Light on the Tongue But Heavy On the Scales
So often we get caught up in the rush of life to the extent that we can go for long periods without remembering Allah outside the obligatory acts. We may utter Alhamdulilah or Subhanallah or Masha’Allah in response to certain situations, but do we ever stop to really ponder the weight of these words?
Allah says in the Quran:
“O You who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance” [33:41].
Dhikr grounds us; when we are busy chasing the dunya it’s a means of reminding us that we are in fact seeking far greater than it. It’s the perfect act for us to incorporate into our days, requiring nothing more than for us to move our tongues and engage our hearts. It is something we can do whilst walking around campus, or cooking or doing some other mundane task. When a man came to the Prophet ﷺ complaining that the laws of Islam were too many for him, and asking for something he could hold onto, the Prophet ﷺ replied:
Keep your tongue moist with the remembrance of Allah [Sunan Ibn Majah - 3793]
Below are some small phrases we can repeat as a form of dhikr and reap the generous benefits from doing so:
1. Subhanallah wa bihamdihi subhaanallahil adheem
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “There are two statements that are light on the tongue, heavy on the Scale, and beloved to Ar-Raḥmān: “Glory is to Allah and the praise; Glory is to Allah, the Magnificent. (Subḥān Allāhi wa biḥamdih, Subḥān Allāhil-Aẓīm)” [Tirmidhi]
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said, “Whoever says, ‘Subhan Allah wa bihamdihi,’ one hundred times a day, will be forgiven all his sins even if they were as much as the foam of the sea. [Sahih al-Bukhari - 6405]
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “He who recites ‘Subhan Allah wa bihamdihi’ in the morning and in the evening 100 times, will not be surpassed on the Day of Judgement by anyone with better deeds except the one who says the same words or more.” [Muslim]
2. Astagfirullah wa atoobu ilayhi
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: 'I seek the forgiveness of Allah and repent to Him one hundred times each day.' [Ibn Majah]
3. La hawla wa la quwwata illa bilaah
The Prophet ﷺ said to Abu Moosa Al-Ash‘ari : "Should I guide you to a word which is one of the treasures of Paradise?” He replied in the affirmative. The Prophet ﷺ said, “La hawla wala quwwata illa billaah." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
4. Subhanallah wal hamdu lilahi wallahu akbar
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “He who says ‘Subhānallāh’ 100 times before sunrise and 100 times before sunset, it will be better than 100 camels. He who says ‘Alhamdullilāh’ 100 times before sunrise and 100 times before sunset, it will be better than 100 horses on which he sends 100 warriors. He who says ‘Allāhu Akbar’ 100 times before sunrise and 100 times before sunset, it will be better than freeing 100 slaves.” [Ibn Majah]
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
"Purity is half of Iman. Alhamdulillah fills the scales, and subhan-Allah and Alhamdulillah fill that which is between heaven and earth. And the Salah (prayer) is a light, and charity is a proof, and patience is illumination, and the Qur'an is a proof either for you or against you. Every person starts his day as a vendor of his soul, either freeing it or bringing about its ruin." [an-Nawawi - 23]The ultimate form of dhikr is the Quran. As the above hadith states, the Quran can either be a witness for us or against us on the day of judgement. Ramadan is the perfect time to work on our relationship with the Quran so that bi’thnillah it will be a proof for us on that day. We should set aside some time each day to read and reflect on the Quran, and if we do not know Arabic, to read the translation alongside it and try our best to understand and reflect upon the meanings.