Dzikrullah: The Main Pillar of Thariqa'

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is from the teachings of Shaykh Muhammad Nazhim Adil al-Haqqani (q.s.).

Rabithah is the connection that connects the pipe from us to the shaykh.  When he takes our hand for initiation, he is connecting us.  In the same way we connect a pipe with fittings, he connects all the fittings so there is no leak.  Not only does he connect the fittings, but he glues them also so it will never break.  Muraqabah is to observance from both  the shaykh's side and the murid's side.  Both sides they are always in observance.  Muraqabah requires vigilance to maintain that rabithah.  Both sides are looking for defects to fix.  If we count the defects between us and our shaykh, we realise there are a lot of holes and leaks in that pipe.  Nothing can fix them except Divine glue; we cannot use dunya glue as it will not work.  That Divine glue is dzikrullah; that Divine pillar on which we lean on is dzikrullah.

To do dzikrullah, we have to be clean.  When we do dzikr, we are knocking on the door, seeking an Opening.  Allah (s.w.t.) Said in Holy Qur’an:

Men who celebrate the praises of Allah standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and contemplate the (wonders of) creation in the heavens and the earth, (with the thought): "Our Lord!  Not for naught hast Thou Created (all) this!  Glory to Thee!  Give us Salvation from the penalty of the Fire. (Surah Ali ‘Imran:191)

When Allah (s.w.t.) is mentioned, we enter the pillar of thariqa’.  Thariqa’ does not differ from shari`ah.  Shari`ah is the law and thariqa’ is the way.  Thariqa’ is the way to execute these laws.  One of the main pillars of thariqa’ is dzikrullah.  The best of dzikr is laa ilaha il Allah, the Maqam at-Tawhid.  To restore that which is broken is to come back to dzikrullah.  The Prophet (s.a.w.) mentioned, "Keep your tongue wet with dzikrullah."

But do we spending our time in dzikrullah or in dzikr ad-dunya?  As soon as we remember dunya, we need ghusl.  We cannot come to Allah's (s.w.t.) door bringing our dunya with us.  This is adab ath-thariqa’.  We cannot come to a majlis of dzikrullah without ghusl.  Shaykh Shah Naqshband (q.s.) did not allow his muridun to attend his dzikr sessions without ghusl.  In the same manner we are required to make ghusl after being intimate with our spouse.  It is not only to remove najas; that act is pure.  We make ghusl to remove that desire of anything other than Allah (s.w.t.).  The curtain between Allah (s.w.t.) and us is very thin.  When we are in dunya and fulfill Allah’s (s.w.t.) Order, we take ghusl when we are finished with that act in order to return to Allah's (s.w.t.) Remembrance.

Imam al-Qushayri (q.s.), one of the biggest scholars of taswawwuf, said he never entered the presence of his shaykh without ghusl and always with a state of fasting.  How do we enter the door of the shaykh?  Imam al-Qushayri (q.s.) also said once he mustered the courage and entered, he would feel numb from the tajalli.  This is the beginning of the journey.  We are in a time of ignorance.  Allah (s.w.t.) has Opened more of His Doors of Mercy.  Through these Doors of Mercy, there is no more protocol and discipline is less a prerequisite.  Because f our ignorance, and because of Allah’s (s.w.t.) Rahmah, we dare to knock on the Door of Allah (s.w.t.), which is dzikrullah without fasting.  Not the fasting from food but also from all desires.  We must come clean.  As soon as we sit in the majalis of dzikrullah, our thoughts interfere and take us right and left.  Allah (s.w.t.) has Made dzikrullah an obligation.

O ye who believe!  Celebrate the praises of Allah, and do this often; And glorify Him morning and evening.  He it is Who Sends Blessings on you, as do His angels, that He may Bring you out from the depths of Darkness into Light: and He is Full of Mercy to the Believers. (Surah al-Ahzab:41-43)

Dzikr not only by tongue, but with all our senses, our entire being, our soul and with everything that Allah (s.w.t.) Provided us.  We reciting continuously, not just His Name, but we enter the Ocean of Vision and witness defects within our body and soul.  We enter the Presence.  This is dzikrun katsira, dzikr beyond limits.  Such dzikr has no end; a continuous remembrance of Allah (s.w.t.), day and night.  The awliya’ are in constant dzikrullah.  We do dzikr for a short while and then stop.  Their hearts are constantly in remembrance.  Allah (s.w.t.) Said:

…for We are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein. (Surah Qaf:16)

Allah (s.w.t.) is Possessive of His servants:  He dislikes the hearts of His servants to be occupied with other than Him.

We said: "Get ye down all from here; and if, as is sure, there comes to you Guidance from Me" whosoever follows My Guidance on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. (Surah al-Baqarah:38)

The awliya’ are never sad.  Allah (s.w.t.) Takes Care of them. They are at His Door.  There is a chasm in adab of the muridun to at door of their shaykh and their shuyukh at the Door of Allah (s.w.t.).

As mentioned here:

O ye who believe!  Celebrate the praises of Allah, and do this often; And glorify Him morning and evening.  He it is Who Sends Blessings on you, as do His angels, that He may Bring you out from the depths of Darkness into Light: and He is Full of Mercy to the Believers. (Surah al-Ahzab:41-43)

There is morning dzikr and evening dzikr.  That there is recognition that it is He Who Sends Blessings on us is ‘imad ath-thariqa’, the pillar of thariqa’.  Then Allah (s.w.t.) brings us into His Presence after continuous dzikr and glorification of Him morning and evening.  And then Allah (s.w.t.) and His angels Send Blessings on us.  We are Raised and Connected to the heart of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.); as He Orders His angels to send blessings upon the Prophet (s.a.w.), He also Orders His angels to send blessings on us.  And that is what takes us up, away from darkness into light.  That darkness is the darkness of dunya.  The awliya’ recognise it and so they became ascetics.  Our duty is to leave the desires of dunya, until Allah (s.w.t.) Turns it into a slave running after us.  When Allah (s.w.t.) Takes us from darkness to light, He is Manifesting His Mercy.  And that is how dzikrullah becomes the pillar of thariqa’.

The Prophet (s.a.w.) said in a hadits qudsi: “O son of Adam!  If you mention Me, you are thanking Me, and if you thank someone, he gives you more.  When we thank Him, He Gives us more.  To remember Him is to thank Him.  When we stop remembering Him, we have lapsed into a state of heedlessness and ignored His Favours upon us.  To be a Muslim is to have gratitude towards Allah (s.w.t.).

The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “The best of deeds is to remember Allah.”  For everything, there is a polish and polish of the heart is dzikrullah.  Just as a diamond taken from the grounds needs cutting and polishing, the shuyukh polish us.  Many go to the shaykh with the ego as tyrants.  He has to break us down and hammer on us.  It is done out of Love.

The Prophet (s.a.w.) also said that if we were to find ar-riyadh al-jannah, the heavenly gardens on Earth, we should stay there.  And so they asked, "Are there heavenly gardens on Earth?"  And he said they are the circles of dzikrullah.  People search for Heaven on earth.  To find it, we have to sit with the humble, the broken-hearted; we have to sit with people of dzikrullah.  That is what we need.  We have no need to sit with rulers or kings.  They will leave whatever they have behind them when they die.  Those sitting in dzikrullah are finding their Heaven on earth.  They are cleaning their hearts for their Lord and Receiving Manifestations.

As much as we keep Allah (s.w.t.) in our hearts, Allah (s.w.t.) Keeps us Close.  One of the awliya’, Abu Ali ad-Daqaq (q.s.), said, "Dzikrullah is manshur al-wilayah.”  It is the proclamation of sainthood.  That big proclamation is displayed everywhere.  Throughout circles of dzikr, they know the awliya’.  Our maqam is known in these circles, whether we are `Abdal, Nujaba’, Nuqaba’, Awtad, Akhyar or Quthb, Quthb al-Bilad, Quthb al-Aqthab, Quthb al-Irshad, Quthb al-Mutaswarrif.  And whosoever keeps his dzikr has that proclamation and who has been sulib, one whom dzikrullah has been Taken from his heart, he is no more in that heavenly gathering.

It is said dzikrullah is better than fikr, thinking.  With thinking, we are limited to what we have learned in dunya.  However, with dzikr, Allah (s.w.t.) opens for us the interpretation of Holy Qur'an and the ahadits, and an understanding of what the awliya’ have said.  Allah (s.w.t.) is not known by thought but by remembering Him.  Our mind as it is too limited to comprehend Him.  The punishment of a wali is to be cut off from dzikr because Allah (s.w.t.) Said, "Remember Me and I remember you; mention Me and I Mention you.  Remember Me in your heart and I Remember You in My heart."

The muridun of the Naqshbandi Haqqani are Blessed to be connected to the Golden Chain through two big oceans, Abu Bakr asw-Swiddiq (q.s.) and `Ali ibn Abi Thalib (q.s.).  Those are two oceans of knowledge that have come together as Mentioned:

He has Let Free the two bodies of flowing water, meeting together: Between them is a barrier which they do not transgress: (Surah ar-Rahman:19-20)

That is the bahr of Abu Bakr asw-Swiddiq (q.s.) and `Ali ibn Abi Thalib (q.s.).  The two of them come together in Imam Ja’far asw-Swadiq (q.s.); and from there down the Golden Chain.


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