Tuesday, June 10, 2008

assembly of remembrance | zikr

sufi zikr circle, assembly
No assembly ever meets to remember Allah which is not attended by the Angels and not covered by Allah's Mercy and where Allah the Almighty does not remember those among them who are close to Him.
- saying of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him

Above is a hadith or islamic tradition, along with inspiring Quranic verses on remembrance of God, are the basis of the assembly of remembrance or zikr (also written as dhikr) practice as preserved by the sufis, gnostics and also by muslims who don't necessarily call themselves sufi.

Has not the time arrived for the believers that their hearts in all humility should engage in the remembrance of God and of the Truth which has been revealed .. - The Quran 57:16

And remember God in abundance that you may be successful.
- The Quran 62:10

... and certainly the repeated remembrance (Zikr) of God is the greatest. - The Quran 29:45

The sacred tradition of assembly of remembrance was also practiced by Jesus Christ, son of Mary, with his holy companions, peace and blessings be upon them. One such zikr in a circle assembly with praise of God led by Christ himself as the Shaykh is recorded in early Christian Gnostic text, the Apocryphal Acts of St. John. St. John records: Now before he was taken by the lawless, who also were governed by the lawless serpent (satan), he gathered all of us together and said: Before I am delivered up unto them let us sing an hymn to the Father, and so go forth to that which lieth before us. He bade us therefore make as it were a ring, holding one another's hands, and himself standing in the midst. (see Hymn of Jesus)

In Islamic wisdom tradition the practice of remembrance of God in assembly goes back during the time of Prophet Muhammad as recorded by his holy companions. The hadiths record:

In the lifetime of the Prophet it was the custom to celebrate Allah’s praises aloud after the congregational prayers. (Bukhari, v1, b12, n802, narrator Abu Ma'bad)

Ibn ‘Abbas reported: Dhikr (mentioning the name of Allah) in a loud voice after obligatory prayers was (a common practice) during the lifetime of the Apostle of Allah; and when I heard that I came to knew that they had finished the contact prayer. (Muslim, b4, n1211)

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