The Deen is Built on Two Foundations: Dhikr and Shukr – Ibn al-Qayyim

al-‘Allaamah ibn al-Qayyim wrote the following beneficial words in his famous work, al-Fawaa’id:

مبنى الدين على قاعدتين: الذكر والشكر، ـ

The deen is built on two foundations: al-Dhikr and al-Shukr [remembrance and gratitude].

قال تعالى {فاذكروني أذكركم واشكروا لي ولا تكفرون} سورة البقرة، الآية: 152، ـ

Allah said:

فَاذْكُرُ‌ونِي أَذْكُرْ‌كُمْ وَاشْكُرُ‌وا لِي وَلَا تَكْفُرُ‌ونِ

So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me. [2:152].

وقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لمعاذ: «والله إني لأحبك فلا تنس أن تقول دبر كل صلاة: اللهم أعنِّي على ذكرك وشكرك وحسن عبادتك»، ـ

And the Prophet said to Mu’adh, “By Allah, verily I love you, so do not forget to say at the end of every salaah, ‘O Allah, aid me in remembering You and gratitude to You and in excellent worship of You.”

وليس المراد بالذكر مجرد ذكر اللسان بل القلبي واللساني، وذكره يتضمن ذكر أسمائه وصفاته وذكر أمره ونهيه وذكره بكلامه، وذلك يستلزم معرفته والإيمان به وبصفات كماله ونعوت جلاله والثناء عليه بأنواع المدح. وذلك لا يتم إلا بتوحيده. ـ

And the intended meaning of al-dhikr is not merely dhikr of the the tongue – rather of both the heart and the tongue. And making dhikr of Him comprises dhikr of His names and attributes, of His commands and prohibitions, and making dhikr of Him with His Words. And that necessitates knowing Him and having al-eemaan in Him and in His perfect qualities and marvelous attributes and extolling Him with all sorts of praise. And this is not made completed except by singling Him out with tawheed.

فذكره الحقيقي يستلزم ذلك كله ويستلزم ذكر نعمه وآلائه وإحسانه إلى خلقه. ـ

And the true dhikr of Him requires all of that and requires remembering His blessings, favors and excellent treatments towards His creation.

وأما الشكر فهو القيام له بطاعته والتقرب إليه بأنواع محابه ظاهرا وباطنا، ـ

And as for al-shukr, then it is establishing obedience to Him and seeking nearness to Him through the various forms of those things which He loves – both outwardly and inwardly.

وهذان الأمران هما جماع الدين، فذكره مستلزم لمعرفته، وشكره متضمن لطاعته، ـ

And these two issues comprise the entire deen, for dhikr of Him requires knowing Him, and shukr of Him involves being obedient to Him.

وهذان هما الغاية التي خلق لأجلها الجن والإنس والسموات والأرض ووضع لأجلها الثواب والعقاب، وأنزل الكتب وأرسل الرسل، وهي الحق الذي به خلقت السموات والأرض وما بينهما وضدها هو الباطل والعبث الذي يتعالى ويتقدس عنه، وهو ظن أعدائه به

And these two things are the purpose for which the jinn and humans and the heavens and the earth were created. It was for this reason that reward and punishment were enacted and the Scriptures were revealed and the Messengers were sent. And that is the truth by which the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them were created. And the opposite of that is falsehood and futility, which Allah is far removed and above – rather, that is what his enemies think of him.

قال تعالى {وما خلقنا السماء والأرض وما بينهما باطلا ذلك ظن الذين كفروا} سورة: ص الآية رقم: 27، ـ

Allah said:

وَمَا خَلَقْنَا السَّمَاءَ وَالْأَرْ‌ضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا بَاطِلًا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ ظَنُّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُ‌وا ‌

And We did not create the heaven and the earth and that between them aimlessly. That is the assumption of those who disbelieve [38:27]

وقال: {وما خلقنا السموات والأرض وما بينهما لاعبين ما خلقناهما إلا بالحق} الدخان: الآية رقم: 38. ـ

And He said:

وَمَا خَلَقْنَا السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا لَاعِبِينَ * مَا خَلَقْنَاهُمَا إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ

And We did not create the heavens and earth and that between them in play. We did not create them except in truth [44:38-39]

وقال: {وما خلقنا السموات والأرض وما بينهما إلا بالحق وإن الساعة لآتية} سورة الحجر: الآية رقم: 85، ـ

And He said:

وَمَا خَلَقْنَا السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ ۗ وَإِنَّ السَّاعَةَ لَآتِيَةٌ

And We have not created the heavens and earth and that between them except in truth. And indeed, the Hour is coming [15:85]

قال بعد ذكر آياته في أول سورة يونس: {ما خلق الله ذلك إلا بالحق} يونس: الآية رقم: 5. ـ

And He said after mentioning some of His signs in the beginning of surah Yunus:

مَا خَلَقَ اللَّـهُ ذَٰلِكَ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ

Allah has not created this except in truth [10:5]

وقال: {أيحسب الإنسان أن يترك سدى} القيامة: الآية رقم: 36، ـ

And He said:

أَيَحْسَبُ الْإِنسَانُ أَن يُتْرَ‌كَ سُدًى

Does man think that he will be left without being taken to account? [75:36]

وقال: {أفحسبتم أنما خلقناكم عبثا وأنكم إلينا لا ترجعون} المؤمنون: الآية رقم: 115، ـ

And He said:

أَفَحَسِبْتُمْ أَنَّمَا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ عَبَثًا وَأَنَّكُمْ إِلَيْنَا لَا تُرْ‌جَعُونَ

Then did you think that We created you uselessly and that to Us you would not be returned? [23:115]

وقال: {وما خلقت الجن والإنس إلا ليعبدون} الذارايات: الآية رقم: 56. ـ

And He said:

وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ

And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me [51:56]

ـ[وقال:] {الله الذي خلق سبع سموات ومن الأرض مثلهن يتنزل الأمر بينهن لتعلموا أن الله على كل شيء قدير وأن الله قد أحاط بكل شيء علما} الطلاق: الآية رقم: 12، ـ

And He said:

اللَّـهُ الَّذِي خَلَقَ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ وَمِنَ الْأَرْ‌ضِ مِثْلَهُنَّ يَتَنَزَّلُ الْأَمْرُ‌ بَيْنَهُنَّ لِتَعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّـهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ‌ وَأَنَّ اللَّـهَ قَدْ أَحَاطَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عِلْمًا

It is Allah who has created seven heavens and of the earth, the like of them. [His] command descends among them so you may know that Allah is over all things competent and that Allah has encompassed all things in knowledge. [65:12]

وقال: {جعل الله الكعبة البيت الحرام قياما للناس والشهر الحرام والهدي والقلائد ذلك لتعلموا أن الله يعلم ما في السموات وما في الأرض وأن الله بكل شيء عليم} سورة المائدة: الآية رقم: 97. ـ

And He said:

جَعَلَ اللَّـهُ الْكَعْبَةَ الْبَيْتَ الْحَرَ‌امَ قِيَامًا لِّلنَّاسِ وَالشَّهْرَ‌ الْحَرَ‌امَ وَالْهَدْيَ وَالْقَلَائِدَ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ لِتَعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّـهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْ‌ضِ وَأَنَّ اللَّـهَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

Allah has made the Ka’bah, the Sacred House, standing for the people and [has sanctified] the sacred months and the sacrificial animals and the garlands [by which they are identified]. That is so you may know that Allah knows what is in the heavens and what is in the earth and that Allah is Knowing of all things.  [5:97]

فثبت بما ذكر أن غاية الخلق والأمر أن يذكر وأن يشكر. يذكر فلا ينسى ويشكر فلا يكفر. ـ

So according to what He mentioned, He confirmed that the goal – both of creation itself and of the Divine legislation – is to have dhikr and to have shukr; to have dhikr and to not forget, and to have shukr and to not be ungrateful.

وهو سبحانه ذاكر لمن ذكره، شاكر لمن شكره، فذكره سبب لذكره، وشكره سبب لزيادته من فضله. ـ

And He – Exalted is He – is remembrant of the one who remembers Him, and is appreciative of the one who shows gratitude to Him. So having dhikr of Him is a cause of Him remembering you, and having shukr to Him is a cause of His increasing you in His bounties.

فالذكر للقلب واللسان، والشكر للقلب محبة وإنابة، وللسان ثناء وحمد، وللجوارح طاعة وخدمة. ـ

So al-dhikr is with both the heart and with the tongue, and al-shukr is loving Him and returning unto Him with one’s heart, extolling and praising Him with one’s tongue, and the obeying and serving Him with one’s limbs.

[al-Fawaa’id pg 185-188]

See also: The purpose of Allah’s creation: Imam al-Shinqitee

See also: Allah legislated the religion for His remembrance: Imam al-Sa’di

See also: “So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: “We showed him the way, either he will be grateful or ungrateful”: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

See also: “And for that He created them…”: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

See also: “O you who have believed, remember Allah with much remembrance”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

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9 thoughts on “The Deen is Built on Two Foundations: Dhikr and Shukr – Ibn al-Qayyim

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  2. Pingback: Allah legislated the religion for His remembrance: Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: “So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me”: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  4. Pingback: “And for that He created them…”: Tafsir al-Qurtubi | Tulayhah

  5. Pingback: “O you who have believed, remember Allah with much remembrance”: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

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  7. Pingback: Three Categories of Love: Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  8. Pingback: Allah Knows what the Chests Contain: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  9. Pingback: “We showed him the way, either he will be grateful or ungrateful”: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool | Tulayhah

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