Awrad – Daily Spiritual Practices
These awrad for the three different levels of followers, must be performed once every 24 hours, together with all other obligations, according to the Shari`ah of the Prophet (s). Everything which the Prophet brought, was founded in these awrad. It is the way that the slave reaches the key of nearness to Allah, Who is Powerful and Sublime. It was by means of it that the prophets, messengers and saints reached their Creator, and it is by means of these awrad that we reach all these stations of the Most Distinguished Tariqat.
The Masters of the Most Distinguished Naqshbandi Order say that whoever claims that he is affiliated to one of the 40 Orders, or to the most Distinguished Naqshbandi Order, but nevertheless has not entered seclusion (khalwat) even once in his life, then such a person should be ashamed of connecting himself with the People of the Path.
In our time, GrandShaykh Shaykh Abdullah ad-Daghestani said, “Whichever of the People of the Last Time (akhir az-zaman), wishes to attain a high rank and an exalted state, and get what a murid normally gets by means of seclusion (khalwat), and spiritual exercises, then he must continuously perform these awrad (dhikr). With this awrad we have set the foundations for the higher stations, which are built on this foundation. The murid ought to know that if he fails to attain an exalted station and high grade in this world because of his lack of effort, then he shall not be separated from this world, but that the Shaykhs make him reach it, and reveal for him his station, either during his lifetime, or at the time of the seven last breaths during the agonies of death.”
“If anyone performs these awrad (dhikr) and then performs an action which is forbidden he will be like the one who builds his house on the side of a cliff, and then his house collapses down the side of the cliff. So we should always be aware of our actions, gauging them to see if they are halal or haram, if Allah is going to be angry with our actions or not. And we need to think about every action that we are about to do so much that ultimately we do not do any haram thing which might weaken our foundation. And that is why we have to think before every action. As the Prophet (s) said in his hadith ‘One hour’s contemplation is better than seventy years of worship.’ We should perform our actions in the perfectly correct way, that is to say without any haram deeds intervening.”
“On this basis Allah has divided the day into three parts: eight hours for worship, eight hours for earning a living and eight hours for sleeping. Anyone who does not accept and follow this division of energies will exemplify the hadith, ‘He who is erratic will be erratic in the Hellfire.’ He who goes according to his own will and reasoning does not progress and he who wishes to obtain exalted stations, levels and stages which previous generations earned by means of retreats and other spiritual exercises, must remember Allah throughout the course of the day.”
GrandShaykh continued, “He who makes a regular practice of the awrad (dhikr) shall attain the Water of True Life, and with it he will perform ablution. He will bathe in it and drink it and by means of it shall he reach his goal. There is such a person who claims that he has been in the Order for thirty years, and as yet has not seen anything and not attained anything. The answer to that person is to search and look at his actions over the past years. How many deficient actions has he performed? When you know the deficiency you should quickly avoid it, then you will reach Allah Who is Powerful and Sublime. When the murid forsakes that which the Shaykhs have told him to do of the daily duty (wazifa), then he will be absolutely incapable of making further progress and he will be unable to reach any state he had previously attained. No prophet ever attained prophethood, nor did any saint ever attain sainthood, and no believer ever attained the stage of faith without utilizing his time for his daily dhikr.”