To Avoid Stress, Do more Dhikr

By Bahron Ansori , MINA Journalist

Not a few people who are stressed facing life problems find it. Not a few of those who are stressed choose shortcuts to solve the problems they face. Life is often or even always faced with various problems.

For a Muslim, problems are actually nothing to be afraid of, especially if you solve them using shortcuts. Problems are deliberately sent by Allah to every Muslim to see the extent of the faith of His servants.

In Islam, to avoid stress when facing problems, the solution is to do lots of dhikr. Dhikr simply means remembering Allah. Why do you have to remember Allah when a Muslim has a problem? Because in essence it is Allah who sends problems to see how far His servants can be patient.

Among the many types of remembrance is prayer. Prayer is one of the obligations in Islam, one of the purposes of which is to remember God. Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala says,

إِنَّنِي أَنَا اللَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدْنِي وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِذِكْرِي

“Indeed I am Allah, there is no (right) God but Me, so worship Me and establish prayer to remember Me.”  [QS. Thaha: 14].

Dhikr to Allah or remembering Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala , the creator of all mankind, jinn, angels and the entire universe, is a very great practice.

Remembering Allah is the greatest means of getting closer to Allah Almighty. Allah Ta’ala said,

اتْلُ مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ ۖ إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنْكَرِ ۗ وَلَذِكْرُ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ

“Read what has been revealed to you, namely Al Kitab (Al Quran) and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prevents from (deeds) abominable and evil. And truly remembering Allah (prayer) is greater (its priority than other acts of worship). And God knows what you do.”  [QS. Al-Ankabut: 45]

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Allah Ta’ala promises whoever always remembers Allah then Allah will also remember him with reward and forgiveness. Allah Ta’ala says,

فَاذْكُرُونِي أَذْكُرْكُمْ

“Therefore, remember Me and I will remember (also) you.”  [QS. Al-Baqarah: 152].

Imam Al Qurthubi in his interpretation said, “The meaning of this verse is remember me by obeying, I will remember you with reward and forgiveness. This is the opinion of Sa’id bin Jubair. (Leading tabi’in scholars.)

He also said, “Dhikr is obeying Allah. So whoever disobeys Allah does not remember Him even though they say a lot of tasbih, tahlil and read the Koran.”

The priority of remembrance

Allah Ta’ala also affirmed that the remembrance of Allah Ta’ala will bring peace in a person’s heart . Allah Ta’ala says,

الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ اللّهِ أَلاَ بِذِكْرِ اللّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ -٢٨-

“(namely) those who believe and their hearts become at ease by remembering Allah. Remember, only by remembering Allah can your heart be at peace.” [QS. Ar-Ra’d: 28]

This is just a part of the virtues of remembering God in the Qur’an. As for the merits of dhikr to Allah conveyed by Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam, there are many. Among them are the following.

First, believers who remember God are in a high position to the point that God is proud of them among the angels.

From Abu Sa’id Al Khudri, he said, “Muawiyah went out to a halaqah (a group of people sitting in a circle) inside the mosque, then he asked, “What made you sit?”

They replied, “We are dhikr to Allah.” Muawiyah said, “For God’s sake. Nothing makes you sit down except that?” They answered, “For God’s sake. Nothing made us sit down, except that.”

Muawiyah said, “Indeed, I did not ask you to swear because I do not believe in you. There is no one who has a position like me from Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam, he has fewer hadiths than me. Indeed, Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam once went out to meet one of his companions. Then he asked, What made you sit?

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What caused you to sit down?

They replied, “We are sitting in remembrance of God.” He asked again,

“For Allah. Nothing makes you sit down, except that?”

They answered, “For God’s sake. There is nothing to cause us to sit down, except that?” He said,

قَالَ أَمَا إِنِّي لَمْ أَسْتَحْلِفْكُمْ تُهْمَةً لَكُمْ وَلَكِنَّهُ أَتَانِي جِبْرِيلُ فَأَخْبَرَنِي أَنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يُبَاهِي بِكُمُ الْمَلَائِكَةَ

“Indeed, I am not asking you to swear because I do not believe in you. But Jibril came to me and told me that Allah ‘Azza wa Jalla made you proud of the angels.” [Muslim history hadith, no. 2701].

Second, the dhikr will be surrounded by angels, enveloped in grace, and peace will be revealed to him. In a hadith from Abu Hurairah radhiyallahu ‘anhu and Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri, both testified that the Prophet sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam said,

لَا يَقْعُدُ قَوْمٌ يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ إِلَّا حَفَّتْهُمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَغَشِيَتْهُمُ الرَّحْمَةُ وَنَزَلَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ السَّكِينَةُ وَذَكَرَهُمُ اللَّهُ فِيمَنْ عِنْدَهُ

“There is no group of people who remember Allah ‘Azza wa Jalla, except that angels surround them, mercy envelops them, peace descends on them, and Allah mentions them among (the angels) by His side.”  [HR. Muslim, no. 2700].

Third , the remembrance is the life of the heart. In Sahih Al-Bukhari (6407) from Abu Musa , may God be pleased with him, he said, the Messenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace, said,

مَثَلُ الَّذِي يَذْكُرُ رَبَّهُ وَالَّذِي لاَ يَذْكُرُهُ مَثَلُ الحَيِّ وَالمَيِّتِ

“The parable of those who remember God and those who do not remember Him is like the living and the dead.”

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While in the narration of Imam Muslim (779), the Prophet Shallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam said,

مَثَلُ البَيْتِ الَّذِي يُذْكَرُ اللهُ فِيهِ ، وَالبَيْتِ الَّذِي لاَ يُذْكَرُ اللهُ فِيهِ ، مَثَلُ الحَيِّ والمَيِّتِ

“The example of a house that is used to remember God and a house that is not used to remember God is like the living and the dead.”

Shaykh Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid said, “When the heart is alive, it will be filled with faith.”

This is according to the words of Allah Ta’ala,

اللَّهُ نَزَّلَ أَحْسَنَ الْحَدِيثِ كِتَابًا مُتَشَابِهًا مَثَانِيَ تَقْشَعِرُّ مِنْهُ جُلُودُ الَّذِينَ يَخْشَوْنَ رَبَّهُمْ ثُمَّ تَلِينُ جُلُودُهُمْ وَقُلُوبُهُمْ إِلَىٰ ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ هُدَى اللَّهِ يَهْدِي بِهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۚ وَمَنْ يُضْلِلِ اللَّهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِنْ هَادٍ

“Allah has sent down the best words (namely) Al Quran which are similar (the quality of the verses) again and again, the skin of those who fear their Lord tremble because of it, then their skin and hearts become calm when they remember God. That is God’s guidance, with that book He shows whom He wills. And whoever is led astray by God, there is no leader for him.”  [Qs. Az-Zumar: 23]

One day a man met Al-Hasan Al-Bashri Rahimahullah , a tabi’in scholar from Basrah, Iraq. He complained about his hard heart. So Al-Hasan said to him, “Soften your heart with dhikr.”

This is because when the heart becomes more negligent, then his heart will become harder. When you remember God, the hardness of the heart will melt. [ Al-Wabil Ash-Shayyib : 71]

May Allah Ta’ala guide our hearts to always remember Him. Because only by increasing dhikr can a Muslim’s heart be calm in any situation and condition, wallahu a’lam . (T/RE1/P2)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)