Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (Radhiyallahu Anhu) and the Incident of Halqah Dhikr

Among the strongest dalaail (proofs and arguments) in  refutation of bid’ah acts such as collective Dhikr performances in  the Musaajid which appear in the  form of ibaadat expulsion of a halqah zikr, is the group from the  Musjid by the illustrious Sahaabi,  Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu anhu).

A group of people engaging in Alhamdulillaah and Allahu Akbar halqah Thikr were reciting Lailaha  illallaah, Subhaanallah, in chorus.  They all recited the Thikr loudly  and congregationally. Hadhrat  Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu anhu), the eminent  Sahaabi of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), branded the  group as Mubtadieen (bid’atis)  and ordered their expulsion from the Musjid.

The action of Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu)  is the strongest and most direct  rejection of any superficial act  presented in the form of ibaadat.  Any act which was not ibaadat to  the Salf-e-Saaliheen but  presented as ibaadat is bid’ah in  the light of the Qur’aan, Sunnah  and practice of the Salf-e-Saaliheen.

The type of loud collective Thikr  (Ijtimaa’ jahri Thikr) programmes  which have of recent developed in  the Musaajid under the aegis of  those who are associated with  the Deoband School and the  Chishti Silsilah, come conspicuously within the scope  of Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood’s condemnation.

The venerable Mufti Sahib has laboured in vain to dismiss the  hadith and action of Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Mas’ood in the  attempt to justify the loud collective Thikr  performances in  the Musaajid. Once Hadhrat  Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu anhu) was informed  of a group of people engaging in  a perculiar form of Thikr. The  leader of the group instructed his  companions to recite la Ilaaha  illallaahu 100  times. Then in  chorus the group recited. Then he  instructed them to recite Subhaanallaah, then Allaahu  Akbar each 100 times. This they  did in unison. Meanwhile they were counting the number with  pebbles. Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn  Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu),  addressing them said:

“Use the pebbles to count your  sins. I guarantee that none of  your virtuous deeds will be destroyed (by counting your sins).  Alas! O Ummah of Muhammad!  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). How  swiftly have you fallen in ruin! The  Sahaabah of Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) are still numerous in your presence.  The garments of Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) have  not become old and his unbroken  utensils are still present. But you  have opened the door of deviation.”  [Musnad Daarmi]

Allaamah Qaadhi Ibraahim  narrates as follows:

“I am Abdullah Bin Mas’ood. I take oath by Him (Allah) besides  whom there is no deity. Verily, you have produced a dark bid’ah or you have surpassed the As-haab of Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).”, i.e. in knowledge and  practice”  [Majaalisul Abraar]

Shaykhul Islam Ibn Daqeeq  presents the riwaayat as follows: 

“I am Ibn Mas’ood. So, whoever knows me, knows who I am.  Whoever does not know me, then  know that I am Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood. Do you think that you  are more guided than Muhammad  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and  his Ashaab? Verily, you have  innovated a dark bid’ah, or you  have acquired greater status in knowledge than the As-haab of  Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam).” Ibn Mas’ood has refuted this act notwithstanding  the probability of it coming within the scope of Thikr in  general.” [Ahkaamul  Ahkaam]

Allaamah Muhammad Bin  Muhammad Al-Khawaarzami  narrates:

Thikr bil Jahr is haraam since it  has been authentically reported  that Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) had expelled a group from  the Musjid. They were reciting  Tahleel and Durood loudly, and he  commented: ‘I deem you to be  nothing but mubtadieen  (bid’atis).”  [Shaami]

In sheer desperation, the  venerable Mufti Sahib, clutching  at straws, first seeks to dismiss  the entire Hadith by citing the  version of Allaamah Aalusi in  Ruhul Ma’aani. He also refers flabbily to some doubts cast by  Allaamah Suyuti regarding the  narrators of the Hadith. On the  basis of these figments of conjecture, the venerable Mufti  Saheb, concludes: “Thus it is clear that these words are not proven to be the words of Hazrat  Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu).”

Despite his claim of lack of proof,  the venerable Mufti Sahib in the  very next line inexplicably contradicts himself by saying:

“However, on the other hand we  find that these words of Hazrat  Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (Radhiyallahu anhu) are narrated in Sunan-e-Daarmi, Musannaf Abdur Razzaaq and Tabraani, thus how can it be said that these words are not proven to be those of Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud  (Radhiyallahu anhu)? From the  narrations of Sunan-e-Daarmi,  Abdur Razzaaq and Tabraani it is  proven that this incident (i.e. of  the group of people who were  occupied in making loud zikr in  the Masjid) did take place; however it is not proven from any  narration that Hazrat Abdullah  Ibn Mas’ud (Radhiyallahu anhu)  commanded them to leave the  Masjid. Yes, the narrations of  Musannaf Abdur Razzaaq  Tabraani suggest that Hazrat  Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (Radhiyallahu anhu) commanded  them to disperse. However one narrator from amongst chain of narrators of this Hadith has been omitted. Therefore the fact that  Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (Radhiyallahu anhu) made them leave the Masjid is not proven from any authentic narration.”  

This strange warped argument is  bereft of validity. First he maintained that “these words are not proven”. Then the Mufti Sahib himself questions this averment, and presents reliable Muhadditheen who have recorded  the narrations in this regard. On  the basis of the appearance of  this narration in Daarmi,  Musannaf of Abdur Razzaaq and  Tabraani, the venerable Mufti Sahib concedes:“it is proven that  this incident did take place.” claim that “this incident did take place” Now on what basis does the  Mufti Sahib? Obviously on the  basis of the three reliable Hadith  Kutub which he has mentioned.  After admitting the proof for the  occurrence of this incident, the venerable Mufti Sahib astoundingly claims the expulsion of the group is not proven. If the expulsion is not proven, on what basis is the incident proven?

The incident comprises the expulsion as well. If the narration describing the incident is proven, then automatically the expulsion too is proven. The proof for the  ‘incident’ accepted by the venerable Mufti Sahib, is the  proof for the expulsion as well.

With regard to the narration in  Sunan-e-Daarmi, the venerable  Mufti Sahib has committed a grave injustice with his fleeting  reference to it, and by a distorted  presentation to convey the impression that Hadhrat  Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud  (radhiyallahu anhu) was not annoyed with them nor objected  to their bid’ah. The hadith is  recorded in Sunan Daarmi as  follows:

“Al Hakam Bin Mubaarak narrated  to us that Amr Bin Yahya said: ‘I  heard from my father narrating his father who said: ‘We were seated at the door of Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood before the evening  Salaat. When he would come out,  we would walk with him to the  Musjid. Then (while we were  waiting), Abu Musa Ash’ari (A  Sahaabi) came and said: ‘Has Abu  Abdur Rahman (i.e  Hadhrat Ibn  Mas’ood) emerged?’ We said: ‘No.’  Then he sat with us until he (Ibn  Mas’ood) came out. When he  emerged, we all stood up. Abu  Musa said:  ‘O Aba Abdir  Rahmaan! I have just now seen in  the Musjid an act which is  displeasing to me, (but) Alhamdulillaah, I did not see  anything but goodness.’ He (Ibn  Mas’ud) said: ‘And what is that?’  Abu Musa said: ‘You shall soon  see. I saw some groups in the  Musjid sitting in a halqah (circle)  waiting for the Salaat. In every  halqah there is a man, and in  their hands are pebbles. (i.e. in  each groupleader’s hand is a pebble). He says: ‘Recite takbeer  100 times. Then they will recite  takbeer 100 times. Then he says:  Recite tahleel 100 times. Then  they recite tahleel 100 times.  Then he says: Recite Tasbeeh 100  times. Then they recite Tasbeeh  100 times.’

Ibn Mas’ood said: ‘What did you  say to them?’ Abu Musa Ash’ari  said: ‘I said nothing to them in  anticipation of your opinion or  your command.’ Ibn Mas’ood said: ‘Why did you not command them  to count their sin’s (with the  pebbles), and assure them that  their virtues would not be ruined (by counting their sins instead of  making Thikr in this way)?’

Then he went and we accompanied him until we came to one of the halqahs. He stood  by them and said: ‘What is this that I am seeing you do?’ They said: ‘O Aba Abdillaah! These are  pebbles with which we count the  takbeer, tahleel and tasbeeh.’ Ibn  Mas’ood said: ‘Then count your sins. I assure you that your good  deeds will not be destroyed in the  least bit (by counting your sins  with the pebbles). Alas, O Ummah of Muhammad! How swiftly have you been ruined? These are the Sahaabah of your Nabi (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam), who are still numerous among you. These are his clothes which have as yet not become old.  These are his utensils which are not yet broken. (By this he indicated the close proximity to the age of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam). I take oath by  That Being in Whose Hand is my life! Are you perhaps on a way which is more guided than the Millat  of Muhammad? Or have you opened a doorway to deviation (dhalaalah)?’ They said: ‘Wallaah!  O Aba Abdir Rahmaan! We  intended nothing but goodness.”  Abdullah IbnMas’ood said: ‘There  were many who intended  goodness which they never  attained. Verily, Rasulullah (sall allahu alayhi wasallam) said to us:  “Verily, there will be people who  will recite the Qur’aan, but it will  not go beyond their throats.” By  Allah, I do not know if perhaps  most of you are from among  them.’ Then he turned away from  them. Amr Bin Salmah said: ‘I saw  most of the people of these  halqahs fighting against us (the  Sahaabah) on the day of the  Battle of Nahrawaan with the  Khawaarij.”

From the slipshod and sketchy  manner in which the venerable  Mufti Sahib has presented a shadow of this narration of Sunan Daarmi, the injustice is apparent.  The narration emphatically registers the annoyance and  criticism voiced by Hadhrat  Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu anhu) when he  beheld the bid’ah halqah Thikr  which had been innovated.  Hence, he described their act as  the opening of the doorway of dhalaalah (deviation). While the  actual words of expulsion which  appear in other versions of this  narration in other Hadith kutub,  are not to be found in this  particular narration of Daarmi,  the fatwa of dhalaalah is stated  emphatically by Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu). 

Should it be momentarily  assumed that he did not  physically expel the bid’atis from  the Musjid, which according to  the venerable Mufti ‘is not proved’ , then at least the Mufti Sahib should concede that the fatwa  of dhalaalah’ and his displeasure  and other comments of criticism  are proved beyond any shadow of doubt. 

It is highly improper to refute the  expulsion merely because the  words describing it do not appear in Daarmi. The expulsion of the  innovators is described in  narrations appearing in other books of Hadith. There is no valid  reason for faulting the claims of  expulsion. And, even if the expulsion version is intransigentlydenied without basis, then too,  the fact that the halqah Thikr was branded ‘dhalaalah’ by this   Jaleelul Qadr Sahaabi should be  adequate for the comprehension of every unbiased Mu’min in quest  of the Haqq.

Confirming the expulsion of the halqah group of innovators, Fataawa Bazzaaziyyah: “It the  following is recorded in is  mentioned in Fataawa Qaadhi  that raising the voice with Thikr  is haraam. Verily, the narration  from Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu  anhu) is Saheeh (authentic). He  had heard a group had  congregated in the Musjid. They  were reciting Tahleel and Durood  on Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) aloud. Then he  reprimanded them and said: ‘We  did not practise this during the  age of Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam). I do not see you  but as innovators (mubtadieen).’ He  continued repeating this  statement until he expelled them  from the Musjid.”

The venerable Mufti Sahib says: “Yes, the narrations of Musannaf  Abdur Razzaaq and Tabraani suggest that Hazrat Abdullah Ibn  Mas’ood (Radhiyallahu anhu)  commanded them to disperse.”

There is no substance in this  argument. Assuming that  Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) had not  expelled the group, but had only  ordered them to disperse, in  which way would his action serve  the cause of the venerable Mufti  Sahib? Whether he ordered dispersal or expulsion, the reason  for his action is the same. He  entered the Musjid and saw the halqahs engaging in Thikrullaah.  He intervened, stopped them,  severely castigated and reprimanded them as all narrations pertaining to this  episode confirm. The salient  factors in these narrations in  Musannaf Abdur Razzaaq as well  as in the narrations in the other  kutub of Ahaadith, are:

 Do you think that you are  more guided than the Ashaab of  Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)

 You are hanging on to the tail  of dhalaalah (deviation).

 You have innovated a dark bid’ah.

 Have you surpassed in  knowledge the Sahaabah of  Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)? If you have acted in  conflict with the tareeqah of the  Sahaabah, then you have gone  far, very far astray.

The Hadith in Musannaf Abdur  Razzaaq states: “Then he (Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood) ordered them to disperse.” In this narration there is no ‘suggestion’  of dispersal as the venerable Mufti Sahib claims. There is an  explicit command to break up the halqahs and  to  disperse. Reading  this narration in conjunction with  other versions which explicitly  mention expulsion, it should be obvious that the expulsion was  preceded by dispersal of the groups inside the Musjid.

Even on the assumption that they were not expelled, but only dispersed, then too, the conclusion is clear,  namely, Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) having branded their specific form of loud halqah Thikr as a dark bid’ah, terminated the activity. The participants were ordered to disperse. When atleast the breakup of the halqahs and  the dispersal of the groups are  confirmed, then what constrained the Mufti Sahib to say that the  narration only ‘suggested’  dispersal? The sheer desperation  in the quest for ‘proof’ which in  reality does not exist culminates  in irrationality.

This narration pertaining to the  dispersal/expulsion of the  innovators is also narrated in Al-I’tisaam with an Isnaad which  varies from the different Chains of Narration mentioned in Musannaf Abdur Razzaaq. The  narration in Al-I’tisaam reads: “Abdullah (Ibn Mas’ood) passed  by a man in the Musjid who was  instructing his companions to  recite tasbeeh ten times and tahleel ten times. Then Abdullah  said: ‘Either you are more guided  than the Ashaab of Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) or you  are astray……………Have you been  guided to that to which your Nabi  was not guided? Verily, you have  taken firm hold of the tail of  deviation (dhalaalah).”

The following narration also  appears in Al-I’tisaam: “It was  mentioned to Abdullah Bin Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) that  some people in Kufa were  reciting tasbeeh with pebbles in  the Musjid. He then approached  them. Everyone among them had  a heap of pebbles in front of himself. Then he (Ibn Mas’ood)  struck them repeatedly with the  pebbles until they were expelled from the Musjid, and he said:  ‘Verily, you have produced a dark  bid’ah and you have (conveyed by your actions) that you have  superseded the Ashaab of  Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam) in knowledge.”

This narration also appears in the  kutub, Al-Mudkhal, Az-Zuhd Li’I bnil Hambal, Talbees Iblees, etc,  and has been used by these  authorities in refutation of  bid’ah. They all have accepted the authenticity of the narration, hence it is presented as a basis  for refuting bid’ah and practices which superficially appear as ibaadat.

In another desperate and ludicrous attempt to dislodge  these narrations, the Mufti Sahib states:“However, one narrator  from amongst the chain of  narrators of this Hadith has been omitted. Therefore the fact that  Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud  (radhiyallahu anhu) made them leave the Masjid is not proven  from any authentic narration.”  

The Mufti Sahib’s claim is  baseless. It is absurd to reject the  authenticity of the Hadith merely on account of the name of one  narrator not being explicitly  mentioned in one Hadith. There  are other Chains of Narration for this Hadith, which mention all the names of the narrators. In fact, in one Isnaad the person who had directly informed Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) was another senior Sahaabi, namely, Hadhrat Abu Musa Ash’ari (radhiyallahu anhu).

The name of the supposedly  ‘missing link’ is explicitly stated  in the Hadith which is recorded in Hulyatul Auliya where it is  mentioned as follows: Qais Bin  Abi Haazim and Abuz Za’raa’  narrated it from Abdullah Bin  Mas’ood (radhiyallahu  anhu). Then Abuz Za’raa’, referred to as  ‘the man’ who came to him. Then  he said: Musayyib Bin Najeeh  came to Abdullah.” The full isnaad  is: Sulaiman >Ali > Abu Naeem >  Sufyaan > Salmah Bin Kuhail >  Abuz Za’raa’ who said that  Musayyib Bin Najeeh came to  Abdullah Bin Mas’ood………..” (Hulyatul Auliya)

The claim of the ‘unknown’  narrator is thus dispelled. And, even if he is unknown, the accumulative effect of the  different Asaaneed elevates the  status of the Hadith.. Furthermore, this Hadith is  presented by numerous Authorities of the Shariah in  refutation of innovations. It has  thus satisfied the criterion of Talaqqi bil Qubool which is a  principle on the basis of which a narration is authenticated. The  accreditation by the Fuqaha validates the Hadith and it is then not reliant on even an Isnaad for its authenticity. This principle has  already been explained earlier on.

In Ihkaamul Ahkaam, the Hadith  of Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu anhu) is also cited  in refutation of bid’ah. The Hadith  is accepted as authentic, hence it is said in Ihkaamul Ahkaam: “Similarly, is the narration which  is reported from Ibn Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu anhu), which is recorded by Tabarani in his Mu’jamah with its Sanad from  Qais Bin Abi Haazim.”

Fataawa Rahimiyyah also  presents this Hadith in refutation  of Bid’ah. Thus it is mentioned:  “It is Mustahab to recite Takbeer  along the route to the Eidgah, but  not collectively in unison. Since it  is not the established method of  reciting it, the Fuqaha said that it  is not permissible.”

In Ahsanul Fataawa, Hadhrat  Mufti Rashid Ahmad  (rahmatullah alayh), after  narrating the various versions  and different Asaaneed of the  Hadith of Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu anhu), as well as the  arguments of those who claim  that these narrations are weak or unsubstantiated, says: “Hadhrat  Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu), after branding as mubtadieen (bid’atis)  those who had engaged in loud  collective Thikr, and reprimanding  them, expelled them from the  Musjid.” Commenting further,  Hadhrat Mufti Rashid Ahmad said:

“Those who legalize Thikr  sessions (loud collective Thikr)  have presented three arguments against this narration of Hadhrat  Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu):

(i) There is no substantiation for  this narration in the books of  Hadith.

(ii) This narration is in conflict with other authentic Ahaadith  which explicitly permit Thikr bil  jahr.

(iii) The group of people  (mentioned in the narration) must  have added some act of bid’ah,  hence they were expelled.

The first argument is incorrect  because Tabaraani has narrated it  with several Asaaneed. Besides  this, most of the Fuqahae Kiraam authenticated and validated this  narration with the statement:  “Verily the narration from Ibn  Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) is  Saheeh.”

The second argument is an invalid  refutation. (There is no conflict as  alleged). Therefore, the third  averment is applicable.” End of Ahsanul Fataawa’s comments.

As far as the authenticity of the  narration is concerned, the  claims of it being unauthentic are baseless. A synopsis of the  discussion on this issue is:

 Many Muhadditheen have  narrated the Hadith of Hadhrat  Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) in their  compilations.

 No solid grounds for denouncing the authenticity have been  produced. The only flimsy argument presented is that one  narrator is ‘unknown’. This claim  too is devoid of substance as the  name of the supposedly unknown  narrator is stated in one narration. There has been no serious assault on the Isnaad.

 The Hadith is narrated by  different Chains. The  accumulative effect is the  elevation of the status to  authenticity. 

 The Authorities of the Shariah  have utilized this Hadith as a  strong basis for criticizing and refuting bid’ah, notably, loud  collective Thikr in Musjids.

 The strongest argument in  favour of the authenticity of the  Hadith is the acceptance of the  narration by the Fuqaha. They  have utilized this Hadith in  substantiation of their Fiqhi rulings. This by itself is the  evidence for the authenticity of  the Hadith.

Thus, the following appears in  Qaadhi Khaan: “Raising the voice  with Thikr is haraam. Verily, it has  been authentically narrated from  Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu)  that a group of people had gathered………..”  Hadhrat Mufti  Rashid Ahmad (rahmatullah alayh), Author of Ahsanul Fataawa, states: “Most of the  Fuqaha had authenticated the  Hadith with the comment: “Verily,  the narration has been authentically narrated from Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu)….”  

There is therefore, no scope for  the claim that the Hadith of  Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) is not authentic.

Ahsanul Fataawa after presenting  the aforementioned three  arguments tendered in refutation  of the narration of Ibn Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu anhu), concisely  dismissed the arguments as  baseless. We have already  expanded on the ‘authenticity’  question. Regarding the second  argument (mentioned above), the  venerable Mufti Radhaaul Haq  Sahib states:

“Answer 2: Ulama have stated  that even if the Hadith of Hazrat  Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu  anhu) is proven, it contradicts  many other authentic Ahaadeeth  of Rasoolullah (Salallahu alaihi  wasallam). There are also other  narrations of Hazrat Abdullah Ibn  Mas’ud (Radhiyallahu anhu) which contradict this statement of his. For example, Hazrat Abu Waa’il (Radhiyallahu anhu) says: “Some people are of the opinion that Hazrat Abdullah Bin Mas’ood (Radhiyallahu anhu) was not in  favour of the practice of loud Thikr, but this was not so……….’ 
Thus we see that the actions of  Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud  (Radhiyallahu anhu) contradicts  his words, therefore preference  would be given to his actions over  his words.”

Firstly, the averment, “Preference  would be given to his actions over his words”, is an incorrect ‘principle’. The principle is the  other way around, namely,  preference should be given to  words over action. For example, a  particular action of Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) which conflicts with his commands, may  not be cited to cancel the  commands he has issued. Thus, Rasulullah’s act of allowing  Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) to view the Habshis engaging in a singing performance or his action of not  reprimanding a group of females  whom he had heard singing, may  not be presented as proof for the  alleged permissibility of singing  and music. These isolated actions  of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam) cannot be presented in  refutation of the mass of Qur’aanic and Hadith evidence – Rasulullah’s explicit commands – prohibiting music. There exists  valid interpretation for the  seemingly contradictory action  of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam).

Similarly, assuming that there is  a contradiction between the words and actions of Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu), then  preference will be given to his  explicit words and commands, not to his actions which appear in  conflict with the Qur’aanic and  Sunnah evidence. His seemingly  contradictory action will have to be incumbently reconciled with  the clear commands and meanings of the Qur’aan and the  Sunnah, as well as with his own  teachings and expressions.

Secondly, the claim of  contradiction between the words  and actions of Hadhrat Abdullah  ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu)  is fictitious. The current dispute is  not on the question of loud Thikr being permissible or not  permissible. The permissibility of  loud Thikr is not refuted. However, the venerable Mufti  Sahib has diverted the discussion  from the real issue of contention  and has dwelt on another  uncontested question, namely,  permissibility of loud Thikr.

It is glaringly incorrect to say that  Ibn Mas’ood’s expulsion of the innovators is in conflict with his  words and practice of audible  Thikr.  These are two different  issues and different practices. There is no conflict here. Hadhrat  Abdullah Bin Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu anhu) condemned, reprimanded and expelled the  group, not on the basis of loud  Thikr. He expelled them because  of the new innovated form of the  Thikr the halqah form in which  they were reciting loudly in chorus. This was a form which had no origin in the Sunnah, yet  it was being given prominence and publicly portrayed as if it was  a Masnoon act of ibaadat. If he  had not nipped the bid’ah in the  bud, the practice would have  become entrenched in the Ummah. Citing from Rasaa’il, Mufti Rashid Ahmad of Ahsanul  Fataawa states: “If the expulsion  from the Musjid was literal, then it is probable that it was on  account of their belief that (their  new act) was ibaadat, and (on  account of) teaching people that  it is bid’ah. It is possible for a  permissible act to become  impermissible because of some  accretion.”

In fact, the venerable Mufti Sahib  concedes the probability of an  accretion which constrained Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) to evict the  innovators. Thus, the Mufti Sahib  says:“it was in order to prevent  the door of innovation from  being opened.” This is precisely the  primary reason for the criticism  against the current loud collective  Thikr programmes being conducted in the Musaajid. If the  danger of the door of bid’ah  opening existed during the time  of even the Sahaabah, hence  Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) deemed it  appropriate and imperative to  resort to the extreme measure of  preventing the Thikr programme  and expelling the perpetrators from the Musjid, then to a much  greater degree does this danger  exist in this age.

There is hardly any piety left in people. The venerable Mufti Sahib himself has claimed that the hearts in this era are hardened and spiritually corrupt. Islaah of the Nafs (self reformation) has become a closed avenue. Even the  so called sheikhs of today lack  understanding and expertise in this sphere. It is for this reason  that we find them staging public  Thikr performances as a subterfuge to conceal their gross  incompetence and ignorance in  this field. In fact, in giving prominence and in purveying  collective loud Thikr performances in the Musaajid,  they are resembling the juhala to  whom Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thaanvi (rahmatullah alayh) has referred in relation to one such Ijtimaai’ Thikr programme.

There is no doubt that these public performances are developing into entrenched  hardcore bid’ah practices, hence  even the venerable personalities  who practise these non-Sunnah  acts in public rush to vindicate  their acts of display. They rush  seeking the aid of even shaitaani  radio stations of the fussaaq and  fujjaar in their desperation to  sustain their bid’ah sayyiah. In  fact, they not only embark on  defending and justifying their  unsubstantiated practices, they  demote the actual Sunnah acts  and bestow preference and higher  status to their personal activities  portrayed as Masnoon ibaadat  which they back up with dreams  which in turn are equated to the  status of Shar’i dala’il.

If the venerable Mufti Sahib’s  desperate defence of collective  loud Thikr is viewed intelligently, without bias and emotionalism,   the extremely low ebb to which he  has descended in his quest for  ‘proofs’ will be clearly discerned.  When a senior Mufti fails to  understand the simple mas’alah of the superiority of silent Thikr  being a unanimous ruling of  the  Authorities of the Ummah since the age of the Sahaabah, and he  labours painfully to elevate a  permissible act of lower degree  to a status above the Masnoon act, then the bid’ah dimension is conspicuous.

The venerable Mufti Sahib as well  as others before him have conceded, albeit very reluctantly, that Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood’s  extreme action was to close the  door of bid’ah. Yet he sees no  need to follow the example of  this great Sahaabi to ensure that  the evil gate of bid’ah is not  opened in our community by  initiating practices unsubstantiated in the Sunnah,  and in emulation of the Ahle-Bareilwi bid’atis.

It has to be reiterated for the  sake of greater clarity that Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood’s action was primarily constrained by the new  form of the Thikr programme  which the innovators had introduced. He therefore  sarcastically instructed them to  rather count their sins with the  pebbles instead of using them for Thikr.

No one can accuse Hadhrat Ibn  Masood (radhiyallahu anhu) of  preventing Thikrullaah. Obviously  this was not the purpose of the  expulsion. He was preventing a  bid’ah gaining a foothold in the  community. When he did not  prevent Thikrullah, the question is: What did he prevent? And, why  did he expel ‘thaakireen’ from the Musjid? Only prejudice clouds the mind rendering it incapable of understanding such a simple  issue. The expulsion was not because they were engaging in Thikrullaah. The action was on  account of the bid’ah method  which they had introduced.

There is therefore no conflict  between Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood’s  words and actions. His action was  to prevent the door of bid’ah  opening, not to prevent any type of Thikr  which is lawful.

The venerable Mufti Sahib also  presenting another flimsy  argument attributed to Allaamah Aalusi (rahmatullah alayh), says: “According to Allamah Aaloosi  (Rahmatullah alaih), it could also be that Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (Radhiyallahu anhu)  prevented these people from  making loud zikr in the Musjid as  they were screaming when making zikr.”

Nowhere in the many variants of  the Hadith attributed to Hadhrat  Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu)  is it mentioned that these  thaakireen were screaming when  making Thikr. The inference is utterly baseless. There is no  indication in any of the many  narrations to suggest that they  were ‘screaming when making  zikr’. Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood’s focus was on the  manner in which the  programme  was being executed. He clearly  informed them that their  practice was in conflict with the  Thikr practices of the Sahaabah.  He did not order them to lower  their voices. He branded the  whole Thikr practice of these  people as a dark bid’ah. He  remarked that they should rather  use their pebbles to enumerate  their sins. If it was jahr-e-mufrit which he was targeting, he  would have emulated Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and  ordered: “Have mercy on your souls!”. Thus, there is no  substance in the figment offered  by the venerable Mufti, viz., these people were perhaps screaming  in their Thikr.

Presenting another legless and  fallacious argument, the  venerable Mufti Sahib says: “The narration of Sunan-e-Daarmi  suggests that the people who  were making loud zikr in the  Masjid belonged to a deviated  sect and their only intention was  to initiate an innovation amongst Muslims.”  

At the juncture when this  episode had transpired there was  absolutely no suggestion of them belonging to a deviate sect. Yearslater, these innovators had linked  up with the Khwaarij to fight against the Sahaabah. Hadhrat  Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu anhu) was aware  that the perpetrators of bid’ah  would at a later stage develop  into a sect of bid’atis. The  Bareilwi bid’atis have developed  their own sect. Now the Mufti  Sahib is following in the same  direction. This is the way in which sects develop. If this new bid’ah  of public performances of Thikr  becomes entrenched, then in the  generations to come, there will  be a Deobandi sect of bid’ah.  The one bid’ah will lead to  another bid’ah. The Deobandi  bid’atis and the Bareilwi bid’atis  will then become bed-fellows and  compatriots in a coalition aligned  against the Ahl-e-Haqq who  condemn all bid’ah and  dhalaalah of whatever persuasion  and  breed.

The Mufti Sahib says: “their only  intention was to initiate an  innovation” . Now what was that act which was an innovation which those people had initiated?  Was it their Salaat or their Qiraa’t? What exactly was that act which even the Mufti  Sahib says is ‘an innovation’?  Which act did Hadhrat Ibn  Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu)  brand as a dark bid’ah? The act  of bid’ah for which they were  castigated and expelled was their  loud collective Thikr in the Musjid.This is the precise reason for the  desire in this era to prevent  people from staging public  performance of Thikr practices  which have neither origin nor  sanction in the Sunnah.

From  whichever angle the practice of the deviates is viewed, even the Mufti Sahib is constrained to concede that their act of public, loud collective Thikr in the Musjid was bid’ah.

All the arguments presented in  the exercise to dislodge and  dismiss the Hadith of Ibn  Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) are  misdirected and baseless. Some  of these arguments would have  been valid if this Hadith was  presented in total refutation of  audible Thikr. But this is not the  case. The action of Hadhrat Ibn  Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) is  cited in refutation of bid’ah.  Even the venerable Mufti Sahib  and everyone else concede that  bid’ah is haraam. Hence no one is  justified to fabricate grounds for  the dismissal of this narration  when it is utilized to refute bid’ah, especially after the Fuqaha have  authenticated it. Since we are not  presenting this narration in an attempt to prove audible Thikr  to be prohibited, the entire  argument of the venerable Mufti Sahib is bereft of substance and  direction.

The Hadith of Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated  by Tabraani by way of a number  of Asaaneed, by Daarmi,  Musannaf Abdur Razzaaq and by  many other authorities, and authenticated by the illustrious  Fuqaha does not negate audible  Thikr within prescribed limits of the Shariah. Its  focus was on  elimination of bid’ah and closing  the avenue of bid’ah. It is  therefore absurd to produce in  opposition to this narration, other  Ahaadith from which  permissibility of audible Thikr  could be inferred.

Pursuing a futile argument in the  bid to establish a futile aim, the  venerable Mufti Sahib says: “When an action is proven from the Glorious Qur’an or Ahaadeeth,  then too it is not pernicious for a  Sahabi to classify it as an  innovation.”

The translator of the venerable  Mufti Sahib’s booklet has  incorrectly translated. The term ‘pernicious’ means ‘ruinous,  destructive’. This word renders the meaning in the context of the discussion atrocious and incorrect. From the several  examples the Mufti Sahib tenders  to illustrate his statement, it  appears that the word ‘proper’  should have been used by the translator. What the Mufti Sahib  says is that it is not proper for  even a Sahaabi to classify as an innovation an action which is  proven on the basis of the Qur’aan and Ahaadeeth. This line  of argument is ludicrous.

There is no Sahaabi who ever  branded any such proven act or  teaching of the Shariah as innovation. It is quite probable  that a Sahaabi was unaware of  something which another  Sahaabi attributed to Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), and  on the basis of his unawareness  he may have labelled the act bid’ah. Giving an example of his  contention, the Mufti Sahib says: “Similarly Hazrat Abdullah Ibn  Mughaffal (Radhiyallahu Anhu)  has said that to recite Bismillah  aloud in Salaah is an innovation,  but this very act is Sunnah to  Imaam Shafi’ee (Rahmatullah  alayh).”

This is an extremely poor  example proffered for the grave  and ludicrous charge of a Sahaabi possibly having labelled as bid’ah  an act which is proven by the  Qur’aan and Ahaadith. The Mufti Sahib has made this contention  in a weird attempt to show that  Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood’s prevention and expulsion of the  group of bid’ati thaakireen were  in conflict with the Qur’aan and Ahaadith in view of the fact that  these two primary sources of the  Shariah ordain, exhort and emphasize the importance and significance of Thikrullaah. This  attempt is untenable in terms of the principles of the Shariah. It is  also despicable and lamentable.  There is absolutely no justification for entertaining  such a suspicion with regard to  Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) or any other  Sahaabi. All the examples of  Sahaabah conflicting with the Qur’aan and Sunnah, which the  Mufti Sahib presents are highly  erroneous and ludicrous.

The action of Hadhrat Abdullah  Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu)  was not a measure of preventing  Thikrullaah. It was an action to  prevent and eliminate bid’ah. It is  therefore extremely misleading  to have even posited this  ridiculous hypothesis. Hadhrat  Mughaffal (radhiyallahu anhu)  did not clash with the Qur’aan or  the Sunnah in his view. The Mufti  Sahib’s insinuation is vile in the  extreme. Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam) said: “All my Sahaabah are just. Whomever of them you follow, you will be guided.” 

It is a preposterous misconception to believe that a Sahaabi’s  ruling could be faulted and discounted on the basis of  Imaam Shaafi’s view. Despite  Imaam  Shaafi’s contention of  the Sunniyat of reciting Tasmiah  audibly during Salaat, the fatwa  of bid’ah issued by the Sahaabi, Hadhrat Ibn Mughaffal  (radhiyallahu anhu) has  precedence and greater validity.  Hence, his view is the Math-hab  of Imaam Abu Hanifah and of  innumerable thousands of Fuqaha, and of the greater segment of  the Ummah. The Mufti Sahib in  having resorted to this type of  confused argument in his quest  for evidence to substantiate the  collective loud Thikr  performances, has belittled the  lofty rank of the Sahaabah.

The crime is of an aggravated  nature in view of the fact that  the Mufti Sahib is a professed Hanafi who is supposed to  uphold the Ruling of Imaam A’zam (rahmatullah alayh) based on  the explicit pronouncement of  the Sahaabi, Hadhrat Ibn  Mughaffal (radhiyallahu anhu).  But, veering sharply from the  Straight Path, he attempts to  dislodge Hadhrat Ibn Mughaffal  and Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu anhuma) with the view of Imaam Shaafi (rahmatullah alayh), and with baseless  interpretations respectively.

The Sahaabi, Hadhrat Mughaffal  (radhiyallahu anhu) cannot be  indicted of holding a view in conflict with the Qur’aan and  Sunnah. The probability of error  is greater in the Shaafi’ viewpoint than the view of the Sahaabi. He  was fully entitled in holding the  view of audible reciting of the Tasmiah in Salaat being bid’ah  regardless of the viewpoint of  Imaam Shaafi’ (rahmatullah alayh). It is bizarre to insinuate on  the basis of Imaam Shaafi’s view  that the Sahaabi Hadhrat Ibn Mughaffal (radhiyallahu anhu) had acted in contravention of the  Qur’aan and Ahaadith. In fact, Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah  alayh), on the very basis of the  Qur’aan and Ahaadith proves that  it is Sunnah to recite Bismillaah  silently in Salaat. Each Math-hab has its own respective arguments. A Sahaabi’s lofty status entitled him to brand a practice bid’ah  even if such practice is valid in the view of other Sahaabah.

The venerable Mufti Sahib has  clearly been unable to  understand the basis of Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Mughaffal’s    pronouncement of bid’ah, and on  the basis of this lack of understanding he entertains the  idea that this Sahaabi had erred  in saying that reciting Bismillah aloud in Salaat is bid’ah. However, the great Akaabir Ulama have not  understood the issue in this manner. They accepted and  endorsed Hadhrat Ibn Mughaffal’s view. Thus, Allaamah  Khalil Ahmad Ambetwi states in  his Baraahin-e-Qaatiah in  refutation of the Ahle-Bid’ah who  regard unsubstantiated practices  as beautiful (Mustahsan) and  even superior (Afdhal):

“The Sahaabi, Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mughaffal, labelled as bid’ah and  rejected loud recitation of  Bismillah together with Surah  Faatihah in Salaat inspite of  Bismillah being a Thikr, and jahr  with Thikr is not prohibited.  However, since jahr has not been  narrated (in the Hadith) at this  juncture (of Surah Faatihah during  Salaat), he branded it bid’ah. This Hadith is narrated in Tirmizi and other Hadith kutub. According to Imaam Abu Hanifah, reciting Takbeer aloud along the route to  the Eidgah on the Day of Fitr is bid’ah because according to him silent recitation of the Takbir is  substantiated at this juncture. Hence jahr (reciting aloud) at a  juncture unsubstantiated by the Shariah is bid’ah despite jahr with Takbeer and Thikr being mustahsan.”

Elaborating on the Hadith of  Hadhrat Ibn Mughaffal  (radhiyallahu anhu), it appears in I’laaus Sunan:

“The Hadith indicates that  abstention from jahr with  Bismillah according to them (the great body of Sahaabah and  Taabieen) was the inheritance  from their Nabi, which their later generations inherited from those  before them. This by itself is  sufficient for this mas’alah….”

The venerable Mufti Sahib has not  conducted himself honourably in citing the statement of Hadhrat Ibn Mughaffal (radhiyallahu anhu), He has attempted to convey the impression of this being an isolated view (i.e. reciting Bismillaah aloud before Surah Faatihah is bid’ah) of a Sahaabi being in conflict with the  Qur’aan and Ahaadith. Hence, he  presented Ibn Mughaffal’s proclamation of bid’ah as an issue  devoid of substance which is  unsustainable.

This attempt is a grave injustice  committed by the Mufti Sahib. In  view of this misrepresentation,  there is a need to present some elucidation on this mas’alah so  that Hadhrat Ibn Mughaffal’s  statement is viewed and  understood in proper  perspective.

The full text of the Hadith is: “Ibn  Abdullah Bin Mughaffal narrated:  ‘While I was in Salaat, my father  heard me reciting  ‘Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem’. He then  exclaimed: ‘O my son! ‘You are  innovating. Beware of bid’ah!’ He  (Abdullah) said: ‘I have not seen  any of the Ashaab of Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)  abhorring innovation in Islam more than him (my father).’He said: ‘I have performed Salaat with Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), with Abu Bakr, Umar and with Uthmaan, but I had not  heard anyone of them saying it  (i.e. reciting Bismillaah audibly). Therefore, do not say it. When  you perform Salaat, then say:  ‘Alhamdulillaah Rabbil Aalameen.’ 

”Ikramah narrated from Ibn Abbaas who said regarding  reciting Bismillaah aloud: ‘That is  the act of the A’raab’ (the simple  and ignorant village dwellers).’  Tahaawi narrated it, and its Isnaad is Hasan – Aathaarus Sunan  (I’laaus Sunan)

Hadhrat Ibn Mughaffal  (radhiyallahu anhu) had proclaimed this act bid’ah on the  basis of strong dalaa’il. It was not  an isolated, weak view of an  unknown Sahaabi. It is highly  improper for the Mufti Sahib to  attempt to dismiss Ibn Mughaffal’s bid’ah proclamation  with Imaam Shaafi’s view. If  according to Imaam Shaafi’  (rahmatullah alayh) reciting Tasmiah audibly is ‘Sunnah’, it does not detract from the validity  of Hadhrat Ibn Mughaffal’s fatwa  of bid’ah, and that is the fatwa  which is the view of the Ahnaaf,  and which should be the view of  the venerable Mufti Sahib whom we understand is a follower of  the Hanafi Mathhab.

It is 100% correct to follow  Hadhrat Ibn Mughaffal  (radhiyallahu anhu) and hold the  bid’ah view notwithstanding Imaam Shaafi’s viewpoint. There  is an avalanche of authentic and  valid dalaail corroborating the view expressed by Hadhrat Ibn  Mughaffal (radhiyallahu anhu).  Thus, for the Mufti Sahib to tender Hadhrat Ibn Mughaffal’s  fatwa of bid’ah to illustrate his  (the Mufti Sahib’s) baseless  hypothesis, is lamentable. His  fallacious hypothesis is:“When  an action is proven from the  Glorious Qur’an or Ahaadeeth, then too it is not pernicious for a  Sahabi to classify it as an  innovation.” Commenting on his  own hypothesis, the Mufti Sahib  says:“From this we learn that  an action does not become an  innovation merely because a certain Sahaabi classified it as  such.”

The error of the Mufti Sahib’s  conclusion is self-evident. As far  as the ‘certain Sahaabi’ is concerned, he is correct and fully entitled to brand an act bid’ah. He  does so on the basis of evidence  in his possession. When a Sahaabi brands an act a bid’ah,  he does not suck it out of his thumb. His fatwa is based on his  knowledge of the mas’alah as he  had acquired it from Rasulullah (esallallahu alayhi wasallam). The  question of promoting and  perpetuating his fatwa was the  task of the Aimmah-Mujtahideen  to whom we, the Muqallideen  submit. The Aimmah-Mujtahideen  were the authorities to research  all the proofs and issue the final  verdeict which we have to  incumbently accept. Since the  view of Hadhrat Ibn Mughaffal  (radhiyallahu anhu) has been  upheld by the Aimmah  Mujtahideen of the Hanafi Mathhab on the basis of the  Qur’aan and Ahaadith, it was a  gross and manifest error for the  venerable Mufti Sahib to present  the bid’ah classification of  Hadhrat Ibn Mughaffal (radhiyallahu anhu) to illustrate  his untenable hypothesis.

The Sahaabi’s classification to  which the Aimmah Mujtahideen  and Fuqaha of the Ahnaaf subscribe, may not be challenged  and derogated by a Hanafi Mufti  citing as his daleel the view of Imaam Shaafi’ (rahmatullah alayh).

The other examples which the  Mufti Sahib presented to  substantiate his hypothesis also  suffer the same fate as his  misconceived illustration with the  Hadith of Hadhrat Ibn Mughaffal (radhiyallahu anhu). In another  similar misconceived example to  denigrate the classification of a Sahaabi, the Mufti Sahib says: “For example, Hazrat Ibn Umar  (Radhiyallahu anhu) said that Salaatut Dhuhaa is an innovation,  whereas it is infact Mustahab.” In  terms of the Mufti Sahib’s baseless hypothesis, the logic  here is: There is consensus that  Salaatut Dhuhaa is Sunnat/Mustahab. Despite this, the  Sahaabi Abdullah Bin Umar  (radhiyallahu anhu) classified it  as bid’ah. The inference to be  drawn from this line of  reasoning  is: An act is not bid’ah merely because a Sahaabi branded it  bid’ah. The conclusion: Thus,  Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Masood’s classification of the group of  thaakireen as being innovators is  incorrect. Their act of loud collective Thikr in the Musjid is  not bid’ah despite Hadhrat Ibn  Mas’ood’s classification and his action of expelling them from the  Musjid.

This conclusion extrapolated on  the basis of the postulation of the Mufti Sahib is baseless since  it is raised on a baseless postulate, which is his hypothesis  mentioned above. Let us revert to  the Salaatut Dhuhaa issue. It is  inconceivable for a Sahaabi,  especially a Sahaabi of the calibre of Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umar, to  classify a practice of Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) as bid’ah and to prevent others  from practising such an  established well-substantiated  Sunnah.

While the Mufti Sahib has  attempted to show the ‘error’ of  Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umar’s bid’ah classification, the  Akaabireen had a different view.  In fact they cited Hadhrat Ibn  Umar’s classification in refutation  of the bid’ah of the Ahle-Bareilwis. Hadhrat Allaamah  Khalil Ahmad Ambethwi states in  his Baraahin-e-Qaatiah:

“It is in Bukhaari that Hadhrat Ibn  Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) seeing people performing Salaatut Dhuhaa in the Musjid, said that  this is bid’ah wheras Salaatut  Dhuha is Sunnat and Mustahab,  and going to the Musjid is also  Mustahab. But, because this Salaat was not to be performed collectively in the Musjid, he  branded it bid ’ah, and he refuted  it.”

It is significant that Hadhrat  Allaamah Khalil presented Hadhrat Ibn Umar’s action in  refutation of bid’ah whereas the  venerable Mufti Sahib portrays it  as an error the – error of  classifying a Sunnat as innovation. This is indeed a  misrepresentation of the action  of Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umar  (radhiyallahu anhu). When he saw  the prominence which was being  accorded to a Salaat which  everyone had to perform in the  privacy of the home, he feared it  developing into a bid’ah. Hence,  nipping the feared accretion in  the bud, he outrightly branded  their performance as bid’ah.  While the Mufti Sahib appears to  be the first person to depict this  action as well as the action of  other Sahaabah as isolated and  erroneous acts in conflict with the Qur’aan and Ahaadith, the  authorities of the Shariah in all  ages upheld these classifications  by the Sahaabah and provided  appropriate interpretations. But,  in view of the Mufti Sahib’s  desperate quest for ‘dalaa’il’ to  bolster the current loud  collective Thikr performances in  the Musaajid, he felt constrained  to derogate even the fataawa of  senior Sahaabah.

Another bizarre example which the Mufti Sahib produces to  illustrate the imagined conflict of a Sahaabi with the Qur’aan and  Sunnah, is his statement:“In a  similar manner, Hazrat Abu Malik Ashja’i (Radhiyallahu anhu) says  that according to his father, to  recite Qunoot in the Fajr Salaah  is an innovation. This is also a  Sunnah act according to Imaam  Shaafi’ee (Rahmatullah alaihi).”

It may be a Sunnat act for the  Shaafi’s. It is not a Sunnat act for  the Ahnaaf. The Sahaabi who maintained that it is Bid’ah,  possessed the requisite  entitlement to have issued his  fatwa of bid’ah. It is therefore  despicable to present this  Sahaabi’s view in the bizarre  attempt to illustrate the fallacious theory of a Sahaabi’s  view being in conflict with the  Qur’aan and Ahaadith. The views  of the Sahaabah are all based on  valid Shar’i dalaa’il. Their views  were not products of whimsical  imagination.

Underlying the presentation of  such erroneous examples is the  motive to illustrate the bizarre inference that Hadhrat Abdullah  Bin Mas’ood’s prevention and  expulsion of the group of thaakireen was in conflict with  the Qur’aan and Ahaadith, hence  improper, and not worthy of emulation. This line of reasoning  is absolutely absurd from the  Shar’i point of view.

There is not a semblance of conflict between the action of Hadhrat Ibn Masood  (radhiyallahu anhu) and the  Qur’aan Majeed nor with any  Hadith whatsoever. In fact,  his  action was fully in consonance  with Rasulullah’s numerous  commands stated in  condemnation of bid’ah.

It should be well understood that  a bid’ah can be constituted of  several perfectly lawful acts of ibaadat. These acts taken  individually will be highly  meritorious. However, when given  a collective form, the ruling  applicable to the accumulation or  to the whole new act will differ. Hadhrat Allaamah Khalil Ahmad  states in Baraahin-e-Qaatiah:

“If the form of the collective action is haraam, then the ruling  pertaining to the collection (of acts) will change even if all the  individual acts are permissible.”

In the loud collective Thikr  performances, the following acts  are all permissible if done individually:

Thikrullaah, moderate jahr in  privacy, non-Sunnah athkaar prescribed by the Mashaaikh, and Tilaawat of the Qur’aan. However,  if these acts are combined in a  collective form in a public performance in the Musjid, then  the whole collection will be  classified as bid’ah in the same  way as Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn  Mas’ ood (radhiyallahu anhu) had  branded the loud collective Thikr performance in the Musjid bid’ah,  and in the way Hadhrat Abdullah  Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) classified the public performance  of Salaatut Dhuhaa as bid’ah.

The venerable Mufti Sahib does  concede the need“to prevent the  door of innovation from being  open”. The criticism directed to  the loud collective Thikr displays  in the Musjid is precisely for this  purpose to  prevent the door of  bid’ah opening up. All such public  performances unsubstantieated  by the Sunnah ultimately develop  into entrenched acts of  bid’ah.  This was the error of the Ahl Bareilwi, and our Deobandi molvis  of this era are now emulating that dangerous example.

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