In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Commemoration of God - Meaning of "thikr"

As pointed out by God almighty in 73:1-8, 73:20, and 17:78-79, reading the Quran is the recommended divine manner of meditation. It is the extended thinking, reflection, or contemplation with Quran that helps us achieve a balance to simultaneously grow in spirituality and deal with our earthly needs and our striving path, daily. Through the meditation on the Quran, we divinely get charged to focus on all the elements of righteousness and be truthful enough to fight our weaknesses. Meditation on the Quran is the daily spark that stimulates us to develop more interest in learning, and it unveils for us new perspectives and deeper values. We thus move from one stage to another, change our wrong patterns, and recognize our deviation (8:53). This is how we advance to higher ranks.

An attribute of Quran that is frequently mentioned by God is "thikr". The word "thikr" means remembrance or commemoration with all that this implies of reflecting, contemplating, and taking heed. It is variously translated as scripture, reminder, proof, or message. When Quran - scripture, message, reminders, and proofs- is labeled as "thikr, it is additionally described by God as "thikrun Hakeem", and "thikrun mubarak" which means thikr/Quran that is full of wisdom, and blessed respectively. This leads us to recognize the Quran as the ultimate source of memorializing or commemorating God and His path. This can be seen in the following group of verses. The traditional practice of repeating praises and attributes of God, individually or in groups, inappropriately limits the deeper meaning of "thikr" or commemoration as used in Quran.

[3:58] These are the revelations that we recite to you, providing a message (thikr in the Arabic text) full of wisdom.

[21:50] This too is a blessed reminder (thikr in the Arabic text) that we sent down. Are you denying it?
[6:155] This too is a blessed scripture (thikr in the Arabic text) that we have revealed; you shall follow it and lead a righteous life, that you may attain mercy.

When we meditate with the Quran, we are commemorating God since we are reflecting and taking heed of His own narration. Every word in the Quran is a word of praise and glorification for God as it is authored by Him and speaks directly or indirectly for Him. Every command in the Quran is a reminder that came straight from God, hence it is "thikr" or commemoration of Him. Every meaning and value spells out one or more of His attributes.. What could be more effective to commemorate God with than reciting His very own words in His very own scripture?

The direct commands of glorifying and praising God (50:39, 20:130, 15:98) or meditating on His name (5:40, 73:8) are traditionally limited to repeating certain statements such as "praise God" , "glory be to God", or to the commemoration God's attributes while every single verse in the Quran suffices as a powerful tool for praise and glorification. The following sampling of verses show the effectiveness of Quran for that.

[1:2] Praise be to GOD, Lord of the universe.

[36:36] Glory be to the One who created all kinds of plants from the earth, as well as themselves, and other creations that they do not even know.

[6:1] Praise be to GOD, who created the heavens and the earth, and made the darkness and the light. Yet, those who disbelieve in their Lord continue to deviate.

[17:111] ...."Praise be to GOD, who has never begotten a son, nor does He have a partner in His kingship, nor does He need any ally out of weakness," and magnify Him constantly.

[52:43] Do they have another god beside GOD? GOD be glorified, far above having partners.

[27:93] ..."Praise be to GOD; He will show you His proofs, until you recognize them. Your Lord is never unaware of anything you do."

[35:1] Praise be to GOD, Initiator of the heavens and the earth, and appointer of the angels to be messengers with wings - two, three, and four (wings). He increases the creation as He wills. GOD is Omnipotent.

[18:1] Praise GOD, who revealed to His servant this scripture, and made it flawless.

[39:74] .... "Praise be to GOD, who fulfilled His promise to us, and made us inherit the earth, enjoying Paradise as we please." What a beautiful recompense for the workers!

[28:70] He is the one GOD; there is no other god beside Him. To Him belongs all praise in this first life, and in the Hereafter. All judgment belongs with Him, and to Him you will be returned.

[30:18] All praise is due to Him in the heavens and the earth, throughout the evening, as well as in the middle of your day.

God [59:22] He is the One GOD; there is no other god beside Him. Knower of all secrets and declarations. He is the Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
[59:23] He is the One GOD; there is no other god beside Him. The King, the Most Sacred, the Peace, the Most Faithful, the Supreme, the Almighty, the Most Powerful, the Most Dignified. GOD be glorified; far above having partners.
[59:24] He is the One GOD; the Creator, the Initiator, the Designer. To Him belong the most beautiful names. Glorifying Him is everything in the heavens and the earth. He is the Almighty, Most Wise.

Almighty God [6:59] With Him are the keys to all secrets; none knows them except He. He knows everything on land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls without His knowledge. Nor is there a grain in the depths of the soil. Nor is there anything wet or dry, that is not recorded in a profound record.

[64:1] Glorifying GOD is everything in the heavens and everything on earth. To Him belongs all kingship, and to Him belongs all praise, and He is Omnipotent.

[34:1] Praise be to GOD - to whom belongs everything in the heavens and the earth; all praise is also due to Him in the Hereafter. He is the Most Wise, the Cognizant.

[45:36] To GOD belongs all praise; Lord of the heavens, Lord of the earth, Lord of the universe.

In conclusion, the word "thikr" or commemoration is one of the Quran's attributes as Quran is the ultimate source of the remembrance of God and His path. The traditional practice of repeating praises and attributes of God inappropriately limits the deeper meaning of "thikr" or commemoration as used in Quran. It is important to keep in mind that when studying the Quran we are commemorating, glorifying, and praising God using His "thik", which is blessed and full of wisdom. In doing that, we are using the best words and the most beautiful formula to commemorate Him - a formula that is far superior to any other words, tones, and songs of glorification and praise.

Peaceful Friday, salaam, and God bless.