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CULTURE OF ISLAM

97 ZIKR!
Script of Talk Broadcast on Radio Sri Lanka - FM 97.4
Imtiaz Muhsin 05-Oct-12

The main objective of these talks (and therefore the scripts of these talks), is to stimulate thinking. Sensible, rational and logical thinking. So, my message, think, think & think! Be sensible, be rational and be logical.

97 ZIKR!

Please Note
1. I have had the great privilege, (since Aug 2010), of presenting talks on the weekly Radio Program Culture of Islam [Every Friday 8 to 8.30 pm, Radio Sri Lanka - FM 97.4] 2. Since these are Radio Talks, I refer to, or address the audience as listeners 3. I am well aware that the audience to these talks would consist of people belonging to a variety of faiths. So as to make people of all faiths feel included, I very often use words and names that are common to all religions. 4. For these reasons, I use the name GOD, as well as Abraham, Moses, Jesus etc as well as the names Allah, Ibrahim (Alaihis Salaam), Moosa (Alaihis Salaam), Easa (Alaihis Salaam) etc 5. Muslims by habit usually say Sallallahu Alaihiwasallam, when the name of Prophet Muhammad is mentioned, and Alaihis Salaam' when the name of a Prophet is mentioned. However, in these series of talks I have reduced the use of these prayers & sayings to the bare minimum. 6. Muslims, also by habit, use a number of Arabic prayers or sayings, such as Alhamdulillah, Insha Allah and so on. Again, I have reduced the use of these prayers or sayings to the bare minimum. 7. Sometimes I have to write Arabic words in the English script. I have devised my own way of writing Arabic in English, as follows;

th TH

s Ss SW

DHL DHZ

H h

Gh GH

Information on these talks along with all download links can be found on my on my Blog (http://imtiazm.wordpress.com/) The dates or the schedules of these talks can be viewed on the Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/ImtiazMuhsin786) The Scripts of these talks can be downloaded from www.ScribD.com (www.ScribD.com Author Imtiaz Muhsin) The audio files of these talks can be downloaded from YouTube (YouTube Channel Imtiaz Muhsin) The YouTube Link to this talk is at http://youtu.be/Z6ym7CHcNYA

All Praise and Thanks is due to Allah and Allah alone Alhamdulillah!

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97 ZIKR!
Dear Friends, Assalamu Alaikum, Dear Friends, Assalamu Alaikum, Each religion has its own language. The language of the Quran is Arabic, and thus many of the words used to describe the teachings of the religion Islam can best be described by using those particular Arabic words. For example most Muslims are aware that the word Rabb, which is one of the names or one of the attributes of GOD is usually translated as Lord. However this word Lord does not convey the correct meaning of the word Rabb, because Rabb includes many attributes such as the attributes of planner, designer, creator, nourisher, sustainer, protector and so on. In fact the word Rabb appears 980 times in the Quran. So you can realize what an important word Rabb is. There are over 72 Dhuas or supplications in the Quran that beseech GOD with the name Rabbanaa or our Rabb, and over 60 dhuas or supplications in the Quran that beseech GOD with the name Rabbee or My Rabb. Another word would be the word ZIKR English translators give a number of translations according to the context in which the word Zikr appears. Some of the words used as translations of the word Zikr are remember, a reminder, mention, admonition, warning, a lesson, advice, preaching and so on. Listeners would also be interested to learn that the triliteral root dhl kf r ( ) occurs 292 times in the Quran, in 14 derived forms. It is through reading and contemplating on the meanings of the Aayaths in the Quran that we are gradually able to learn or absorb a truer and a richer meaning of the word Zikr. For todays talk I thought it would be good to try to learn or to revise the word Zikr through some of the Aayaths in the Holy Quran. I have selected around 15 such Aaayaths and have attempted to read them to you in some sequence so that we would be able to understand this valuable word ZIKR. To better understand the word ZIKR I would like to first briefly explain two, (maybe I could call them), introductory points. I think these two points are very important and many facts about the life or the efforts or the frames of mind of the Prophet and the Sahaabas could be better understood especially in relation to the word Zikr Let me describe the first important point it is with regard to the word IQRA Now there are 2 other points or we can call them sub-points emerging from this word IQRA Firstly the word IQRA means READ all English translations provide this translation. Secondly, what is special about this word is that this was the first word revealed to our Prophet Muhammad (Sal) when he was meditating in a Cave atop Mount Hira.

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Now all of us know that Prophet Muhammad (Sal) as well as most of his people, the Arabs of the Quraish tribe were unlettered or illiterate they could not read and write scripts as most of us in the modern age can. This fact abut his illiteracy is confirmed in the Quran itself in more than one Aayath. So the question, Read what? If we were to ask this question most Muslims would reply Read the Quran This answer is correct, but then at that time there was no Quran in the printed form as we know it, and the Quran took 23 years to be fully revealed and even at the end of that 23 years there was no complete written Quran for anyone to read. Now let me to describe the second important point During the lifetime of our Prophet Muhammad (Sal) there was no complete written Quran. His companions devoted much of their time to memorizing the Quran, memorizing all the Aayaths that was revealed to the Holy Prophet in stages, soon after it was revealed to him. He recited it to them, they memorized it and then recited the Aayaths they had memorized to others who in turn memorized them. It was only during the Caliphate of the first Caliph Abu Bakr (Ral) that a project to write down the complete Quran was initiated and completed. That means that for 25 years there was no written Quran, and after 25 years there was only one written Quran for the whole Muslim Nation. It was only after the Caliphate of Umar (Ral) which was 12 years, and during the Caliphate of Usman (Ral) that another 8 Qurans were written to distribute to the areas that Islam had now spread right across the Middle East, Central Asia and Nothern Africa. So what did these illustrious Muslims during the time of our Prophet Muhammad and in the time of the Caliphs read? They memorized the Aayaths of the Quran, kept it in their hearts and read it from the signs or the Aayaths that Allah drew their attention to in the Universe, on Earth and even in themselves. The complete Quran as we know it has 6,236 Aayath or 6,236 Signs of Allah the word Aayath means Sign. The complete Quran or these 6,236 Aayath were revealed over a period of 23 years 10 years in Mecca and 13 years in Medinah. Now a simple calculation would show that 23 years is 8,395 days this is an approximation. Thus we could approximate that 6,236 Aayaths were revealed over a period of 8,395 days. It works out to an average of 5 Aayaths a week that is all. So we can maybe imagine the situation in Mecca and in Medina. The Sahabas or the companions of the Prophet, when they met him he would have recited the Aayaths that had been revealed to him, and the Sahabas would have listened carefully, memorized those Aayaths and maybe asked some questions as well. These Sahaba would then, have in turn recited these Aayaths to those in their houses as well as to others who for some reason would not have been present when the Prophet was reciting these Aayaths.

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The Sahaba then would have kept these Aayaths in their hearts and if the Aayaths were about the Universe or the Earth or abut believers or about the rejecters they would have read these Signs or these Aayaths from those sources themselves. Similarly, if the Aayaths were describing the attributes of GOD, then the Sahaba would have been able to read these attributes of GOD in the Universe, in the Earth and in themselves. This process of listening to the Aayaths being recited, memorizing them, thinking about them, placing them through memorization in their hearts (which we call by-hearting), teaching these Aayaths to their kith and kin, near and dear, and then reading these Aayaths from their scources itself would in fact all constitute the process or the processes that make up that word, that important word that we refer to as ZIKR. So to learn the correct concept of Zikr, let us now go through some of the Aayaths of the Quran that teaches us this important activity. First let us see what the Quran tells us about the objective or the purpose of the Quran. Actually there are many aayaths that describe this, but for our purposes, I wish to read to you Aayath No 29 of Surah Saad that is Surah No 38. 1

(38:29) This is a blessed Book We have revealed to you, so that they deliberate in its Aayaath, and so that the men of understanding may do Zikr.

So when we read the Quran there are 2 things that we can do 1. We can (Li Yadhdhabbroo Aayaathihi) deliberate or contemplate on its Signs or Aayaath, or, 2. If we are men of understanding (Ulul albaab) we would do Zikr of these Aayaths. Now does that not show that Zikr is obviously a higher status than just thinking or contemplating or meditating. Next let us see how the Quran describes the objective or the purpose or the duty of the Prophet again there are many Aayaths that describe this noble objective, but for our purposes I have selected Aayath No 2 from Surah Jummah or Surah No 62. 2 (62:2) He is the One who raised amidst the unlettered people a messenger from among themselves who recites to them His verses, and purifies them, and teaches them the Book and the wisdom, while they were earlier in open error.

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This Aayath describes to us 4 duties of Prophethood. What are they; 2a 1 2 3 4 who recites to them His Aayaath, and purifies them, and teaches them the Book and the wisdom

From the earlier Aayath we read that the Kitaab is sent down to the Prophet, and in this Aayath we are informed that the Prophet would recite these His Aayaths or Allahs Aayaths to us, (Yathlu Alaihim AayaathiHi) and those of us who hear it in the correct frame of mind, with humbleness and sincerity would obviously act upon what they are listening to and then Allah will purify them (wayuzakkeeHim) and then though they are only acting upon the Aayaths, Allah will teach them the Kitaab or the Book the collection of Aayaths (wa yughallimuHul Kithaaba) and give him wisdom (walhikmah) Great isnt it? Now we have an Aayath where Allah is appealing to us to do Zikr. He says; 3 (54:17) Indeed We have made the Qurn easy for ZIKR. So, is there one to do heed this advice?

Again, in Surah Ad Dhaariayaath, Allah is telling us an important virtue of Zikr 4 (51:55) And keep (doing Zikr) reminding, because Zikr (reminding) benefits the believers. The translation would be And keep doing Zikr, because Zikr benefits the beleivers But it is commonly translated as And keep reminding, because reminding beneits the believers Again in surah Raad, Allah gives us another important virtue of Zikr 5 (13:28) the ones who believe (the Mu'mins); and their hearts are peaceful with the ZIKR of Allah. Verily, the hearts find peace only in the ZIKR of Allah.

Is this not referring to peace of mind is this not what everyone is searching for. All our efforts our mad rush day in and day out, the stresses and tensions we put ourselves to is it not that we want to find peace of mind but rather than peace of mind we are trapped within the treadmills of worldly greed.

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How can we get out of our deceptful plights? How can we gain peace of mind? Allahs advice, the advice in the Quran Alaa bizikriLLaaHi thaTHmaghinnul Quloob Verily, the hearts find peace only in the ZIKR of Allah Now all of us Muslims have some knowledge about Salaah or the Prayer which we perform 5 times every day. Did you know tht ZIKR is an important ingredient of Salah? In fact the Salah is for ZIKR. This is clearly shown to us in Surah Thaa Haa, there are these Aayaths where Allah describes to us how he spoke to Moses or Moosa (AS), this was in the sacred valley of Tuwa, where Allah tells Moses or Moosa (AS) 6 (20:14) Surely, I AM ALLAH. There is no Allah but Myself, so worship Me, and establish Salh for My ZIKR.

He says establish Salah for my Zikr so it appears that Zikr is a very very important component of a rightly performed or rightly established Salah. So listeners, keep that in mind establish Salah for the Zikr of Allah Now I would like to read to you two other Aayaths that show us the importance of ZIKR, not just ZIKR but of a special Zikr known as ZIKRULLAH or Zikr of Allah. These are the two Aayaths, Aayaths Nos 9 & 10 from Surah Jummah. As the title of the Surah suggests, this is the Surah that brings to our notice the Jummah Salaath or th the weekly Prayer or the weekly mid day congregational prayer on Fridays. Every Muslim gives this Jummah Prayer great importance. Now let us see how Allah instructs us about attending this Jummah Prayer of the Jumah Salaath. 7 (62:9) O you who believe, when the call for Salh (prayer) is proclaimed on Friday, hasten for the ZIKR of Allah, and leave off Business. That is much better for you, if you but know.

We are told when the call for Salaah on Jummah day is proclaimed we should go for? . Go for ZIKRULLAH OK we answer the call for Jummah Salah and go for Zikrullah, now what happens after the Salah, what should we do?

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Allah answers this question or gives us good instruction. He tells us; 8 (62:10) Then once the Salh is over, disperse in the land, and seek the Fadhl (grace) of Allah, and do the ZIKR of Allah abundantly, so that you may be successful.

So we are told; When the call for Salah is proclaimed on the day of Jummah hasten to the Zikr of Allah. When the Slaah is over do Zikrullah abundantly. Why? So that we may be successful! Again, in Surah Ankabut Surah No 29 we have another Aayath that shows us another connection between Salaah and ZIKR or rather Salah and ZIKRULLAH the ZIKR of ALLAH 9 (29:45) Recite what is revealed to you of the Book, and establish Salh . Surely Salh restrains one from shameful and evil acts. Indeed the ZIKR of Allah is the greatest of all things. Allah knows what you do.

Now this Aayath contains more than one sentence. The first sentence contains two instructions or two bits of advice? What are they? 1. Recite what is revealed to you of the Book Uthloomaa oohiya ilaikal minal Kithaabi 2. And establish Salaah Wa Aqeemis Salaah Now reciting the Aayaths of the Quran or what is revealed in the book is a high form of Zikr all Muslims know that. So does not this Aayth indicate that; 1. We must do Zikr (Recite what is revealed in the Kitaab or book) 2. Establish Salaah Now, the next two sentences in this Aayath gives a virtue of Salah andthen a virtue of Zikr not just Zikr but ZIKRULLAH (remember when you are called for Salaah go proceed for ZIKRULLAH?) So what are we told? About the Salah - Surely Salh restrains one from shameful and evil acts. Inna Salaatha thanHaa ghanil Fahshaai wal Munkar And about ZIKRULLAH - Indeed the ZIKR of Allah is the greatest of all things - Wala Zikrullaahi Akbar.

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Now in the next Surah the one after Surah Jummah it is titled Surah MunaafiQoon or The Hypocrites we are given some advice, and it seems that we have to do a lot of thinking to realize the values of what is being instructed to us so more ZIKR Let me read this Aayath to you. 10 (63:9) O you who believe, your riches and your children must not divert you from the ZIKR of Allah. And those who do that are the losers.

So Zikr or ZIKRULLAH is so valuable that we should not allow our wealth or our children to distract us from it. Just examine our lives, are we not so engrossed in running after wealth and running for our children that we completely neglect ZIKRULLAH? Should we not try to bring some balance in to our lives, some value? Now some Aayaths about how we could do ZIKRULLAH This is indicated in Aayth No 190 in Surah Aal E Imraan 11 (3:190) Surely, in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are signs (Aayaath) for the people of wisdom,

So the Ulul albaab read the Aayath or the Signs in the Universe and the Earth and in the alternation of the night and the day. And the next Aayth in the Quran tells us how often they read these signs and what is the outcome or with what theme do they read these Aayaths. 12 (3:191) who do the ZIKR of Allah standing and sitting, and (lying) on their sides, and do FIKR on the creation of the heavens and the earth (and say) Rabbana, You have not created all this in vain. We proclaim Your purity. So, save us from the punishment of Fire.

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The Ulul albaab are people who do ZIKRULLAH whilst standing, whilst sitting and whilst even lying down. Now does this not indicate that they are doing ZIKRULLAH all the time? These are wise people, people of understnding the Ulul Albaab. Amd then we are really told that they do 2 things; They do ZIKRULLAH of the Creator and FIKR of the creation. WOW! Where else would we find these Aayaths of Allah so that we could do ZIKR especialy the ZIKRof Allah or ZIKRULLAH, or even FIKR FIKR of GODs creation? Surah Ghashiya or Surah No 88 of the Holy Quran, Aayaths Nos 17 to 21 has enormous amount of material for us to do Zikr or ZIKRULLAH. 13 (88:17) So, do they not look at the camels how they are created, (88:18) and at the sky, how it is raised high, (88:19) and at the mountains, how they are installed, (88:20) and at the earth, how it is spread out? (88:21) So, do Zikr indeed you are a Muzakkir

And then gain Surah Ad Dhaariayath, Aayath Nos 20 & 21 inform us as follows; 14 (51:20) In the earth, there are signs for those who (seek truth to) believe, (51:21) and in your own selves! So, do you not perceive?

So now we ask the question, the Prophet recited the Aayaths. The Sahaabh read the Aayaths in the Universe and on Earth, as well as in the alternation of the night and the day, and also in them selves. They did not read it from a printed book like you and I are now doing. So, then what ws the Quran to them. To us it is a printed book. Allah indicates to us the answer to this question.

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This is found in Aayath No 49 of Surah Ankabut (Surah No 29) 15 (29:49) But it (the Qurn in itself) is (a package of) evident signs in the hearts of those who are given knowledge. And no one rejects our verses except the wrongdoers. Amazing isnt it? So to recapitulate or to summarize in 6 points Insha Allah. Point 1 - The Kitaab is for Zikr

(38:29) This is a blessed Book We have revealed to you, so that they deliberate in its Aayaath, and so that the men of understanding may do Zikr.

Point 2 - The Prophet would recite these Aayaths 1 2 3 4 who recites to them His Aayaath, and purifies them, and teaches them the Book and the wisdom

Point 3 - The Aayaths are in the Universe and in ourselves. (3:190) Surely, in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are signs (Aayaath) for the people of wisdom,

Point 3a (51:20) In the earth, there are signs for those who (seek truth to) believe, (51:21) and in your own selves! So, do you not perceive?

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Point 4 People of understanding would read these Aayths from the Universe, the Earth from ourselves as well as form the creatures on Earth- for exaple the Camel, from the high Sky, from the Mountains and from the spacious Earth and do the ZIKR or the FIKR of these Aayaths or ZIKRULLAH. (88:17) So, do they not look at the camels how they are created, (88:18) and at the sky, how it is raised high, (88:19) and at the mountains, how they are installed, (88:20) and at the earth, how it is spread out? (88:21) So, do Zikr indeed you are a Muzakkir Point 5 - What is the Quran? (29:49) But it (the Qurn in itself) is (a package of) evident signs in the hearts of those who are given knowledge. And no one rejects our verses except the wrongdoers. Point 6 - Zikr provides peace to the Qalb (Heart) (29:45) Recite what is revealed to you of the Book, and establish Salh . Surely Salh restrains one from shameful and evil acts. Indeed the ZIKR of Allah is the greatest of all things. Allah knows what you do. I just read to you 15 Aayaths of the Quran that describe ZIKR. Remember that there are 292 places in the Quran where this word ZIKRis mentioned or described. Should we not try to read allof these and learn the real meaning of this glorious and valuable word. I hope that all you listeners enjoyed this talk as much as I enjoyed doing research and presenting it to you.

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May Allah Taaalah guide us all and accept us all. Jazza Kalla Khairan! Assalamu Alaikum
Imtiaz Muhsin Colombo Sri Lanka crescent786@hotmail.com

You Tube Channel - HaneefanMusliman

The YouTube Link to this talk is at http://youtu.be/Z6ym7CHcNYA

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