by Dr. Manzoor-ul-Haque

If we look into the Quran we will find that the word Zikr occurs 268 times in the Quran and has 63 derivatives used in the Book, the Quran. This word Zikr has many connotations in Islam. Its almost opposite is Nissiyane (forgetting). This verb occurs 45 times in the Quran; and 28 of its derivatives have also been mentioned in the sacred Book.

The root of Zikr is Za-Kaf-Ra. Some of its meanings are:

Az-Zikro Wattazk’aro: It means

· To preserve something, to keep alive in mind; this word is used opposite to NASYUN, which means to forget (6:68)

At tazkerato: It means

  • To remind something which is needed (76:29)
  • The Quran has also been called As-Zikro (16:14) because it contains the history and Causes or Laws for the rise and fall of nations
  • Zikrun also means to remain steadfast in the battlefield and thus ensures the supremacy of Divine Laws (51:45). The Divine Laws are also called Zikrullah (39:23). It has also been used in the context of dignity, honour, respect, fame and saying something good (43:44)
  • Verses (2:152) says Faz Kurunee Azkur Kum -‘You keep in view My Laws and I shall protect your rights and grace you with dignity and honour’
  • In short Zikr means
  1. To remain steadfast in the battle field
  2. Ponder over the secrets of nature
  3. Take lesson from the previous history of nations
  4. Keep in view the Divine Laws and take decisions accordingly
  5. Propagate or give publicity to the Divine Laws
  6. These are the steps which install peace of mind (13:28) and not the rotation of beads or retreating to the caves or hujras

Keep these meanings in view, study the Quran and grasp the places where this word has been used. You will understand the real perspective and get the action verbs commanding you to do the things practically.

Dr. Manzoor-ul-Haque

2 Responses to “Zikr”

  1. 1 brotherj
    September 15, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    Mus’ab ibn Sa’d said: My father told me that he was with Allah’s Messenger (salAllahu alayhi wa sallam) when he remarked, “Does any one of you not have the ability to attain 1000 good deeds (hasanaat) every day? Let him do tasbeeh (Subhan Allah!) 100 times, it will be written for him 1000 hasanat or 1000 sins will be wiped from his record.” This hadith was narrated by Imam Muslim.

    Is the meaning of this hadith unclear? There is much reward in doing this. The other meanings you mentioned are certainly good matters as well, but to say that the meaning of “zikr” was unknown or incorrectly applied for so many years is a bit… “out there”.

    As a note, The Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, also used the term “zikrullah” with the meaning of “prayers”. At-Tabaraniyy related that the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said: “The best of the worshippers of Allah are those who consider the sun, the moon, the stars, and the shadows for zikrullah.” The scholars elaborated that this meant prayers and was referring to the use of these signs from Allah in finding the prayer times and the qiblah.

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