Explanation of the Shadzili ad-Darqawi Wird

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is the explanation of the Shadzili ad-Darqawi wird by Shaykh Ebrahim Schuitema.

The Wird:
Astaghfir Allah x 33
Masha’Allah x 33
Subhan Allah x 33
Hasbun Allah wa ni’ma al-Wakil x 33
Laa Ilaha il Allah x 100
Swalawat x 10
Surah al-Ikhlasw x 3
Surah al-Falaq x 1
Surah an-Naas x 1
Surah al-Fatihah x 1
Du’a for whatever we want, as well as our shuyukh and all the shuyukh of the Darqawa.

There are five adzkar in the wird specifically designed to cultivate in us the skill of silencing our inner dialogue, so that we can see everything for what it is and therefore be in the position to give everything its due.  These five adzkar are: ‘Astaghfir Allah’, ‘Masha’Allah’, ‘Subhan Allah’, ‘Hasbun Allah wa ni’ma al-Wakil’ and ‘Allah’.  Now why is that the case?

Our inner dialogue is sustained by hopes and fears, and because this is the case, it is biographically based.  Let us say that someone had an obsessive desire for a red Porsche.  The first question to ask here is why a red Porsche and not a brown mule?  Why is a red Porsche such a desirable thing for him?  This has to be that he has learned in the past that to have a red Porsche is a desirable thing.  If he had no idea what a car was, let alone what a red Porsche was, he would probably be terrified the first time he saw one.

This means we can only want what we know of, and what we know of has to have been presented to us at least once before because otherwise we would not recognise it.  This means to say that all our desires are historically and biographically based.  They are based on what we have learned in the past.  Each desire is a definition of a lack.  The lack of the thing makes having the thing desirable.  Our lack is about our inadequacy, our neediness and our brokenness.

Shutting up our agenda means that we have the capacity to silence our past.  You can shut down our biography.  ‘Astaghfir Allah’ is about shutting down one’s biography.  It is a very poor and shallow understanding of istighfar to say it is about forgiveness, because it is deeper than forgiveness.  The word means literally ‘to cover’.  So what do we say to Allah (s.w.t.) when we say, “Please Cover me”?  We do not say, “Forgive me,” we say, “Cover where I have been so that I can go elsewhere.”  We ask Him to Cover the known, Cover our presumption, Cover our assumptions of what we think, our assumption of what we want to pursue, so that we can be available to what He Wants for us.  We know that what He Wants for us is infinitely better than what we can ever want for ourselves.

There is always something foreboding in that statement, but we must understand that the Plans He is Making for us is better for us than our plan.  Every single parameter will be better.  The best thing we can wish for ourselves, Allah (s.w.t.) has a hundred times better than that for us.  However, we must do what is required of us.  We must not make our agenda the getting part of our lives.  We must make our agenda the contributing part of our lives, what we should be giving.  This is what istighfar is about.  Istighfar is about the capacity to shut down our agenda by covering ourselves.

We must forget this knot of historically based presumption that we think we are.  We must make it irrelevant, just forget it.  We do not wash it away.  We do  not forgive it.  We just forget it, just cover it.  This delivers us to a remarkable state, the capacity to do true tawbah, true repentance.  Repentance does not confirm our brokenness; it makes it irrelevant.  Our brokenness and our neediness are the same thing.  When we cover who we assume we are, we are Delivered to a place where we are looking at the moment that confronts us without wanting anything from it, because we have stopped wanting.  We have shut up the inner recording of lack.  We have forgotten about red Porsches and green Porsches.  They are irrelevant.  We are looking at it with an innocent eye, and when we look at the situation with an innocent eye, we cannot but recognise that the moment that confronts us has come directly from Allah (s.w.t.).  It is by His Decree, masha’Allah, as Allah (s.w.t.) Wills.

The first Command to the Rasul (s.a.w.) was “Iqra’”, which means, ‘read’, and it suggests not just read the book, it also suggests that the whole of existence is a text.  We know that Shaykh Muhammad ibn al-Habib (q.s.) said, “All created things are meanings set up as images.”  We are walking through a text.  It is a book.  It is all meanings, every moment that confronts us is the next page of that book.  This is a remarkable book.  One that we want to read because this book is not a general book.  This book is a letter that is being addressed by the Creator of all to us personally.

The moment that stands in front of us is the next paragraph of that text.  What is required of us is to read the paragraph and to read it well, because the letter also functions as a kind of treasure map.  It is both a very personal, intimate love letter and a treasure map.  If we read a treasure map properly, then it indicates what the next steps are, and if we follow those steps, we are closer yet again to the Treasure.  This Treasure is the Treasure of all Treasures.  It is the Essence of all delight, all joy.  What else is there to say to this but ‘Subhan Allah,’ Glory be to Allah (s.w.t.)?

So the letter that Allah (s.w.t.) Writes to us is a letter concerning a treasure map, concerning a journey, and we have got to read the instructions very carefully.  The instructions are in the moment that sits in front of you.  The moment is a paragraph in the letter that contains the next instruction, and what does that instruction tell us?  Act consistently with the courtesy of the situation.  Smile at the child, move the stone out of the road, lift something up to the traveller on his horse, make tea for the guests, whatever.  We do that.

As a host, we do not look at the guest from the point of view of what we can get out of him.  As a guest, you do not look at the host from the point of view of how we can make him convenient to us.  Even as a guest, there is a certain courtesy that we afford the host.  That is what the situation requires.  So if we are in a situation and the next paragraph says that we should behave as the proper guest, without the intention of getting something out of our host, and we do that, then the next thing happens, then there is change that follows, and that change always delivers us to a better place than what we could have imagined.

This does not mean to suggest that we will always recognise that where we have been Brought to is a superior place to where we were.  Very often, we do not like where we are at in the immediacy of it.  However, with a little hindsight and intent to see the Blessing in the situation, benefit of where Allah (s.w.t.) has Placed us soon becomes apparent.  When we understand that the moment in front of us is Decreed by Allah (s.w.t.): Masha’Allah.  We then act accordingly and we take these next ten steps and we are transported to a place where: Subhan Allah, is that not amazing!  “Look, He has Brought me to the place which is already the treasure!”  When you act with innocence on the basis of what Allah (s.w.t.) Wants from us in any given situation, He will immediately Place us in a better situation.

We then realise that indeed He has better in store for us than ourselves.  We recognise that Allah (s.w.t.) is enough for us and that we need no other protector: Hasbun Allah wa ni’ma al-Wakil.  This is His Promise to us.  So we arrive at the next place or in a next moment, only being able to praise and glorify Allah (s.w.t.).  This is what it means to act fisabilillah.  If we do that, unconditionally in the moment we are in, then in the next moment we have the Garden.

As we arrive at a point, the only thing that remains is to be perpetually surprised, where we cannot even say; Astaghfir Allah, Masha’Allah, Subhan Allah, Hasbun Allah wa ni’ma al-Wakil; because the whole process, the journey is going so fast.  It is like a rocket taking off: Allah, Allah, Allah!  Look!  Moment after moment, amazing grandeur, majesty, mercy; we see more and more of His Attributes in front of us, Demonstrated in front of us, in ways that keep on surprising us, which we eventually have nowhere to turn.  Then we are like a madman, everywhere we turn is His Significance.  There is none but Him: Laa ilaha il Allah.

Our normal lives are so mediocre and humdrum, that maybe we will be surprised once a week.  Amazing!  This is so because we are walking through life with blinkers on our eyes, because we are not looking out, we are looking in.  We are not listening at all.  It is like this man who is about to be knocked down by a car, but he is so furious with his wife that he does not notice the car.  So what is going on in his mind is this whole argument with this phantom woman in his head.  His attention is certainly not on the road he is about to cross.  She is in the house, doing the same thing.  She is about to chop her finger off with a knife because she is having the last word to him in her mind.  We are not present because of our own inner dialogue.  That inner dialogue creates the conditions that cause us to miss the surprise that is in the moment; like the car that is about to take that fellow out.

So the further we progress on the journey, the more we are able to suspend our inner dialogue, our own agenda, the more surprised we will become.  Surprise, wonder and amazement.  Being ravished, bereft, breath taken and amazed.  This state is not a state for once in a while or once in a lifetime, or once a week, it is every moment’s state.  It is the pinnacle of human experience.  It is the ecstasy we have been made for.  If we do not experience this state in every moment, we have anaesthetised ourselves.


  1. This discussion is very fascinating

    At the same time, I think we should look at ourselves as muslims too. We are all prone to errors ansd sins by our humanity. This is another reason to recite aoothi billah min al shaytan al rajeem. Do our sins also place locks on our hearts? Why is it so difficult for some to cry when supplicating to Allah? Are we sincere in prayers or just going through the motions. Thoughts to ponder.


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