Muslims always find peace of mind in dhikr. This fact is stressed in the Qur’anic verse that reads (Who have believed and whose hearts have rest in the remembrance of Allah. Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest!) (Ar-Ra`d 13:28).

Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states: Anxiety and worry can be overcome by seeking refuge in Allah through consistency in dhikr. As Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim has pointed out, dhikr entails manifold benefits, the most important of which is that it brings us closer to Allah while keeping us away from Satan, who whispers all kinds of thoughts and suggestions in our minds and hearts. The next most important benefit of dhikr is that it removes all feelings of grief, worry, and anxiety from our hearts and bestows on our souls true serenity, joy, peace, and bliss. Allah says, (Those who believe and whose hearts find tranquility in the remembrance of Allah. Lo, it is in the remembrance of Allah that hearts find tranquility) (Qur’an: Ar-Ra`d 13:28).

We also read that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to look expectantly towards Prayer (being the perfect means of dhikr) as the true source of bringing joy to the heart. He said, “The true joy of my heart is in Prayer.” It is also worth remembering that, according to Islam, Allah alone is the Ultimate Source of Peace; His name is As-Salam.

Therefore, I advise you to practice dhikr consistently so that it becomes your second nature. This can be achieved through consistency: The first step is to be diligent in performing your salah consistently and regularly at the appointed times, while being fully awake and mindful of the meanings and feeling the true spirit of it. Second, condition yourself to turn to Allah always in du`aa’ (suplication) and istighfar (seeking Allah’s forgiveness). An excellent way of establishing consistency in dhikr is by forcing yourself to say and meditate on the power words such as the following:

“Subhan Allah wa bihamdihi subhan; Allahi al-`azheem” (glory be to Allah, and praise be to Him; glory be to Allah the Glorious).

“Subhan Allah wa bi hamdihi `adada khalqihi, wa ridha’a nafsihi, wa zinata `arshihi, wa midada kalimatihi” (glory be to Allah and praise be to Him in a manner that befits the [infinite] number of His creation, and as it pleases Him, and as it befits the true weight of His throne as well as His infinite knowledge).

Furthermore, condition yourself to read the following du`aa’ on a regular basis as they have been prescribed by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) for repelling anxieties and gaining serenity and peace. You are best advised to read them an odd number of times (preferably three) in the mornings as well as at night prior to retiring to bed:

La ilaha illa Allahu al-`azheem al-haleem; la ilaha illa Allahu, rabbu al-`arshi al-`azheem, la ilaha illa Allahu, rabbu as-samawati wa al-ardi wa rabbu al-`arshi al-kareem (There is no god but Allah, the Glorious, the Clement; there is no god but Allah, Lord of the mighty throne; there is no god but Allah, Lord of the heavens and the earth, and Lord of the noble throne).

Allahumma inni (if you are male say: `abduka wa ibn `abdika ibn amatika; if you are female say: amatuka wa bintu `abdika wa bintu amatika), nasiyati bi yadika madin fiyya hukmuka `adlun fiyya qada’uka as’aluka bi kulli ismin huwa laka sammayta bihi nafsaka aw anzaltahu fi kitabika aw `allamtahu ahadan min khalqika aw ista’tharta bihi fi `ilm al-ghaybi `indaka an taj`ala al-Qur’ana rabi`a qalbi wa nura basari wa jila’a huzni wa dhahaba hammi (O Allah, I am Your servant, son/daughter of Your servant, my forelock is under Your firm grips, Your decree in my case is sure to be realized, and Your judgment is just. I ask of You by invoking every single name that You possess, with which You have called Yourself, or You have revealed in Your scripture or You have instructed any of Your creation or You have kept hidden with Yourself in the knowledge of the unseen realities to make the Qur’an the spring of my hearts, light of my eyes, and dispeller of my grief and remover of my anxieties).

Ya hayyu ya qayyumu bi rahmatika astaghithu (O the Ever-Living, the Eternal Source of all beings! I beseech Your mercy and assistance).

I pray to Allah to grant all of us freedom from anxieties and worries, and bestow on our hearts true peace, serenity and tranquility in both worlds. Verily, He is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. Ameen.