Dhikr, Dhikra, Tadhkira.
Qur’an is ذكر Dhikr. Qur’an is الذِّكْرَىٰ Dhikra. Qur’an is تذكرة Tadhkira as well.
Prophet Muhammad sal-lal-laahu-alaihi-wa-sallam, the one who presented the Qur’an to the world, is مذكّر Mudhakkir. One of the purposes of the Qur’an is to make people يتذكرون ‘Yatadhak’karoon’.
So, at the outset, what is the meaning of Dhikr, Dhikra and Tadhkira?
The root word dhal kaaf ra ذ ك ر means to mention, to remember, to remind, to commit to memory, to learn by heart. From this root many words are derived, out of which a few are as follows:
ذكر – Dhikr: Reminder, Mention, To remember Allah
الذِّكْرَىٰ – Adh-dhikra: The Reminder
تذكرة – Tadhkira: A Reminder
مذكّر – Mudhak’kir: Reminder, One who reminds, One who makes people recall and remember
يَذَّكَّرَ – Yadh’dhak’kara: To take heed, to be reminded
يتذكرون – Yatadhak’karoon: They are reminded
ذاكر – one who remembers Allah; ذاكرون and ذاكرات Those who remember Allah
You can notice that the terms in discussion are inter-connected and related to Remembrance, Reminder, and taking heed
A “remembrance” signifies that something is “being remembered” whereas a “reminder” causes something to be remembered. In other words, a reminder prompts remembrance.
You remind people because man is given to forgetfulness.
You also remind people so that they take heed or get admonished. This precisely is the purpose of the Qur’an!
1. Allah has sent down the Qur’an as a Reminder:
“Then do you wonder that there has come to you a reminder from your Lord through a man from among you, that he may warn you and that you may fear Allah so you might receive mercy.” (Surah al A’raaf 7: 63)
Qur’an is a Reminder. It tells who you are? Where from you have come? Where are you headed? What is the purpose of your creation? Who is your Creator? Why you need to worship one and only Lord? How can you achieve success and salvation?
Qur’an is a Warning. Through historical narrations, kindly advice and reasoning, man is warned of the consequences of evil, oppression and rebellion towards God and His chosen Religion. It reminds man of his duties towards his Creator, fellow human himself.
2. Qur’an is for man and about man:
“We have certainly sent down to you a Book in which is your mention. Then will you not reason?” (Surah al Anbiya 21: 10)
Allah revealed the Book for the welfare of mankind. Turning a blind eye to the Qur’an is to hurt oneself.
3. Remember Allah as often as you can:
“O you who have believed, remember Allah with much remembrance” (Surah Al Ahzaab 33: 41)
Qur’an motivates man to remember his Creator at all times, and be grateful unto Him.
4. Qur’an is a Reminder to the whole humanity:
“Those are the ones whom Allah has guided, so from their guidance take an example. Say, “I ask of you for this message no payment. It is not but a reminder for the worlds.” (Surah Al An’aam 6: 90)
The subject of Qur’an is man.
5. Qur’an is made easy so that people are easily reminded:
“And indeed, We have eased the Qur’an in your tongue that they might be reminded.” (Surah Ad-Dukhan 44: 58)
Qur’an is a source of immense help to man to remember His Creator as it is made easy for reading, understanding and memorizing.
6. You can only remind those who are of understanding nature:
“This [Qur’an] is notification for the people that they may be warned thereby and that they may know that He is but one God and that those of understanding will be reminded. (Surah Ibraheem 14: 52)
Sincere advice can be heeded only by men of understanding.
7. Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is only a Reminder:
“So remind, [O Muhammad]; you are only a reminder. You are not over them a controller.” (Surah al Ghashiyah 88: 21, 22)
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) came to this world as Reminder from the Lord of the worlds. His duty was to convey the message, not convert people or have a control over their choices.
8. Muslims offer Salah to remember their Lord:
“Indeed, I am Allah. There is no deity except Me, so worship Me and establish prayer for My remembrance.” (Surah Taha 20: 14)
Performing five-time prayers is the best way to be reminded of Allah.
9. He who remembers Allah and offers Salah achieves success:
“He has certainly succeeded who purifies himself. And mentions the name of his Lord and prays.” (Surah al A’la 87: 15)
Success lies in remembering Allah, and the proof of remembrance is one’s involvement in daily prayers.
10. Whoever wills can take to the Right Path:
“Indeed, this is a reminder, so whoever wills may take to his Lord a way.” (Surah Mudh’dhammil 72: 19)
Islam gives freedom of religion to people. Whoever wants, let him/her adopt a way to his Lord. Qur’an helps man to know the Right Way leading to God and His pleasure. It is up to man to accept Islam or reject it.
11. Seek help from your Lord; without His help no reminder can be any benefit:
“Indeed, this is a reminder, so he who wills may take to his Lord a way. And you do not will except that Allah wills. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Wise.” (Surah al Insaan 76: 29, 30)
Allah is the One who guides people to the Right Path. He alone has control over people’s minds and hearts.
May Allah guide us to the Straight Path.
Sal-lal-laahu ‘Ala Muhammad, Sal-lal-laahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam.