Category Archives: Awrad

Focusing on Allah’s Remembrance

Advice from Habib Husayn al-Saqqaf (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

When you remember Allah, you should focus on two things:


  1. Realising the greatness of Allah and His remembrance. Allah says:

ولَذِكْرُ اللهِ أَكْبَر

Truly Allah’s remembrance is greater [1]

When you say “Allahu Akbar” you must realise in your heart that Allah is greater than everything else that you hold in high esteem. Then everything in creation will dwindle into insignificance and only Allah will remain in your heart. Realise that Allah is greater than yourself and all the things that your heart is attached to. Realise that Allah is the greatest, for if your heart is overcome with veneration for Him, that feeling will settle in your inner being and your heart will be in a state of submissiveness to Him. This will then lead to another type of remembrance which is:


  1. Remembering Allah with more fervour, as indicated in the verse (referring to those performing hajj):


فَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ كَذِكْرِكُمْ آَبَاءَكُمْ أَوْ أَشَدَّ ذِكْرًا

Remember Allah as you used to remember your forefathers, but with more fervour[2]


Imagine how you remember your family when you are apart from them or how you remember someone who was very dear to you who has passed away. How do you remember someone you yearn for? You need to remember Allah with a greater yearning. Remembering Allah with fervour does not mean articulating the words with fervour. Rather it means remembering Him with intense love. Allah says:


 وَالَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِلَّهِ

Those who believe are more fervent in their love for Allah [3]


You must remember Allah with intense passion, yearning and fervour. Say the Divine Name “Allah” with every atom of your body and with all your emotions. This is what is intended.

Every time you remember Allah, He remembers you – as expressed in a Hadith Qudsi: “I am as My servant believes Me to be, and I am present with him when he remembers Me”. Experience being “with Him.” Taste the sweetness of your Lord’s words when He says “I am with him.” Imagine how you would feel, you weak, needy and negligent slave, if He says to you, “I am with you”? Allah is your constant Companion – so reflect upon this.


[1] al-Ankabut, 29:45

[2] al-Baqarah, 2:200

[3] al-Baqarah, 2:165


Can Driving be a Form of Khalwah?

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

Can someone who is driving alone to work be considered to be in a form of khalwah?

Yes, this could be a lesser khalwah when one isolates oneself to be with Allah. It is like when someone wraps a shawl around their head so they can only see what is in front of them and not what is around them.

On Taking Permission Before Reciting a New Dhikr

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

If we come across a new dhikr or dua should we take permission before reciting it?

If it is from the Sunnah there is no need to take permission. Likewise there is no need to take permission before reciting the duas and adhkar of the great Imams of the Ummah as long as the meaning is clear and they are easy to read. That being said, If someone is able to take a specific dhikr from a Shaykh who is known to be firm in the path then that will yield special benefits. It is always best to consult your shaykh before taking on a new wird as he knows what is most suitable for your spiritual state.

The focus should be on presence of heart and consistency. The purpose of dhikr and other acts of worship is to purify the heart and enable it to focus on the One being worshipped and remembered and thus gain direct knowledge of Him.

On Maintaining Awrad After Giving Birth

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

After giving birth I have not been able to be consistent in my awrad and other acts of worship. What can I do to maintain my spiritual progress?

You should realise that raising your children is a type of worship so you should make a good intention in raising them and intend to follow the Prophet in doing so.

You should take a moderate path – not neglecting the awrad completely and not trying to do too much. Rather you should do that which is easy for you to maintain. You will still be rewarded for that which you are unable to do.

On Staying Awake After Fajr

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

How can I stay awake after fajr until sunrise?

You can do this by reflecting upon the reward and benefits of doing so and by keeping this time alive with Allah’s remembrance with a group of people. If this is not possible you can drive sleep away by walking around in the place where you prayed. If you pray fajr with a small group of people you can delay the prayer so that there is not too long to wait until sunrise.

Balancing Seeking Knowledge and Remembrance of Allah

A Tunisian scholar asked Sayyidi Habib `Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him):

How does one balance between seeking knowledge and spending time in the remembrance of Allah (reading awrad or litanies)?

Habib Umar replied:

“The key to seeking knowledge is the soundness of one’s intention. If one’s intention is sound and pure, then seeking knowledge is one of the best acts of worship and one of the best forms of remembrance.

If you would like to continue reading your awrad but are considering reducing them to focus on seeking knowledge, not out of laziness, then this is a sign of sincerity. In this case you may reduce the amount you read, but you should not leave your awrad completely. If, however, you find yourself wanting to leave your awrad out of laziness, then it is a sign that you are not sincere, so you should persist in reading them.

Soon after I left Hadramawt, when I was based in al-Bayda, I visited one of my teachers, Imam Abu Bakr al-`Attas bin `Abdullah al-Habashi (may Allah have mercy upon him). He said to me: “Do not read a lot of awrad since you are busy seeking knowledge and calling people to Allah. The Wird al-Latif of Imam al-Haddad is sufficient. If this is too much, then just read the second half of it from ‘hasbiya Allah..’ onwards.” He was indicating that there should be a balance in one’s affairs.

May Allah take us by the hand and rectify our outward and inward state.”

On Balancing the Qur’an and Adhkar

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

What do I do if I do not have enough time to recite the Qur’an, read my adhkar and perform other acts of worship?

The general rule is that you try to combine all these acts of worship and have a specific time for everything. However, if there is not enough time for everything, precedence should be given to reciting the Qur’an as this is one of the greatest adkhar. But bear in mind that one of the Qur’an’s injunctions is to engage in dhikr. Engaging in dhikr is thus acting upon the Qur’an. You should not allow the Devil to trick you into completely leaving the adhkar because he may then trick you into leaving the Qur’an too.



On Forgetting the Number of Adhkar you have Recited

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

What do you do if you have a certain number of adhkar to read and you forget the number that you have read?

You should estimate the number you are certain you have read. If you are unsure whether you read 3,000 or 4,000 for example, you should always go with the lesser amount.

On Balancing Awrad and Household Duties

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

A lot of my time is spent raising my children and doing the housework. How can I be consistent in reading my awrad?

Try to read the awrad while doing the housework. Perhaps the children will then memorise these awrad. A young child memorised Surah Ya Sin before knowing how to read and write just by hearing his mother reciting it while cleaning the house every day.

On Following Adhkar Through Live Broadcast

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)


I follow the adhkar that are broadcast live from Dar al-Mustafa. However there is a time difference. Is it acceptable for me to read those adkhar at that time even though I am in a different time zone?

This is acceptable. There is some latitude because the time of the adhkar of the morning begins at midnight and ends at the time for zuhr prayer. The time of the adhkar of the evening begins at the time of the zuhr prayer and ends at midnight. It is also possible to change the wording of the adhkar. For example, in Dar al-Mustafa they may be saying: “I ask for the good of this night,” so you could say: “I ask for the good of this day.”

The most important thing is focus and presence of heart when you read the adkhar. If you find this focus when following the broadcast then carry on. If not then it is better to do it alone.