Stubborn ears like mine need to hear certain things repeatedly before anything gets registered. You, learned readers, surely know better and are better than me in many respects. Of course you know the "common" bedtime zikir:
Subhanallah 33 times
Alhamdulillah 33 times
Allahu Akbar 34 times
It's new year, and if this has not been a practice you do on automaticity (doing something without thinking) or if you're looking for a habit to pick up, let it be this simple bedtime zikir. Why? Because many already knew that this, if I may put it in the modern context, is like appointing your own Personal Assistant; not just hire and then fire him/her when he/she does not perform but it's like hiring one P.A. every night.
Heard this from Habib Jindan bin Novel at Masjid As-Syakirin KLCC yesterday. Of course he didn't say it like I did. He was talking about lessons for women at a Muslimat-only session. The habib, clearly a man of adab, actually had a screen/room divider placed in front of him when addressing the all-ladies audience. He drew several beneficial lessons from Saidatina Fatimah Az-Zahra as a role model for women.
Habib Jindan said, if Fatimah who asked the Prophet for a maid to help her with household chores was granted what she asked for, then we would not have learned this zikr. Fatimah accepted the Prophet's offer for something better than a maid. If she chose a maid, the person would eventually leave her or pass away anyway. But Fatimah learned something from the Prophet which was more lasting - the above mentioned zikir. By reciting it, Allah will grant us added strength just like having a Personal Assistant.
Habib Jindan also taught the audience a du'a which might be common to many of you. Common or not, is not the issue. It's about making it a habit. The du'a was specifically taught by the Prophet to her beloved daughter Fatimah az-Zahra radhiallah hu anha:
Ya Awwalal awalin
Ya Akhiral akhirin
Ya Zal Quwwatil Matin
Ya Rahimal masakin
Ya Arahmar Rahimin
At the outset of his tausiyah, in reference to the venue Masjid As-Syakirin, Habib Jindan said, many people are grateful but only very few people can master the art of shukur. That's like an open challenge for us to not just offer shukur but to be a master (ahli) of the act of gratitude.
Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah, for the opportunity to attend Habib Jindan's majlis. He is from a place called Tangerang in Indonesia. May, by the barakah of habaib, we are able to pick up plenty of good habits this year.