Category Archives: Dhikr

The Bid’ah of Halqah Thikr

[A BAYAAN BY Hadhrat Mufti Sa’eed Palanpuri  Sahib (Shaikhul Hadith of Daarul Uloom Deoband), delivered at Darul Uloom Zakariyya]

“…..The second topic is Ijtimaa’i (congregational) and Haiat Ijtimaa’i (specific/peculiar form of congregation adopted for thikr).  Ijtimaa’ of Thikr (congregation of  Thikr) is mentioned in numerous  Ahaadith. One is: “Whenever  people gather to make the Thikr  of Allah Ta’ala, the Malaaikah  enshroud them…”  This  is Ijtimaa’

What is Haiat Ijtimaa’? I saw this Haiat-Ijtimaa’ in the UK. There is  a Maulana Isma’eel Wadiwala over there. He is a very pious  person; a buzrug. I saw his halqahs (gatherings); a very pious gathering, something to be viewed. Then Maulana would say:  “Laa Ilaaha Illallaah” prompting everyone to repeat in chorus, “Laa Ilaaha Illallaah”. Then all of them  in unison would chant: “Laa Ilaaha Illallaah”. This is Thikr in a  specific congregational form (Haiat-e-Ijtimaa’i Thikr). This is what Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu anhu) condemned  and this type of Thikr is not correct.

On the other hand we have Thikr  of a congregation, i.e. khalwat  dar anjuman (individual practice in a gathering). For instance, we  all are sitting and individually  engaged in Thikr. Each person is occupied with his own Thikr; this  one with his, that one with his.  This is termed khalwat dar anjuman; and this Khalwat dar  Anjuman Thikr is Thikr of a  congregation (Ijtimaa’i Thikr).  This is masnoon. (Musallis  sitting in a Musjid engaging  silently in their respective thikr,  dua, tilaawat and Nafl Salaat, come within the  scope of individual Thikr in  congregation mentioned in the Nusoos- The Majlis) This is (documentations of the Shariah),  whilst the peculiar/specific congregational form of Thikr  was condemned by Hadhrat Ibn  Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu).

Our Hadhrat Maulana (This is a  reference is to Mufti Radhaul Haq  Sahib and his book promoting Halqah Thikr in the Musaajid Translator.) criticized Hadhrat  Ibn Mas’ood in his kitaab. I read  it yesterday. Hadhrat’s criticism  was distasteful to me. (It is in  fact extremely distasteful and shocking since it is a criticism  directed at one of the most seniorSahaabah who had the closest association with Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam- The  Majlis)

Hadhrat (i.e. Maulana Radhaul  Haq) criticised Ibn Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu anhu) [see: Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (Radhiyallahu Anhu) and the Incident of Halqah Dhikr] on the assumption that he did not  understand this mas’alah (of  Halqah Thikr). Laa haula walaa quwwata illabillaah! If Ibn  Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu)  never understood this mas’alah  then who else is there to  understand it? The two examples  which Hadhrat (i.e. Maulana  Radhaul Haq) proffered in  condemnation of Ibn Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu anhu), viz. tatbeeq (placing the hands together  between the knees in Ruku’)  and  the Imaam positioning musallis  to his right and left are not  correct.

How is it possible for Hadhrat  Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu anhu) who was the Companion of Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) on  journey and at home, indoors and outdoors, one who kept the  pillow, miswaak, shoes and water  (for Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam) to be unaware of how  to make Ruku’ and how to  position two musallis!!! How is it possible for one who enjoyed  constant companionship in  journey and at home; that  Sahaabi whom Rasulullah  (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) allowed entry into his home  without taking permission, saying: “My presence at home is  sufficient for you to enter  without formalities”, one who  enjoyed such close contact, not  knowing glaring aspects of Salaat!!! (Indeed such an idea is preposterously absurd-The  Majlis) Some suitable interpretation has to be offered.

Similarly, Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood’s  condemnation (of Halqah Thikr)  was justified condemnation; it was condemnation of the  peculiar congregational form of  Thikr (which had been innovated -The Majlis). He did not condemn the gathering for Thikr. (Mark and understand the important difference -The Majlis) Gathering  for Thikr is substantiated by the  Qur’aan and Hadith. People get  together and engage in individual  Thikrullah; every person on his  own; Khalwat dar Anjuman. They sit together, whilst each one occupies himself with his own work. This is permissible on the basis of the Nusoos. It is proven  from the Qur’aan and Hadith.  However, a peculiar form of congregational Thikr, like I have  mentioned about Hadhrat Maulana Isma’eel Saheb of the  UK, was condemned by Hadhrat  Ibn Mas’ood.”  (At this stage, Mufti Radhaul Haq  raised an objection).

Mufti Radhaul Haq:  Hadhrat! You  said that I criticised Hadhrat  Abdullah Bin Mas’ood. What I wrote was that it was his personal  view.

Mufti Sa’eed Palanpuri:  That in  fact is criticism. What you had  written is in fact criticism. It has nothing to do with personal view.  It is conspicuously obvious that a  Sahaabi who had such close association with Rasulullah  (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), could  not have been unaware of salient and obvious aspects of Salaat?  How can that be possible? You  will have to offer some interpretation for this. You will  have to proffer a plausible  explanation.

Mufti Radhaul Haq:  Then we will  put it down to azeemat. It was a  matter of azeemat for him.

Mufti Sa’eed Palanpuri:  No! It was  not even azeemat. The reality of  it is that preservation of all the  Ahaadith is compulsory.  Understand this discussion well.  Preservation of all the Ahaadith  is compulsory. However, Hadith is  not hujjat (Proof in the Shariah); Hujjat is the Sunnah. There is a difference between Hadith and  Sunnah. Hadith is: Maa udheefa  ilan Nabiyyi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) min qualin aw fi’lin aw  sifatin aw taqreerin (a statement  or an action or an attribute condonation by silence ascribed to Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). This is Hadith.

And Sunnah is: At-Tariqatul Maslookatu Fid Deen or (an  standard practice in the Deen).  Thus, that which was attributed  to Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi  wasallam) is Hadith, not  necessarily a Sunnah. Those  Ahaadith which speak of an action of Rasulullah (sallallahu  alaihi wasallam) done to merely evince permissibility, are Ahaadith, not Sunnah practices.  Take the once-in-a-lifetime instance of passing urine  standing. It is not Sunnah and,  hence Muslims do not urinate  standing (although reported in the Hadith). 

The specific, isolated action of  Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi  wasallam) was due to some  exigency. These are Ahaadith, but  they are not the Sunnah.

Now, preservation of all the Ahaadith is necessary, but practice will be on the Sunnah. It  is for this reason that after Kitaabul Imaan etc. in Mishkaat the chapter of Al’Itisaamu  Bil  Kitaabi Was-Sunnah (Holding  Steadfast onto the Qur’aan and  the Sunnah) is mentioned. The  wording is not Bil Kitaabi Wal  Hadith (With the Kitaab and  Hadith).

Further, read the entire chapter  of AlI’tisaamu Bil Kitaabi Was-Sunnah. There are six Ahaadith mentioned. Each one exhorts  holding steadfastly onto the  Sunnah. There is not a single  Hadith in it which instructs  holding firmly onto Hadith. None  of the six Hadith speaks of this.

The virtues of memorizing Hadith,  preserving Hadith, transmitting  Hadith are cited (in the Kutub of  Hadith). However, in so far as  steadfast practical adherence is  concerned, the word “Sunnah” invariably appears. For this  reason we are the Ahlus Sunnah  Wal Jama’ah, not Ahlul Hadith.

There is a group known as Ahlul  Hadith. They feast on every Hadith. Once, Nabi (sallallahu  alaihi wasallam) came with his grand daughter (to the Musjid).  He performed Salaat carrying her.  They called Ahlul Hadith) also  come to the Musjid with their  children. The children run in between the Saffs, jump and play  around. When questioned they  are quick to cite the Hadith. Simpletons! The Hadith merely  indicates permissibility  occasioned by need.

Sometimes it is possible that a  person is in the fields with a  child. To leave the child sitting  aside is potentially dangerous.  Someone may abduct the child.  A wild animal may prey on the  child. Or a woman may have a  child with no one around to look  after the child. What must she  do? In this situation she can  perform her Salaat whilst  carrying the child. It is not  permissible for her to allow her  Salaat to become qadha. The  only condition required is for the  child’s body and clothes to be clean.

Thus, Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi  wasallam) practically demonstrated this on one occasion for the benefit of all mothers and  fathers of this Ummah. He never  did this to encourage bringing children to the Musjid. If you  happen to bring your kids to the  Musjid then seat them one side. Don’t leave to run helterskelter  in between the saffs. Was this theway of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), like these ghair  muqallids who read Salaat carrying their kids and then let  them loose to run wildly between  the saffs wreaking havoc to  everyone’s Salaat? (Justifyng  their action they say): “It comes  in the Hadith,” Where does it  come in the Hadith to let  children run a racquet in the  Musjid? Do just as it comes in the  Hadith (i.e. when there is a need  to bring a child to the Musjid  then bring the child, at the same  time overseeing the behaviour of  the child in the Musjid).

Be that as it may, Rasulullah  (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam)  carried out many actions to  demonstrate certain masaa’il.  Consider what would mothers  have done had Rasulullah  (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) not  practically shown what to do  when a person has a child and  there is potential danger to the  child? Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi  wasallam) demonstrated that the  child should be carried, and l in  that state Salaat should be  performed. There should not be amal-katheer (excessive action).  The child is in one’s arms. When  going into Ruku’, put the child  down to stand next to one. Then  lift it up again.

In any case, there is a difference  between the Sunnah and Hadith.  The Sunnah is: At-Tariqatul Maslookatu Fid Deen (the  authoritative and standard  practice in Deen). Hadith is of  general import. And that was  that age. Today, all the Ahaadith  are preserved in the kutub, even  the mansookh (abrogated)  Ahaadith. The Mansookh Ahaadith are also Hadith, but they are not the Sunnah.

In the first era of Islam, however,  the whole collection of Ahaadith  had to be committed to memory.  The mode of writing was not in  vogue. Now, if it was a case of  memorizing just a statement it  does not register in the mind as  it should. If, however, it was  backed by practice, then based  on the practice a person  remembers the statement.

Once, a Sahaabi called out five  Takbeers in Janaazah Salaat.  People enquired after the Salaat. Hadhrat Anas said that  Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi  wasallam) said five Takbeers.  After the burial as people were  returning he (Hadhrat Anas) said:  “Remember this action of mine.  Remember these five Takbeers  which I called out.”

Once, Hadhrat Maalik Bin  Huwairith went to a certain  Musjid. The people requested him  to lead the Salaat. He replied:  “One of you lead the Salaat. And  I will inform you why I am not  going to lead the Salaat”. He then  related to them the Hadith:  “Whoever visits a people he  should not lead the Salaat.  Rather, one of them should step  forward to perform the Salaat”.

Students pose a question here  that the Hadith does draw an  exception when permission is granted. And here they even  requested Hadhrat Maalik to be  the Imaam in Salaat? Why did Hadhrat Maalik not perform the  Salaat as Imaam then? The  answer is that Hadhrat Maalik did not lead the Salaat so that people  may remember the Hadith  through this incident. A  happening facilitates remembrance.

The same is the case with Rafa’  Yadain (lifting the hands during  Salaat). There was Rafa’ in the Salaat of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). It is not, however, Sunnah.

Aameen loudly was also part of  the Salaat of Rasulullah  (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) as a  means of teaching the Ummah.  When the age of the senior  Sahaabah passed by and the age  of the junior Sahaabah came  people started to forget those  Ahaadith. The junior Sahaabah  gave practical effect to those  Ahaadith for the sake of  preservation. However, everything new is appealing;  some people started regular  practice of those acts. The age of  the Mujtahideen came (and some among them) gave those  practices the status of Sunnah.  Such differences do occur.

Similarly, tatbeeq (placing the hands  between the knees in Ruku’) was part of Rasulullah’s Salaat. Hadhrat Sa’d Bin Waqqas’s  statement that it is mansookh conveys that it was part of Salaat.
There are two people; two  muqtadis and no place to stand  in front or behind, or not just  two but ten and no place either  in front or at the back, then how  should they stand? Hadhrat Ibn  Mas’ood explained the mas’alah  that in this case, not only if there  happens to be just two muqtadis,  even if there are ten muqtadis  they could stand to the right and  to the left of the Imaam. And  that action of Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood which Hadhrat Sa’d  commented of being a former  practice of the Sahaabah, Hadhrat  Ibn Mas’ood carried it out for  students of the Deen to  remember it. The action will thus  be instilled into their minds. This  is the reality of that practice,  otherwise it just cannot be  accepted that a Sahaabi who had  permission to enter the home (of  Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam) at all times and whose  title was, “The keeper of the pillow, water and shoes”, was  unaware of the manner of making  Ruku’. How can that be possible?  If Ibn Mas’ood did not know then  no Sahaabi in the world knew.

And if he did not know how to  stand in Salaat then no Sahaabi  knew. Such a view is erroneous. A  suitable explanation has to be  searched for. There must have  been some reason for him to do  so. And the condemnation he  levelled was not at a gathering of  Thikr; his condemnation was  directed at the specific form of  congregational Thikr, and his condemnation was correct.

Question: In Pakistan Hadhrat  Maulana Ihtishaamul Haq would  recite Laa ilaaha Illallaah, whereupon the whole gathering would repeat in chorus.

Mufti Sa’eed Sahib: This is that  peculiar form of congregational  Thikr which Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu anhu) censured. I  have mentioned that in the UK  Maulana Isma’eel Wadiwala also  makes Thikr in this fashion. (Maulana Ehtishaamul Haq’s  peculiar act of thikr is not  a  daleel. His personal practice  being in conflict with the Shariah,  has to be set aside. The attempt  was made to even scuttle the  action of Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood.  By what stretch of logic then is  Maulana Ehtishamul Haq’s  personal practice proffered as  Shar’i proof? –The Majlis)

The Thikr of our Akaabir was khalwat dar anjuman. Each person would be engaged in his own Thikr. No one had anything to take from another.” [End of Maulana’s Bayan]

Loud Dhikr and the Arguments of Ahle Shirk

(Maulana Sarfaraz Khan Safdar rahimahullah)

The thikr of Allaah Ta’ala is one  great act of ibaadat. To make dua  (supplicate) is also a noble deed  and means of gaining proximity  to Allaah Ta’ala. However, all this  has to be done in the manner  which the Shariah has ordained. Wherever the Shariah has  ordained that thikr be made loudly, like on the days of Tashreeq or the Talbiya of Hajj, then it will be Sunnah to make it  loudly on these occasions. However, where the Shariah has  not ordained thikr be made loudly, then on those occasions  it is best to make is softly. In this  way will the object of the Shariah  be fulfilled. The same ruling applies to dua

Although Saahibain (Imaams Abu  Yusuf and Muhammad) had  preferred that on some occasions  thikr be made loudly, and Imaam  Ibn Hazm (rahmatullah alayh) and  other Sufiya had preferred on  most occasions that Thikr be  made loudly, they all, nonetheless, never censured those who did not do so, or ever  called them ‘Wahaabis’.  Nevertheless, if we cast a glance  at the proofs, then the truth of  the matter is that the best form  for thikr and dua is that it be  made softly. This is the view and  opinion of Imaams Abu Hanifah,  Shaafi’, Maalik and Ahmad bin  Hambal (rahmatullah alayhim).    When all the four Imaams are unanimous on the same ruling,  then one can be pretty certain that the Haqq is on their side.

If nowadays, loud thikr is preferred and practiced and on the other hand silence is  maintained regarding the  opposite view, that is one issue,  but the moot point of contention here is that those who do not  participate in loud thikr are branded as ‘Wahaabis’, etc., etc.  and vile epithets are being hurled.  Nowadays, people only regard  you as a Muslim and part of the  Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat if you  participate in loud-group thikr. If  you join in then you are a Sunni,  otherwise you are a ‘wahaabi’. It is  for this reason that this Mas’alah requires further dilation and study. We will briefly present some proofs.

Allaah Ta’ala states, “And make  Thikr of your Rabb in your hearts,  humbly, with fear and without  loudness in speech.” [Para 9, Surah A’raaf, Aayat 24]

Elsewhere, Allaah Ta’ala says,  “Call unto your Rabb with humility  and fear. Indeed He does not love  those who transgress the limits.” [Para 8, Surah A’raaf, ruku 7]

In these noble Aayaat, there are  two conditions for thikr and dua.  One is that thikr and dua be  made with utmost sincerity,  humility, modesty and meekness,  and the second is that it be made  with softness, because Allaah  Ta’ala does not love those who  transgress the limits. Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) once  came across some Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum) making  thikr loudly. On that occasion he  admonished them saying, “O  People! Have mercy on your  souls. Indeed you are not calling  out to a deaf one neither to one  who is not present. Indeed you  are calling out to The One Who  Listens and is close by. He is with  you.” [Bukhaari, vol. 2, page 605  / Muslim, vol. 2, page 346]

From this narration we realise  that Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) preferred soft thikr by  preventing them from making  loud thikr. In this regard, Imaam  Nawawi (rahmatullah alayh)  states, “In this narration (is proof)  for it being Mustahab to lower  the voice with thikr, as long as  there is no need to raise it.” [Sharah Muslim, vol. 2, page 346]

Haafidh Ibn Katheer (rahmatullah  alayh) states that Imaam Ibn  Hazam Zaahiri (rahmatullah alayh)  [passed away 456 A.H.], etc.  regarded as Mustahab the  recitation of loud thikr after  Salaat, but, “Ibn Battaal (rahmatullah alayh) said that the  ruling of the four Math-habs is to  the contrary (i.e. that it is not  Mustahab).”  [Al-Bidaaya wan  Nihaaya, vol.1, page  270/ Also in  Haashiya of Bukhaari, vol.1, page 116]

The proof of Imaam Ibn Hazam  (rahmatullah alayh) and others  lays in the narration of Hadhrat  Abdullaah Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu), “Indeed  raising of the voices in thikr upon completion of Fardh Salaat was  in vogue amongst the people  during the era of Nabi (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam).” [Muslim, vol.1, page 217]

Hadhrat Imaam Nawawi  (rahmatullah alayh), explains this narrations thus, “Ibn Battaal and  others have narrated that the  Aimmah of the Math-habs, which  most people follow (i.e. the four  Imaams) and others also, are  unanimous that it is not  Mustahab to make loud thikr and  Takbeer. Imaam Shaafi’  (rahmatullah alayh)  explains this  narration of Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) thus that the  loud thikr was only made for a  short duration of time, in order to  teach the masses. It was not done perpetually.” [Sharah Muslim, vol. 1, page 217]

This view appears most correct  and balanced. If this was not the  case,  then it would most certainly have been the constant  practice of all the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum) to make  loud thikr, and also a high-ranking Sahaabi like Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) would not  have castigated the group of  people making loud thikr in the  Masjid and he would not have  told them that they are brining  darkness upon the Ummat right  in the midst and presence of the  Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum)  of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), by introducing this  bid’ah. This loud recitation was  done by Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) as a means of teaching  the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum), just like he would recite ‘Bismillah’ loudly, to teach them.  These acts were not carried out  subsequently. To perpetuate  these practices is bid’ah,  as  reported by Ibn Mughaffal (radhiyallahu anhu). Similar is the  case with the mas’alah of loud  thikr. Allamah Halbi Hanafi writes,  “It is reported from Abu Hanifah  that to raise the voice in thikr is  bid’ah, which is in diametric  opposition to the Aayat of Allaah  Ta’ala, ‘Call unto your Rabb…’” [Kabeeri, page 566]

It is abundantly clear from this  text that it is the view of Imaam  A’zam (rahmatullah alayh) that to  make thikr loudly is both, in  conflict with the Aayat of Allaah  Ta’ala and also a bid’ah. It is  indeed a shame that the  perpetrators of this bid’ah label  others ‘Wahaabi’, and that they  deem loud thikr  as a sign of the  Ahle Sunnah. Laa Howla Wa Laa Quwwata.

Hadhrat Mullah Ali Qaari  (rahmatullah alayh) states, “It has  been reported from some of our  Ulama that to raise the voice in  the Masjid, even if it be for thikr,  is Haraam.” [Mirqaat, vol. 2, page 470]

You have noted that Imaam Ibn  Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh)  regards loud thikr as a bid’ah, and  that it has been reported from  Mullah Ali Qaari as being Haraam. However, Mufti Ahmad Yaar  Khaan (the mubtadi Molvi) avers,  “The opposition say it (loud  thikr) is Haraam, and they employ various tactics to prevent it. One  of their ploys is to say that loud  thikr is a bid’ah, that it is  contrary to the principles of the Hanafis…”   [Jaa-al Haqq, page 329]

Let us now be fair—who exactly  has referred to it as being a  bid’ah and Haraam? Do you now  brand Imaam A’zam and Mullah  Ali Qaari also as part of your  opposition? Are they also  amongst those who employ various tactics to prevent loud  thikr? Come to your senses and  give an unbiased reply.

Imaam Nawawi writes, “There is  no difference of opinion that dua  be made softly.”  [Sharah  Muslim,  vol. 1, page 311]

Imaam Sirajuddeen Hanafi and  Mullah Ali Qaari (rahmatullah  alayh) state, “Softness is  Mustahab in dua, and to raise the  voice in dua is a bid’ah.”  [Fataawa Siraajia, page 72 / Moudo’aat-e-Kabeer, page 17]

All these references are as clear  as daylight insofar as their import  is concerned. This view is the  better one and closer to the spirit of the Shariah

Now remains the one reference  made by Mufti Ahmad Yaar  Khaan which he cites from  Shaami that,“The Mutaqaddimeen and Muta-akhireen are unanimous that it is Mustahab for a group to make loud thikr in a Masjid, provided it  does not disturb one who is  sleeping, performing Salaat or  reciting Qur’aan Majeed.” [Jaa-al Haqq, page 332]

This is most certainly not worth  paying any attention to, because  firstly, when the Qur’aan Majeed  and Hadith Shareef have  explicitly forbidden loud thikr,  then can the action and  statement to the contrary of any  person be used as a proof?    Secondly, all four Imaams of Fiqh  have stated that loud Thikr is not  Mustahab and Imaam Saheb has labelled it a bid’ah. He also further  states that this is contrary to the  explicit Command of Allaah  Ta’ala.  When all four Imaams are  unanimous on the impermissibility of loud thikr,  how then can there be unanimity  on its permission? Are the  Aimmah-e-Arba’a not amongst  the Mutaqaddimeen?

Thirdly, even the Ulama-e-Muta’akhireen are not unanimous  on loud thikr  being Mustahab.  The Ulama of all four Math-habs have objected to it. Even the  Sufiya are not unanimous  regarding it. Look at the  Maktoobaat of Mujaddid Alfe  Thaani (rahmatullah alayh). In  similar vein study the kitaabs of  other Fuqahaa, Ulama and Muhadditheen on this subject.  This mas’alah will not be resolved  unless one studies it with an  open an unbiased mind.

Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khaan citing  from Sheikh Muhammad Saheb  Thaanwi (rahmatullah alayh), “Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  would recite Tasbeeh and Tahleel  in a loud voice, after Salaat, with  the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anha).” [Jaa-al Haqq, page 330]

This proof is also not very  weighty, because, firstly, if this narration cannot be proven to be  authentic via the normal channels  of Hadith Usools, how then can it  be used as a proof? Secondly, if it  can be proven to be authentic,  then too, we can present the  explanation of Imaam Shaafi’ (rahmatullah alayh) which he  gave for the narration of Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) that  this was only done as a means of  teaching, and it was only carried  out for a limited period and not continuously. If it was done  continuously, then the Aimmah-e-Arba’a would never have ruled  that loud thikr is not Mustahab.  This is an obvious fact, which  cannot be disputed.

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.

Tahajjud and Dhikr: the two missing components

By Mufti Ahmad Khanpuri
Edited by ‘Abd Allah bin Muhammad al-Afriqui

A summary of an ‘Ulama address by Mufti Ahmad Khanpuri (Allah protect at him) of Jami’ah Islamiyyah Dabhel at Madrasah Talim al-Din, Isipingo Beach on Sunday, 1 Sha’ban 1434; 9 June 2013.

We all take pride in linking ourselves to our akabir (elders) who had laid the foundations of the various dini (religious) works that we are involved in.

However, what is required of us is to see what were the sifat (qualities) that they possessed which enabled them to achieve success and progress. There were two outstanding qualities in their lives that are decreasing in our ‘ulama presently.

The first is the performance of Tahajjud salah (voluntary night prayer). Initially it was the first fardh (obligatory) salah. Study Surat al-Muzzammil (Qur’an, 73) and see the link that it has with the dini work that we are involved in. Who could have been more occupied than Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), yet Allah instructed His Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) to spend a minimum of a third (1/3) of the night in Tahajjud salah. It is through this that one will gain energy for the rest of the day.

The hadith speaks of Shaytan tying three knots on the nape of a sleeping person saying to him that he should continue sleeping. Thus, even if our eyes open early we will look at the clock and say to ourselves that there is still plenty of time left, resulting in us not getting the opportunity to perform Tahajjud salah.

It was a common feature in the lives of all the Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum), tabi‘in, muhaddithin, and our akabir (rahimahumullah), whether those whom we had seen or those before them. They were punctual on this practice irrespective of whether they were travelling or not.

The second common feature was that of dhikr Allah (remembrance of Allah). This was their spiritual energy. They never left out their daily adhkar and  ma’mulat  (prescribed routine). Mawlana Habib al-Rahman (rahmatullah alayh) who was the vice principal of Dar al-‘Ulum Deoband would daily make 125,000 dhikr of ‘Allah’ despite his busy schedule of seeing to the administration of the madrasah.

In a letter to one of his khulafa’  who was a principal of a madrasah, Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya al-Kandhalawi (rahmatullah alayh) impressed upon him the need to spend at least two and a half hours daily in dhikr and inabat ilallah in order for his madrasah to prosper and progress.

Dhikr Allah will be in the form of one’s ma’mulat , the morning and evening adhkar and du’as, and tilawah (recitation) of the Qur’an. Mawlana Zakariyya al-Kandhalawi would daily recite eight to nine juz’ (parts) in spite of his busy schedule of teaching, mutala’ah and tasnif. Each one of us needs to ask ourselves, how much of the Qur’an do we recite daily.