Invocation of the Personal Name of Allah
( Zikr-e-Ism-e-Allah-Zaat )
Esoteric self (batin) of man enclosed in physical body is living being. Hence, it demands attention like physical body. Just as proper food is necessary to provide energy to physical body, likewise esoteric self also needs nourishment for energy. In Holy Quran Allah says:
اَلَا بِذِکۡرِ اللّٰہِ تَطۡمَئِنُّ الۡقُلُوۡبُ
Meaning: Surely in the invocation (zikr) of اَللّٰہُ (Ism-e-Allah Zaat) do inwards find peace. (Al-Raad 28)
That is to say, soul finds peace in invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat because it provides nourishment and strength to it. Soul of person who neglects it, does not find spiritual sustenance, as Allah Says:
وَ مَنۡ اَعۡرَضَ عَنۡ ذِکۡرِیۡ فَاِنَّ لَہٗ مَعِیۡشَۃً ضَنۡکًا وَّ نَحۡشُرُہٗ یَوۡمَ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ اَعۡمٰی
Meaning: And whoever turns away from My invocation, his (spiritual) sustenance will be cut short. And I will raise him blind on Day of Resurrection. (Taha 124)
The word ‘sustenance’ in this verse refers to subsistence of soul, not to material wealth. Because Allah even gives material wealth to non-Muslims who never invoke Allah’s name. Invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat provides sustenance to soul which empowers it to travel towards Allah. Hence, ascend to destination of vision of Allah and eventually attain His gnosis (marifa), the reason of man’s creation. That is why, first order and revelation from Allah to Holy Prophet was to invoke Allah’s name:
اِقۡرَاۡ بِاسۡمِ رَبِّکَ الَّذِیۡ خَلَقَ۔
Meaning: O beloved! Read with the name of your Holy Lord ( اَللّٰہُ ), who has created everything. (Al-Alaq 1)
Moreover, all verses revealed in Makkah contain orders to invoke Allah’s name. So that spiritual relation of Companions with Allah could strengthen. Only after that, Allah made worships obligatory.
DIVINE ORDAINMENT TO INVOKE ISM-E-ALLAH ZAAT
In Holy Quran, Allah has commanded Muslims to invoke His name at numerous places;
سَبِّحِ اسۡمَ رَبِّکَ الۡاَعۡلَی
Meaning: Glorify the personal name of your Holy Lord ( اَللّٰہُ ), the Most High. (Al-Ala 1)
فَسَبِّحْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّکَ الْعَظِیْمِ
Meaning: So glorify your Holy Lord persistently with His personal name ( اَللّٰہُ ), the Most Magnificent. (Al-Haqqa 52, Al-Waqia-74, 96)
وَ اذۡکُرۡ رَّبَّکَ اِذَا نَسِیۡتَ
Meaning: Invoke your Holy Lord when you forget (everything else). (Al-Kahf 24)
وَ اذۡکُرِ اسۡمَ رَبِّکَ وَ تَبَتَّلۡ اِلَیۡہِ تَبۡتِیۡلًا
Meaning: And continue invoking the personal name of your Holy Lord ( اَللّٰہُ ), being devoted to Him alone (in your heart and soul) and broken away from everyone else. (Al-Muzzammil 8)
Salat is also a form of invocation as Allah says;
وَ اَقِمِ الصَّلٰوۃَ لِذِکۡرِیۡ
Meaning: And establish salat for the sake of my invocation. (Taha 14)
Allah wants His men to invoke His name not only during salat but continuously, as He commands:
فَاِذَا قَضَیۡتُمُ الصَّلٰوۃَ فَاذۡکُرُوا اللّٰہَ قِیٰمًا وَّ قُعُوۡدًا وَّ عَلٰی جُنُوۡبِکُمۡ
Meaning: So (O Muslims) when you have finished your salat, invoke personal name of Allah (in all postures) standing, sitting and lying on your sides. (An-Nisa 103)
In this verse “lying on your sides” refers to ‘sleeping’, i.e. one has to invoke while sleeping also. During sleep only the invocation through breathing (pas-infaas) is possible because breath does not stop even while sleeping. Following verses confirm it;
وَاذْکُرْرَّبَّکَ فِیْ نَفْسِکَ تَضَرُّعًا وَّ خِیْفَۃً وَّ دُوْنَ الْجَھْرِ مِنَ الْقَوْلِ بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالْاٰصَالِ وَلَا تَکُنْ مِّنَ الْغٰفِلِیْنَ
Meaning: And invoke your Holy Lord’s personal name with your breath. With humility and tearful submissiveness and secretly and without loud voice, morning and evening and be not among the neglectful. (Al-A’raf 205)
اُدۡعُوۡا رَبَّکُمۡ تَضَرُّعًا وَّ خُفۡیَۃً ؕ اِنَّہٗ لَا یُحِبُّ الۡمُعۡتَدِیۡنَ
Meaning: Invoke your Holy Lord’s personal name ( اَللّٰہُ ) most submissively and secretly. Surely He does not like the transgressors. (Al-A’raf 55)
INVOCATION WITH BREATHS – PAS INFAS
In above-mentioned verses ‘invoke secretly’ means to invoke within oneself i.e. through breathing. Allah ordered to invoke His name with breaths because breath is connected to soul. As soon as soul enters body, it starts breathing and when it leaves, breathing stops. So invocation through breathing is source of strength for the soul. Just as eating from mouth is source to provide energy to the whole body. The Holy Prophet said:
اَ لْاَنْفَاسُ مَعْدُوْدَۃٌ وَکُلُّ نَفْسٍ یَّخْرُجُ بِغَیْرِ ذِکْرِاللّٰہِ تَعَالٰی فَھُوَ مَیِّتُ
Meaning: Every person has counted breaths; every breath which leaves the body without invocation of ( اَللّٰہُ ) is lifeless.
قَالَ النَّبِیُّ صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ ’’مَثَلُ الَّذِیْ یَذْکُرُ رَبَّہُ وَ الَّذِیْ لَا یَذْکُرُ رَبَّہُ مَثَلُ الْحَیِّ وَ الْمَیِّتِ‘‘
The Holy Prophet said, “Person who invokes Allah’s name is alive (spiritually) and one who does not is dead”. (Bukhari, 6407).
HADITHS EMPHASIZING UPON INVOCATION OF ISM-E-ALLAH ZAAT
There are numerous Hadiths elaborating importance of invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat for true believers;
طَلْبُ الْخَیرِْ طَلْبُ اللّٰہِ وَذِکْرُ الْخَیرِ ذکْرُ اللّٰہِ
Meaning: Best desire is the desire of Allah and best invocation is of the name of Allah (Ism-e-Allah Zaat).
مَا صَدَقَۃُ اَفْضَلُ مِنْ ذِکْرِ اللّٰہِ تَعَالٰی
Meaning: No Sadaqah is better than the invocation of Allah.
عِلَامَۃُ حُبِّ اللّٰہِ ذِکْرُہٗ وَ عِلَامَۃُ بُغْضِ اللّٰہِ عَدَمُ ذِکْرُہٗ
Meaning: Sign of love of Allah is invoking Him while sign of hostility against Allah is leaving His invocation.
- Once Holy Prophet said to his Companions, “Let me tell you the act which is most favourite and elevated near Allah and best of all deeds, even better than spending gold and silver in the way of Allah or fighting for the religious cause and killing the enemies of Allah or being killed by them?” The Companions replied, “Why not O Prophet of Allah! Do tell us.” He exclaimed, “It is the invocation of Allah”. (Al-Tirmidhi)
- Abu Saeed al-Khudri narrated; once someone asked Holy Prophet, “Who among men will be superior near Allah on doomsday?” The Holy Prophet said, “Those men and women who excessively invoke”.
لِکُلِّ شَیْیئ مُصْقِلَۃٌوَّمُصْلِقَۃُالْقَلْ
بِ ذِکْرُاَللّٰہِ تَعَالیٰ
Meaning: For everything there is a burnisher and the burnisher of inward is invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat.
This Hadith clearly tells that whoever wishes inward purity must do the invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat.
WARNING ON NOT INVOKING ALLAH’S NAME
In the Holy Quran Allah warns those who are neglectful of invocation of His name;
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا لَا تُلۡہِکُمۡ اَمۡوَالُکُمۡ وَ لَاۤ اَوۡلَادُکُمۡ عَنۡ ذِکۡرِ اللّٰہِ ۚ وَ مَنۡ یَّفۡعَلۡ ذٰلِکَ فَاُولٰٓئِکَ ہُمُ الۡخٰسِرُوۡنَ
Meaning: O believers! Let not your wealth and your children make you neglectful of the invocation of Allah. And whoever does so, is amongst the losers. (Al-Munafiqun 9)
فَاَعۡرِضۡ عَنۡ مَّنۡ تَوَلّٰی ۬ۙ عَنۡ ذِکۡرِنَا وَ لَمۡ یُرِدۡ اِلَّا الۡحَیٰوۃَ الدُّنۡیَا ﴿ؕ۲۹﴾
ذٰلِکَ مَبۡلَغُہُمۡ مِّنَ الۡعِلۡمِ ؕ اِنَّ رَبَّکَ ہُوَ اَعۡلَمُ بِمَنۡ ضَلَّ عَنۡ سَبِیۡلِہٖ ۙ وَ ہُوَ اَعۡلَمُ بِمَنِ اہۡتَدٰی ﴿۳۰﴾
Meaning: So divert your attention from him who turns away from Our invocation and desires life of this world. That is the limit of their knowledge. Verily your Lord fully knows who strayed from His path and (also) knows him best who has attained guidance. (Al-Najm 29,30)
On the other hand Allah promises reward for those who invoke His name passionately;
وَ الذّٰکِرِیۡنَ اللّٰہَ کَثِیۡرًا وَّ الذّٰکِرٰتِ ۙ اَعَدَّ اللّٰہُ لَہُمۡ مَّغۡفِرَۃً وَّ اَجۡرًا عَظِیۡمًا
Meaning: And the men who invoke Allah ( اَللّٰہُ ) excessively and the women who also invoke Allah ( اَللّٰہُ ) a lot, Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and mighty reward. (Al-Ahzab 35)
All the Saints have been persuading the seekers of Allah to invoke Ism-e-Allah Zaat
Al-GHAWTH AL-AZAM SHAIKH ABDUL QADIR JILANI
Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani says about Ism-e-Allah Zaat;
- When a person says Allah اَللّٰہُ once with true heart, then there should not remain anyone other than Allah in his heart. (Al-Fath ar-Rabbani)
- When Ism-e-Allah Zaat اَللّٰہُ enters the inward, it is lit with two things; the Divine blaze and light. The Divine blaze burns the thoughts and love of everything other than Allah. While the Divine light enlightens the inward and makes it clean like mirror. . (Al-Fath ar-Rabbani)
- Once a Saint reached a mosque of Syria. He was very hungry. He said to himself, “I wish I knew the Ism-e-Azam (greatest name of Allah).” Suddenly two men descended from the sky and sat beside him. One of them said to the other, “Do you want to know the Ism-e-Azam?” The other replied in affirmative. Then, first man said, “Say اَللّٰہُ , it is the Ism-e-Azam.” The Saint thought that he often recited اَللّٰہُ but never experienced its efficacy. Hence, the man explained, “Allah اَللّٰہُ should be invoked in such a way that there is none except Allah in inward.”(Al-Fath ar-Rabbani)
Sultan Bahoo explains the splendor of Ism-e-Allah Zaat in these words;
- Listen! All four holy books i.e. Taurah, Gospel, Psalms and Quran are just the explanation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. What is Ism-e-Allah Zaat? Ism-e-Allah Zaat is exactly the Divine Essence. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
- Keep in mind that the ascension of Holy Prophet to the station of Qab Qausain higher than the Throne, the Chair, the Pen, the Tablet and then talking to Allah without any veil was only due to the benediction of Ism-e-Allah Zaat because Ism-e-Allah Zaat is the key to both worlds. The seven layers of earth and skies are stable without any pillar only because of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. All Prophets got Prophethood and won over the disbelievers only due to the power of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
- Without the invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat, neither the inciting innerself dies nor the soul vivifies. Even if a person keeps reciting the Holy Quran for his whole life or keeps learning lessons of Islamic laws. Because the sanctification of inward only lies in eternal invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
- Ism-e-Allah Zaat reveals such inspirational knowledge that one does not need to gain any other knowledge. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
- Whoever recognizes the essence of Ism-e-Allah Zaat and comes to know Its reality, It takes him to the gnosis of Oneness of the Divine Essence. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
- One who denies the powers of Ism-e-Allah Zaat is surely a liar and hypocrite. (Ameer-ul-Kaunain)
SULTAN-UL-FAQR SIXTH SULTAN MOHAMMAD ASGHAR ALI
- Ism-e-Allah Zaat is the greatest name of Allah i.e. the Ism-e-Azam. It affects only when seeker acquires it from the perfect spiritual guide who is the possessor of Divine secret.
- No secret of universe remains hidden from the seeker who engraves Ism-e-Allah Zaat on his inward. Provided he has acquired this Ism-e-Azam from the perfect spiritual guide.
- One, who does not enliven his soul by invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat, leaves the world in deprivation.
- Contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat is the source of entire mystic knowledge. Its invocation and contemplation elevate the seeker to highest spiritual stations of Divine vision and presence of Mohammadan Assembly. No other invocation or devotional practice can grant these levels.
- Ism-e-Allah Zaat is the key to one’s soul.
- Contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat removes rust from the mirror of inward, eventually making it bright and clear.
- A person gets self-realization and recognition of Allah only through Ism-e-Allah Zaat. No other invocation, meditation or devotional prayer can unlock the closed door of his soul. (Sultan-ul-Faqr VI Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali-Life and Teachings)
SULTAN-UL-ASHIQEEN SULTAN MOHAMMAD NAJIB-UR-REHMAN
- Ism-e-Allah Zaat is, in fact, the Divine Essence and is specific for His Divine Self.
- Like Allah Himself, His name is also unprecedented, peerless and unique because of its marvels, astonishing essence and meaningfulness.
- Everyone has a name which is different from his essence. But since Allah has no partners, therefore, He is one in His name and Essence.
- The sustenance for human soul is the luminosity of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. When the soul gains this sustenance, it is blessed with the sight to have Divine vision.
- By invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat, seeker reaches supreme stations of Divine union and presence of Mohammadan Assembly. It is not possible through any other worship or invocation. These are the highest spiritual stations.
- Contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat is the source and treasury of all the spiritual knowledge.
- It is important to perform the invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat under the guidance and supervision of perfect spiritual guide. He is the one who not only knows the secrets of Ism-e-Allah Zaat but also possesses full command over its contemplation. Furthermore, he should be the man of Divine Essence.
For detailed knowledge about Ism-e-Allah Zaat please read the book THE DIVINE REALITY OF ISM-E-ALLAH ZAAT. Author; Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman.