by Imam al-Hafiz Abdul-Alim al-Mundhiri, translated by Yusuf da Costa
DURING THE MISSIONARY WORK conducted by murids of the Naqshbandi Sufi Order over the last decade in South Africa and also beyond its borders, they were surprised to find the extent to which dhikrullah has been taken out of the lives of Muslims. This applied especially to congregational dhikrs. In many cases, the performance of such dhikrs was declared haram or an innovation (a bid’ah) by persons who themselves had very little understanding of Islam. It appears that this concerted campaign against the performance of dhikr, especially its congregational form, is part of an international campaign, stemming mainly from the Hijaz, against the sciences of the Hereafter and the striving for piety.
THE REMEMBRANCE of Allah or dhikrullah, through litanies from the Qur’an and the Sunnah, as we know them, generates the spiritual energy that permeates our forms of worship and our lives. Without this energy, our prayers degenerate into different forms of ritualistic physical movements and we derive almost no spiritual benefit from them. When these prayers are energized by dhikrullah, they become an intensive form of a Call to Allah. And so, our prayers and our lives become Calls, whether we are in supplication or not. These Calls come from the heart where the remembrance of Allah lodges, and when the Calls are made, the callers are at their most humble. This means that through the remembrance of Allah, we in fact go into spiritual prostration, appealing to our Lord to clear our hearts of everything other than Him. When we talk about these spiritual energies, which are generated by the remembrance of Allah, we are referring to an energy that purifies the human heart for Him, and direct its attention to Him. This is Islam in its purest form – when we are for Him and our direction is to Him. The spiritual energy that is brought with the remembrance of Allah, makes the human heart function totally differently, and it is this change in function that dhikrullah brings about.
[Shaykh Yusuf da Costa, 2017]