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THE PERMISSIBLITY OF LOUD ZIKR IN THE MASJID

Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, Peace and Blessings upon His Prophet and Messenger Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), his Family and Companions. This treatise is a vindication of the permissibility of loud Zikr. This is an answer to the booklet entitled ´Impermissibility of Loud Zikr in the Masjid´ written by a certain organisation named ´International Islamic Research Institute´. That the booklet is written or authored by those who affiliate themselves with the Deobandi School of Thought is made certain as it is a reply to the writings of Moulana Abdun Nabi Hamidi against a pamphlet by Mufti A.H. Elias in which an attempt was made to suggest that loud Zikr is Haraam and an evil Bid’ah. Brief mention is also made against the celebration of Maulud-un Nabi, in response to a booklet written by Moulana Abdun Nabi Hamidi titled, ´Yes Meelad Celebration is commendable´.

Dhikr of Allah is the most excellent act of Allah’s servants and is stressed over and over again in the Holy Quran. Dhikr is the most praiseworthy act to earn the Pleasure of Allah, the most effective weapon to overcome the enemy and the most deserving of deeds in reward. It is the flag of Islam, the polish of the heart, the essence of the science of faith, the immunization against hypocrisy, the head of worship and the key of all success. Dhikr is something of tremendous importance. There is no restriction of the modality, frequency or timing of Dhikr whatsoever. The restriction on modality pertain to certain obligatory facts which are not the issue here, such as Salaah. The Shari’ah is clear and everyone knows what they have to do. Indeed, the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said that the people of Paradise will only regret one thing, not having made enough Dhikr in the world. Are those who are making up reasons to discourage others from making Dhikr, whether loud or silent, not afraid of Allah in this tremendous matter?

We have come to a time in which we hear of too much complaining about the remembrance of the Prophet’s (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) birthday, loud Dhikr being Haraam and a deviation and many other matters. We are living in a time when the enemies of Islam are destroying the Ummah of the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) from within and without, without showing any mercy. Almighty Allah is ordering the Believers: ´Hold fast to the Rope of Allah and do not separate´. (Al-Imraan:103) Yet, in this time, more than any other time, we are finding that the attacks of our enemies are not the only cause of our suffering. Within our own home, the Ummah is being attacked and harmed deeply by the people. They are not happy to fight the enemies of Islam, but instead find it necessary to fight Muslims and the community of Believers throughout the Muslim world. They have nothing to do except to find alleged faults with the beliefs of other Muslims. They take great pains to find anything that their scholars might consider doubtful as an excuse to deride and denigrate the faith of Muslims, calling them names like ´Bidati´, ´Mushriks´, ´Qabar Pujaris´, etc.

In the book, ´Impermissibility of Loud Zikr in the Masjid´, the author(s) accuse those who recite loud Zikr individually or collectively as a deviation and an act of Bid’ah. They object because it is loud and they claim that it should be silent. Finally, they accuse those who perform loud Dhikr of innovation and misguidance. In it they have not even spared their own Ulama who perform loud Dhikr, especially those who are running Sufi Khanqahs under the direction of their Sheikhs. It is regrettable, nay even tragic, that not one of their Ulama attached to these Sufi Khanqahs (affiliated to the Deobandi School of Thought) have picked up the pen in defence of loud Dhikr which perform in their Khanqahs. Perhaps, they feel it is not worth their energy being wasted to reply to such views from amongst their own school of thought. Not writing in defense will result in a direct assault on the concept of Dhikr as a whole and the consequent impact that these types of books will have on the general public.

But we should have no doubt that these types of publications have a significance which goes beyond the immediate author(s) of this booklet and that these types of publications are nothing less than the crystallization of a general hostility which cannot be ignored. Since most people are apt to be irritated by what they do not understand, any critic of this type, however crude and unintelligent his arguments may be, can be almost certain today that his writings will awaken a chorus of agreement from a large portion of the unsuspecting community, not only those who are anti-religious, but also and perhaps above all, from a certain class of Believers. This is the inherent danger to the mainstream thought of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat.

What is the position of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat on these points of objection (regarding loud Dhikr)? It is with this thought in mind that this treatise has been written - to protect the teachings of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat regarding this issue. We would like to add that this treatise was not written to cause division and discord, but rather to end the arguments revolving around this topic. Let everyone follow his heart and let us unify ourselves and keep Allah’s Order in the Holy Quran to ´Hold fast to the Rope of Allah and do not separate´.

Moulana Abdun Nabi Hamidi should be congratulated for taking up this challenge and responsibility in writing this treatise. In it, he has left no doubt as the permissibility of loud Dhikr in the Masjid and elsewhere.

Let us pray for Heavenly support for a better Islamic world in which everyone can find a place for himself or herself, based on the accepted schools of thought and the Ijtihad of scholars.

Faqir Saeed Ally Sarwari Qaderi

17 January 2000

All Praises are due to Allah Ta’ala, Choicest blessings and Salutations upon Allah’s beloved Prophet Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa (Salallaho Alaihi Wasallam), his noble family and illustrious companions (Radhi Allahu Anhum)

PROOFS FROM THE HOLY QURAN ABOUT LOUD ZIKR

The permissibility of the recitation of both loud and soft Zikr is proven with Shar’i proofs. Certainly, the recitation of soft Zikr is recommended in some conditions, and similarly, the recitation of loud Zikr is recommended in others. The discussions in this book on Zikr are based on Jahr Motawassat (medium loudness). The quotations which state that loud Zikr is Makrooh or Haraam in fact refers to Jahr Mufrat (excessive loudness), or it is attributed to Zikr which is performed to ´show off´. This type of Zikr (to ´show off´) is not part of our discussion. The recitation of the loud Zikr, which we are defending, is that Zikr which is read with a medium tone of voice.

Allah Ta’ala says in the Holy Quran: ´Then when you have completed the acts of Hajj, remember Allah as you used to remember your fathers´. (Surah al-Baqarah: 200)

Mufassireen (Commentators of the Holy Quran) say that in the era of ignorance, it was the practice of the Kufaar, that when they completed their Hajj, they would stand in front of the Ka’bah and praise their forefathers. In this Ayah, Allah Ta’ala says that they should mention Allah Ta’ala instead of mentioning their forefathers. Therefore, it is understandable that this Zikr, which is performed has to be loud so that people will be able to listen to it.

Sheikh Abdul Haq Muhaddith Dehlawi (radi Allahu anhu) says: ´Undoubtedly, loud Zikr is permissible. One of its proofs is the saying of Allah Ta’ala, ‘Remember Allah as you used to remember your forefathers’´. (Ash’atul Lam’aat, Vol. 2, pg. 278)

Allah Ta’ala says in the Holy Quran: ´Then, when you have finished your prayer, remember Allah standing, sitting and lying on your sides´. (Surah an-Nisa: 103)

Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Abbas (radi Allahu anhu) says in the commentary of this Ayah: ´One should make Allah’s Zikr during the day and at night, in water and in the dry, when travelling and when at home, in poverty and in prosperity, in sickness and in health, with softness and with loudness´. (Tafseeraat-e-Ahmedia by Mullah Jeewan, pg. 207; Durre Mansoor by Imam Suyutwi Ash Shafi’I, Vol. 2, pg. 214; Ihya ul Uloom by Imam Ghazzali, Vol. 1, pg. 301)

Allah Ta’ala says in the Holy Quran: ´Remember Me, I shall remember you´. (Surah al-Baqarah: 152)

In this Ayah, Allah Ta’ala has commanded the performance of Zikr. Allah Ta’ala did not mention any conditions with regard to the loudness or softness in the recitation of Zikr. According to the principles of Fiqh Hanafi, unconditional statements should be left as general statements and should not be made conditional. Therefore, scholars like Imam Jalalluddin Suyutwi, Sulaimaan Jumal, Khazin, and Hafiz Ibn Kaseer (radi Allahu anhum) have quoted the following Hadith-e-Qudsi in the commentary of this Ayah: ´When he (My servant) remembers Me in his heart, I remember him personally; and when he remembers Me in an assembly, I remember him in an assembly better than his´.

This Hadith-e-Qudsi endorses the recitation of both loud and soft Zikrs. Allama Sulaimaan Jumal (radi Allahu anhu) says under the commentary of the very same Ayah that, ´When he remembers Me in his heart´ it means that one should remember Allah alone even if the Zikr is loud.

PROOFS FROM HADITH SHAREEF ON LOUD ZIKR

Hadith 1: Bukhari and Muslim have reported from Abdullah Ibn Abbas. ´Abdullah Ibn Abbas (radi Allahu anhu) said that he used to know that the beloved Rasool (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has completed his Salaah when he heard the Takbeer´. (Mishkaat, pg. 88)

Explaining this Hadith Shareef, Sheikh Abdul Haq Mohaddith Dehlawi (radi Allahu anhu) says: ´The Ulama have said that the meaning of ‘Takbeer’ in the above Hadith is unconditional Zikr, as it is recorded in Bukhari and Muslim reported by Ibn Abbas that loud Zikr in the time of beloved Rasool (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) was well-known. Ibn Abbas (radi Allahu anhu) said that ‘I used to know that Salaah was completed when I used to hear the Zikr being recited aloud’´. (Ash’atul Lam’aat; Vol. 1, pg. 418)

Question: Is this Hadith not Mansookh (cancelled)? Regarding this Hadith, Hazrat Imam Shafi’i (radi Allahu anhu) has said the following: ´In my thinking, the narration of Ibn Abbas about loud Takbeer was for a short period of time to educate the people about Takbeer´. (Kitaabul Umm, Vol. 1, pg. 110)

Answer: Hazrat Imam Shafi’i (radi Allahu anhu) did not say that this Hadith Shareef is Mansookh (cancelled). He said, ´In my thinking ...´ According to the Usul of Hadith, a Hadith cannot be regarded as Mansookh just because of someone’s thinking. Imam Shafi’i himself says that if one finds any of his sayings against the Hadith, then one should throw it on the wall. How then can we regard a practice of the period of Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) as Mansookh just because of the thinking of Hazrat Imam Shafi’i (radi Allahu anhu)?

Hadith 2: In Sahih Muslim, it is reported from Abdullah Ibn Zubair (radi Allahu anhu): ´When the beloved Rasool (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) uttered the Salutation at the end of his Salaah, he used to say ‘LA ILAHA ILLALLAHO WAHDA HU LA SHARIKA LAHU’ aloud´ (Mishkaat, pg. 88)

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