Meaning Of Dhikr

Contemporary Fatawa, Fiqh / Sunday, February 28th, 2010

Q. A non-Muslim studying Islamics at a university is writing a project on the Tablighi Jamaat. Since I got to know him because of this, he frequently asks a thing or two concerning his project. One question is this :
“As far as I know “Dhikr” is not used in the Tablighi Jamaat in the same sense as Sufis use it, who use it often for mystical and spiritual exercises to attain a state of ecstasy. What is meant by “Dhikr” in Tablighi Jamaat and what is the difference between “Dhikr” and the Prayer (Salah)?”

The latter part of the question specially is beyond me. Could you give me an answer as quick as possible?

A. Dhikr is a special type of Islamic worship which means remembrance of Allah Almighty. Although remembrance is an act of heart, yet the recitation of some words or sentences glorifying the names of Allah is also a part of Dhikr because such recitations may ultimately inculcate an inner state of perpetual remembrance of Allah. It is totally erroneous to presume that the Sufis undertake Dhikr to attain a state of ecstasy. In fact any kind of ecstasy is not an objective of any Islamic worship, rather the acts of worship on their own are commendable because they demonstrate one’s total submission to the commands of Allah Almighty. Whether or not a state of ecstasy is attained has no importance with regard to Dhikr or any other type of Worship.

The true Sufis as well as other Muslim scholars undertake Dhikr only to demonstrate their submission to Allah and not to creat ecstasy.Those who claim that the basic purpose of Dhikr is to attain ecstacy are either ignorant of the true teachings of Islam or have a confusion about it, because they cannot fortify such a notion with any statement in the Holy Qur’an or in the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W).

As for the difference between Dhikr and Prayer, it can be summarized by saying that Dhikr is a general remembrance of Allah while prayer in the meaning of supplication is to put one’s request before Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala, and both of these are specific kinds of Dhikr.

Q. I have been in the practice of making 4 Rak’at with one Taslim, I ask if I forget to recite the Thana at the beginning of the 3 third Raka’at and start the recitation of Surah Fatihah and then remember, can I stop reciting the Surah and recite the Thana and then recite the Surah? Or should I just make Sajdah-Sahw?

2. Again concerning the making of 4 Raka’at with one Taslim, In the first two Raka’at I recite Surah 111 and 112 is it permissible for me now to recite 94 and 95 in the 3rd and 4th raka’at since these are considered two new raka’at?

3. If one does not remember how many Sajdah he has made and makes another not knowing whether it is the second or third should he make Sujudus-Sahw or start the Salat a fresh?

4. It is reported in Shamaa’il Tirmidhi Hadith (294) that the Sahabi ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘Aas (R.A) made up his mind that he would strive to intensify his devotions, and he did such by fasting each day and praying all night. His father became upset about this and went to Sayyidna Rasullalah (S.A.W) and complained. Sayyidna Rasullalah (S.A.W)
called Abdullah and asked him : “I have heard you always fast during the day, and stand in prayer the whole night?” He Replied: “Yes” thereupon Sayiddna Rasullalah replied, “Do not do so, but fast sometimes, and abstain sometimes. In the same manner do perform salat at night, and sleep too. “Can you explain what is meant by this underlined portion

5. Would it be Makruh to delay the Maghrib Salat till the stars begin to twinkle?

6. During the time of the Sayiddna Rasullalah (S.A.W) was the urine of camels considered to be pure or impure? I ask this question from a hadith in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, where a tribe was ordered by the Sayiddna Rasullalah (S.A.W) to drink urine and milk to cure a ailment that they suffered from. But in these days the kutub says that the urine
is najas.

7. If one stood up and realized that he had only made one sajdah what should he do?

8. In what direction should one pray in from the United States, more specifically Ohio?

9. Is Jum’ah Salat valid in prison? If so could you provide me with the dalil on this?
(Abdul Hakim Zakiy {U.S.A})

A. 1) When you are praying four Rak’ats with one Thasleem you need not at all recite Thana in the beginning of the third Raka’at. Therefore, there is no question of any Sujoodus Sahw for not reciting Thana. Even in the first Raka’at it is not Wajib to recite Thana. Therefore, if some one missed to recite it he need not make any Sajdah Sahw.

2) If you have recited Surah No. 111 and 112 in the first two Raka’ats you should not recite Surah No. 94 or 95 in the last two Raka’ats, because it is advisable to resite the Surahs of the Holy Qur’an in the existing order of compilation. When you are performing four Rak’ats with one Thasleem, the second couple of Raka’ats is not a new Salah in this

3) If one does not remember how many Sajdahs he has made, he should try to recall the exact situation and act according to the most probable possibility according to his own guess. However, if he is unable to guess, both sides being equal, in that case he should perform another Sajdah and he need not make a Sajdah of Sahw.

4) The meaning of the Hadith is more than clear. The Holy Prophet (S.A.W) has emphasized on the fact that Islam has enjoined upon a Muslim certain obligations and all of them should be fulfilled by him simultaneously. It is not right to concentrate on one aspect only and ignore all others. If some one fasts the whole year and stands up prayer the whole
night, it is evident that he is not fulfilling the obligations towards his wife and children. It is specifically mentioned in the said event about Sayyidna Abdullah ibn Amr (R.A) that on a query made by the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) from his wife, she told him that her husband does not spare any time for her. It is in this context that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W)
stopped him from this practice and drew his attention towards fulfilling all obligations, including the obligations towards his wife, children and other individuals of the community.

5) Yes, it is makrooh to delay the Maghrib prayer till the stars begin to twinkle.

6) According to the Hanafi and Shafi’i schools the urine of camels is impure. In the event stated by you some members of a particular tribe were advised by the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) to use the urine and milk of camels as a medication. It is not a general principle to allow drinking of urine or taking it as pure.

7) In this case he should go back to perform the missed Sajdah and should make Sujoodus Sahw at the end.

8) The direction of Qiblah from U.S. is to the south-east, However, you may verify the correct direction from the Islamic centres in your own city.

9) The answer to this question depands on certain clarifications ; for example, is the prison in a city or is it situated outside the city, how many Muslim people are there in the prison, is the Jum’ah prayer offered somewhere outside the prison, and is there any restrictions from the prison authorities to offer prayers in the prison. Until you come back to me with
the answers to these questions you should not perform the Jum’ah prayer. Rather, you should perform the Zuhr Prayer.

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