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three degrees of dhikr

1.
Essential for the journey to Allah are three things. Dhikr is the first.

First is Dhikr.

Dhikr, invocation of Allah, is the great practice of the People. It has three degrees. To the common people it is dhikr of the tongue. To the elite, it is dhikr of the heart. To the elect of the elite, it is dhikr of the Sirr, the Secret. The first is well know. The second is dhikr accompanied by awareness so that the heart has become the arena of contemplation in the Presence of Lordship. The last is a tremendous affair. In it the tongue become mute and the heart still.

The first is dhikr of Huwa, the pronoun of absence. The second is the dhikr of Anta, the pronoun of presence. The third is the dhikr of Ana, the pronoun of tawhid.

Movement from the first stage to the second is marked by the body's agitation, such as swaying rhythmically, sudden exclamation, rising to the feet and so on. Movement from the second stage to the last is marked by the numbness of the limbs, and the silence of the tongue so that the dhikr becomes 'lost'. My Master, the Wine-pourer, Shaykh al-Fayturi said of this: 'What a wonderful thing! There were you - looking for the dhikr! And there was the dhikr looking for you!'

In the Hikam it says: 'Do not abandon the dhikr because you fail to sense the Presence of Allah in it. Your forgetfulness of the dhikr of Him is worse than your forgetfulness in the dhikr of Him. Perhaps He will take you from a dhikr of forgetfulness to one with Presence, and from one with Presence to one in which everything but the Invoked is absent. And that is not difficult for Allah.'

- from The Hundred Steps
by Shaykh Abdal Qadir as-Sufi al-Murabit, may Allah bless his station

2.
If you are mindful of God, little by little your interior will be illuminated and you will attain release from the world. If you have musk in a container with a narrow neck, you put your finger into it. You can't get the musk out, but your finger is perfumed nevertheless and your sense of smell is gratified. Being mindful of God is like this. Although you cannot reach His essence, remembrance of Him has many effects, and many great benefits accrue.

- Rumi, Fihi Ma Fihi

3.
Sufism is the science of the journey to the King

The Sufi is universal. He has reduced and then eliminated the marks of selfhood to allow a clear view of the cosmic reality. He has rolled up the cosmos in its turn and obliterated it. He has gone beyond.

If you seek power or renown or reward from men by this Path then know that it has in it nothing but sorrow for you. If you set out seeking the Face of Allah then know that Allah is the Answerer of our prayers and His mercy is beyond our mercy or our understanding of mercy. The Path is pure compassion at its beginning and at its end. One who knows that will be content with tajrid (stripping away) and rich remain as faqir (one of the poor) even if Allah robes him in the robes of the king. Every king dies like a faqir and every faqir dies like a king.  

- From the Back Cover of the Book, The Hundred Steps


. You may download this valuable sufi book from here

# Also: Zikr: The Remembrance of God

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