Enter Paradise Laughing?
I long to enter paradise. To walk among the righteous, talk to the prophets, and see Allah. We all want to enter paradise, but I want to enter it laughing. Jubary ibn Nufayr reported: Abu Darda, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Verily, one who keeps his tongue moist with the remembrance of Allah Almighty, those will enter Paradise laughing.” the one who keeps his tongue moist with dhikr of Allah will enter Paradise laughing. So what does that mean? What is dhikr, and what are its benefits?
What is Dhikr
Dhikr is mentioned in the Quran in multiple meanings. It sometimes means the Quran, and it sometimes means the prayer. Allah has said concerning the Quran as dhikr, ” Verily, We have revealed the Dhikr (remembrance), and He mentions the prayer when he says, ” O’ you who believe! When the call to prayer is proclaimed for the prayer on the Day of Congregation (Friday ), hasten to the dhikr ( remembrance) of Allah and leave of trade.”
The Greatest Definitions
The greatest definitions of dhikr are glorification (tasbiH), proclaiming there is no god but God (tahlil), and proclaiming the Supremeness of God (takbir). TasbiH, tahlil, and takbir make up most of the adhkar (remembrances) people do after every prayer.
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “He who recites after every prayer: Subhan-Allah (Allah is free from imperfection) thirty-three times; Al-hamdu lillah (praise be to Allah) thirty-three times; Allahu Akbar (Allah is Greatest) thirty-three times; and completes the hundred with La ilaha illallahu, wahdahu la sharika lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamdu, wa Huwa ‘ala kulli shai’in Qadir (there is no true god except Allah. He is One and He has no partner with Him. He is the sovereignty and He is the praise, and He is Omnipotent), will have all his sins pardoned even if they may be as large as the foam on the surface of the sea. Subhan- Allah and al-hamdi lillah are tasbiH, Allhu Akbar is takbir, and la ilaha ila Allah is tahlil.
Allah says concerning the above-mentioned dhikr archetypes, ” Those who believe and whose hearts are at rest in the dhikr of Allah- it is truly in the remembrance of Allah that hearts are at rest.” Allah warns us against turning away from dhikr when He says, “But woe unto those that hardened against the dhikr of Allah. Those are in manifest error.
The Heart Only has Room for One Master!
Our scholars have told us, “The heart can only contain one love at a time, such that when it is occupied with one love, it is wholly veiled from another. So be careful that you are not drawn toward anything other than Allah, lest He deprives you of the delights of intimate conversation with Him. The surest way to flee to Allah is to be in constant dhikr (remembrance) of Allah.
Most of us are on autopilot and refuse to see the ultimate benefit that dhikr- can bring into our lives of toil and sacrifice. The joy that dhikr can cultivate in the heart and its ability to till the fields of forgiveness and mercy. Every movement of the tongue is a seed being planted in the gardens of paradise. I fear that so many of us are starving spiritually. We fail to grow the garden of joy in our hearts through the dhikr of Allah.
The Start of the Path
Let’s start with something easy. The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Take up good deeds only as much as you are able, for the best deeds are those done regularly, even if they are few. He (ﷺ) also said. “The most beloved of deeds to Allah are those that are most consistent, even if it is small.” So let’s start with la ilaha ila Allah (There is no god but God).
The Best Dhikr
The best type of remembrance is the formula of the first shahadah, La ilaha ila Allah (There is no god but God). Imam Muhammad Baqir’s tapped into the heart of this simple yet powerful dhikr when he said:
“The intimate companion of the lonely heart is La ilaha ila Allah
The life of the soul and body is La ilaha ila Allah
Like the sweet song of the nightingales, sing from the bottom of your heart with a hundred thousand tongues
Sing La ilaha ila Allah
Like intoxicated lovers who have lost their intellect and are drunk with divine love invoking La ilaha ila Allah”
Say La Ilaha Ila Allah 10,000 times a Day
My Spiritual Master would tell me to say La ilaha ila Allah 10,000 times a day. He wasn’t asking me to count to 10,000 every day. He was communicating the importance of always having our tongues moist with the sweetness of dhikr. Sidi Hamza Boudshishi used to say, “Dhikr practiced regularly progressively makes carnal desires and impure thoughts vanish. In like manner, if hunters go hunting in the forest and fire shots, all the animals take fright and flee, only to return later in the day. But if the hunters come every day into the forest, the animals will eventually move to another location in the forest.” Saying La ilaha ila Allah 10,000 times a day frightens off the shaytan, and recited regularly removes them permanently from your heart.
Enter Paradise Laughing
Jubary ibn Nufayr reported: Abu Darda, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Verily, one who keeps his tongue moist with the remembrance of Allah Almighty, those will enter Paradise laughing.” the one who keeps his tongue moist with dhikr of Allah will enter Paradise laughing. Saying La ilaha ila Allah 10,000 times a day will moisten the tongue with the sweetness of faith, and insha’Allah, you will enter paradise laughing out of the joy kindled in a purified heart of love.