THE SECRET OF SULTAN ADH-DHIKR
Everyone knows that Dhikr is primarily the repetition of la ilaha illallah, and that is what is practiced by all tariqats, including the Naqshbandiyya. But the Sultan adh-dhikr is a completely different type of Dhikr.
Allah said, Inna nahnu nazzalna-dh-dhikra wa inna lahu la-hafidhun [15:9],
“We have revealed the Dhikr, and we are the One to protect that Dhikr in you.”
The Dhikr mentioned here is the Holy Qur’an. The Dhikr of these nine saints, besides la ilaha illallah, is the Secret of the Holy Qur’an. They recite the Qur’an, not as we recite it reading from beginning to end, but they recite it with all its secrets and inner realities. Because Allah said, wa la ratbin wa la yabisin illa fa kitabin mubeen [6:59] “Nor is there anything fresh or dry but is inscribed in a clear Record.” None of God’s creations in all the created universes has not been mentioned already, with all its secrets, in the Clear Book, the Qur’an.
The saint reciting the Qur’an in Sultan adh-Dhikr is therefore reciting it with all the secrets of every creation, from beginning to end. Allah gave every letter of the Qur’an, according to the Nine Highest Masters of the Naqshbandi Order [this was the first time the Shaykh ever mentioned this secret], twelve thousand knowledges. The Qur’an contains around 600,000 letters, so for every letter, these saints are able to take 12,000 to 24 000 knowledges!
Each of these nine saints differs from the other in his level as well. We may see that one of them, for example, was able to recite the Holy Qur’an by the power of Sultan adh-Dhikr, which is to grasp 12,000 to 24 000 meanings on every letter, only once in his life. Another was able to recite it three times in his life. The third was able to do it nine times in his life. Another was able to recite it 99 times in his life.
This secret differed from one saint to another. Shah Naqshband (q) was able to do it 999 times in his life. Our Master Ahmad al-Faraqi was able to recite it 9,999 times in his life. Shaykh Sharafuddin was able to recite it 19,999 times
Here Shaykh `Abdullah stopped. Shaykh Nazim said, “In every breath Grandshaykh `Abdullah Daghestani was exhaling with Sultan adh-Dhikr and inhaling with Sultan adh-Dhikr. He used to complete the secret of Qur’an twice in every breath.
From suhba of Grand-Shaykh `Abdullah al-Fa'iz ad-Daghestani ( ق )