Hafiz Ibn Qayyim (RA), a well-known Muhadith (A scholar of traditions), has written an authentic book, ’Al-Waabilus Sayyib’, on the virtues of Zikr, which are more than one hundred and he has listed seventy nine of these, which are briefly given below in the same order. Some of these include multiple benefits, in that case their actual number exceeds more than one hundred:
1) Zikr keeps away the Shaitân and weakens his strength.
2) It is the cause of Almighty Allah Ta’ala’s pleasure.
3) It relieves the mind from anxieties and worries.
4) It produces joy and happiness in the heart.
5) It strengthens the body and mind.
6) It brightens the face and heart.
7) It attracts one’s sustenance.
8) It invests the Zâkirs with awe and sweetness so that the beholder is filled with awe and pleasure at his sight.
9) It induces love for Allah Ta’ala, which in fact is the spirit of Islam and the pivot of Deen (religion), and the source of success and salvation in the Hereafter. He who seeks access to the love of Almighty Allah Ta’ala should do Zikr profusely. Just as reading and repetition is the door of knowledge, so Zikr of Allah Ta’ala is the gateway of His love.
10) Zikr involves Muraqabah (transcendental meditation) through which one reaches the stage of Ihsân, wherein a person worships Almighty Allah Ta’ala as if he is actually seeing Him. (The attainment of this stage of Ihsân is the ultimate objective of the Sufis).
11) It helps in realization of Allah Ta’ala so that by and by a stage is reached when he comes to regard Almighty Allah Ta’ala as his sole Cherisher, Guardian and Master, and he turns unto Him, in all afflictions.
12) It is the key to the nearness of Almighty Allah Ta’ala. More abundant the Zikr, more one will get nearer to Allah Ta’ala, and greater the indifference to Zikr, greater will be the distance from Him.
13) It opens the doors of realization (Ma’arifat) of Allah Ta’ala.
14) It makes one to realize the greatness and grandeur of Almighty Allah Ta’ala, and strengthens the consciousness of His omni-presence.
15) Zikr of Allah Ta’ala causes one’s mention in the court of Allah Ta’ala, as is mentioned in the Holy Book (Al-Qur’ân):
فَاذْكُرُونِي أَذْكُرْكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لِي وَلَاتَكْفُرُونِ
” Remember me, and I will remember you.” (2:152)
And as stated in the Hadith:
“Whosoever remembers Me in his heart. I remember him in My heart”. (Bukhâri & Muslim Sharief)
It has already been explained under other verses and Ahâdith that, even if there were no other good points in Zikr, except those mentioned above, this alone would have established its superiority over others. Nevertheless, there are many more virtues and benefits of Zikr.
16) It gives life to the heart. Hafiz Ibn Taimiyah (RA) says that Zikr is so much necessary for the heart as water for the fish. Imagine the condition of a fish out of water.
17) It is food for the heart and soul; to deprive them of Zikr is like depriving the body of its food.
18) It cleanses the heart of its rust. It has been mentioned in the Hadith; everything rusts according to its nature; and the heart rusts with worldly desires and indifference; to purify it, Zikr is necessary.
19) It safeguards against pitfalls and lapses.
20) The heart of neglectful person is tormented by a feeling of remoteness from Allah Ta’ala, and nothing other than Zikr can rid off the heart from this feeling.
21) The words of Zikr keep circulating round the Arsh of Almighty, as stated in a Hadith.
22) If one remembers Allah Ta’ala in happiness, Almighty Allah Ta’ala remembers him in his afflictions.
23) It is a means of deliverance from Allah Ta’ala’s punishment.
24) It causes Allah Ta’ala’s peace and mercy to descend, while angels surround the person engaged in Zikr.
25) It saves one’s tongue from indulging in backbiting, loose talk, lies, and abuses. It is a common experience that a man whose tongue remains engaged in Zikr does not commit these absurdities. On the other hand, a tongue that is not busy in Zikr, falls an easy prey to all kinds of useless talk.
26) The gatherings of Zikr are the gatherings of angels, and gatherings without Zikr are gatherings of Satan. A person is free to have a choice between the two, and verily a man, by instinct, is drawn towards what suits to his temperament.
27) By virtue of Zikr, the Zâkir is blessed and also the person sitting by him. Similarly, the indolent person is accursed for his indolence and also the person sitting by him.
28) Zikr will save one from despair on the Day of Judgement. This is confirmed by one of the Ahâdith which says that the gathering devoid of Allah Ta’ala’s Zikr will cause sorrow and losses on that Day.
29) If Zikr is accompanied by tears and loneliness, the Zâkir will be blessed under the shadow of Allah Ta’ala’s Throne on the Day of Judgement when hearts will jump to lips due to agony of intolerable heat of that Day.
30) Those who remain busy in Zikr are better rewarded by Allah Ta’ala than those who remain busy in Dua (prayer) and supplication. According to one Hadith, Almighty Allah Ta’ala says that “I will reward one better who is engrossed in Zikr than the one who is busy in making Dua”.
31) In spite of the fact that Zikr is the easiest form of worship (the movement of the tongue being easier than the movement of any other part of the body), All the same it is the most virtuous form.
32) Allah Ta’ala’s Zikr helps the plants ofParadise to grow.
33) Of all the actions, the reward and forgiveness promised for Zikr is the highest. According to a Hadith, if on any day a person repeats the following words one hundred times:
لا اله إلا وحده لا شريك له له الملك و له الحمد و هو على كل شىء قدير
“There is none worthy of worship except Allah Ta’ala, the One. There is no partner with Him; His is the kingdom, and for Him is all praise, and He is All-powerful to do everything.”
He is rewarded as much as for freeing ten slaves, and in addition one hundred virtues are written in his account and one hundred sins are forgiven. He remains protected against the devil throughout the day, and none is considered as having acted better than him except one who has recited the same words more often than he did. Similarly, there are many other Ahâdith proclaiming the superiority of Zikr over all other good deeds.
34) Due to incessant Zikr one does not forget his own soul. Forgetting one’s soul leads to failure in both the worlds, because forgetting the remembrance of Allah Ta’ala leads to neglecting one’s own soul and all its best interests. Allah Ta’ala says in His book:
وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ نَسُوا اللَّهَ فَأَنْسَاهُمْ أَنْفُسَهُمْ أُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ
“And be not ye as those who forgot Allah Ta’ala and therefore He caused them to forget their souls. Such are the evil-doers”.(59:19)
Thus, when one forgets his own soul, he becomes careless and forgets his real interests, which leads to his ruin in the same way as a garden or field is invariably ruined when its owner fails to look after it. To remain protected from this ruin, one should keep his tongue always busy in Zikr to such an extent that it (zikr) becomes indispensable for him in such a way as water is for thirsty, food for hungry or a house and clothes for the needy. As a matter of fact, one should be more mindful towards Zikr than any of these material necessities which are a small loss if lost as compared with the spiritual death.
35) Zikr is the source of one’s spiritual elevation whether one is engaged in it while in bed or in the market, in good health or in sickness, or even when one is enjoying most of the pleasures of life. Nothing but Zikr can take a man to such spiritual heights whereby his heart is so illuminated with the radiance of Zikr that even while asleep he is more wakeful than a neglectful person who is awake all the night.
36) The Noor (radiance) of Zikr remains with a person in his life as well as in his grave. It will guide him on the Sirât in the Hereafter. Almighty Allah Ta’ala says in the Quran:
أَوَمَنْ كَانَ مَيْتًا فَأَحْيَيْنَاهُ وَجَعَلْنَا لَهُ نُورًا يَمْشِي بِهِ فِي النَّاسِ كَمَنْ مَثَلُهُ فِي الظُّلُمَاتِ لَيْسَ بِخَارِجٍ مِنْهَا كَذَلِكَ زُيِّنَ لِلْكَافِرِينَ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ
“Can he who was dead and whom We gave life, and a light whereby he can walk among men, be like him who is in utter darkness whence he cannot emerge?” (6:122)
The one mentioned first is the faithful, who believes in Allah Ta’ala and shines with the light of His love, Zikr, and cognizance, while the second one is devoid of all these virtues. In reality this radiance is a great blessing and leads to perfect success. That is why Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) used to beg in prolonged prayers for it to circulate in every part of his body. As mentioned in Ahâdith, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) prayed that Almighty Allah Ta’ala may bless his flesh, bones, muscles, hair skin, eyes and ears with Noor, and that he may be surrounded with Noor on all sides; he even prayed that he may be blessed with Noor from top to bottom, and that his whole person may be transmitted into Noor. One’s deeds will shine according to the Noor in oneself so much that the good deeds of some people (while going to heaven) will shine like the Sun. Similar Noor will be found in their faces on the Day of Judgement.
37) Zikr is the basic principle of Tasawuf (Sufism) and is invoked in all the schools of Sufism. A person who gets conversant with Zikr enters the gateway of Almighty Allah Ta’ala, from Whom he will get whatever he wishes, for Allah Ta’ala’s treasures are unlimited.
38) There is not a single corner in the heart of a man which cannot be filled but with Zikr. When Zikr controls the heart, not only does it fill up this corner but also leads the Zâkir to that kind of contentment which any amount of wealth would fail to produce. Such a person gets respect among people, which his family or party fails to bring about. He earns such a control over people that a sovereign would never dream of. On the other hand, disgrace descends over an indolent in spite of all his wealth and riches, party, strength and powers.