it is performing Zikrullah (remembering Allah). (Mishkat).

2. Once Hazrath Rasoolallah (SAS) said: “Remember Allah abundantly in all your postures because Allah likes it very much and no act can save you from the torment except the remembrance of Allah (Kauzal-Aamal).

3. A hadith is there saying: “at the day of resurrection the exalted position will be occupied by those people who use to remember Allah much (Tirmizi).

4. In another book a hadith it is return as: “ the person who sit for the remembrance of Allah are encircled by angels and Allah showers Mercy on them and their hearts fill with peace and tranquillity and Allah also remembers them. (Mishkat) .


In complete accordance with the Quranic verses and traditions, Hazrath Mahdi Maud (AHS) showed the identity of a true believer (momin) that a true believer is the one who is always mindful (thoughtful) of Allah in all his states. He says that it is the characteristic of all momins that they are always engaged in Zikrullah while sitting, standing or reclining. He said that the words (ulul alba_b ) (wise men who do Zikrullah always) in Surah Al-Imaran is for Mahdavis in accordance with the orders of Allah. That’s why Hazrath Mahdi (AHS) has forbidden all those acts which hinder the remembrance of Almighty. Whenever he saw his companions engaged in conversation (though it may be the religious tales), he used to tell:

“O! Brothers, remember Allah first. You can reach Allah not by narrating the tales, but by doing Zikrullah.”

Once a companion of Hazrath Mahdi (AHS) came to him and told that :

“my wife and children become the cause of disturbance for my doing Zikrullah. If you permit me I would separate them (make separate arrangement of living with them).”

Hazrath Mahdi (AHS) told that:

“Take them with you in Paradise; don’t separate them. Allah gives you reward for shouldering their responsibilities.”

Here we see that to renounce the world is not allowed in Islam. The thing that is needed is self-denial and not renunciation. Self –denial means to kill the ego and to control one’s passions which go astray against the Islamic jurisprudence. This controlling power can be obtained by doing Zikrullah much.

Now we will see what Zikr is and how it should be performed according to the teachings of Hazrath Mahdi (AHS). A hadith is there saying:

“Afzal-ul zikar la-ila-ha illallah”

It means that the greatest and the excellent of all the Zikrs is:” There is no deity except Allah.” In total conformity with the Prophet (SAS), Hazrath Mahdi AHS also insisted on the Zikr of this Kalima “la-ila-ha illallah “only. He explained that the essence of all Holy books, including Quran, is the Kalima “LA ILAHA ILLALLAH.” In this Kalima the denial of all gods is made with the firm faith of only One Supreme God-Allah. Being the slaves of Allah we have to worship Him only. The purpose of the creation is shown worshipping as Allah says:



Wa ma_ khala-qtul jin na wal insa il la_ liyabudu_n
Translation: “I have created jinns and humans so that they worship Me.”(Surah Zariat V-56).

 

This worshipping does not only mean to say prayers five times daily, to fast, to pay zakat etc, but in a true and broader sense it means to submit oneself totally to the will of Almighty as the very word Islam means. Hence a true believer trying to achieve this state of worshipping has to kill his desires whatever come in the way of his pursuit and the success for this effort lies in the perpetual Zikr (recitation) of this Kalima. Hazrath Mahdi Maud (AHS) says that the Zikr of this Kalima with the depth of the heart purges the heart of the believer. He says: “Just as a spark of flame sets ablaze a whole room filled with cotton, reducing it ashes, so also the spark of this Kalima LA IALAHA ILLALLAH burns all his worldly desires and makes his heart pure for the divine love of Almighty. With the repeated recitation and meditation of this Kalima a believer loses the love of every other thing except the love of Allah. Our love for Allah should surpass each and every other object. This utmost kind of love for Allah has been called the true faith (Iman),where as to love others with the same degree as we love Allah is called shirk-e-khafi (hidden polytheism) . Hazrath Mahdi (AHS) has called such people as mushriks (infidels) in the light of the following verse of Surah Baqra in which Allah say:



Wa minan na_si may yattakhizu min du_nilla_hi anda_day yuhibbu_nahum ka hubbilla_h(i), wallazinaa_manu_ asyaddu hubbal lilla_h(i), wa lau yaral lazina zalamu_ iz yaraunal 'aza_b(a), annal quwwata lilla_hi jami'a_(n), wa annalla_ha syadidul'aza_b(i)
Translation: “And of the mankind are some who take others besides Allah as rivals. They love love them as they love Allah. But those who believe love Allah more than anything else. If, only those who do wrong could see, when they will see the torment that all power belongs to Allah and that Allah is severe in punishment.”
(Sur. Al Baqra. Ver.165)
 

We know that shirk (polytheism), whether it is idolatry (Shirk-e-jali) or infidelity (Shirk-e-khafi) is an unpardonable sin. According to a tradition Allah, with His Mercy, will forgive all other sins except Shirk (polytheism). That’s why the purpose behind the advent of Hazrath Mahdi (AHS) was to protect the people with every kind of shirk and cleanse their hearts pure for the divine love of Allah. Hazrath Mahdi (AHS) once said: “We have brought the religion of lovers.” There is a tradition which tells us that Allah loves those people who remember Him much and dislikes those who do not remember Him. Hazrath Mahdi (AHS), who used to receive direct guidance from Almighty, once said that a verse in Surah Ma'ida,ver.54:


…….. Yuhibbuhum wa yuhibbu_nahu ………….
Translation: “……Allah loves them and they love Allah ……” is meant for Mahdavis who remember Allah much.
(Sur. Al Ma'ida. Ver. 54)

It is a natural phenomenon that a person remembers the one whom he loves more. So if we say we love Allah more, it would become inevitable for us to remember Him the most. This condition of remembering Allah the most can be fulfilled by Zikr-e-dawam (continuous remembrance) with each incoming and outgoing breath. This kind of Zikr is also known as Zikr-e-khafi (concealed recitation within). In Surah Al Aer’af, verse-205 Allah says:


Wazkur rabbaka fi nafsika tadarru'aw wa khifataw wa du_nal jahri minal qauli bil guduwwi wal a_sa_li wa la_ takun minal ga_filin(a)
Translation: “And remember your Lord by your tongue and within yourself humbly and with fear without loudness in words in the mornings and in the evenings and be not of those who are neglectful.” (Sur.Al Aeraf. ver.205)

 

Hazrath Shah Khundmir (RZ) in his book ‘Aqed-e-sharifa’ writes that in this verse Allah teaches the method of Zikr-e-khafi (concealed recitation). In Accordance with the above mentioned Quranic verse Hazrath Mahdi (AHS) has taught us Zikr-e-khafi, which is the best and most effective type of Zikrullah that keeps the heart constantly towards Allah and fills it with peace and rest. Allah says in Quran:
 


Allazina a_manu_ wa tatma'innu qulu_buhum bi zikrilla_h(i), ala_ bi zikrilla_hi tatma'innul qulu_b(u)
Translation: “Those who believe in Allah and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah. Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.”
(Surah Ra’ad, ver.28).
 

This rest for the heart is the bases for attaining the vision of Allah, which should be the most cherished and ultimate objective of a true believer.

Hazrath Rasool-e-Maqbool (SAS) says:

Kullu nafsin yuqh rij bi-gairy zikrullahi fa huwa mayyatan

“Every breath which goes without the remembrance (Zikr) is dead.” Hazrath Mahdi (AHS) also says that we should always be watchful of our breaths and not a single breath should pass without Zikrullah. There are four stages of Zikrullah shown by Hazrath Mahdi (AHS), which enables a believer progress gradually to attain the spiritual grandeur (height).

Guftani (merely reciting the Kalima with the tongue).
Danistani (reciting the Kalima knowingly with the awareness of the Omnipresence of Allah).
Deedini (recitation and meditation of the Kalima with the depth of heart and soul and with total absorption in it).
Shudni (complete immersion of the self).
 

To explain these four stages some examples are given like this. The person who is in the first stage of guftani is like a stone in water. As the water effects a stone, so also the Zikr merely with the tongue effects him. In the second stage of ‘danistani’ a believer is like a stone in fire. To what extent the fire effects a stone, this knowingly Zikr effects him. The Zakir of the third stage can be compared with iron in fire. Iron in fire is effected so much that it adopts the colour of the fire and looks like the fire only as far as it remains in it. In the fourth stage, which is the of the highest rank, the Zakir loses his identity completely as the wood finishes itself in fire or a piece of ice melts in water. It is also called “FANA FILLAH BAQA BILLAH” (taken from Touzeehat Naqliat Hazrath Bandagi Miyan Abdul Rasheed by Hazrath Abu Sayeed Syed Mahmood Tashrifullahi (RH).)

Besides the continuous remembrance of Allah within our hearts, while performing other lawful activities, there is also a systematic method of doing Zikrullah daily shuttling all other activities twice daily-after Fajr prayer to dawn and after Asr prayer to Isha prayer. These two periods are called Sultan-ul-Nahar and Sultan-ul-Lail respectively and are very much important for a Mahdavi. He ought not to do any other work except performing Zikrullah as Quran says in verse-41 of Surah Al-Imran:”


Wazkur rabbaka kasiraw wa sabbih bil'asyiyyi wal ibka_r(i)
Translation: “And remember your Lord much and glorify Him in the evening and in the morning.”
(Surah Al-Imran, ver.41)

In Surah Ta’ha, ver. 130 also the Order is:


…wa sab bih bihamdi rab bika qabla thulu_'is samsi wa qabla ghuru _biha…
Translation: “….And glorify the praises of your Lord before the rising of sun and before its setting…………….”
(Surah Ta'ha, ver.130)

Hazrath Anas Bin Malik narrated that Hazrath Rasoolallah (SAS) says that who sits after Fajr prayer remembering Allah till dawn and says two rakaths of prayer will be rewarded like a person who ha performed Hajj and Umrah. In another tradition it is written that sitting in Zikrullah after Asr prayer to sunset is better than freeing four slaves from the progeny of Hazrath Ismail (AHS). That’s why Hazrath Mahdi (AHS) has strictly forbidden his followers by doing any other work in these two periods except doing Zikrullah sitting at the prayer’s carpet only.

In short it is a must for us to adhere strictly to the teachings of Hazrath Mahdi (AHS) to achieve the real success-salvation. In Surah Ahzab, V-35, the good tidings are promised by Allah for the people who remember him much:


Waz za_kirinal la_ha katsiraw waz za_kirati a'ad dal la_hu lahum magfirataw wa ajran azima_
Translation: "And the men and women who remember Allah much with their hearts and tongue, Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward.”
(Surah Ahzab, ver.35)
 

On the other hand the people who remember Allah less have been called hypocrites (munafiqeen) by Hazrath Mahdi (AHS) in view of this verse Surah Nisa V.142:


Innal muna_fiqina yukha_di'u_nalla_ha wa huwa kha_di'uhum, wa iza_ qa_mu_ ilas sala_ti qa_mu_ kusa_la_, yura_'u_nan na_sa wa la_ yazkuru_nalla_ha illa_ qalila_(m)
Translation: “Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah but is He who deceives them and when they stand up to pray, they stand with laziness and to be seen of men and they do not remember Allah but little.” (Surah Nisa, ver.142)

 

Here are some of the verses which warn such people of the torment, who are neglectful towards the remembrance of Allah :
 


1. “….wa may yuridh an dzikri rab bihi yasluk hu adza_ban sha'ada_”
Translation: “And who so ever turns away from the remembrance of his Lord, He will cause him enter in a severe torment. (Surah Jinn Ver.17)
 


2. …fawailul lilqa_siyati qulu_buhum min zikril la_h ula_ ika fi dala_lim mubin
Translation: “So woe to those whose hearts are hardened against remembrance of Allah. They are in plain error. (Surah Zamar, V-22).


3. Wa may yasu an zikrir rahma_ni nuqay yid lahu_ saita_nan fahuwa lahu_ qarin
Translation: “And who so ever turns away from the remembrance of the Most Beneficent Allah, We appoint for him Satan (devil) to be an intimate companion to him. (Sur.Zaqraf V.36)


4. Wa man a'rada 'an dzikri fa in na lahu_ ma'isyatan dhankaw wa nahsyuruhu_ yaumal qiya_mati a'ma_
Translation: “But who so ever turns away from My remembrance, verily for him is a life of hardship and We shall raise him up blind on the day of Resurrection.”
(Sur. Taha Ver.124)
 

Hence in the light of all the above mentioned verses, the great sayings of Hazrath Rasoolallah (SAS) and Hazrath Mahdi (AHS), it becomes obligatory for us to engage our hearts always with the remembrance of Almighty and to preserve the two important periods -- Sultan-ul-Lail and Sultan-ul-Nahar for Zikr without fail. May Allah shower His Mercy on all of us and fill our hearts with His love and remembrance. (AMEN).
 

 

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