Gardens of Paradise

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following was extracted and adapted from ‘Reassurance for the Seeker’, by Shaykh Swalih al-Ja’fari (q.s.), and translated by Sidi Samer Dajani.

On the authority of Anas ibn Malik, the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “If you pass by the gardens of Paradise, then eat from them!”

The swahabah asked, “And what are the gardens of Paradise?”

He replied, “The circles of dzikr.”

This was recorded by Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (r.a.) in his Musnad, Imam at-Tirmidzi (r.a.) in his Jami’ and Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.) in Shu’ab al-Iman.

Shaykh Muhammad ash-Sharif (r.a.), the grandson of Shaykh Ahmad ibn Idris (r.a.) said, “It is understood from this hadits that it is desirable to come together in circles of dzikr, and that the gnostics find pleasure in the remembrance of God, as the people of Paradise find pleasure in its bliss.”

What he means is that coming together in the circles of dzikr is a sunnah and not an innovation in the religion, a bid’a, as some falsely claim, because of the mention of circles of dzikr in the hadits.  The swahabah did that, and the Prophet (s.a.w.) approved as illustrated by the hadits of Swahih Muslim.  It could even be considered a sunnah mu’akkadah.

As for their finding pleasure in the remembrance, this occurs for different reasons.  The first is the disappearance of all that is other than God, even one’s self, from the spiritual eye of the heart.  That is why the shaykh of Shaykh Swalih al-Ja’fari (q.s.) used to always say while he was in remembrance, “Make yourself disappear, O you who is engaging in dzikr!" and Shaykh Swalih al-Ja’fari (q.s.) did a lot of dzikr with him.  The disappearance of what is other than God results in lights, and it is the tasting of the tongue but for the heart.


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