The Quranic term ‘Zikr’ or ‘Dhikr’ has been used in the Quran in different meanings, including the following:
It includes: calling (something) to mind and keeping (something) in mind; being mindful of (something) and not neglect it; bearing (something) in mind and not forget it.
أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ
“Surely, peace and tranquility of the minds comes with the remembrance of Allah [i.e. by being heedful of His Commands in all walks of life]”.
[Al-Quran Surah 13: Verse 28]
2. MENTIONING, TELLING, RELATING, OR GIVING AN ACCOUNT
وَقَالَ لِلَّذِي ظَنَّ أَنَّهُ نَاجٍ مِّنْهُمَا اذْكُرْنِي عِندَ رَبِّكَ فَأَنسَاهُ الشَّيْطَانُ ذِكْرَ رَبِّهِ فَلَبِثَ فِي السِّجْنِ بِضْعَ سِنِينَ
“And Yusuf (Joseph) said to the one whom he believed to be released: ‘Mention me to your master/lord (he may thus recall that another innocent one is also lying in imprisonment).’ But Satan made him forget to mention (him) to his master/lord, and consequently, Yusuf (Joseph) remained in prison for several years.” [Al-Quran Surah 12: Verse 42]
3. FAME, STATUS OR REPUTATION
وَرَفَعْنَا لَكَ ذِكْرَكَ
“And We have raised for you your status”.
[Al-Quran Surah 94: Verse 4]
4. EMINENCE, HONOUR OR NOBILITY
وَإِنَّهُ لَذِكْرٌ لَّكَ وَلِقَوْمِكَ
“And, verily, this [revelation] is indeed [a source of] eminence for you and your people”.
[Al-Quran Surah 43: Verse 44]
لَقَدْ أَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكُمْ كِتَابًا فِيهِ ذِكْرُكُمْ
“Verily, We have revealed to you a Book wherein is [a source of] your eminence”.
[Al-Quran Surah 21: Verse 10]
“So remember Me (being heedful of My Commands in all walks of life); I shall grant you nobility and eminence” [Al-Quran Surah 2: Verse 152]
5. EXHORTATION, ADMONITION, UNDERSTANDING
وَالْقُرْآنِ ذِي الذِّكْرِ
“By the Quran, full of exhortation & admonition”.
[Al-Quran Surah 38: Verse 1]
وَلَقَدْ يَسَّرْنَا الْقُرْآنَ لِلذِّكْرِ
“And surely, We have made the Quran easy for understanding & taking admonition”.
[Al-Quran Surah 54: Verse 17]
6. THE QURAN
With the definite article, الذِکر refers to the Quran.
إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ
[Al-Quran Surah 15: Verse 9]