Should I stop making dhikr if my heart is not engaged?
Sometimes we engage in dhikr but the heart is not connected to the tongue. Should we stop?
The first point is to continue doing dhikr, as otherwise the shaytan will come and hunt you and put you off doing dhikr because you are not focused. He will put you off doing dhikr altogether.
Second, try your best to think about what you are saying. As the mind keeps trying to wander off, bring your focus back to the dhikr of Allah Almighty. Rather than rattling it off by your tongue robotically, allow it to reach your heart.
Ibn Ata Allah al-Iskandari (may Allah have mercy on him) in his book Al Hikam mentioned 2 or 3 wisdoms on that topic: never stop dhikr of Allah Almighty even if you do not feel it in your heart, because over time, insha’Allah the heart will respond to the tongue and the tongue and the heart will work together.
Do not stop. Keep doing it but improve it and take it to a higher level, insha’Allah.
Instead, as Ibn al-Qayyim said the best dhikr is when the heart and tongue are engaged. The second best is when only the heart is engaged. The third third is when only the tongue is engaged and though it does bring the same fruit, it is beneficial and you can build on this.
Imam Ghazali said dhikr begins with the tongue; then by the heart being pressed into remembering; then the heart remembering spontaneously.
May Allah Almighty keep our tongues moist with His remembrance and our hearts engaged in His worship. Ameen
Shaykh Haytham Tamim
Transcribed by Rose Roslan.
Excerpt from the course on How to Keep the Heart Healthy.
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March 17, 2022