“Don’t do too much dhikr or you’ll lose the plot!” is an often heard phrase among Muslims… This fear-induced statement is purely based on cultural conditioning driven by ignorance.
While the Quran advises the constant practice of dhikr, while standing, sitting or lying down, it is unfortunate that perspectives spawned by ignorance drive people away from dhikr out of fear.
“They (those who have attained the essence of the reality) remember Allah while standing or sitting or (lying) on their sides and they contemplate the creation of the heavens and the earth (depending on the day, the universe and its depths, or in terms of the brain, the place of the body and its attributes) and say, ‘Our Rabb, You have not created these things for nothing! You are Subhan (free from creating meaningless things; you are in a state of creating anew at every instant)! Protect us from burning (remorse for not being able to duly evaluate your manifestations).’”
Man is always in one of the following three states… He is either upright on his feet, sitting or lying down. The above verse clearly tells us to do dhikr in all of these states. In other words, we should strive to engage in dhikr at all times and in all states. Wherever we may be, whether we have ablution or not, we should do dhikr to develop our brains and attain certainty (yakeen) of Allah.
I have advised many drinkers, in fact alcoholics, to practice dhikr, where they start doing dhikr even while in clubs or bars, holding prayer beads in one hand and a drink in the other. Yet, as a result of the profound effects dhikr has in terms of brain development and the increase of insight, they have autonomously stopped drinking and assumed certain spiritual practices, such as praying five times a day and going on pilgrimage (hajj).
I say dhikr is the single unique key for an ultimate future because it is the most effective and powerful tool to increase the capacity of the brain. But how about those who really have lost the plot after doing too much dhikr?
Let me make it absolutely clear that no normal person can ever become mentally impaired from doing dhikr!
The truth is, there are many who have psychopathic and megalomaniac tendencies, but their condition reveals itself only in the later stages of their lives. If it so happens that such a person has done dhikr at some point in their life, after which their condition has become apparent, those with vested interests will try to exploit this by linking this situation to prayer and dhikr and thus drive people away.
Even though tariqahs were banned in Turkey, there is literally a sheikh in every city of Turkey and nearly as many dervishes as half of Turkey’s population. That is roughly ten million people who do dhikr in Turkey. What percentage of them or how many of them have lost their sanity due to doing dhikr?
No normal, healthy, sane person will become insane from doing dhikr; this I say with certainty. If one person out of ten million has become ill, I recommend you do a little research on his health background. Perhaps his deformity is related to his genes or birth.
A healthy and sane person with a healthy mind will never be adversely affected by dhikr. In fact, dhikr can even be healing for those with these kinds of conditions; it can bring balance to their extreme tendencies.
 Quran 3:191