The End - 2000 to 2009

Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayyah on Group Dhikr

  • Author: MR
  • Filed under: Islam
  • Date: Jul 12,2007 | 12:04 AM

Dear Sheikh,

“I live in Sri Lanka and wondered if it was acceptable for the Muslim community here to gather for the sake of remembering Allah as a congregation?”

The Answer:

This is a controversial issue amongst the scholars. Some saw gatherings for the purpose of reciting Qur’an and the remembrance of Allah [in a group] as innovation, and there were others who saw it as something venerable. Each and every one of these scholars relied on certain proofs and evidences. Some relied on the statement of Ibn Mas’ud* [may Allah be pleased with him] “Indeed, you have brought an evil innovation”, and there were others who relied on the apparent [meaning of] the statement of the Prophet [may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him] who said, “No people gather together, in one of the homes from the houses of Allah, reciting the Qur’an and studying it amongst themselves, except tranquility descends upon them, they are shrouded in mercy, the angels envelop them with their wings and Allah makes mention of them in front of those who are with Him.” [related by Muslim #2699]. So, the explicit meaning of this hadith directs towards the permissibility of such gatherings. Imam al-Awza’i [may Allah have mercy upon him] was asked about gatherings, after the Dawn prayer, that included congregational studying and the remembrance of Allah [meaning they did so with one voice not silently]. He responded, “There is nothing wrong with such gatherings.” Al-Awza’I said, “Hassan bin ‘Atiyyah informed me that the first person to start this practice was Hisham bin Ismail al-Makhzomi during the caliphate of Abdul Malik bin Marawan and he was criticized for it.”

There were some who rejected what Hisham had done, such as Imam Malik [may Allah have mercy upon him], and there were others who said, “There is no problem with this.” Harb mentioned that he saw the people of Damascus, Hims and Basra gathering together to recite the Qur’an after the Dawn prayer. However, the people of Sham would read the Qur’an together with one loud voice, while the people of Basra and Mecca would gather and one person would read ten verses while the people would remain silent. After the first person finished, they others would read what he had read until they would complete what he had recited. Harb, commenting on this said, “All of this is excellent and pleasing.”

Regarding Sri Lanka, then I tend to lead towards the opinion that such an action is fine. If the Muslims gather there, from time to time, to study and recite the Qur’an [together], or to remember Allah [together], without there being any forbidden acts such as mixing between the sexes, dancing or any type of evil, then it is good, and it is incumbent to avoid making [the observance of such acts] difficult upon them.

Dr. Abdullah Bin Bayyah

• Some have questioned the authenticity of this narration from Ibn Mas’ud. Their main contention is that it contains Amr b. Yahya. However, there are other narrations without ‘Ami b. Yayah such as the one found in Musannaf of Abd al-Razzaq, vol 3, p. 221, hadith 5408 which is Hassan.

Source: www.suhaibwebb.com


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  • 23 Responses for "Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayyah on Group Dhikr"

    1. ali July 12th, 2007 at 12:23 pm

      Great post. I love how Shaykh Abdullah (may Allah preserve him) always considers multiple views and proofs, and then gives an answer, rather than just stating one proof/answer. This was his approach in the Maulid issue as well. I wonder what his opinions on Hadra’s are, given the fact that he says ‘dancing’ should be avoided ?

    2. Mujahideen Ryder July 12th, 2007 at 12:26 pm

      ali on July 12, 2007 at 12:23 pm said:

      Great post. I love how Shaykh Abdullah (may Allah preserve him) always considers multiple views and proofs, and then gives an answer, rather than just stating one proof/answer. This was his approach in the Maulid issue as well. I wonder what his opinions on Hadra’s are, given the fact that he says ‘dancing’ should be avoided ?

      Yeah, that’s why I bolded that part. I asked Imam Suhaib Webb what exactly is meant by ‘dancing’ in this case. Everything has to be taken in context.

      InshaAllah I will post the response when I get one.

    3. Abdullah July 12th, 2007 at 1:51 pm

      In reference to the dancing, clapping etc…

      In the book “Tarteeb Al-Madarik wa Taqreeb Al-Masalik” (2/54) by Al-Qadi ‘Iyad, from the narration of ‘Abdul-Allah ibn Yusuf al-Taneesi, who was present during this story, and is one of the famous companions of Imam Malik.

      Al-Taneesi said: We were with Malik, and his companions were around him when a man, from the people of Nasibeen, said: O Abu ‘Abdullah (i.e. Imam Malik) we have people that are called al-Soufia (the Sufis) that eat a lot, then recite poetry, and then stand up and dance.

      Malik said: Are they small kids?
      The man replied: No.

      He then asked: Are they Madmen (crazy or insane)?
      The man replied: No, they are old people and over that they are sane

      Malik said: I never heard that anyone of the people of Islam would do such a thing.

      The man added: They eat, and then stand up and dance, some of them hitting their heads, and others slapping their faces.

      Imam Malik laughed, and then stood up, and entered his house.

      Imam Malik’s companions said to the man, you were a misfortune on our companion, we sat with him for thirty-something years and never saw him laugh except on this day.

    4. Yursil July 12th, 2007 at 3:29 pm

      MR,

      Are you feeling anti-Shadhili hadra today?

    5. Yursil July 12th, 2007 at 3:30 pm

      (as-salamu’alaikum btw ;))

    6. Mujahideen Ryder July 12th, 2007 at 3:50 pm

      Walykumsalam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh Sidi Yursil!

      No way! I’m not anti-Shadhili hadra at all. I just love Sh. Abdullah bin Bayyah. After all he is one of Sh. Hamza Yusuf’s main teachers.

    7. Abdullah July 12th, 2007 at 5:41 pm

      Amr ibn Salamah narrated:
      We used to sit at the door of ‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood before the morning Prayer, so that when he would come out we would walk with him to the mosque. One day Abu Moosaa al-Ash’aree came to us and said: Has Abu ‘Abdur-Rahmaan (i.e. Ibn Mas’ood) come out yet? We replied: No! So he sat down with us until he came out. When he came out we all stood along with him, so Abu Moosaa said to him: O Abu ‘Abdur-Rahmaan! I have just seen something in the mosque which I deemed to be evil, but – and all praise is for Allaah – I did not see anything except good. Ibn Mas’ood inquired: “What did you see?” Abu Moosaa replied: If you live, you too will see it. In the mosque I saw people sitting in circles awaiting the Prayer. In each circle they had pebbles in their hands and a man would say: repeat Allanhu Akhar a hundred times. So they would repeat it a hundred times. Then he would say: repeat Laa ilaaha illallaah a hundred times. So they would repeat it a hundred times. Then he would say: repeat Subhaanallaah a hundred times. So they would say it a hundred times. Ibn Mas’ood then asked: “What did you say to them?” Abu Moosaa said: I did not say anything to them. Instead I waited to hear your view, or what you declared. Then we went along with him, until he came to one of these circles and stood up and said: “What is this I see you doing?” They replied: O Abu ‘Abdur-Rahmaan! These are pebbles upon which we are counting takbeer, tahleel and tasbeeh. He said to them: “Rather, count up your evil deeds. For I assure you that none of your good deeds will be lost. Woe be to you O Ummah of Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam! How quickly you head into destruction! These are the Companions of your Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and who are widespread. There are his clothes which have not yet decayed, and his bowl which is unbroken. By Him in whose Hand is my soul! Either you are upon a religion better guided than the Religion of Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, or you are opening the doors of misguidance.” They said: O Abu ‘Abdur-Rahmaan! By Allaah! We only intend good. He said to them: “How many there are who intend good, but do not achieve it. Indeed Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to us: “A people will recite the Qur’aan, but it will not pass beyond their throats.” By Allaah I do not know, but perhaps most of them are from you.” Then he left. Amr ibn Salamah said: We saw most of those people fighting against us on the day of Nahrawaan, alongside the Khawaarij.

      This is related by ad-Daarimee in his Sunan (1/79), at-Tabaraanee in al-Kabeer (9/126) and Abu Nu’aym in Hilyatul-Awliyaa (4/381). It was authenticated by al-Haythamee in Majma’uz-Zawaa’id (1/181).

    8. Mujahideen Ryder July 12th, 2007 at 6:07 pm

      Abdullah on July 12, 2007 at 5:41 pm said:

      Amr ibn Salamah narrated:
      We used to sit at the door of ‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood before the morning Prayer, so that when he would come out we would walk with him to the mosque. One day Abu Moosaa al-Ash’aree came to us and said: Has Abu ‘Abdur-Rahmaan (i.e. Ibn Mas’ood) come out yet? We replied: No! So he sat down with us until he came out. When he came out we all stood along with him, so Abu Moosaa said to him: O Abu ‘Abdur-Rahmaan! I have just seen something in the mosque which I deemed to be evil, but – and all praise is for Allaah – I did not see anything except good. Ibn Mas’ood inquired: “What did you see?” Abu Moosaa replied: If you live, you too will see it. In the mosque I saw people sitting in circles awaiting the Prayer. In each circle they had pebbles in their hands and a man would say: repeat Allanhu Akhar a hundred times. So they would repeat it a hundred times. Then he would say: repeat Laa ilaaha illallaah a hundred times. So they would repeat it a hundred times. Then he would say: repeat Subhaanallaah a hundred times. So they would say it a hundred times. Ibn Mas’ood then asked: “What did you say to them?” Abu Moosaa said: I did not say anything to them. Instead I waited to hear your view, or what you declared. Then we went along with him, until he came to one of these circles and stood up and said: “What is this I see you doing?” They replied: O Abu ‘Abdur-Rahmaan! These are pebbles upon which we are counting takbeer, tahleel and tasbeeh. He said to them: “Rather, count up your evil deeds. For I assure you that none of your good deeds will be lost. Woe be to you O Ummah of Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam! How quickly you head into destruction! These are the Companions of your Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and who are widespread. There are his clothes which have not yet decayed, and his bowl which is unbroken. By Him in whose Hand is my soul! Either you are upon a religion better guided than the Religion of Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, or you are opening the doors of misguidance.” They said: O Abu ‘Abdur-Rahmaan! By Allaah! We only intend good. He said to them: “How many there are who intend good, but do not achieve it. Indeed Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to us: “A people will recite the Qur’aan, but it will not pass beyond their throats.” By Allaah I do not know, but perhaps most of them are from you.” Then he left. Amr ibn Salamah said: We saw most of those people fighting against us on the day of Nahrawaan, alongside the Khawaarij.

      This is related by ad-Daarimee in his Sunan (1/79), at-Tabaraanee in al-Kabeer (9/126) and Abu Nu’aym in Hilyatul-Awliyaa (4/381). It was authenticated by al-Haythamee in Majma’uz-Zawaa’id (1/181).

      Nice copy and paste. My turn:

      Imâm al-Suyûtî recounted in one of his fatwas entitledal-Minha fîl-Sibha (“The Profit InDhikr-Beads”) the story of ‘Ikrima, who asked his teacher ‘Umar al-Mâlikî about dhikr-beads. The latter replied that he had also asked about it his teacher al-Hasan al-Basrî who replied: “Something we have used at the beginning of the road we are not desirous to leave at the end. I love to remember Allâh with my heart, my hand, and my tongue.” Al-Suyûtî comments: “And how should it be otherwise, when thedhikr-beads remind one of Allâh Most High, and a person seldom sees dhikr-beads except he remembers Allâh, which is among the greatest of its benefits.” [1] Abû Hurayra possessed a thread with two thousand knots and would not sleep until he had used it all for dhikr. [2] He said: “Verily, I make glorification (tasbîh) of Allâh Almighty everyday according to my ransom(qadardiyyatî), twelve thousand times.” [3]

      Notes:
      [1] Al-Suyûtî, al-Hâwî lîl-Fatâwâ. Cf. section on dhikr-beads in al-Shawkânî’s Nayl al-Awtâr (2:316-317) and Zakariyyâ al-Kandihlawî’s Hayât al-Sahâba. Albânî’s astounding claim that whoever carriesdhikr-beads in his hand to remember Allâh is misguided and innovating was refuted in Mahmûd Mamdûh’s Wusûl al-Tahânî bi Ithbât Sunniyyat al-Sibha wal-Radd ‘alâ al-Albânî (“The Alighting of Mutual Benefit and the Confirmation that Dhikr-Beads are a Sunna in Refutation of Albânî”). Another refutation was published by Hâmid Mirzâ Khân al-Firghânî al-Namnakânî in the seventh of hisal-Masâ’il al-Tis‘ (Madîna: Maktabat al-Îmân, 1985) p. 44-48.

      [2] Narrated by Abû Nu‘aym in theHilya (1:383) and al-Dhahabî in the Siyar(Risâla ed. 2:623) and Tadhkira (1:35)

      [3] Narrated by Abû Nu‘aym in theHilya (1:383), al-Bayhaqî in the Sunan (8:79), Ibn Hazm in al-Muh.allâ (10:396), Ibn al-Jawzî in Sifat al-Safwa (1:691), al-Dhahabî in theSiyar (Risâla ed. 2:610) and Tadhkirat al-Huffâz. (1:35), Ibn Rajab in Jâmi‘ al-‘Ulûm wal-Hikam, and Ibn Hajar in the Isâba(7:442) where he said that Ibn Sa‘d narrates it with a sound chain in his Tabaqât.

    9. aysha July 13th, 2007 at 6:30 pm

      ali on July 12, 2007 at 12:23 pm said:

      Great post. I love how Shaykh Abdullah (may Allah preserve him) always considers multiple views and proofs, and then gives an answer, rather than just stating one proof/answer. This was his approach in the Maulid issue as well. I wonder what his opinions on Hadra’s are, given the fact that he says ‘dancing’ should be avoided ?

      Mujahideen Ryder on July 12, 2007 at 12:26 pm said:

      Yeah, that’s why I bolded that part. I asked Imam Suhaib Webb what exactly is meant by ‘dancing’ in this case. Everything has to be taken in context.

      InshaAllah I will post the response when I get one.

      the dancing of the Sufis By Shaykh Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ajibah al-Hasani

    10. Email July 13th, 2007 at 6:35 pm

      you know something. I like tasbih dhikr beads or what not. And I used to use them amply. But the other day one of my catholic collegues had green tasbih except she had a cross on it.

      Wallaahu Alim,
      people say the dhikr beads are from Catholicism. And I dont know for sure so I dont use them. Only Allaah knows. If you can show that dhikr beads were something that came from Islaam to Catholicism, then I’ll understand but right now I am not so sure.

    11. Mujahideen Ryder July 13th, 2007 at 6:42 pm

      aysha on July 13, 2007 at 6:30 pm said:

      the dancing of the Sufis By Shaykh Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ajibah al-Hasani

      JazakAllah khair!

    12. Adnaan Sattaur July 13th, 2007 at 7:00 pm

      Subahanallah,

      Salam Amir its Adnaan…iam in makkah rite now and we just just finished HADRAH in Makkah…Lol the irony….any way i have the whole thing on video…i post it later….

      Salam for now

    13. Mujahideen Ryder July 13th, 2007 at 7:02 pm

      Adnaan Sattaur on July 13, 2007 at 7:00 pm said:

      Subahanallah,

      Salam Amir its Adnaan…iam in makkah rite now and we just just finished HADRAH in Makkah…Lol the irony….any way i have the whole thing on video…i post it later….

      Salam for now

      SEND THAT TO ME ASAP! GIVE MY SALAMS TO EVERYONE!

    14. sophister July 13th, 2007 at 7:20 pm

      I believe Ibn Taymeeah himself talked about zikr beads being acceptable because the sahabi used to use rocks to make zikr of Allah as well as on their fingers.

    15. Andalus July 14th, 2007 at 12:49 am

      Salaam ‘alaikum,

      According to Catholic sources, the use of prayer beads in Islam outdates their use in Christianity.

      BY THE TIME the rosary, as we know it, became a regular part of Catholic prayer, prayer beads had long been a part of religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism and Muslim

      and

      Christian use of beads for reciting prayers began in medieval European monasteries and came into more widespread use as a way to assist the often illiterate worshippers in keeping track of their prayers. Although they were commonplace by the late Middle Ages, prayer beads were not officially accepted by the Catholic church until Pope Leo X gave the rosary approbation in 1520.

      It is very likely that the Christians copied the idea from Muslims in Bilad al-Sham during the crusades.

      In fact some wahabbist type fundamentalist Christians are anti-rosaries because of their “eastern” (ie Islamic) origin.

    16. Mujahideen Ryder July 14th, 2007 at 12:08 pm

      JazakAllah khair Sidi Alex!

    17. Abu Habiba Ismael July 27th, 2007 at 1:33 am

      The problem with dhikr beads are simple

      1. Most people use them thinking they are a sunnah of the Prophet, sal Allahu 3layh wa sallam.

      2. Most people use them and NEVER actually do the sunnah of counting on their fingers which was the constant practice of the Prophet, sal Allahu 3layhi wa sallam

      3. Most people who use dhikr beads think they are an “instrument” of Islam when what is obvious from the stories of the salaf is that they were used simply as a reminder of count, not as a tool in and of itself signifying remembrance of Allah.

      4. While a notted string (interesting that allegedly Abu Hurayra, radhiAllah 3nhu, used a knotted string, but everyone now doesn’t even follow that practice but has opted for pebbles.) may have been used by Abu Hurayra, radhiAllahu 3nhu, it was still NOT a sunnah of the Prophet, sal Allahu 3layhi wa sallam, EVER to use a string, beads, bones etc. to make dhikr upon. So you find muslims today clanking away on pebbles and none of them even know what the Sunnah actually is, much less implement it.

      The two conditions for an action being accepted are that 1. it is done sincerely for the sake of Allah and 2. it is in accordance with either a command of Allah or a command of His Prophet, sal Allahu 3layhi wa sallam. The Prophet ordered in the hadeeth for the dhikr to be done on the fingers.

      I don’t see what’s so hard about all this.

      The Prophet, sal Allahu 3layhi wa sallam said: “Between the Halaal and between the Haraam, are the doubtful matters so avoid the doubtful matters.”

    18. Andalus July 27th, 2007 at 4:36 am

      1- Actually I doubt that anyone who uses a misbaha thinls that its a sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad, Allah bless hima nd give him peace.

      2- Every single individual who I’ve seen use a misbaha, I’ve also seen make dhikr on their fingers. EVERY LAST ONE.

      3- Most people I know who carry misbahas tend to do more dkikr because the beads serve as a reminder of one’s need to be in constant rememberance of Allah.
      They are also useful in allowing the person to concentrate on his/her adhkar without having to try to keep count, making it easier to have khushu’ when performing one’s dhikr.

      4- Again, all the people I’ve known who use a misbaha are well aware of the actual sunnah and engage in it. They only use a string with wooden beads (not pebbles) in order to make the counting easier. Sort of the way most people use a watch to tell time rather than the sunnah of looking at the sky to determine prayer times.

      As for the conditions you set, making dhikr is in accordance witht he command of Allah and His Messenger, Allah bless hima dn give him peace. Rather if you have some proofs that certain ways of counting are prohibited, you should bring them.

    19. Andalus July 27th, 2007 at 4:45 am

      FYI (and you may have heard this here first) Many salafis have begun to move away from some the more divisive positions of previous ulama and are embracing a more “traditional” (though still problematic) approach to Islam.
      For instance, nowadays one finds that many of the new young salafi students of knowledge learn and follow a madhhab (as opposed to the anti-madhhabism of just a few years ago) and many are perfectly fine with things like prayer beads and certain sufis.

      There’s a whole new dynamic out there in the world of sectarian antagonism. If one wants to stay in that game (though its better not to) one should at least keep up with the latest rules.

    20. Andalus July 27th, 2007 at 4:55 am

      Lastly (inshaAllah) the hadith to which you referred is:

      “That which is lawful is plain and that which is unlawful is plain and between the two of them are doubtful matters about which not many people know. Thus he who avoids doubtful matters clears himself in regard to his religion and his honor, but he who falls into doubtful matters falls into that which is unlawful, like the shepherd who pastures around a sanctuary, all but grazing therein. Truly every king has a sanctuary, and truly Allah’s sanctuary is His prohibitions. Truly in the body there is a morsel of flesh which, if it be whole, all the body is whole and which, if it be diseased, all of it is diseased. Truly it is the heart.”

      The explanation, according to the sheikh I learned this hadith under, is that there are some who know the doubtful matters (ie the scholars of Islam). Therefore, if one has a doubt, one should consult a reliable scholar and thereby avoid what is doubtful not only by staying away from such things, but also by acquiring knowledge of the matter.
      And in fact this is better than remaining unaware of the ruling said matter takes.

      Wallahu t’ala alam

    21. Mujahideen Ryder July 27th, 2007 at 9:36 am

      Abu Habiba Ismael on July 27, 2007 at 1:33 am said:

      The problem with dhikr beads are simple

      1. Most people use them thinking they are a sunnah of the Prophet, sal Allahu 3layh wa sallam.

      2. Most people use them and NEVER actually do the sunnah of counting on their fingers which was the constant practice of the Prophet, sal Allahu 3layhi wa sallam

      3. Most people who use dhikr beads think they are an “instrument” of Islam when what is obvious from the stories of the salaf is that they were used simply as a reminder of count, not as a tool in and of itself signifying remembrance of Allah.

      4. While a notted string (interesting that allegedly Abu Hurayra, radhiAllah 3nhu, used a knotted string, but everyone now doesn’t even follow that practice but has opted for pebbles.) may have been used by Abu Hurayra, radhiAllahu 3nhu, it was still NOT a sunnah of the Prophet, sal Allahu 3layhi wa sallam, EVER to use a string, beads, bones etc. to make dhikr upon. So you find muslims today clanking away on pebbles and none of them even know what the Sunnah actually is, much less implement it.

      The two conditions for an action being accepted are that 1. it is done sincerely for the sake of Allah and 2. it is in accordance with either a command of Allah or a command of His Prophet, sal Allahu 3layhi wa sallam. The Prophet ordered in the hadeeth for the dhikr to be done on the fingers.

      I don’t see what’s so hard about all this.

      The Prophet, sal Allahu 3layhi wa sallam said: “Between the Halaal and between the Haraam, are the doubtful matters so avoid the doubtful matters.”

      Bro, you hae no idea what you are talking about. I feel like doing a survey in my house (since everyone uses one) to see what they say, but I already know the answer. My favorite one is your third point. Dhikr beads as a intrument. LOL. What kind of sound does it make? Many, some salafis just blow my mind. Thanks for the laughter akhi. May Allah reward you and grant you jannah. Ameen! 😀

      JazakAllah khair Andalus! Give it to them hard. I’m even surprised that salafis still hate on dhikr beads.

    22. Imam Suhaib Webb Joins Al-Maghrib Institute [Updates: 1] | Mujahideen Ryder's Blog July 31st, 2007 at 2:11 pm

      […] Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah on Group Dhikr […]

    23. Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayyah on Group Dhikr « OliveLite March 1st, 2008 at 12:22 pm

      […] Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayyah on Group Dhikr […]

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