Remembrance of Allaah (dhikr) is one of the greatest acts of worship and best acts of obedience. It is a means of rising in status. Allaah has not set any limit for remembrance of Him, rather He has enjoined remembering Him a great deal. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“and remember Allaah much, that you may be successful”
“Verily, the Muslims (those who submit to Allaah in Islam) men and women, the believers men and women (who believe in Islamic Monotheism), the men and the women who are obedient (to Allaah), the men and women who are truthful (in their speech and deeds), the men and the women who are patient (in performing all the duties which Allaah has ordered and in abstaining from all that Allaah has forbidden), the men and the women who are humble (before their Lord ___Allaah), the men and the women who give Sadaqaat (i.e. Zakaah and alms), the men and the women who observe Sawm (fast) (the obligatory fasting during the month of Ramadân, and the optional Nawafil fasting), the men and the women who guard their chastity (from illegal sexual acts) and the men and the women who remember Allaah much with their hearts and tongues. Allaah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (i.e. Paradise)”
In the Qur’aan, Allaah does not enjoin doing any act of worship a great deal, except remembrance of Allaah (dhikr). In the remembrance of Allaah hearts find rest.
“Those who believed (in the Oneness of Allaah — Islamic Monotheism), and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allaah verily, in the remembrance of Allaah do hearts find rest”
In order to find out the means that help one to remember the adhkaar for the morning and evening, it is essential, first of all, to find out the causes of forgetting and neglecting them, then deal with these causes.
1.Carelessness in memorizing these adhkaar and relying on booklets to recite them.
2.Being distracted by worldly matters at the expense of time for the morning and evening adhkaar.
3.Not knowing the worldly benefits of these adhkaar, such as protection for the one who recites them, opening the door to provision and warding off evil for the one who recites them, and the benefits in the Hereafter, such as a reward equivalent to that of freeing a slave, making the Balance weigh heavily, and earning the good pleasure of Allaah, may He be exalted
4.Committing many sins, which affects the person’s heart and prevents him from remembering Allaah.
5.Ignorance of the time for the morning and evening adhkaar, so he thinks that the time for the morning adhkaar ends with Fajr prayer, for example, and the time for the evening adhkaar ends with ‘Asr prayer, for example. In fact the time for the morning adhkaar lasts until after sunrise, and the time for the evening adhkaar lasts until after sunset. For more information please see question no. 22765.
The way to deal with these causes is as follows:
1.Try to memorize most of these adhkaar so that you will be able to recite them in the car or on the way to work or school, without needing the book.
2.Pondering the meanings of these adhkaar that are prescribed in Islam, because many people recite these adhkaar without understanding the meanings, which weakens or cancels out their effect on reforming the heart.
3.Setting aside a specific time in the morning and evening for reciting these adhkaar and sticking to it, and ignoring everything that may distract you from that.
4.Do not delay reciting these adhkaar when you remember to do so, because putting off such things may lead to forgetting them.
5.Finding out what has been narrated in the Qur’aan and Sunnah of the great rewards in this world and in the Hereafter for the one who remembers Allaah. Undoubtedly this will encourage you to remember them and not neglect them.
6.Keep away from sins so that your heart will remain sound and sincere, longing to remember Allaah.
7.Strive to take a gradual approach in learning these adhkaar. Do not set yourself a program of reciting everything that is narrated in the book of adhkaar, so that you will not make things too difficult for yourself, which may lead you to give up. Rather you should recite a small portion so that you can taste the sweetness of dhikr, and increase it gradually.
8.Read the biographies of worshippers who strove hard in the remembrance of Allaah, so that it will encourage you to follow their example and strive as they strove.
9.Urge your wife, children and family to remind one another of these adhkaar, for the believer gains great support through his brothers.
10.Seek righteous friends who will help you to remember Allaah and remind you of adhkaar and acts of worship.
Book which speak of these adhkaar and their virtues include the following:
1.al-Adhkaar by al-Nawawi
2.al-Kalim al-Tayyib by Ibn Taymiyah, annoted by al-Albaani.
3.al-Waabil al-Sayyib by Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah
4.Tuhfat al-Dhaakireen by al-Shawkaani
5.Tuhfat al-Akhyaar by Shaykh Ibn Baaz
6.Fiqh al-Ad’iyah wa’l-Adhkaar by Shaykh ‘Abd al-Razzaaq ibn ‘Abd al-Muhsin al-‘Abbaad
7.al-Ma’thooraat min al-Adhkaar wa’l-Da’waat by Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah al-Qusayr
8.Saheeh al-Adhkaar wa’l-Du’aa al-Mustajaab by Shaykh Mustafa al-‘Adawi
And Allaah knows best.