What is light on the tongue but heavy on the Scale? Dhikr, the remembrance of Allah.
“O You who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance” [33:41].
During the hustle and bustle of our frantic lives, the day seems to go by so quickly that it is not until a rare quiet moment late at night that we may realize we have not remembered Allah throughout the day. Apart from the five daily prayers (which themselves are forever threatened to be rushed through or forgotten), did we take a single moment from our day amongst the creation to remember the Creator? A flimsy “Alhamdulillah” may slip from our tongues but little reflection may go with it. The lack of dhikr, or remembrance in Allah, can be blamed on mismanaging time or forgetfulness; but the truth is, we may not truly understand the weight on these short words or phases on our hearts and souls. And the rewards! The Messenger of Allah(pbuh) describes the incentives to remembering Allah throughout or day. Basically, if you remember Allah in this life, He will remember you (and grant you wonderful things) in this life and the next.
The Prophet(pbuh) said,
“Allah says: ‘I am just as My slave thinks I am, (i.e. I am able to do for him what he thinks I can do for him) and I am with him if He remembers Me. If he remembers Me in himself, I too, remember him in Myself; and if he remembers Me in a group of people, I remember him in a group that is better than they; and if he comes one span nearer to Me, I go one cubit nearer to him; and if he comes one cubit nearer to Me, I go a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running” [Sahih Bukhari].
Below is a short list of some dhikr / remembrances that you can incorporate in your day. The goal is to make these beautiful praises of the Creator come up from your heart and roll off of your tongue with ease.
1. Quran: Ultimately, the best dhikr is reading the Quran.
You will be rewarded 10 rewards for every letter read. This prize basically illustrates the weight of the Quran in terms of where it should be in your life.
2. SubhanAllah or SubhanAllah wa bihamdihi
(“I praise Allah (or All praise if to Allah) above all attributes that do not suit His Majesty.”)
A tree will be planted for you in Paradise. Nice! Start growing your own forest right now! Another hadithrelates that whoever says this 100 times a day, his/her sins will be forgiven even if they were as much as the foam of the sea [Bukhari].
(“All praise is for Allah”)
Your scales will be tipped on the Day of Judgment, full of rewards!
4. SubhanAllah wal hamdulillah, wa la ilahaillAllah wa Allahu akbar
“I praise Allah (or All Praise if to Allah) above all attributes that do not suit His Majesty. All praise is for Allah. There is no deity worthy of worship besides Allah. Allah is Great.”
This combination of dhikr is the one most beloved by Allah, subhana wa ta’ala. When you say them, sins fall off of you like leaves off of trees.
5. La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah
(“There is no power or might except (by) Allah.”)
You will enter through a special door in Paradise for those who oft use this remembrance.
6. SubhanAllah (x33),
Can be recited after salat and before you go to bed/sleep. (“I praise Allah (or All praise if to Allah) above all attributes that do not suit His Majesty. All praise is to Allah. Allah is Great.”)
We know that this dhikr is said after each salah, but when Fatima the daughter of the Prophet(pbuh) came to her father requesting a servant to help with the household, the Messenger of Allah(pbuh) told her to repeat the dhikr before her sleep and the results would be better than having a servant.
(“I seek Allah’s forgiveness”)
You will get protection from Allah’s punishment. In Surah Nuh, ayah 10-12, Allah relates the story of Prophet Nuh and how he instructed his people to seek Allah’s forgiveness. If they would just say “astagfirullah,” Allah would sent them rain in abundance, and increase their wealth and children, and give them gardens and rivers in Paradise.
8. Ayahtul-Kursi [2:255]
When you recite this verse before you go to sleep, Allah sends a guardian to you and no shaytan will come to you until morning. Those who read this after each salah shall enter Paradise.