Back in 2016 I was going through one of the worst 6 weeks of my life. Overthinking and worry was consuming me. A good friend of mine taught me a valuable skill that I still practice to this day.
The sweetest KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) I’ve ever had. This basic skill helped calm my anxiety and bring me firmly back to earth. Mindfulness is the ability to live in the exact moment you’re in. Give it a try:
Pause. Take a deep breath and ask yourself the 3 following questions: Where are you right now? What are you doing this very second? What is going on around you?
That is mindfulness. That snap back to reality. You’re not living in a dark future nor are you living in the regrets of the past. You are right here, where you are meant to be. In the present.
As human beings, we are being pulled in all directions. The mind, the heart, the soul, all calling out for different things. With mindfulness we get an opportunity to pause, even for a brief moment. But mindfulness is about the mind, what about the heart? This is where Zikr comes in.
Zikr is for matters of the heart.
Zikr is the remembrance of Allah. It is where short prayers are recited repeatedly. Simple words like “Alhamdulillah”, “Subhanallah” & “Astaghfirullah”. This can all lead to the blessings of The Almighty resulting in tranquility within your heart.
Allah has encouraged Zikr numerous times in the Quran. He has connected success to frequently remembering Him. He has praised those who perform Zikr as those who benefit from His sings and stated that they are people of understanding. I have listed some quotes at the bottom, some of them are truly fascinating!
Clear Mind + Calm Heart = Healthy Soul
Ultimately Zikr is an act of worship. Praying the 5 daily prayers and reciting the Quran is the bare minimum a muslim should be doing. If worship is food for the soul then eating the bare minimum can result in malnourishment, right? Zikr is a healthy snack in between meals (our daily prayers). Pairing mindfulness and Zikr will insha’Allah help bring our core self to peace and insha’Allah, the ultimate success.
While I was learning the value of mindfulness, I decided to pair the mental health exercise with Zikr – a kind of spiritual comfort eating, if you will. The formula seems to make sense Clear Mind + Calm Heart = Healthy Soul.
When you’re going through a rough time, sometimes you need to pray your way out of it. However you have responsibilities and you can’t be on the prayer mat all day. Zikr is light portable and can be done pretty much any time. When paired with mindfulness, you’re not just clearing your mind of worries but your heart too as ultimately true feelings are decided in the heart.
Mindfulness helps silence your worries, clears the way on your path a little more. Zikr is the light that guides you to your next destination. Give it a try sometime, you might be surprised.
Quotes on Zikr (Remembrance of Allah)
“and the remembrance of Allah is greater”
“Therefore remember Me (by praying, glorifying, etc.). I will remember you”
“And remember your Lord by your tongue and within yourself, humbly and with fear without loudness in words in the mornings, and in the afternoons and be not of those who are neglectful”
“and remember Allah much, that you may be successful”
“and the men and the women who remember Allah much with their hearts and tongues Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (i.e. Paradise)”
“O you who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance.
And glorify His Praises morning and afternoon (the early morning (Fajr) and Asr prayers)”
The Quran is full of many similar and well-known verses.