The Zikr taught to Imam Ali

Sayyidina Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet, was one of those who received the most in-depth knowledge from the beloved Prophet; he once said to the other Companions:

"There are 2 categories of knowledge I received from the Holy Prophet: one I reveal to you, and the other, were I even to mention something of it, you would try and kill me."

The whole of the Holy Quran is contained within the Surah al-Fatihah, the Opening Chapter. The whole of the Fatihah is contained in the beginning line,

In the Name of Allah

the Beneficent, the Compassionate,

 

and the essence of everything is contained in the beginning of the beginning, the first Arabic letter of bismillah, the "B", and is compressed as a single point placed below the the Arabic letter b. By the permission of Almighty Allah [Invincible and Exalted is He], the noble Imam Ali (may Allah ennoble his face) unequivocally proclaimed, " I am the point beneath the b of bismillah. The bearer of this exalted spiritual station was honored by the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) with the transmission of the outward dhikrullah [zikr], the ecstatic chanting of the beautiful Names of Allah, which Hazrat Imam Ali (may Allah be well pleased with him) would often practice alone in the wilderness.

Shaikh Sayyiduna Abdul Qadir Jilani tells how the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) taught Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be well pleased with him) the basic lesson concerning the remembrance [dhikr] of Allah (Exalted is He).

Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be well pleased with him) once asked the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), "Which of the methods [turuq] is nearest to Allah, easiest for His servants, and most praiseworthy in His sight?" The beloved Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) replied:

"O Ali, you must make it your constant practice to remember Allah (Exalted is He) in private moments and places." Imam Ali (may Allah be well pleased with him) then went on to say, "Can such be the merit of remembrance [dhikr], when all the people are remembering all the time [since they frequently exclaim ‘Allah!’]?"

"This is no light matter, O Ali," said the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), "for the Final Hour will not arise, so long as there is still someone, somewhere on the face of the earth, who is saying: ‘Allah, Allah!’"

This prompted Imam Ali (may Allah be well pleased with him) to ask, "How should I practice remembrance?" So the beloved Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) told him:

"Listen to what I say three times, then you say it 3 times, while I do the listening. "Then he said (Allah bless him and give him peace): "La ilaha illa 'llah [There is no god but Allah]" -  3 times, closing his eyes and raising his voice while Imam Ali listened. Then Imam Ali (may Allah be well pleased with him) said: "La ilaha illa 'llah [There is no god but Allah]" -  3 times, closing his eyes and raising his voice, while the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) listened in turn.

This is therefore the basic lesson concerning the remembrance of Allah (Exalted is He), namely, the statement expressing the affirmation of Divine Oneness [kalimat at-Tawhid]. We beg Allah (Exalted is He) to enable us to perform it.

Our master, Shaikh Abdul Qadir (may Allah be well pleased with him) once said, "If a person has not learned the noble remembrance [dhikr], which consists of the affirmation of Divine Oneness [tawhid], from a Shaikh who is a qualified instructor [murshid], connected by spiritual lineage to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), that person is unlikely to invoke it when the need for it arises, at the time when death is about to strike.

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