Zikr-e ? Qalbi (zikr of Heart) and Naqshbandi Order



The most distinguished Naqshbandi Order is the way of the Companions of the Prophet and those who follow them. This Way consists of continuous worship in every action, both external and internal, with complete and perfect discipline according to the Sunnah of the Prophet. It consists in maintaining the highest level of conduct and leaving absolutely all innovations and all free interpretations in public customs and private behavior. It consists in keeping awareness of the Presence of God, Almighty and Exalted, on the way to self-effacement and complete experience of the Divine Presence. It is the Way of complete reflection of the highest degree of perfection. It is the Way of sanctifying the self by means of the most difficult struggle, the struggle against the self. It begins where the other orders end, in the attraction of complete Divine Love, which was granted to the first friend of the Prophet, Abu Bakr as-Siddiq ( R A) The purpose of zikr is to purify hearts and souls and awaken the human conscience.

The Qur’an  says:

“And establish regular prayer, for prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds, and remembrance of Allah is the greatest thing in life, without doubt.” (29:45)

In other words, the remembrance of Allah has a greater impact in restraining one from shameful and unjust deeds than just the formal regular prayer. This is so because when a servant opens up his soul to his Lord, extolling His praise, Allah strengthens him with His light, increasing thereby his faith and conviction, and reassuring his mind and heart. This refers to:

“those who believe, and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah, for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction.”(13:28)

And when hearts are satisfied with the Truth, they turn to the highest ideals without being deflected by impulses of desire or lust. This underscores the importance of zikr in man’s life. Obviously it would be unreasonable to expect these results just by uttering certain words, for words of the tongue unsupported by a willing heart are of no consequence. Allah Himself has taught us the manner in which a person should remember Him, saying:

“And do bring your Lord to remembrance in your very soul, with humility and in reverence, without loudness in words, in the mornings and evening, and be not of those who are unheedful.” (7:205)


Zikr of Allah
 (subhanaho wa taala ) is the most excellent act of Allah’s servants and is stressed over a hundred times in the Holy Qur’an. It is the most praiseworthy work to earn Allah’s pleasure, the most effective weapon to overcome the enemy, and the most deserving of deeds in reward. It is the flag of Islam, the polish of hearts, the essence of the science of faith, the immunization against hypocrisy, the head of worship, and the key of all success.

Allah says in His holy Book: “O Believers, make abundant mention of ALLAH!” (33:41) And He mentions of His servants “Those who remember their Lord standing, and sitting, and lying on their sides” (3:191), in other words at all times of the day and night. He said (3:190-191): “

The creation of heaven and earth and the changes of night and day are signs for people who have wisdom: — consider who is described as having wisdom —

Those who remember (and recite and call) Allah standing up, sitting, and lying on their sides.” Bibi `A’isha (R.A) said, as narrated by Muslim, that the Prophet (prayers and peace be upon him) mentioned/remembered Allah at all times of the day and night.

According to the Naqshbandi masters, zikr in the heart is more useful for the murid or student for it is more efficient in shaking the heart from indifference and awakening it.


Shah Naqshband said: “There are two methods of zikr ; one is silent and one is loud. I chose the silent one because it is stronger and therefore more preferable.”

That is why our Naqshbandi masters have chosen the zikr of the heart. Moreover, the heart is the place where the Forgiver casts his gaze, and the seat of belief, and the receptacle of secrets, and the source of lights. If it is sound, the whole body is sound, and if it is unsound, the whole body is unsound, as was made clear for us by the Chosen Prophet (prayers and peace be upon him).

It is related from Sa`d that the Prophet (prayers and peace be upon him) said: “The best zikr is the hidden zikr , and the best money is what suffices.” Ahmad narrates it in his Musnad, Ibn Hibban in his Sahih, and Bayhaqi in Shu`ab al-iman.

Something that confirms this was narrated on the authority of Bibi `A’isha:( R.A) “Allah favors zikr above zikr seventyfold (meaning, silent zikr over loud zikr ). On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will bring back human beings to His account, and the Recording Angels will bring what they have recorded and written, and Allah Almighty will say: See if something that belongs to my servant was left out? The angels will say: We left nothing out concerning what we have learnt and recorded, except that we have assessed it and written it. Allah will say: O my servant, I have something good of yours for which I alone will reward you, it is your hidden remembrance of Me.” Bayhaqi narrated it.

Also on the authority of Bibi `A’isha: (R.A ) “The zikr not heard by the Recording Angels equals seventy times the one they hear.” Bayhaqi narrated it.