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Dhikar and Contemplation
Author :Khwaja Shamsuddin Azeemi
Short URL: http://iseek.online/?p=12936
According to the teachings of the Qur’an (Koran), dhikr (remembrance) of God is highly regarded. In the Qur’an (Koran) as well as in hadith, dhikr is recommended on several occasions. Salat is also referred as dhikr and its stated purpose is to establish the dhikr of God.
The literal meaning of dhikr is the act of remembering. It could also mean mentioning because to mention someone is to remember him. When you mention someone and his or her attributes, that act connects you mentally with the person you are mentioning. To remember someone or mention someone verbally are interrelated. In daily life there are several examples, for instance, when someone is in love with the other person then that love is manifested in way that not only they mention their lover’s name but in their heart the thoughts of the beloved prevail as well.
The center of religious teaching is the Essence of God and its purpose is to establish a link between the created and the Creator. In addition, it is to strengthen that relationship to a point where the heart can witness the Divine Light (tadjalli). Therefore, all functions, whether they are physical or rational are connected with the Divine so that consciously and subconsciously the thought of God encircles the mind.
The first stage of dhikr is to repeat continuously (as in mantra) any Divine Name (ism e’lahi) or attributes with the tongue. When someone is engaged in this activity, then his or her mind also remains focused on that thought. Even when temporarily the mind disengages in dhikr occasionally the mechanical motion never lets the will move away from the dhikr. This stage in Sufism is referred to as dhikr lisani (verbal), which means to repeat any Divine Name verbally while maintaining the focus on dhikr.
When you say the same name repeatedly then that single thought registers in the mind. Concentration is enhanced and the mind is able to maintain a focus on a single thought. When this occurs then the person feels a burden in repeating the Name with the tongue. He feels pleasure in repeating the Name in the realm of thought (alam khiyal). Therefore he switches from dhikr lisani to dhikr khafi (hidden). This stage in Sufism is known as dhikr galbi (by heart).
Then comes a moment when the person even feels a burden with the dhikr by heart as well. At that point the thought of that Name encircles him and he becomes totally immersed in the archetypal world of imagination (alam al-mithal). This state is called dhikr roohi (spiritual); its other name is Muraqaba. Muraqaba in this case is defined as a thought of God established in such a way that focuses on, and never deviates from Him.
We will explain this entire concept in an analogy. When someone does a dhikr of the Divine Name of al-Qadeer; at first he would do the dhikr by tongue, at the next level he would do the dhikr silently by heart, not by his tongue (hence no sound is generated). At the third level he does not have to repeat it by heart, instead the Divine Name al-Qadeer, in the form of thought and imagination encircles his mind. This level or style of dhikr where a person maintains the imagination of the meaning of the Name is known as Muraqaba. The purpose of all the different styles of dhikr is to create a capability in that person so that his entire focus is fully immersed in any one of the Divine Names.
In the beginning the person maintains the thought during the Muraqaba but with continued focus this thought dominates his consciousness along with the entire mental and physical functions. He is able to form a continued relationship with God, and no time is passed where he is not in that state of Muraqaba. When this state of Muraqaba becomes part of the consciousness then his soul ascends towards alam almalakut (world of Platonic intelligence) and he is rewarded with kashf (vision) and ilhaam (revelation).
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