And The Grand Daddy of Them All:
The Dhikr of Yunus, Alaihis Salaam --
In the Belly of the Beast!
Laa Ilaaha Illaa Anta,
Innee Kuntu Minaz-Zaalimeen
(Bringing Islam to the World One Concept at a Time!
Taking the Qur'an to Every Home and Heart that Needs It --
And which One Does Not?)
Words of God and Words of God's Messenger,
Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam!
Just like many of the other Adhkaar we wrote about earlier, this one too is taken directly from the pages of the Qur'an. And, Allahu Akbar, what a Dhikr it is.
The expression Adhkaar is plural for Dhikr.
Once again, Dhikr refers to words that you read aloud, recite, chant or repeat multiple times. And those words are mostly from the Qur'an.
Or they are from the Hadith.
Other chants are of doubtful validity and use.
These Adhkaar are not your words or mine, but the words of God Almighty himself. In the Qur'an.
And the Qur'an, as you know, miracle of all miracles, is today exactly what it was when it was first sent down into this world -- 1400 years ago -- to Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
Or, alternatively, these Adhkaar are the words of God's Messenger, Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
And what a miracle that is! All by itself. The original words of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallah
Nothing else in the world is. No other record or documentation of a man's words and deeds is.
But the Hadith, which is an exact and most accurate record of the original words of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallah
And eye-witness, first-person accounts of all that he did.
These records, called the Hadith are easily accessible and within reach of everyone: both Muslim and non-Muslim.
Things don't get better than that.
And both Qur'an and Hadith are inexhaustible treasure-troves, among other things, of the most amazing Adhkaar or Chants of all kinds. Adhkaar that cover every conceivable human situation, need, fear, worry, anxiety and concern.
Those hovering along the peripheries of Islam, and wondering how much deeper into Islam they should get, my advice to them is:
"If for nothing else, do it just for the sake of the Adhkaar that Islam -- and that means the Qur'an and the Hadith -- is going to bestow upon you. For, no other source, human or documentary, can do that for you."
And regardless of what your background is, and regardless of what your needs or fears or concerns are in life, there is no place in this world you can go to that will offer you the kind of package of Adhkaar and Chants and Du'as and Prayers that Islam does. The Qur'an and the Hadith do.
Not by a Million Miles
Nothing that you know comes anywhere close to it. Not by a million miles.
This is not a matter of anyone's faith or devotion to their own "Religion" or Culture or Background. It is a straightforward empirical assertion that anyone of any faith or religious background or educational level can check out and verify for themselves.
And we human beings, regardless of our faith or race or education background and credentials, owe it to ourselves to actually undertake that kind of a personal research and verification for ourselves. And in fact that is what Islam is all about. For, Islam wants every human male and female to investigate and check out these things for themselves.
And, let me put it plainly, there are benefits to doing them. Doing these Adhkaar I mean. Worldly benefits as well as Other-Worldly benefits.
So, Dhikr means chanting Allah's name or words. Or the words of Rasulullah, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
Du'a means "Prayer" or supplication.
A Dhikr for Every Situation and a Du'a for Every Need
So, you want a house, a job, a spouse, a child, a friend? Or you want health and wealth? There is a Dhikr, and there is a Du'a, for you, tailor-made for your purposes and needs.
Both in the Qur'an and in the Hadith.
Scared of this or that situation in your daily life, or of this or that person, or of this or that source of authority, from government to your supervisor or colleague at work? Not to worry. There is a Dhikr and there is a Du'a to address precisely each one of those situations too.
Folks! I don't think you get it. I do not believe you understand a word of what I am saying to you. And the reason is because you cannot possibly imagine -- no one can, who is not familiar with this aspect of Islam -- that something quite like this can possibly exist anywhere on the face of this planet.
And the only way you can begin to develop a feel for what it is, and a sense of understanding what it is, as well as an appreciation of what it can do for you, right here in this world, is by getting into it personally and experiencing it first hand for yourself.
This is one pudding whose proof is absolutely in the eating.
"Prayer" for Salaah Could Be A Misnomer
To translate the Arabic expression of the Qur'an Salaah as Prayer, as most Muslims and almost all non-Muslims do, is in my view a misnomer. For, even though Salaah includes Du'a or prayer, it is far, far more than mere prayer. In earlier days, when Christian-Western-White writers used the word "Prayer" for Salaah, they were being guided in their effort by their own Christian-Western-White cu
Today, for Muslim writers and speakers of the English tongue to mindlessly repeat the expression "Prayer" to describe Salaah is a grievous error. And a serious disservice, both to themselves and to others, especially the non-Muslims.
Dhikr or Du'a of Yunus, Alaihis Salam --
In the Belly of the Beast
So, on a particular day, when Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, was asked -- I am broadly paraphrasing here -- what Du'a was the most effective or the most powerful one, his reply was -- again, I am very broadly paraphrasing it here:
"The one that my brother Yunus (Jonah), Alaihis Salam,
read in the belly of the beast."
And the Qur'an gives us the words of Yunus, Alaihis Salaam, as:
Laa Ilaaha Illaa Anta,
Innee Kuntu Minaz-Zaalimeen.
Once again, Du'a means "Prayer" or supplication. It means to call someone. Here it means praying to God or asking him for things.
And the paraphrase?