Our purpose in this life is to worship the Almighty; to submit to Him, obey Him and love Him. Dhikr (remembering Allah) is one of the greatest ways to achieve this. Here are some of the many virtues of this noble act gathered from the Qur’ān and Sunnah:

1. Dhikr is Greater than Everything

Allah (subḥānahū wa ta‘ālā) says: “…And the remembrance of Allah is greater…” (29:45)

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “The Mufarridūn have outdone everyone.” They asked: “Who are the Mufarridūn?” He ﷺ replied: “The men and women who frequently remember Allah.” (Muslim)

2. Frequent Dhikr Leads to Success

Allah (subḥānahū wa ta‘ālā) says: “Remember Allah much that you may be successful.” (8:45)

3. Dhikr Protects You from Being Amongst the ‘Losers’

Allah (subḥānahū wa ta‘ālā) says: “O you who believe, let not your wealth and your children divert you from the remembrance of Allah. And whoever does that, then those are the losers.” (63:9)

4. Dhikr will Save You from Regret

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “No people leave a gathering in which they did not remember Allah, the Almighty, except that it will be as if they are leaving the carcass of a donkey; and it will be a cause of regret for them.” (Abū Dāwūd)

He ﷺ also said: “The people of Paradise will not regret anything, except for those moments in which they did not remember Allah.” (Ṭabarānī)

ʿAmr b. ʿAbdillāh said: “On the Day of Judgement, when the veil revealing the rewards of actions is lifted, people will not see any action with greater reward than dhikr. Then, some people will feel regret and say: ‘There was nothing easier for us than doing dhikr.’”

5. Dhikr is a Protection against Shaytān

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ quoting Prophet Yaḥyā (ʿalayhis-salām) said:

“I command you to remember Allah. Verily, the parable of that is a man who goes forth while his enemies are fast upon him, and then he comes to a safe fortress, where he protects himself from them. In the same way, a servant will not protect himself against Shayṭān except by the dhikr of Allah.” (Tirmidhī 2863)

6. Dhikr is the Best Protection from Punishment

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “There is nothing better a person can do to save himself from Allah’s punishment than to remember Him.” (Bayhaqī 1/ 319-320)

7. The Reward of one who Remembers Allah is that Allah Remembers him

Allah (subḥānahū wa ta‘ālā) says in the Holy Qurān: “Remember Me, and I will remember you.” (2:152)

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Allah says: ‘I am as My slave thinks of me, and I am with him when he remembers Me. If he remembers Me within himself, I remember him within Myself; and if he remembers Me in a gathering, I remember him in a better gathering; and if he draws one span nearer to Me, I draw one cubit nearer to him; and if he draws one cubit nearer to Me, I draw a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running.’” (Ḥadīth Qudsī, Bukhārī)

8. Dhikr is the Best Reason for a Gathering

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “When a group of people assemble for the dhikr of Allah, the angels surround them, (Allah’s) mercy envelops them, tranquillity descends upon them and Allah mentions them to those who are near Him.” (Muslim 2699)

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “When you pass by the meadows of Paradise, then graze well.” They asked: “What are the meadows of Paradise?” He replied: “The circles of dhikr.” (Tirmidhī)

9. Dhikr is the Best of all Deeds

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ asked: “Shall I not inform you of the best of your deeds, and the purest of them with your Master, and the highest of them in ranks, and is better for you than spending gold and silver, and better for you than meeting your enemy and striking their necks, and they strike your necks?” They replied: “Of course.” He ﷺ said: “The remembrance of Allah.” (Tirmidhī 3377)

A man asked the Messenger of Allah ﷺ: “Which warriors are the best?” He ﷺ replied: “Those who remember Allah the most.” The man asked: “Which of those who fast are the best?” He ﷺ replied: “Those who remember Allah the most.” Then the man mentioned ṣalāh, zakāh and ḥajj, and each time the Messenger of Allah ﷺ replied: “Those who remember Allah the most.” Abū Bakr (raḍiy Allāhu ‘anhu) said to ʿUmar (raḍiy Allāhu ‘anhu): “Those who remember (Allah) have taken all the good,” at which the Messenger of Allah ﷺ remarked: “Yes, indeed!” (Aḥmad 15553)

One of the companions (raḍiy Allāhu ‘anhu) asked: “O Messenger of Allah, the laws of Islam have become many for me, so tell me something which I can cling on to.” He ﷺ replied: “Always keep your tongue moist with the remembrance of Allah.” (Tirmidhī 3375)

Muʿādh ibn Jabal (raḍiyallāhu ʿanhu) said: “In my last conversation with the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, I asked him: ‘Which deed is the best and most beloved to Allah?’ He ﷺ replied: ‘That you die whilst your tongue is moist with the remembrance of Allah.’” (Ibn Ḥibbān)

10. Dhikr Leads to Allah Boasting About You to the Angels

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ came out to a gathering of his companions and he asked: “What has made you sit (here)?” They replied: “We are sitting to remember Allah, and to praise Him for guiding us to Islam and blessing us with it.” The Prophet ﷺ asked: “By Allah, is that the only reason?” They replied: “By Allah, we are only sitting for that.” The Prophet ﷺ said: “Indeed, I did not make you swear an oath because I doubted you. Rather, Jibrīl came to me and informed me that Allah the Almighty is boasting about you to the angels.” (Muslim)

11. Dhikr is the Path to Knowing Allah, Loving Him & Being Loved by Him

Ibn al-Qayyim said: “Indeed Allah has made a means for attaining everything. He has made continuous remembrance (dhikr) the means for love. So, whoever wants the love of Allah, then let him fervently remember Him.”

Dhū al-Nūn (raḥimahullāh) said: “Whoever’s heart and tongue are occupied with dhikr, Allah casts into his heart the light of longing for Him.”

Al-Rabīʿ b. Anas (raḥimahullāh) said: “The sign of the love of Allah is that there is a great deal of remembrance of Him, because if you ever love a thing you remember it a great deal.”

Ibn al-Qayyim (raḥimahullāh) wrote: ‘Dhikr of the heart and tongue leads one to know Allah, inspires love, encourages modesty, and leads to fear and self-examination. It keeps one from falling short in obedience to Him and prevents one from taking sins lightly.’

‘In regards to dhikr, people are on one of two levels. For the general Muslims, it is to earn rewards. For the elite, however, it is to draw near to Allah and be in His presence. What a tremendous gulf there is between the two levels. What a difference there is between one who takes his reward from behind a veil, and one who is drawn close and becomes of the elite lovers!’ (Ibn Juzayy raḥimahullāh)

12. Dhikr is a Source of Nūr (light)

Allah says: “On that Day you will see believing men and women with their light shining ahead of them and on their right. (They will be told,) ‘Today you have good news of Gardens, under which rivers flow, (for you) to stay in forever. This is the ultimate triumph.’” (57:12)

Dhikr will be a nūr for you in your grave, and on the Day of Judgement. This nūr will keep you steady on the ṣirāṭ (a bridge which must be passed on the Day of Judgement) that will guide you to Paradise.

Dhikr is also nūr in this world. It illuminates your heart, face and the rest of the body. Ibn al-Qayyim (raḥimahullāh) explains that the more nūr the heart has, the greater the nūr of your actions and words will be. Thus, there are some believers whose actions ascend up to Allah, and the nūr of their deeds is like the light of the sun.

‘By Allah, if you could hear the sound of the pens of the angels writing your name amongst those who remember Allah, you would die out of joy.’ (Ibn al-Qayyim raḥimahullāh)

6: Istiʿadhah & Basmalah
al-Halim: The Most Forbearing