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Replying to SUFI ISLAM & SAAS GIRAAS SIMRAN


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taken from sikhsangat.com

Some sections from my (BA Religious Studies) essay which i thought wud be nice to share with the Sangat - the essay was on comparing and contrasting the practices of two modern Sufi brotherhoods

DHIKR = Remembrance of Allah (Dhikr = Simran)

Below is a paragraphy from my essay describing dhikr and how Sufis practice it.

Shaykh Hisham Kabbani (1995) illustrates what dhikr is and the importance of remembrance in Sūfism. He writes: ‘The Prophet Muhammad, may God bless him and all the prophets, the most profound Rememberer of God said, "The best dhikr is La ilaha ill-Allah"… often translated as "There is no god except God," but this does not convey the reality of the phrase, which is often best experienced by tasting. How does one taste this phrase? By repeating it with the tongue and being absorbed in it, by it and with it, through one's heart. The Sūfīs call this dhikr the remembrance of negation and affirmation. This means the best form of remembrance is the negation of selfhood and the affirmation of the Divine. This is the path to self-annihilation and the emergence of the recaller's Divine existence. It is the way of denying the little god, which is the absorption in self, and the affirmation of the True God, in whom all subsist.’25 Shaykh Hisham Kabbani provides an informative summary of dhikr, which highlights the importance of the practice in Sufi Islam, which both the Naqshbandī and Ni’matullāhī brotherhoods regard with high importance.

J.S. Trimingham (1971) describes in Sufi Orders in Islam how the practice of dhikr is exactly performed. He translates and uses the statement of Tāj al-Dīn ibn Mahdī Zamān al Rūmī (d. 1640) which states that the Sūfī ‘must keep the tongue pressed against the roof of his mouth, his lips and teeth firmly shut, and hold his breath. Then, starting with the word lā, he makes it ascend from the navel to the brain. When it is arrived at the brain he says ilāha to the right shoulder, and illā’llāh to the left side, driving it forcefully into the pineal heart through which it circulates to all the rest of the body. The phrase Muhammad rasūl Allāh is made to incline from the left and the right side, and then one says, ‘My God, Thou art my goal and satisfying Thee is my aim.’33
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