Dhikr or “Invocation” is the quintessential means of actualizing the Divine Presence and passing from intellectual theory to experience and realization. In scholastic terms this is a transition from potency to act – in effect to attain “union” with God [ittihad] or the realization of the Oneness of God [tawhid], for this is the goal of Sufism.
The principle of reciprocity between God and man is expressed by God’s revealed words: “Therefore remember Me; I will remember you.” [2:152]. The Noble Qur’an often underlines the importance of invocation in verses such as these:
- “Remember God standing and sitting” [3:191]
- “… those who believe and do good works, and remember God much…” [26:227]
- “Surely the Remembrance of God is greatest” [29:45]
In a nutshell, a seeker [salik] of any spiritual path [tariqah] enters into a covenant [bay’ah] with a living spiritual guide [murshid] to:
- perform with excellence all that He, eminent is His Glory, has mandated and recommended
- abstain with content all that He, Most High, has prohibited and disliked
- beseech His forgiveness swiftly when transgressions occur
- undertake the stipulated dhikr (remembrance of Allah) of the order
In the ‘Arusi-Qadiri path, the invocations are of the following 3 types:
- Daily Wird
The daily recital of the Wird is the key to maintaining the rabita or “Spiritual Connection” with both the Murshid and the Tariqah
- Weekly Ratib
The Ratib Jalaliyyah contains the Sirr or “Secret” of the Arusi-Qadiri order and must be established to attain success in one’s Suluk or “Spiritual Endeavours”
- Other Adhkar
There are many other Ahzab (litanies) and Awrad (orations) that are voluntarily adopted or prescribed to murids according to their stations and needs by the Shaikh
The above invocations are in addition to:
- Fulfilling the mandatory acts of worship (i.e. the prescribed five daily prayers [al-salawat al-khams], paying the tithe [al-zakat], fasting the month of Ramadan [sawm ramadan], and pilgrimage to Mecca [al-hajj]);
- Performing supererogatory acts of worship (prayers and fasts) and reciting the Adhkar (remembrances) and Ad’iyya (supplications) prescribed by the Prophet ﷺ;
- Daily recital of the Noble Qur’an or a potion thereof.
And Allah is the Guide.