The word Zikr is an Arabic word that means “remembrance.” This spiritual practice of the Sufis is called that because the sensation of recovering the knowledge of our True Nature feels like remembering something fundamental that we have unaccountably forgotten but is now perfectly clear. It is opening the heart to the Boundless, the revelation of the Divine Presence in a very immediate and even palpable way.
Zikr is a very powerful healing practice; it has been used to heal physical conditions, but its most profound effect is in healing the fundamental “split” that is felt between oneself and the Divine Unity.
“Zikr is the process of repeating a sacred word with concentration, that it may impress the meaning of the word on the entire self of the one who repeats it. The Vedantists have called this process Mantra Yoga or Jāpā. The Sufis have in all times given great importance to this, for it is not only the mind, but the word with a motion in every part of the body which makes a perfect practice.
“Zikr has one great advantage over all other practices. That is, in the body and mind both, the re-echo of Zikr is produced, and both planes of one’s being are set to rhythm. Music constitutes rhythm and tone; and if they are both produced by the means of Zikr in one’s body and mind, one’s very being becomes musical.
“By Zikr, the expression of the countenance becomes harmonious, the voice becomes melodious, the presence becomes healing, and one spreads one’s magnetism in the atmosphere. There is nothing that by Zikr cannot be accomplished, either an earthly or a heavenly thing. Some by Zikr have liberated their souls from all bondages and attained ideal perfection, which Sufis call Najāt.”
—Ḥazrat Ināyat Khan