The notion of Dhikr in Islamic Mysticism

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Keywords: dhikr, sheikh, murid, ghafla, salah, du‘a, Qur’an, Hadith, sabr, Shahadah, sunnah, silsila, salik, sharia, baqiyah, faniyah, khanqah, fuqara, majlis, khalifa, adab, fana, ma‘rifat,wahy.


Jusuf Salih[1]


The word dhikr is probably the most frequently used form of prayer in Islamic mysticism. This term includes all kinds of mentioning, worshiping, and remembering God and can be performed out loud or silently, according to the place or the character of the mystic. The Qur’an sometimes refers to itself by this term, and it is sometimes attributed to the Prophet Muhammad since he was as a “reminder.” Muslim mystics believe that people are directed away from the nucleus of their being and that their consciousness is imprisoned in some kind of delusion and forgetfulness (ghafla). Therefore they should “remind” (dhikr) and be reminded constantly so that they will “remember” what they have “forgotten.” When dhikr is performed, that is an indication in the person’s heart that he or she has not forgotten God but is aware of his or her weaknesses and need for constant guidance. Consequently, this “remembrance” is a spiritual ornament that ought to be deeply entrenched in the hearts of all human beings: it is a way to happiness; a lock opener on the humans’ journey toward the Divine love; it is the foundation and cornerstone of good deeds and excellent conduct.


[1]   Jusuf Salih, PhD candidate,