“So remember Me; I will remember you.”
Surat Al-Baqarah – (2:152)
These are the words of Allah scripted in His holy book, the Quran. Dhikr is the Remembrance of Allah. The act of thinking of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala purifies hearts and souls, uplifts spirits, and makes heaven reachable. Dhikr is the most praiseworthy action to earn Allah’s pleasure. It is an effective weapon to overcome any obstacle, and inevitably the most deserving of all deeds in reward.
A person who is occupied with the dhikr of Allah restrains and safeguards himself from the temptation of shaytan. Whilst engaged in the remembrance of Allah, one becomes in a state of awareness of his duties and obligations, and therefore finds it difficult to sin.
“Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.”
Surat Ar-Ra`d – (13:28)
Story of Sheikh Haydar and the Baker
Once upon a time, there was a wise Sheikh named Haydar. Sheikh Haydar was a respectable man of religion and his knowledge about Prophet Muhammad (saws) and his family was extensive. He would travel from village to village and spread his knowledge to the many Muslims that awaited his arrival. The village folk constantly talked of what a great honor it would be to meet Sheikh Haydar in person.
One day, Sheikh Haydar was traveling to a northern village to give a khutba (lecture), when a sudden sandstorm abruptly halted the sheikh’s journey. For an entire day, he was lost in the clouds of dust, galloping left to right, trying to find a break in the tenebrous storm.
After what seemed like a century, the storm finally died down. The sun was setting and it was time for prayer. Sheikh Haydar decided to head to the outline of the nearest village to perform Salat al-Jamaat (congregational prayer) with the other villagers. The sheikh tied up his horse and made his way towards the mosque.
After prayer, Sheikh Haydar turned to the man who was sitting next to him and asked if he knew a place where the sheikh could spend the night.
“I am a newcomer you see, I do not know the whereabouts of this village,” said Sheikh Haydar.
“Well certainly. My name is Abdullah and the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) once said; ‘Allah likes a person most who helps others’ and I certainly can help. Please be my guest.”
Abdullah lead the way out of the mosque and into a nearby bakery and beckoned the sheikh to sit down in his shop. He then started to bustle around the kitchen, making food. As Abdullah was working, the sheikh noticed that he was constantly muttering under his breath “Allah, the One and Only. Allah, the Most Merciful. Allah, the Most Generous. Allah, the Most Forgiving,” and so on.
The sheikh wondered out loud why Abdullah was muttering.
“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize I could be heard.” said Abdullah. “I am always repeating those lines to myself and Allah has been so kind to me. He has answered all my prayers and wishes, I am ever so grateful, alhamdallah. I have a lovely family and they are all, including myself, in great health. I also have a thriving, successful business. And most importantly, my obedience to Allah the Gracious is firm.”
The baker set down the plates of food in front of Sheikh Haydar and sat across from him.
“Well…” added Abdullah as an afterthought.
“What is it?” asked the sheikh between mouthfuls of bread.
“For as long as I can remember, I have wished to meet the famous Sheikh Haydar.” admitted Abdullah.
Sheikh Haydar looked up in surprise and smiled widely at him and said, “Abdullah, Allah loves you very much! He is the Most Kind and has just granted your wish, for I am Sheikh Haydar.”
It took a while for the words to sink in. Then Abdullah jumped up with a start and shook the sheikh’s hand, exclaiming all the while how much of an honor it was to have him in his bakery.
Praise Allah the Miraculous and have no doubt. If you are an earnest worshiper of Him, all your wishes will be granted, God willing, one way or another. Take for example the changes of circumstances that landed Sheikh Haydar in Abdullah’s bakery. All because this devoted man prayed to Allah, Most High, and kept Him in his remembrance constantly.