Dr. Waffie Mohammed
The first Trinidad national to have earned a doctorate in the study of Islam, Dr. Waffie graduated from the University of Karachi with a PhD in Islamic Studies, obtained in parallel with Al-Kamil certification from the Aleemiya Institute established by Dr. Fazlu R. Ansari.
On his return to Trinidad, Dr. Waffie contributed to the development of the Muslim communities located throughout the country and the region, while at the same time serving the wider national communities. This led to his appointment to the Senate in 1981, and his later appointment as Director of the Muslim World League regional office for the Caribbean and Latin America, a position in which he contributed to global Muslim development, until his retirement in 2003.
Dr. Waffie is currently serving as the Principal and Director at the Markaz al Ihsaan Institute of Islamic Theology. He also serves as a spiritual leader of the local chapters of the Qadri and Nakshbandi Orders within Islamic Spirituality Circles.
The author of numerous books, articles and publications dedicated to Islam and contemporary social issues, Dr. Waffie also has a growing number of pioneering works in contemporary Islamic studies. Dr. Waffie blogs often at http://drwaffie.blogspot.com
Engaging in silent zikr [remembrance of God]
- By Dr. Waffie Mohammed
- Published 10/4/2010
‘and remember your Lord within yourself (your nafs), humbly and with fear, without loudness in words in the mornings, and in the afternoons and be not of those who are neglectful’. (7 : 205)
Zikr is usually translated as remembrance of Allah , and in this context Allah is commanding us to remember Him with the nafs. The nafs is basically the energy that is derived from the workings of the physical body. It also denotes the lower self of man.
Anas Bin Malik narrated that Rasulullah (uwbp) says that he who sits after Fajr prayer remembering Allah till sun rise and says two rakats of prayer will be rewarded like a person who has performed Hajj and Umrah.
Allah is commanding us to make zikir in the mornings and evenings and to do so silently. One technique that is usually taught in the discipline of tassawuf is to cultivate your nafs, i.e. your physical organs to makes ziki. And one discipline teaches the students to cultivate their personalities to resound ‘Allahu’. i.e. you actually hear your heat-beat saying Allahu
If done properly you will actually hear your organs saying Allahu, when they are cultured to do so after perfecting this zikr with your heart. (qalb).
Abu Bakr reported that the Sahabas used to sit so silently in front of Prophet [uwbp]that the desert crows used to pick their heads. What do you think they used to be listening to? The Ashabus Suffa were those blessed companions who used to learn directly from Prophet [uwbp] and they used to actually live in the masjid and only leave out of necessity. What do you think they used to be doing night and day? They were learning the technique of making zikr.
Those who are true believers will truly understand how close Allah is, and how merciful and compassionate He is. They will begin to develop a special kind of love for Him and it will continue to grow and grow. Remember Allah says He is our Wali; ‘Allah is the wali of those who have faith’. A wali is a person’s closest, most senior, protecting friend. Part of our mission in this world is to realise how close our Lord is to us. Develop the right concept. Don’t think of Him as a vengeful God who will issue punishment at the first chance; instead know that He is every-ready to help with compassion and love.
By engaging in zikr in this manner we can actually culture the heart to make zikr, even when we are preoccupied with other things. For example it has been reported by Jabir bin Abdullah (ra) that some angels came to the Prophet [uwbp] while he was asleep. Some of them said, “He is sleeping.” Others said, “His eyes are sleeping but his heart is awake.”
Make your organs resound Allahu. This isn’t impossible for us to achieve. It is based on our effort. No material things can help you achieve this. It is a real jihad [struggle] and proof can be found in the narration where Prophet [uwbp] told his Companions “I have returned from the small jihad (jihad asghar) to the big jihad (jihad akbar)”. The Sahabas enquired “what is the big jihad?” Prophet [uwbp] said “the jihad al nafs (inner desires).”
Satan will try to divert you but try to take control of yourself. Make proper usage of your time and try to benefit from what is being offered. Forget about the baseless argument of those who will argue that zikr is haram. Take control of the nafs and cultivate it to make the zikr of Allah and insha Allah you would have achieved something of great benefit in this world and the next.