Path to Piety
The Best Dhikr
Kashif Shahzad Attari Madani
The beloved Prophet صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said:
اَفْضَلُ الذِّكْرِ لَا اِلٰهَ اِلَّا اللهُ وَاَفْضَلُ الدُّعَاءِ اَلْحَمْدُ لِلهِ
“لَا اِلٰهَ اِلَّا اللهُ is the best dhikr, and اَلْحَمْدُ لِلهِ is the best supplication.”
لَا اِلٰهَ اِلَّا اللهُ refers to the entire kalima ṭayyiba (Pure Statement), including muḥammadur rasūlallāh. Monotheistic disbelievers and even Iblis would recite لَا اِلٰهَ اِلَّا اللهُ, but that was not enough to save them from the perils of disbelief. A person can only be a believer when he adds muḥammadur rasūlallāh. This powerful statement makes the disbeliever a believer and purges the heart of spiritual ills. The heart awakens to the combination of Allah’s glorification and the Prophet’s praise. Therefore, it is the most superior dhikr. The noble Sufis hailed the kalimah an elixir for purifying the heart.
Reciting the kalimah 70,000 Times
Sayyidunā Shaykh Muḥy al-Dīn ibn ʿArabī رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْـه said:
This hadith reached me:
مَنۡ قَالَ لَا اِلٰهَ اِلَّا اللهُ سَبۡعِيۡنَ اَلۡفًا غُفِرَ لَهٗ وَمَنۡ قِيۡلَ لَهٗ غُفِرَ لَهٗ اَيۡضًا
“The one who recites لَا اِلٰهَ اِلَّا اللهُ 70,000 times will be forgiven, and the one for whom it is recited is also forgiven.”
I had recited the kalimah that many times but did not have any special intention. Once, I was invited for a meal with some friends. One of the participants was a youth who had spiritual insight. As he was eating, he began to cry. I asked him what happened, and he replied, “I see my mother facing punishment.” I then gave the reward of the kalimah I had recited to his mother. The young man smiled at once and said, “I now see my mother in a better place…” I affirmed the validity of the hadith from the spiritual insight of the youth, and I affirmed the spiritual insight of the youth from the validity of the hadith.