The real purpose of zikr (recollection of God by reciting the name
of His essence, Allah, many times with enthusiasm) is to make the
heart awake and alive to the presence of God. The heart is the
means we use to reach our spiritual goal – which is Divine Love. If
it becomes lazy or sleepy we have no means by which to reach
our goal. The zikr is to energise the heart. Think of it like a horse
we are riding on. If it is not fed and energetic it will not carry us
very far. If it is not properly controlled it will carry us only into
danger and difficulty. This means the practise of zikr, especially
group chanting, should be under the proper supervision of an
experienced guide. The recitation of the word Allah on our own
however, according to the saints, can be done at any time and in
The verbal zikr is also a means of cleaning the rust from the mirror
of our heart. This enables us to see some of the wonders of the
We first make our tongue busy with the word ‘Allah’ then we try to
drive that word deep into our heart. After we do it often enough the
heart itself starts reciting the word. Then other thoughts are driven
away and we begin to experience ecstasy. According to the saints
the word Allah has limitations, but that which it refers to does not.
We can also recite it inside, in thought, without using the tongue.
For this we put the tongue on the roof of the mouth so that it can’t
move while we recite the word inside.
If we reach high enough with the silent or verbal zikr, then instead
of us remembering Allah – He starts to remember us. Then a deep
mystery becomes unfolded in our heart and we experience being
one with the ONE.
We understand then that our life has a purpose. No that we
should just to go through life enjoying things which will pass, and
then at the end dying. Instead we become really alive and start to
live – not just to breath, eat, work, shop, copulate and reproduce;
but to live with love.
When this happens all of our present life becomes full of meaning
and wonderful in a way that you can’t imagine.
The Sufi way is not based on thinking or philosophy but on actual
experience. You can spend a lifetime trying to describe sweetness
and not succeed, but if you taste sugar you do not need to
JMZ Feb 2016