A STUDY OF THE SUFI CONCEPT OF DHIKR AS PRACTICED BY MUSLIMS (A CASE STUDY OF PATIGI LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA KWARA STATE)

A STUDY OF THE SUFI CONCEPT OF DHIKR AS PRACTICED BY MUSLIMS (A CASE STUDY OF PATIGI LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA KWARA STATE)

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ABSTRACT

This project is centres on sufi concept of Dhikras practiced by Muslims in Patigi local government Area. It aimed to present the historical background of Islam and Sufism in Patigi local government, the beginning and development of Dhikr, also its impact with particular reference to Patigi local government Area of Kwara State.


CHAPTER ONE:INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Is a religion of peace that requires absolute total submission to the will of Allah. However, a believer cannot truly be a faithful one except that he follows and submits wholly to the commandments of Allah without personal interest. When a believer harbours in himself anything contrary to whole reliance and submission to Allah, he has definitely crossed the right path and Shaytan will be his guide and without the total submission to the will of Allah the of a Muslim is incomplete. This is alluded to in the Qur’an thus:

Oh you, who believe, enter into Islam completely and perfectly and do not follow the footsteps of Shaytan. Indeed he is to you a clear enemy.1

Moreover,Islam envisages for man a discipline for his life as a whole, material as well as spiritual, but there is no denying the fact that owing to differences of individual temperaments, certain people would specialize on certain things and not in others. Even if one were to concentrate on spiritual side of one’s existence, one would still remain more or less attached to the other occupation of life for one’s nourishment, for the sake of society of which he is a member in his celebrated expose of his teaching on faith and submission and the best method of these two, prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) defined this last point in the following terms:

The man said: Now tell me about Goodness. Muhammad (S.A.W) said; it is to worship Allah as though you see him, for he sees you although you do not see Him.2

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This work examines the study of the Sufi concept of Dhikr particularly in Patigi Local Government area of Kwara state.

Patigi is a name of town located to the North East part of Ilorin Kwara state capital on a small hill (meaning Patigi in Nupe). It was one of the important towns in Kwara state.

Patigi served as a gateway to the North, it has a large market center for all the goods coming from North or from the South (Yagba and Yaragi Market).

Patigi was a cross roads town for over three centuries and a war centre in the olden days. But by 1800 A.D after the British conquest the emirate was carved out from the former Nupe Kingdom and it form part of the present Patigi local government area of Kwara state.3

Sufism is a distinct way of getting access to the ultimate reality, the source of being through guidance is acquired. Thus, Sufism being one of the most arresting and captivating part of Muslim movements attempts to curb human imitations by approaching the Divine essence many schools have been formed so as to educate the prospective Murid who actually wants to have the mystical knowledge of Allah, though the remembrance of Allah and meditation. It is hoped that this research will address the issue so directed and contribute to literature on the subject matter.

1.2 SCOPE AND LIMITATION

This research (A study of the Sufi concept of Dhikr as practiced by Muslims in Patigi local government area) is therefore undertaken with a view to bring into

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consciousness the outstanding contribution ofDhikr and Sufism to the religious and social enhancement of Muslims life.

The area of the study was therefore limited by the researcher to the three districts of the local government area only. The districts are as follows;

a.       Patigi districts

b.      Lade districts

c.       Kpada districts

1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This long essay elucidates vividly the significance of purification of the soul. Without Dhikr the center of cannot be practiced by a Muslim perfectly. In this regard, the Almighty Allah mentions in Qur’an that:

Recite what has been sent down to you of the book, and establish the prayer. Prayer forbids indecency and dishonor. Remembrance of Allah is greater, and the Allah knows what you do.4

Allah (the exalted) used the word “AKBARU” for “remembrance of Allah”, that is, the remembrance of Allah is the greater form of worship. The observer of prayer (Salat) may find it difficult to obtain the satisfaction of Allah while on Prayer; expectone who has been impacted by the significance of Dhikr. It is only Dhikrthat can purify the soul from abominations before one can attain the knowledge of Divine essence. When a men submits himself to Allah in totality, while he is on a prayer he knows who he is, who he is observing the prayer for. Then Salat can serve as a protector from evil

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deeds because many are observing five daily prayers at the right time and they still engage in indecent acts. The Prophet (S.A.W) said in Hadith Al-Qudsi that Allah say;

Know Me before you worship Me, if you don’t know Me how will you worship Me.5

The noblest of these higher understanding is the knowledge of Allah and knowledge of what is intended. Below this is the straight path. Thus is the knowledge of purification of the soul with Dhikr and removal of the obstacles of destructive qualities like greed, anger, pride, ostentation/concert, envy, love of influence, love of wealth and so on.Dhikr appears the praise worthy qualities with which the soul should be made beautiful, such as asceticism, trust in Allah, satisfaction with divine decrees, love of Allah, truthfulness, sincerity and so on.

The highest and noblest knowledge is the knowledge of Allah because all other forms of knowledge are sought for the sake of Him and it is not sought for anything

else.6 the manner of progression with regards to that is to advance from divine attributes, and then from Divine essence, these are three stages. The highest of these stages is knowledge of Divine essence, and it is not for most people to understand this. That is why they have been commanded “reflect on Allah’s creation and do not reflect on this essence”. This progression is indicated by the gradual advance of Allah’s messenger (S.A.W) in his observation when he said:

امك تنأ كيلع ءانث ىصحألا كنم كبذوعأو كتبوقع نم كت افاعمبو كتخس نم كاضرب ذوعأ مهللا .كسفن ىلع تينثأ

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O Allah seek refuge in thy pleasure from thy anger, this is observation of  Divine

attributes, and in thy forgiveness from thy punishment, this is observation of Divine

works. Finally, the messenger of Allah (S.A.W) said;

I seek refuge in thee from thee (thy anger). This is observation of divine essence.

Thus, he was advancing step by step towards nearness to Allah. Then, at the time of

reaching the final stage he admitted his inability by saying; I cannot reckon thy praise.

Thou art as thou last lauded thyself.7

This  is  the  noblest  form  of  knowledge  and  it  is  followed  in  excellence  by

knowledge of the life to come, which is the knowledge of final return to Allah.

1.4 STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM

The statement of the problem form the foundation upon which this research is

intended. Initially, some people were said to have organized themselves into small group

purposely for mutual encouragement and also met for group recitation of Qur’an and

other forms of remembrance so as to get close to Allah as contained in Qur’an:

Therefore remember Me, I will remember you, and be thankful to me and do not be ungrateful to me

Also in the second verse where Allah says:

And withhold yourself with those who call on their lord morning and evening desiring His goodwill, and let not your eyes pass from them, desiring the beauties of this world’s life; and ,do not follow him whose heart we have made unmindful to our remembrance and follows his low desires and his case is one in which due bounds are exceeds.8

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These verses among others serve as the basis for the spiritual centre but the argument subsists as to what exactly the people of early time recite collectively for mutual encouragements. Sufis were small group and majority of them lived in isolation engaged themselves in remembrance of Allah day and night. It was only later; these small groups become institutionalized orders and attached to particular master.9

There are many verses in the Qur’an which enlighten us on the importance of Dhikr but some Muslims believes that Dhikr in the realm of Sufism is Bidah (Innovation). Therefore, in this research, efforts will be made to examine the view points of the sufison Dhikr.

1.5 AIM AND OBJECTIVES

This study aims at bringing out the Sufi’s perception ofDhikr in accordance with the provisions of the Qur’an and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W). Furthermore, the study will discuss the difference between the remembrance of Allah (Dhikr), and prayer to seek Allah’s favour or protection against evils as misconceived by some Muslims. Hence, the real essence ofDhikr, how to engage in the remembrance of Allah as well as kinds of Dhikr will be extensively discussed.

The long essay will clarify the real Dhikr of Allah because some people claim to be Sufi’s reciting names of Jinns or Rawaniyyah with the belief that they are remembering Allah and they expect reward from it.

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1.6 METHODOLOGY

The researcher cannot but resort to the use of survey methods of enquiring simply because this is essentially a descriptive research. The method justified its appropriateness as it actually examines the value of apparent situation and therefore this work is deeply rooted in both primary and secondary sources of Islam.

After the choice of the topic has been made, the researcher reviewed the related materials on the area of study. By so doing access to a wide range of information was made possible. The researcher consulted different academic materials and interview was made where necessary and others that have bearing on the topic. So that the long essay will open a wider source of knowledge to readers and broader their knowledge.

1.7 STRUCTURE

This research work consist of four chapters, chapter one includes background of the study, scope and limitation, significance of the study, statement of the research problem, aim and objectives, methodology, structure and literature review. Chapter two followed by the historical background of Patigilocal government area, the coming of Islam toPatigi local government area, the emergence of Sufism in Patigi local government area, the beginning ofDhikr in Patigi local government area, and the spread of Dhikr in Patigi local government area/ chapter three deal with the meaning of term Dhikr, kinds ofDhikr, special practices ofDhikr, it importance and benefit. Finally,chapter four deal with impact ofDhikr on youth of the Patigi local government, the social impact of Dhikr on people of Patigi local government, the economic impact of

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