The Heart of Thikr Allah, Thikr Allah of the Heart

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Listening to a khutba on thikr Allah today, a more comprehensive definition of thikr was brought to my attention: “anything you do to remember Allah.” Examples were salat (formal prayer connection), tasbih (glorification), du’a or supplication to Allah, acts of charity whether obligatory (zakat purification) or voluntary (sadaqa), making the Hajj pilgrimage, or even simply being honest in one’s work, or helping others in innumerable ways from thoughtful acts or greetings, bringing comfort to someone in distress, or acknowledgement of another’s point of view, or helping jump-start a car, anything really one does for no personal benefit or gain such as money but only for the sake of Allah, or out of innate charitable feelings if one is fortunate enough to have them. Often such things involve going out of one’s “way” (think “habit” or “ease”) to do it. In that sense such acts are “powered” by thikr Allah: we may want to remind ourselves that this will ultimately help our souls, and thus one cultivates an attitude that brings benefit to others, and in return to oneself. Remembering Allah the Exalted, Almighty, All-Merciful is itself the heart of thikr, but it is proven by how one acts in one’s life too.

This is where thikr Allah enters one’s heart. Remembering the Law of Reciprocity: we are expected to initiate du’a, helping feed the poor or disadvantaged, initiate the establishment of regular salat, initiate the fight for justice on behalf of those who’ve been oppressed. We cannot do everything or right every wrong, but anything we do to help others, even animals, is counted in our behalf. But it’s not something that comes to you; you must initiate it yourself. We can remind each other, but if someone refuses to even listen, you are not held responsible. But when we do initiate these things, remembering Allah, then the Law of Reciprocity means Allah will respond to you. Think of it. The Creator of the Heavens and the earth and all that is in and between them, responding to one individual, literally a speck in the immensity of creation. Allah is aware of you, of all of us. Utterly aware of every detail. Almost unimaginable, unless one expands one’s mind to that possibility to open up reality to new depth. When you look for Allah’s response, you will find it. In a way perhaps unique to each person.

VERILY, all this is an admonition: whoever, then, so wills, may unto his Sustainer find a way

76:29

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