Man has been granted the Zikr-e-Ism-e-Allah Zaat (invocation of the Personal Name of Allah) because this is the most powerful name of Allah which possesses powers of all His attributive names. This name is so powerful that if it is placed on one side of a scale and the whole universe, heaven and the hell on the other, then the side heavier is that of the Personal Name of Allah (). Zikr-e-Ism-e-Allah Zaat empowers soul with the enlightened insight prerequisite for the Deedar (Vision) of Allah. By the Zikr of soul gets so empowered that it can tear all the veils of material body and life itself to attain to the Visal (Union), the Deedar (Vision) and Marifat (Gnosis) of Allah before the physical death.
Since Zikr-e-Ism-e-Allah Zaat is the basis to attain to Marifat of Allah, the reason of man's creation, that is why, the first order and revelation from Allah to Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam was to invoke Allah's name:
Meaning: O' Beloved (Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam) read with the name of Allah who has created everything. (Al-Alaq-1)
Allah ordered the Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam and his followers to invoke His Personal Name () before making all the physical prayers obligatory so that their souls obtain enlightened insight to attain Marifat of Allah which is the basis and essence of all the prayers. When this foundation of religion was strengthened, only then physical prayers were made an obligation.
Surah Muzamil, Surah Al-Ala, Surah Waqiah, Surah Al-Airaf, Surah Kahaf, Surah Ta'ha, were revealed in Makkah before obligatory prayers were ordered. In all of them Allah has ordered the Muslims to do Zikr of Ism-e-Allah Zaat () and has also described the proper way of Zikr:
Meaning: So (O' Esteemed Beloved Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam) glorify Allah with (invocation of) his Personal Name (), the most Magnificent, with persistence. (Al-Haqa'a-52, Al-Waqia-74, 96)
Meaning: Glorify the Personal Name of your Allah, the most High. (Al-A'la-1)
Meaning: And continue invoking the Personal Name of your Allah (), devoted to Him alone (in your heart and soul) broken away from everyone else. (Muzamil-8)
Meaning: And establish prayers for the sake of my invocation. (Taha-14)
Then, He describes the proper and desired way of invocation.
Meaning: And invoke Allah's Personal Name () with your breath, submissively and secretly and in low tones, morning and evening and be not among the neglectfuls. (Al-Airaf-205)
Meaning: Invoke your Allah's Personal Name () most submissively and secretly, surely He does not like the transgressors. (Al-Airaf-55)
To invoke secretly means to invoke without voice i.e. through breathing. Allah ordered to invoke Ism-e-Allah Zaat () with breath because breath is related to soul. As soon as soul enters the body, it starts breathing and when it leaves, it stops. So, Zikr through breathing is a source of strength for the soul just as eating from mouth is a source to provide energy to the whole body. The Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam said that:
Meaning: Every person has counted breaths; every breath which leaves the body without invoking Allah's Name is lifeless.
It means the breath which comes out with Zikr of Ism-e-Allah Zaat is full of life for soul. Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam said;
- "The person who invokes Allah's name () is alive (spiritually) and who does not is dead". (Bukhari - Muslim)
Soul of the person, who invokes Ism-e-Allah Zaat is alive and dead for those who do not. Now a days, majority of the Muslims do not find it necessary to do Zikr of the Magnificent Name () and feel that mere physical prayers are more than enough to develop their relationship with Allah, and those who do, invoke it loudly, only with voice, not with heart and soul. Some people claim that they invoke Allah's name with heart but for them, heart means the cardiac muscle placed in the left side of the chest. They hold their breath and recite Allah's Name loudly and try to shake this cardiac muscle. When this physical heart starts reciting "", they think that their soul has become alive. This cardiac muscle is just an organ like the other organs of the body, meant to pump blood in the body. After the physical death, this heart will also decay, like the other body parts, in the grave. Soul is neither material nor related to this material world, rather, it is related to Allah and its strength lies in secret and continuous Zikr of Ism-e-Allah Zaat as Allah says:
Meaning: So (O' Muslims) when you have finished your prayers invoke Personal Name of Allah () (in all postures) standing, sitting and lying on your sides. (Al-Nisa-103).
In this verse "lying on your sides" refers to 'sleeping' and while sleeping only through breathing one can invoke. People, who consider their physical heart as their soul and invoke Allah's Name connecting their heartbeat with breath and do this practice only in fixed timings and not continuously, can neither possess spiritual life nor can they reach near Allah and recognize Him.
Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh says about such people:
- How ignorant are those, who have no knowledge about their souls and inner beings. They concentrate upon their muscular organ 'heart' while invocation and assume that this is the invocation of their soul. Sometimes, they connect their heart beat with their breath and name it 'sacrificial invocation' and sometimes, they imagine this physical heart as their soul during meditation and consider it "invocation of illuminous presence," and they name this "The Sultani Zikr of the soul". All these people are wrong. All these considerations are just satanic illusions. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
- Your heart is just a physical organ beating in the left side of your chest (it is not the soul) this muscular heart is possessed even by non Muslims''. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
- I am really amazed by those ignorant and foolish people who loudly invoke "" day and night but do not recognize the Real Essence of Allah. Their hearts remains full of vicious desires, so, at last they are retracted.
To invoke by physical heart is the prayer of the physical body just like the other physical prayers and has no connection with spiritual life. It is the soul which reaches and recognizes Allah, not the physical body. The Zikr (invocation) by physical heart can provide no energy or power to the soul, as soul is superior to this material body, although, exaltation of soul can improve and rectify the physical deeds. So, as Zikr by physical heart neither brings a person close to Allah nor helps in Recognition of Allah, it is completely useless. The invocation of Allah's Personal Name () through Pass-Infass (inhale and exhale of breath) is the real and truly fruitful Zikr which empowers the soul.