Dhikr: the Remembrance of Allah
عَنْ أَبِي الدَّرْدَاءِ؛ أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ (أَلاَ أُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِخَيْرِ أَعْمَالِكُمْ، وَأَرْضَاهَا عِنْدَ مَلِيكِكُمْ، وَأَرْفَعِهَا فِي دَرَجَاتِكُمْ، وَخَيْرٍ لَكُمْ مِنْ إِعْطَاءِ الذَّهَبِ وَالْوَرِقِ، وَمِنْ أَنْ تَلْقَوْا عَدُوَّكُمْ فَتَضْرِبُوا أَعْنَاقَهُمْ، وَيَضْرِبُوا أَعْنَاقَكُمْ؟) قَالُوا: وَما ذَاكَ؟ يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ!قَالَ ذِكْرُ اللهِ
The Prophet said:
Shall I tell you something that is the best of all deeds, constitutes the best act of piety in the eyes of your Lord, elevates your rank in the hereafter, and carries more virtue than the spending of gold and silver in the service of Allah, or taking part in Jihād and slaying or being slain in the path of Allah?” They said: “Yes!” He said: “Remembrance of Allah."
Thus one finds the principles of the spiritual Jihād are based on eliminating the ugly, selfish and ferocious characteristics of the ego through spiritual training and mastery of dhikr, the Remembrance of Allah. This remembrance takes many forms: each school of Sufism focuses on a different form of ritual dhikr to enable the seeker to approach the Divine Presence, varying from individual silent recitation and chanting to vocal group sessions. It is this spiritual struggle that raises humankind and instills in him the sense of relationship with His Creator, and the proper perspective in relating to all creation, always calling for love between humanity and striving in Allah’s Way for better understanding between various communities of all faiths. Through this spiritual Jihād the effect of the selfish ego on the soul of the seeker will be removed, uplifting his state from depression, anxiety and loneliness to one of joy, satisfaction and companionship with the Most High.