"Enliven your homes with dzikir"

08 April 2012


Praise be to Allah, by saying whose Name, the heart becomes alive. Allah said, "Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” So let us begin this majlis by mentioning His Name in our hearts. We must have yaqin in our hearts that everytime we mention His Name, He will reciprocate. The Qur'an says so, and that He would be thankful to one who is grateful for Him. We learned from a hadith narrated by Imam Bukhari that "The likeness of the one who remembers his Lord and the one who does not remember Him is like that between the living and the dead." Likewise, a house in which there is zikr and one which lacks is like one who is alive and dead. (Hadith by Muslim). When one's heart becomes alive by way of zikrullah, Allah will make his dwelling lively. In a hadith qudsi Allah said he would refrain from punishing a community if there are people who frequent His House; people who love one another, and make istighfar during sahur. O mukmin, we have learned how Allah would honor us and our homes if we made zikir.

A house is nothing more than a plain building. To Allah, there is nothing special about the contents of a house i.e. the furniture, carpets etc because everyone owns basically the same thing. What makes a house extraordinary is when it is furnished with iman and zikir. A home which is enlivened with the teachings of Rasulullah will not only have life but it will stand out from the others and serves as a savior to its neighborhood.

As reported by Hassan al-Basri, the dwellings of the Prophet's wives were so small that one could even touch its ceiling. When their houses had to be abolished, the entire Madinah cried. We certainly appreciate such special homes which Allah grant distinctions. His emphasis on this matter is evident in the Qur'an where He named one chapter as Suratul Hujurat which means 'a house'.

The Prophet s.a.w ordered his wives to make zikir and read the Qur'an and al-hikmah (sunnah Rasul) in their respective homes. How about us? What do we fill our homes with? Instead of reading the Qur'an and sunnah (hadith) people fill their houses with words of the fasiq and pictures which Allah dislikes. This is a big mistake. This is a cause for marriage and ummah to fail.

A visitor to Tarim related his experience of hearing houses in Tarim occupied with the Qur'an and Yassin recitals and zikir from the moment he went on the street early in the morning until he reached his destination. He counted a total of 40 homes in Tarim filled with zikir recited by the women, the elderlies and children while the men perform subuh at the masjid. This is the right culture. These homes are real homes.

People was astonished when a young boy could memorize the Yassin, so they asked him how that was possible. The boy said:  'I hear my mother recite Yaasin early in the morning after subuh everyday that I could easily memorize it.' Imam Al Haddad said whoever recites Yassin, will have his hajat fulfilled and avoid any serious untoward incidents.

Al-Haddad's home was very small yet his knowledge spreads to the far East and West during his lifetime and even after he had passed on. His house is 350 years old now and that shows how incredible this man is. His murid, Habib Ahmad bin Zain al-Habshi had studied in the middle of the staircase yet his ilmu was par excellence. He died while studying a kitab of Imam Malik. The room of Imam Al Haddad had played host to countless majlis ilmu. The Imam was gifted with plenty of knowledge not because he befriended the learned. He earned it through his pure heart and his habit of praying in the middle of the night.  Someone wanted to seek knowledge from Ahmad bin Hanbal. So one night the guru placed a bowl of water outside of the student's room for ablution. But he found out later in the morning that the student had not used the water until it was time for subuh. Having observed that, the guru refused to teach the man because knowledge of hadith can only be studied by one who shuns his bed at night. Habib Abdullah Syatiri once said: 'One is not a student if he doesn't get up in the middle of the night.' O people, knowledge of Islam is acquired through tasting and amal, not just shi'ar (symbols).  Salahudin al-Ayubi succeeded in reconquering Baitul Maqdis due to him paying special attention to night prayers. He placed a strong emphasis on this particular amal among his armies. So know that doing ibadah during early morning hours could give tremendous impact for things to change for the better.

Wallahu a'lam. May by the barakah of Imam Al Haddad and Habib Umar bin Hafiz we could all develop a habit of making zikir in our homes and staying up at night for munajat and prayers. Ameen Allahumma ameen.