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Dhikr with the Names of Allah

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

For the past few months, whenever I try to think of the word “Allah” or Allah Swt, I find it very difficult for some reason. It’s as if my mind and heart keep rejecting it, and there’s some barrier. I try my utmost hardest to keep repeating the word Allah in my mind, but I keep getting the name of other than Allah, and it causes me to become anxious, and I get fear of shirk.

It literally feels like something is restricting me from thinking of Allah swt name, and on top of that, I have OCD and waswas. So I recite the shahada in English and Arabic many times a day to reassure myself, and I also seek refuge in Allah and try to ignore the thoughts. But, still, every time, I have to repeat the statement out loud in English to reassure myself.

Also, I typed my duas on a computer and printed them to read them off. Is this bidah or innovation?

Please help me jzk khairun.

Wa Alaykum al-Salam

Thank you for writing to us.

I suggest that you do not think too much about going blank when thinking of our Creator’s Name, Allah. The more you focus on this, the longer it may take to remedy it. When your mind goes blank, try to do the following:

Mention the Names of Allah
It would help if you said any of the other Names of Allah, Most High, repeatedly, such as al-Rahman, al-Rahim, or al-Kabir.

Remember Allah in your heart.
Allah, Most High, says: “Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest” (Qur’an, 13: 28). Therefore, train yourself to remember Allah in your heart, as well as in all that you see and witness of the things in existence.  By doing this, you will realize that there is more to remembering Allah than repeating His Name, Allah. With His permission, this will also remove the blockage you are experiencing.

Make dua
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, remain in a state of neediness in front of Allah. He, Most High, says: “And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me” (Qur’an, 2:186). So ask Him consistently to keep you in a state of remembrance and connected to Him, Most High.

Typing and printing out your prayers for ease of recitation is an excellent initiative. May you be rewarded in full, and may Allah accept all your prayers. Amin.

And Allah knows best.
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdurragmaan received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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