Why do it?
Essentially what in intended by Qalbi Zikr is to be able to activate the hearts Remembrance of Allah SWT & Muhammad SAW every moment of our through the implementation of The Holy Qur’an and Sunnah, allowing each breath to recite Allah (inhaling and exhaling zikr) which would then to lead to each beat of of Qalb (heart) reciting ‘Allah’. Some individuals are blessed enough to have the heart recite the Holy Qur’an, once again depending on one’s level of faith and internal capacity.
The following verse and Hadith show the impact of our daily lives and the affect to which it will have on our hearts if left overlooked:
‘Nay! But on their hearts is the covering of sins (raan) which they used to earn.’” Sooraah al-Mutaffifeen (83):14
Narrated by Abu Hurairah R.A Prophet Muhammad S.A.W said:
“When the servant performs a sin a black spot appears on his heart, and if he seeks forgiveness this black spot is removed, and if he returns to sin the black spot grows until his heart becomes black, and this is the ‘Raan’ about which Allaah spoke,”
[Reported by an-Nasaa’ee and at-Tirmidhee who said it was hasan saheeh]
Remembrance of Allah SWT silently & sincerely is an important factor in our lives and the amount of blessings gained from this type of zikr is tremendous as we can derive from the following Ayyah and Hadiths:
“Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest / peace.” (13:28)
The Prophet SAW has said:
“Shall I tell you about the best of All deeds, the best act of piety in the eyes of you Lord, which will elevate your status int he hereafter, and carries more virtue than the spending of gold and silver in th service of Allah or taking part in jihan and slaying or being slain in the path of Allah? The dhikr of Allah” (In Musnad Ahmad, classed as Sahih)
The Prophet SAW has said:
"If your hearts were always in the state that they are in during dhikr, the angels would come to see you to the point that they would greet you in the middle of the road." Shaih Muslim
Imam Nawawi commented on the above hadith in his book Sharh sahih muslim, saying: "This kind of sight is shown to someone who persists in meditation (Muraqaba), reflection (fikr), and anticipation (iqbal) of the next world."
On the authority of `A'isha R.A: "Allah favours dhikr above dhikr seventyfold (meaning, silent dhikr over loud dhikr). On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will bring back human beings to His account, and the Recording Angels will bring what they have recorded and written, and Allah Almighty will say: See if something that belongs to my servant was left out? The angels will say: We left nothing out concerning what we have learnt and recorded, except that we have assessed it and written it. Allah will say: O my servant, I have something good of yours for which I alone will reward you, it is your hidden remembrance of Me." Imam Bayhaqi R.A narrated it.
Also on the authority of Bayhaqi R.A, it is reported that `A'isha R.A: "The dhikr not heard by the Recording Angels equals seventy times the one they hear."
The Importance of cleaning ones heart & having a good heart is shown in the following Ahadith:
On the authority of Abu 'Abdullah al-Nu'man bin Bashir, radiyallahu 'anhu, who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, say:
"Truly, what is lawful is evident, and what is unlawful is evident, and in between the two are matters which are doubtful which many people do not know. He who guards against doubtful things keeps his religion and honour blameless, and he who indulges in doubtful things indulges in fact in unlawful things, just as a shepherd who pastures his flock round a preserve will soon pasture them in it. Beware, every king has a preserve, and the things Allah has declared unlawful are His preserves. Beware, in the body there is a flesh; if it is sound, the whole body is sound, and if it is corrupt, the whole body is corrupt, and behold, it is the heart."
[Al-Bukhari & Muslim]
Imam al-Bukhari R.A presented the above Hadith as an opening statement in the beginning of the ‘Book of Trading’ (Kitab al-Buyu'). That in itself shows the status of the message. What we are trying to prove with the above Hadith is derived from the last sentence:
"Beware, in the body there is a flesh; if it is sound, the whole body is sound, and if it is corrupt, the whole body is corrupt, and behold, it is the heart."
One cannot express the importance of a sound heart, and the way to obtain a sound heart one needs to rid it of impurities and purify our intentions. The means of doing just that is by Zikr-Ullah – The remembrance of Allah SWT.
Another Hadith which puts it into more of a context is from a narration by 'Umar b. al-Khattab R.A who has narrated that the Prophet (SAW) said:
"Deeds are [a result] only of the intentions [of the actor], and an individual is [rewarded] only according to that which he intends." Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim.
Imam Nawawi (Rahimullah) has further added:
Intention is the measure for rendering actions true, so that,
where intention is sound, action is sound,
and where it is corrupt, then action is corrupt
All the narrations thus far indicate that behaviour is dependent on the state of the heart of an individual. Therefore, as stated by the Beloved SAW, when the heart is sound, the body will do good deeds. What we can further conclude is that when the heart is corrupted and ruled by (Nafs) desires then our intentions are corrupted, the body will therefore act accordingly.
However Ishan in terms of Obligatory prayer can be seen in the following Hadith:The below shows that when performing Salah attentively with Ishan one sin is cleaned.
Abu Zar RadiyAllahu `anhu narrates that once the Prophet Sallallahu `alaihi wasallam came out of his house. It was autumn and the leaves were falling off the trees. He caught a branch of a tree and its leaves began to drop in large number. At this he remarked, 'O, Abu Zar! when a Muslim offers his salaat to please Allah, his sins are shed away from him just as these leaves are falling off this tree. (Ahmad)
Examples of potential progression once Qalbi – Zikr is implemented:
What we gain from Qalbi-Zikr is the ability to always remember Allah SWT & Prophet Muhammad SAW within our hearts to be able to have sound heart, intentions, thoughts and to be able to improve our characteristics. The heart is what is keeping the blood flowing in our bodies therefore if we have a sound heart, our body becomes sound, as does our thoughts and characteristics.
Qalbi Zikr leads to Ihsan. Ihsan then leads to our sin being forgiven and erased as Ishan itself is a higher stage of Zikr-Ullah.
Qalbi-Zikr leads to Muraqaba:
Abu Sa’eed R.A reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
“The hearts are four kinds: a polished heart as shiny as a radiant lamp, a sealed heart with a knot tied around it, a heart that is turned upside down, and a heart that is wrapped. As for the polished heart, it is the heart of the believer and its lamp is the light of faith. The sealed heart is the heart of the unbeliever. The heart that is turned upside down is the heart of a pure hypocrite, for he had knowledge but he denied it. As for the heart that is wrapped, it is the heart that contains both faith and hypocrisy. The parable of faith in this heart is the parable of the herb that is sustained by pure water, and the parable of the hypocrisy in it is the parable of an ulcer that thrives upon puss and blood; whichever of the two is greater will dominate.”[Musnad Ahmad, Number 10745, Sahih]
Ibn Al-Qayyim said, “The heart on its journey towards Allah the Exalted is like that of a bird. Love is its head, and fear and hope are its two wings. When the head is healthy, then the two wings will fly well. When the head is cut off, the bird will die. When either of two wings is damaged, the bird becomes vulnerable to every hunter and predator.”
Source: Madarij As-Salikeen
Qalbi-Zikr allows Ihsan (acting as if we are Seeing Allah SWT, if not then acknowledging that He sees us) throughout our daily actions which in then would lead one being able to adopt the Beloved Sunnah of The best of Creation SAW in our lives. Such actions include Loving for the Sake of Allah SWT and the Beloved SAW, Seeking the pleasure of Allah SWT in all circumstances & Abiding by the Shariah.
Abu Hurairah, radiyallahu 'anhu, reported that the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, said:
"Allah the Almighty has said: 'Whosoever acts with enmity towards a closer servant of Mine (wali), I will indeed declare war against him. Nothing endears My servant to Me than doing of what I have made obligatory upon him to do. And My servant continues to draw nearer to Me with supererogatory (nawafil) prayers so that I shall love him. When I love him, I shall be his hearing with which he shall hear, his sight with which he shall see, his hands with which he shall hold, and his feet with which he shall walk. And if he asks (something) of Me, I shall surely give it to him, and if he takes refuge in Me, I shall certainly grant him it.'"[Al-Bukhari]
The importance of being in Remembrance of Allah SWT & The Beloved SAW is stressed in the following verses:
“Those who remember (and recite and call) Allah standing up, sitting, and lying on their sides, and think deeply about creation of the heavens and the earth, (Saying): “Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without a purpose, glory to You! Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire.” (Qur’an 3:191)
A'isha R.A said, as narrated by Muslim, that the Prophet SAW mentioned/remembered Allah at all times of the day and night.
Al-Bukhari has recorded following in relation to the above verse, `Imran bin Husayn said that, the Messenger of Allah SAW said:
“Pray while standing, and if you can't, pray while sitting, and if you cannot do even that, then pray lying on your side.”
Ibn Kathir further commentates to the above Ayyah saying: ‘These people remember Allah in all situations, in their heart and speech, (and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the Earth), contemplating about signs in the sky and earth that testify to the might, ability, knowledge, wisdom, will and mercy of the Creator.’
What we learn is that the heart is weak in terms of Imaan and emotion, the heart controls our bodily organs and emotions therefore if one wanted to control the body and its urges one must first control our heart. How to do this? We will take you through every step of the way InshAllah.
Qalbi Zikr is done to rid ones sins, clean intentions and strengthen our hearts with (Imaan) faith. This in turn would allow ‘Ihsan’ to be adopted in our every actions and therefore will increase our internal and external faith – thus ridding oneself of bad habits and characteristics.
Remember Allah, secretly from creation, wordlessly and speechlessly. That type of Zikr is best as we are fighting worldly acknowledgement from individuals, rather we are suppressing our ego whilst keeping our devoted worship sincere and (hidden) only known to Allah SWT.
The more we perform Ihsan the more in would show in our characteristics both inward and external. A Perfect example of this is The Beloved SAW, who was the Best of Creation, sent to perfect our manners (both internal and external).
One has to take importance of internal Imaan, as this differentiates one from hypocrisy.
Although many of us are unaware of the fact that we perform Qalbi-Zikr when performing our daily Salaah, especially at Zuhr & Asr Salaah where within these two Salaah, there is no aloud recitation of the Holy Qur’an - prayer is silent. The reason to which The Holy Qur’an is not read aloud is because one may not listen attentively therefore it shows that the basic level of concentration for a believer is within ones heart which is also important when we witness something against the teaching of Islam. As narrated in a Hadith where it is reported that the Prophet SAW said:
"If one of you sees something wrong, let him change it with his hand; if he cannot, then with his tongue; if he cannot, then with his heart and this is the weakest faith." Some versions add: "there is no part of faith behind that, not even so much as a mustard seed."
This defines what the characteristics of our hearts should be. InshAllah, if our Intention is right we can get there together.