By: Dr. Shadee Elmasry
Allah never mentions dhikr in the Quran except that He says, "much," while noting that doing small amounts of dhikr is the habit of hypocrites: "They do not remember Allah except little."
For the body: you are what you eat. For the soul: you are what you ponder.
Feeds turn our attention to the creation, things that will one day disappear. Dhikr directs our minds to what is eternal and will never fade.
Can you imagine if our "bead time" was as much as our screen time? We'd all be awliya by now.
We're creatures of habit, and we're tactile; we like to hold things and fidget with them to pass our time. It's become an impulse to reach for our phones. Rolling through feeds is just a nervous habit. A better impulse would be to reach for beads. At least we would be calling on one who actually has the power to comfort us. I think feeds end up causing more anxiety than the touted comfort of "being connected." Our connection is usually arguing in the comment section.
Ahmad Zarruq said: The Prophet ﷺ approved of his wife counting her dhikr with 400 date pits. Abu Hurayra had a rope with 500 knots in it that he used for tasbeeh. He continues, "The sibha helps one maintain the dhikr, be consistent, focus their thoughts, increase their presence, and get a greater reward." (Qawai'd, principle 127).
A shaykh was asked, can we count our dhikr on beads? He replied, can you determine your zakat with a calculator? The man asked again, "Shouldn't we use our fingers because they will testify for us?" The shaykh answered, "Unless your beads move by themselves, your fingers are still working, and they will still testify that you moved them for the sake of dhikr."
Prophetic dua: "O Allah aid us in Your remembrance, gratitude, and excellent worship."
Allahumma a'inna ala dhikrika wa shukrika wa husni ibadatik.
Ideally recited after every salat.