"Taqwa on the Tube"

Taqwa on the Tube Part 2 Dhikr

“TAQWA on the TUBE”

Part 2: Dhikr (‘The Remembrance of Allah’)

One action that is indispensable when on the tube is the remembrance of Allah (dhikr).[1] Without it, a person fails his journey in a manner of speaking. Allah mentions in the Qur’an: {Remember Allah much in order to be successful}.[2] This means: “…make a lot of remembrance, offer thanks to Allah for the guidance He has given to you which is a good in both this world and the hereafter. Hence, make remembrance of Him with what will draw you closer to Him of litanies, praises, glorifications, exaltations, seeking of forgiveness and actions like them. {in order for you to be successful} meaning: in order to attain the success of both worlds…”[3]

}وَٱذْكُرُواْ ٱللَّهَ كَثِيراً} أي ذكراً كثيراً بالشكر له على ما هداكم إليه من الخير الأخروي والدنيويّ، وكذا اذكروه بما يقرّبكم إليه من الأذكار، كالحمد، والتسبيح، والتكبير، والاستغفار، ونحو ذلك { لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ } أي: كي تفوزوا بخير الدارين وتظفروا به.

The tube journeys can often be long, noisy and tiring and it can also be a very solitary one – especially in the early morning and the late evening. This is an extremely good opportunity to focus on making mention of Allah’s beautiful Names and contemplate on their deep significations. While other commuters are either wasting time by watching films, playing games or listening to music to pass the time of the journey, a believer knows that this time is ideal to be in an internal direction of Allah’s remembrance in order to seek closeness to him.

The tube can also be a place of distraction and means to disobedience of Allah (swt). It is common to find commuters board trains for their journey into town for a night of fun and frolics with many in revealing clothes and yet others barely wearing any. This distraction requires the believer to build a strong aversion from observing it and to invoke Allah (swt) at that moment. Bilal b. Sa`d commented: “Remembrance of Allah is of two types: Remembering Allah with the tongue and remembering Allah when he permits and prohibits [s: meaning to remember Allah when He commands you and forbids]…”[4]

ذكر ذكران ذكر الله باللسان حسن جميل وذكر الله عندما أحل وحرم              

Thus, the tube can be an opportunity to be mindful of Allah by obeying His commands and leaving his prohibitions and to endeavour as well to draw oneself closer to Him through making regular remembrance of Him. This will fill the journey with reward, blessing, serenity and closeness to Allah.

And with Allah is all success.


[1] See The Essential Elements of the Islamic Disposition, pp.81-82.

[2] Q. 62:10.

[3] al-Shawkani, Fath al-Qadir, 1:1492-1493.

[4] Ibn `Asakir, Tarikh Madinat Dimashq, 10:512.


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