THE POLISH OF HEARTS
“As my servant thinks about Me so will I be for him. I am with him if he will remember Me. If he calls on Me in himself I will call him in Myself, and if he calls on Me in a group of people, I mention him in a better group in My presence. If he approaches Me one handspan, I will approach him one arm’s length; if he approaches Me one arm’s length, I will approach him by a cubit; if he comes to Me walking, I will come to him running.”
As a Muslim, if I were asked ‘What is the purpose of your creation?’ I will respond with ‘to worship Allah.’
Naturally, we have to ask ourselves, ‘what does it mean to worship Allah?’And part of the beauty of Islam is that there are many ways in which we can perform acts of worship. There are several forms in which worship takes, like fasting, praying, being kind and compassionate, even smiling. What matters is that we are all doing what we do for His sake.
One particular form of worship I hold close to my heart is Dhikr, translated in the English language as, Remembrance of Allah. “verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (Q13:28)
One form of worhip which I practice is Dhikr, remembrance of God, this has me continuously reciting the names of Allah, and/or reciting prayers from the Qur’an and Hadith. Dhikr can also be the act of contemplating over the wonders of His magnificent creation.
Over and over again these powerful words; His names and prayers, are uttered in order to keep one connected to Him, the One, Who created us all. Together, in collective circles or alone, a Muslim strives to maintain that remarkable spiritual relationship between himself and Allah. Dhikr is beautiful, because there is no limit in remembering Him.
My mother stresses the importance of Dhikr just as much as she stresses the importance of our five daily (obligatory) prayers. If she sees any of her children sitting down, she says, ‘Do Dhikr!’ If we’re lying down she says, ‘Do Dhikr!’ even watching a movie, it’s always ‘Do Dhikr!’ As a child, I could never relate to the significance she placed on it, and it took a while before I began to realise the importance of it myself.
I have an aunt who I was always scared to approach. Her lips were always moving and it gave off the impression that she was constantly talking to herself. One day I decided to ask my mother who it was my aunt always spoke to, and Mama replied, smiling, ‘She’s doing Dhikr.’ What was more amazing for me was that my aunt didn’t even know she was doing it. She had the remembrance of Allah within her that calling upon Him was something natural for her. Something she did as if she was born doing it. I found that remarkable and in that one special moment of realising how remarkable it was, I no longer found her scary. She became an inspiration. I promised myself after that day, that I would do the same. That no matter what I was doing, I would be connected to Allah knowingly or unknowingly through acts of worship.
But it’s not the easiest thing to do. Especially when my mind goes a little like this, ‘Subhanallah, Alhamdulillah, oh that dress looks nice, Subhanallah, my heart will go ooon and ooon, Astaghfirullah, Subhanallah, Subhanallah, I wonder what happened in CSI today, I need to do my laundry, where did I put my phone?!’
Admittedly, I couldn’t get the hang of it at first, but I knew that I had to try. And with Mama’s first class reminders, it became easier. It became a practice that flowed smoothly with my day to day activities and if I wasn’t doing it, things didn’t feel right. Dhikr, in essence, became something that I loved and still love to do.
I know I don’t do it perfectly, and I know I have a long way to go before I become like my aunt or even my mother, but like the Chinese saying, ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’
I think, the life of a Muslim, any Muslim, is a struggle; a struggle to be better in order to be among the best of the faithful. Dhikr provides an ingenious platform in which we can all strive to be better. It is a simple step which carries with it a tremendous spiritual impact. Dhikr is a path to Divine love and Divine love is beautiful.
“Everything has its polish and the polish of hearts is Dhikrullah.