What are the dhikrs that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) made?

Details of the Question

- I read on the internet that the Prophet (pbuh) made dhikr (mentioned/remembered Allah) every day. How did he make dhikr and what did he say?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

“Then do ye remember Me; I will remember you. Be grateful to Me, and reject not Faith.” [1],

“But keep in remembrance the name of thy Lord and devote thyself to Him whole-heartedly.” [2],

“O ye who believe! Celebrate the praises of Allah, and do this often.” [3]

“When ye pass (Congregational) prayers, celebrate Allah´s praises, standing, sitting down, or lying down on your sides!” [4]

Every organ has a way of worshipping; the heart and the tongue worship through dhikr. A tongue that does not make dhikr is like an eye that does not see, an ear that does not hear and a hand that does not hold. As a matter of fact, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) states the following in a hadith:  

“The example of the one who mentions his Lord in comparison to the one who does not mention his Lord is that of a living person and a dead one.” [5]

That is, a person who mentions his Lord is alive and the one that does not mention his Lord is dead. A person who does not mention his Lord is busy with a worldly work, is away from apparent worship and his inner worship is also wrong. Even if a person whose heart is alert and makes dhikr is busy with a worldly work, his heart remembers Allah. As a matter of fact, the following is stated in the following verse for such people:    

“By men whom neither traffic nor merchandise can divert from the Remembrance of Allah, nor from regular Prayer, nor from the practice of regular Charity: Their (only) fear is for the Day when hearts and eyes will be transformed (in a world wholly new).” [6]

We are ordered to mention and glorify Allah a lot by begging sincerely and in fear with a low voice in the chapter of al-A‘raf, 7/205 and the chapter of al-Ahzab; it is emphasized in the chapter of al-Ankabut, 29/45 that remembering/mentioning Him is superior to everything and it is stated that remembering/mentioning Allah is the most important one among the deeds of worship.

Many books that compiled the supplications (duas) to read regularly in daily life or advised to be read on special occasions with their narrations with the titles like “kitabudh-dhikr, kitabud-dua, kitabu amalil-yawmi wal-layla” were written beginning from the first periods of Islam. Important parts related to the nature, types, virtues and benefits of dhikr were included in the compilations made in the later periods, and independent books dealing with dhikr were written. [7]

Dhikr, which is mentioned in many verses in the Quran along with its derivatives, is used in the sense of praising Allah with the tongue by saying Alhamdulillah, Subhanallah and Allahuakbar, mentioning His blessings, feeling them with the heart and meditating, fulfilling the requirements of being a slave of Allah with the mind, body and wealth, performing prayers, praying to Allah and asking for forgiveness, and meditating on the verses of creation as well as in the sense of the Quran, the previous heavenly books, lawh al-mahfuz (the preserved tablet), revelation, knowledge, news, statement, warning, advice, honor, and the opposite of fault and forgetting.     

There are many types of dhikrullah. Allah, la ilaha illallah, asma al-husna are types of dhikr; reading the Quran, reading hadiths and learning religious knowledge are regarded as dhikrullah. [8]  We learn the ways and words of mentioning/remembering Allah from the Messenger of Allah in the lights of hadiths as follows:

Abu Hurayra heard the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) say,

“By Allah, I ask forgiveness from Allah and repent more than seventy times a day.” (Bukhari, Daawat 3)

The following is stated in a hadith included in Muslim, Dhikr 41: “Heedlessness comes to my heart too. I ask forgiveness from Allah a hundred times a day.”

According to a narration from Abu Hurayra, the Prophet (pbuh) said,  

“There are two expressions which are very easy for the tongue to say, but they are very heavy in the balance and are very dear to the Beneficent (Allah). They are 'Subhanallahi wa bi hamdihi subhanallahil azim.'[9]

According to what is narrated from Jabir, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,   

“If a person says ‘Subhanallahi wa bi hamdihi’, a date palm tree is planted for him in Paradise. ” [10]  

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, “Renew your belief all the time.” They asked,

“O Messenger of Allah! How shall we renew our belief?” He said,

“Say La ilaha illallah (There is no god but Allah) a lot.” [11]

Jabir narrates: I heard the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) say,

“The most virtuous dhikr is La ilaha illallah. ” [12]

The Prophet (pbuh) said,

“Say La hawla wa la quwwata illa billahi (There is no might and no power except by Allah) a lot because it is the treasure of Paradise.” [13]

The Prophet (pbuh) also said,

If a person says ‘Subhanallahi wa bi hamdihi’ a hundred times a day, his sins will be forgiven even if they are as many as the foams of the sea.” [14]

“Verily, Allah has ninety-nine names. He who memorizes them enters Paradise.” [15]

“Neither me nor the prophets before me glorified Allah with a more virtuous dhikr than Subhanallahi wal-hamdu lillahi wa la ilaha illallahu wallahu akbar (Glory be to Allah; praise be to Allah, there is no god but Allah; Allah is the greatest).” [16]

Ibn Umar narrates: The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

"Do not talk too much without remembrance of Allah. Indeed, excessive talking without remembrance of Allah hardens the heart. And indeed the furthest of people from Allah are the harsh-hearted ones." [17]

Abu Hurayra narrates that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

“If a person says, "La ilaha illallahu wahdahu la sharika lah, lahul mulku wa lahul-hamdu wa huwa ala kulli shay'in qadir (There is no god but Allah, having no partner with Him, to Him belongs sovereignty and to Him is praise due, and He is Potent over everything)", one hundred times a day gains the reward of setting ten slaves free, one hundred good deeds will be written in his account and one hundred bad deeds will be erased from his account. This dhikr also protects him from Satan until the evening that day. Nobody will be superior to him except one who has repeated this dhikr more than him.”

The Messenger of Allah continued as follows:

“If a person says ‘Subhanallahi wa bi hamdihi’ a hundred times a day, his sins will be forgiven even if they are as many as the foams of the sea.” [18]

Sa‘d Ibn Abu Waqqas narrates: A Bedouin came to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and said,

– Teach me the words which I should utter. The Messenger of Allah advised him to say the following dhikr:

“La ilaha illallahu wahdahu la sharika lah, Allahu akbar kabiran wal-hamdu lillahi kathira wa subhanallahi rabbil-alamin, wa la hawla wa la quwwata illa billahil-azizil-hakim:"

"There is no god but Allah, the One, having no partner with Him. Allah is the Greatest of the great and all praise is due to Him. Hallowed be Allah, the Lord of the worlds, there is no Might and Power but that of Allah, the All-Powerful and the Wise.”

The Bedouin said,

– These all (glorify) my Lord. But what about me? The Messenger of Allah said,

“Allahummaghfir li warhamni wahdini warzuqni (O Allah! Grant me pardon, have mercy upon me, direct me to righteousness and provide me sustenance)”. [19]

According to what is narrated from Muadh, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) held his hand and said,  

“O Muadh! By Allah, I love you.” Then, he said,

“I give some instruction to you. Never leave to recite this supplication after every prayer: Allahumma ainni ala dhikrika wa shukrika wa husni ibadatik: O Allah, help me in remembering You, in giving You thanks, and worshipping You well.” [20]

According to what is reported from Hz. Ali, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said to him and Fatima,  

When you go to bed or when you want to have a rest, say Allahu akbar thirty-three times, subhanallah thirty-three times and alhamdulillah thirty-three times.” [21]

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

"Glorify Allah thirty-three times, praise Him thirty-three times and magnify Him after every prayer.”

According to what Abu Salih, who reported this hadith from Abu Hurayra, the Companions asked how to say them. The Messenger of Allah said,

“Say subhanallah, alhamdulillah and Allahu akbar thirty-three times." [22]  

According to what is reported from Abu Dharr, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

“In the morning charity (sadaqah) is due from every bone in the body of every one of you. Every utterance of Allah's glorification is an act of charity. Every utterance of praise of Him is an act of charity, every utterance of profession of His Oneness is an act of charity, every utterance of profession of His Greatness is an act of charity, enjoining good is an act of charity, forbidding what is disreputable is an act of charity, and two rak'ahs which one prays in the forenoon will suffice.” [23]

According to what is reported from Abu-Darda, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said to his Companions,  

“Should I not inform you of the best of your deed, and the purest of them with your Lord, and the highest of them in your ranks, and what is better for you than spending gold and silver, and better for you than meeting your enemy and striking their necks, and they strike your necks?” They said,

– Yes. The Messenger of Allah said,

“The remembrance of Allah Almighty.” [24]

According to what is reported from Abu Hurayra and Abu Said al-Khudri, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,  

“If a group of people come together to remember Allah, they are surrounded by angels and covered by Mercy, and there descends upon them tranquility and Allah makes a mention of them to those who are near Him.” [25]

The importance of dhikr and the virtues of the people of dhikr are mentioned in hadiths and circles of dhikr are likened to the gardens of Paradise. It is stated that the best deed is remembering Allah and that dhikr is regarded to be superior to donating gold and silver and even fighting the enemy. In addition, it is stated that a group of people that come together to remember Allah will be surrounded by divine mercy and angels, that tranquility will descend upon them, that Allah will mention them and that Doomsday will not strike if there is even one person who says “Allah Allah” on earth. [26]

It is possible to remember/mention Allah Almighty with taking refuge (istiadha), bismillah, taqdis, tasbih (subhanallah), hamdala (alhamdulillah), takbir (Allahu akbar), tahlil (la ilaha illallah), hawqala (la hawla wala quwwata illa billah), istighfar (asking for forgiveness), tasliya (salawat), etc.  

Certain conditions are necessary for the soundness of worship but no condition is necessary for dhikr; dhikr can be made at night or during the day, by standing, sitting or lying down, having or without having wudu.  

There are various narrations about mentioning Allah silently or aloud. We are ordered to beg Allah from the heart and glorify Him with a low voice in the Quran (al-A‘raf 7/205); the Prophet warned a group who uttered takbir aloud by saying,

“You are not calling a deaf being or an unknown being.” [27]

It is narrated that the following is stated in a sacred hadith:

“If my slave mentions me in a congregation, I will mention him in a better congregation.” [28]

It is narrated that the Messenger of Allah made a group from the Companions mention Allah by saying to them, “Raise your hands and say ‘la ilaha illallah’ all together.” [29] It is also narrated that he did not prevent a person who was making dhikr aloud by saying, “He is groaning and begging sincerely from the heart.”

It is known that qira’ah is performed aloud in some congregational prayers and silently in others, that talbiya is uttered aloud in hajj and umrah and that the Quran can be read aloud or silently. Those narrations and practices show that dhikr with the tongue can be made in both ways based on place, time and the state of the people. [30]

Footnotes:

[1] al-Baqara, verse 152.
[2] al-Muzammil, verse 8.
[3] al-Ahzab, verse, 41.
[4] an-Nisa, verse 103.
[5] Bukhari, Daawat, 66.
[6] an-Nur, verse, 37.
[7] DİA, Vol. 44, p. 411.
[8]  Mahmud Sâmî Ramazanoğlu, Duâlar ve Zikirler, p.175.
[9] It means “All Glory is to Allah and all Praise to Him. Glorified is Allah, the Great”. Bukhari, Daawat,65.
[10] Tirmidhi, Daawat 60. See also Ibn Majah, Adab 56
[11] Tuhfetudh-Dhakirin, 232 (from Musnad)
[12] Tirmidhi, Daawat 9. See also Ibn Majah, Adab 55
[13] Bukhari, Daawat, 50.
[14] Bukhari, Daawat, 65.
[15] Bukhari, Daawat, 68.
[16] Al-Jamius-Saghir.
[17] Tirmidhi, Zuhd 62
[18] Bukhari, Bad’ul–Khalq 11; Daawat 64, 65; Muslim, Dhikr 28. See also Tirmidhi, Daawat 59, 62; Ibn Majah, Dua 14.
[19] Muslim, Dhikr 33–36.
[20] Abu Dawud, Witr 26. See also Nasai, Sahw 60.
[21] Bukhari, Fardul–Khumus 6, Fadailu Ashabin-Nabi 9, Nafaqat 6, 7, Daawat 11; Muslim, Dhikr 80. See also Abu Dawud, Edeb 100.
[22] Bukhari, Adhan 155; Daawat 18; Muslim, Masajid 142. See also Abu Dawud, Witr 24.
[23] Muslim, Musafirin 84, Zakah 56. See also Bukhari Sulh 11, Jihad 72, 128; Abu Dawud, Tatawwu’ 12, Adab 160.
[24] Tirmidhi, Daawat 6. See also Ibn Majah, Adab 53.
[25] Muslim, Dhikr 39, 38. See also Abu Dawud, Witr 14; Tirmidhi, Daawat 7; Ibn Majah, Muqaddima 17.
[26] Muslim, “Iman”, 234.
[27] Bukhari, Daawat, 50, 67; Muslim, Dhikr, 44.
[28] Bukhari, Tawhid, 15, 43; Muslim, Dhikr, 18, 19.
[29] Musnad, IV, 124.
[30] DİA, Vol. 44, p. 410.

(Başak Tijen ÖZBAY)

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