CONSPECTUS OF THE DALAA-IL
The reader may feel lost and confused with the numerous arguments and counter-arguments scattered throughout this treatise. It is therefore prudent to compile in summary form all the dalaa-il (proofs) which substantiate the Shariah’s Ijmaa’ (Consensus) on the afdhaliyyat (superiority) of Thikr-e-Khafi (Silent Thikr).
These dalaa-il will also confirm the secondary nature of Thikr-e-Jahr (Audible Thikr), as well as the impermissibility of loud Thikr on certain occasions and instances.
(1) “It is Makrooh to make dua during the month of Ramadhaan when making Khatam of the Qur’aan, as well as when a group makes khatam of the Qur’aan (i.e. at any other time). Faqeeh Abul Qaasim As-Sifaar (rahmatullah alayh) said: “If it was not for the fear that the people of this city would say: ‘He prevents us from dua’, then most assuredly, I would have prevented them from it.”
The reference is to congregational dua after khatam of the Qur’aan Majeed has been made.
Al-Muheetul Burhaani is a voluminous kitaab (25 Volumes) occupying a very lofty pedestal in Hanafi Fiqh. It was compiled by the fifth century Imaam Burhaanuddeen Abil Ma-aali Mahmood (rahmatullah alay). It is an elevated compilation consisting of the Masaa-il and their Dalaa-il of the Fuqaha-e-Mutaqaddimeen such as Imaam Abu Hanifah, Imaam Abu Yusuf, Imaam Muhammad (rahmatullah alayhim) and others.
While the Compiler is of the fifth Islamic century, the Masaa-il are those of the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen and Fuqaha-e-Mutaqaddimeen of the first Islamic century. Nothing can supersede the Rulings of these Ulama belonging to the highest echelon of Fuqaha after the Sahaabah.
(2) “If the Muthakkir (the lecturer) on the mimbar recites Ma’thoor (Masnoon) duas, (audibly) and the people follow him in reciting these (Masnoon) duas, then if the purpose is to teach them (how to recite the duas), there is nothing wrong. However, if the purpose is not for the ta’leem of the people, then it is Makrooh, for verily, doing so is bid’ah.” (Al-Muheetul Burhaani)
The khutbah here does not refer to the Jumuah Khutbah. It refers to a lecture/bayaan.
(3) “Imaam Muhammad (rahmatullah alayh) narrated in As-Siyarul Kabeer from Imaam Hasan (rahmatullah alayh) that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) abhorred (regarded as Makrooh) raising the voice at the time of reciting the Qur’aan and at the time of the Janaazah.
Qais Ibn Ubaadah narrates that Ubaadah said: ‘Verily, the Ashaab of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) detested (regarded as Makrooh) raising the voice by the Janaa-iz and at the time of Thikr.’ In the Hadith of Hasan, instead of Thikr, the word, qiraa’t of the Qur’aan is used. There is no conflict between the two because, verily, the term Thikr includes dua, tasbeeh, tahleel, wa’z and qiraa’t of the Qur’aan. In fact, qiraa’t of the Qur’aan is the noblest of Athkaar. Allah Ta’ala says: ‘And, the Thikr of Allah is the Greatest.’ ”
(4) “Verily, the Sunnah in duas is Ikhfa’ ”. (Al-Muheetul Burhaani)
(5) “If the meaning of raising the voice at the time of Thikr means dua, then most certainly is Makrooh, for verily, the Asal in duas is Ikhfa’, and also because in it (audibility) is riya (show/ostentation). Precisely for this is it Makrooh to raise the voice with tasbeeh and tahleel.”
And, if the meaning of the word Thikr (in this context) is wa’z (lecture), then it does not mean the raising of the voice of the waa-iz (lecturer). It will mean the raising of voices by the audience with tahleel, tasbeeh and durood when the lecturer mentions the name of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Verily, it has been authentically narrated that it was reported to Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) that a group of people had gathered in the Musjid, and they were reciting tahleel and durood on Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) while raising their voices. Then Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) went up to them and said: “We did not practise this during the time of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). I deem you to be mubtadieen (innovators).’ He continued repeating this until he expelled them from the Musjid.”
And if the meaning of the word, Thikr (in this context) is reciting the Qur’aan, then verily, it is Makrooh to raise the voice with qiraa’t.”
(6) “Jahr with Takbeer is known by (the Nass of) the Shariah which is in conflict with the primary principle viz. ‘Verily, the Asal in athkaar and ad-iyyah (duas) is Ikhfa’.
(7) “It is narrated from Ash-Shaikh Imaam Faqeeh Abi Ja’far (rahmatullah alayh): ‘I heard that verily our (i.e. the Ahnaaf) Mashaaikh regarded Takbeer Tashreeq (i.e. its recitation audibly) in the market-places bid’ah. And Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala knows best.”
(8) Allaamah Kaasaani (rahmatullah alayh) records in his Badaaius Sanaai’: “According to Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh), raising the voice with takbeer is bid’ah, for verily it is a Thikr, and the primary principle in athkaar is Ikhfa’ by virtue of Allah’s qaul: “Call unto your Rabb with humility and in silence”, and by virtue of the qaul of Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam): “The best dua is the silent dua.”
Allaamah Alaauddeen Abu Bakr bin Mas’ood Kaasaani (rahmatullah alayh) was a Faqeeh of the fifth Islamic century.
(8) “Verily, jahr with takbeer is bid’ah.” (Hidaayah)
(9) “Ibn Humaam said: ‘The Asal in Athkaar is Ikhfa’ and jahr is bid’ah.” (Fathul Qadeer)
(10) “Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh) said: ‘Raising the voice with Thikr is bid’ah because it is in conflict with the qaul of Allah Ta’ala, viz., ‘Make the Thikr of your Rabb in your heart with humility and silence, and with a voice less than jahr.”
(11) “The takbeer shall not be recited audibly. The reason for this being: “Verily, the Asal in Thikr is Ikhfa.’, on the basis of the qaul of Allah Ta’ala, viz., ‘Call unto your Rabb with humility and in silence’, and because of the qaul of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam): ‘The best Thikr is Thikr-e-Khafi.’………..Verily jahr is in conflict with the Asal (Principle of Imaam Abu Hanifah).” (Ghaayatul Bayaan)
(12) “Raising the voice with Thikr is haraam. Verily, it has been authentically reported that Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) heard that a group of people had gathered in the Musjid…….(the same narration of innovators and their expulsion).”
(Fataawa Qaadhi Khaan)
(13) “Jahr with takbeer is bid’ah at all times except on occasions of exceptions (made by the Shariah). And Qaadhi Khaan has categorically declared jahr with takbeer to be Makrooh, and the Author of Al-Musaffa has concurred (with him).” (Al-Bahrur Raai-q)
(14) “Tabari said: ‘In it (the Hadith) is the Karaahat of raising the voice with Thikr and dua. And this is what the generality of the Sahaabah and Taabieen say.’ ”
(Irshaadus Saari of Qustulaani)
(15) “And according to what has been reported by As-Suyuti, Ibn Majah and Nisaai’ have also narrated this. This Hadith indicates that it is Makrooh to raise the voice with Thikr. Now even if it is not haraam, then at least it will not be less than Makrooh.” (Sabaahatul Fikr)
(16) “Imaam Maalik and his Ashaab said that all these acts (of jahr and congregation in the Musjid) are Makrooh because the Salaf (Sahaabah and Taabieen) did not practise these acts. (These practices are also Makrooh) so that the avenue and means for bid’ah remains closed to ensure that there be no excess in the Deen, and abandonment of the clear Haqq. Verily, that which Imaam Maalik and his companions had feared has assumed reality in our time.” (Sabaahatul Fikr)
(17) “In this Hadith is the indication for the permissibility of jahr without doubt although Ikhfa’ is afdhal.” – Shaikh Dahlawi in Sharhul Mishkaat. (Sabaahatul Fikr)
(18) “There is no doubt in the fact that Sirr (silence) is superior (afdhal) to jahr…….’ The Mustahab according to us (the Ahnaaf) is silence in Athkaar.” – An-Nihaayah
(19) “The Hadith: “The best Thikr is Khafi (silent Thikr)”, indicates the afdhaliyyat of silent Thikr, and there is no dispute in this fact.” (Sabaahatul Fikr)
(20) “When the people recite takbeer (audibly) after Salaat, verily, it is Makrooh and bid’ah. When they recite takbeer (audibly) in the Musaajid of the Ribaat when there is no fear (of the enemy), then it is Makrooh.”
(21) Qur’aanic recitation is Mustahab only if one person recites after another person has recited, not collectively as the Egyptians and Syrians have innovated. (One person should recite while the others should listen. Then another person should recite, and the others should listen.). Verily, Ibnudh Dhiyaa’ from our Ulama has explicitly said that raising the voice in the Musjid even with Thikr is haraam.” (Irshaadus Saari – Manaasik Mulla Ali Qaari)
(22) The aayat of the Qur’aan (in Surah A’raaf) is Nass for Ikhfa’ being Mustahab. (Jaami’ Li Ahkaamil Qur’aan of Qurtubi)
(23) Silent Dua is afdhal. Thikr-e-Khafi is afdhal. (Ma-aariful Qur’aan)
(24) Thikr jahr is permissible, but Thikr Khafi is Aula. (Kifaayatul Mufti)
(25) Ikhfa’ in Dua is preferable (Mustahab).(Al-Mabsoot)
(26) “It has been deducted on the basis of this aayat that Ikhfa’ in Thikr is afdhal. The Hadith narrated by Imaam Ahmad supports this.” (Ruhul Ma-aani)
All Authorities of the Shariah from the time of the Sahaabah, are unanimous in having proclaimed the afdhaliyyat (superiority and preferability) of Thikr-e-Khafi.
From the Dalaa-il on the issue being disputed, the following are the conclusions:
(a) The ruling pertaining to jahr ghair mufrit (moderate audibility – not shouting and screaming) varies between haraam and mubah (permissible). Some authorities say that it is haraam; others say, bid’ah; some say, Makrooh; some say permissible.
(b) According to the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen there appears to be consensus on haraam and bid’ah except where the Shariah has made exceptions. The exceptions are made by the determinant termed Daleel Mukhassis. Only Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had the right to make such exceptions, hence Thikr bil jahr individually in privacy is permissible.
(c) The plethora of differences which has created a quagmire in which many Ulama flounder, unable to arrive at a conclusion, exist among the Ulama who came many centuries after the age of the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen. The unequivocal and unanimous view of hurmat (prohibition) has cast the later Ulama into a quandary. In the endeavour to be extricated from the quagmire, a variety of interpretations has been produced. Most, if not all, of these interpretations only serve to complicate the quagmire.
Most of the interpretations are untenable, both rationally and irrationally (Aqlan wa Naqlan). Some interpretations, e.g. the assertion that Imaam Abu Hanifah’s principle refers to jahr-e-mufrit, are absolute drivel irrespective of who fabricated it.
(d) There exists an incontrovertible consensus (Ijma’) on the afdhaliyyat (superiority) of Thikr-e-Khafi. Whoever has ventured a contrary opinion has failed to crack or dent the Consensus. The contrary opinion of the stragglers is pure opinion devoid of Shar’i substance.
(e) All the Sufi Mashaaikh of the Four Silsilahs, despite their remedial and peculiar practices of jahr in their khaanqahs, are unanimous in upholding the afdhaliyyat of Jahr-e-Khafi.
(e) The view of afdhaliyyat of Thikr-e-Jahri propounded by Mufti Radhaaul haq Sahib is a palpable fallacy, and his view of the permissibility of collective loud Thikr performances in the Musaajid is a greater fallacy and in diametric contradiction of all the Dalaa-il of the Shariah. Such public performances are bid’ah and haraam.
THE SHAAFI’ MATH-HAB
Regardless of the considerable flailing of their arguments by the collective loud Thikr group, the official and authoritative view of the Shaafi’ Math-hab is on the Istihbaab and Afdhaliyyat of Thikr-e-Khafi.
“The Jamhoor Hanafi and Shaafi’ Fuqaha have explicitly stated that jahr with Thikr is not Sunnat after Salaat. On the contrary, Sirr is. It is mentioned in Nisaabul Ihtisaab: ‘If they recite takbeer aloud after Salaat, it is Makrooh, for verily it is bid’ah except on the occasion of Nahr and the Days of Tashreeq.’
Ibn Battaal and others have narrated that the Authorities of the (Four) Math-habs are unanimous that it is not Mustahab to raise the voice with Thikr. Imaam Shaafi’ has interpreted this Hadith (regarding jahr) to mean that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had made jahr for a short while. He did not make jahr permanently.”
(Sharhul Muslim, Ihkaamul Ahkaam,
Sabaahatul Fikr, etc.)
Some Ulama have presented the view of Thikr-e-jahr being preferable in some instances. It should be noted that this preferability is confined to Thikr made in solitude. It is not related to Thikr in public places such as Musaajid. A person in the solitude of his home or in the wilderness is permitted to engage in Thikr-e-jahr which is not inordinately loud. This ‘preferability’ does not apply to Thikr made in the Musjid or anywhere in the public. The Khaanqah is in the category of a private venue.
Thikr-e-Khafi is mandatory in public places, hence Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh) and the Fuqaha-e-Mutaqaddimeen explicitly and emphatically ruled:
“Raising the voice in the Musjid is haraam even if it be With Thikr.”
For easy grasping and comprehension of readers, it is best that we summarize the salient features of this treatise.
(1) The venerable Mufti Radhaaul Haq Sahib, in his booklet, embarked on the exercise of proving the validity, permissibility and superiority of the Ijtimaai’ (Congregational) loud Thikr practices performed in the Musaajid. This is bid’ah which is on the rise as a direct consequence of the practices of members of even the Deobandi School.
(2) In the endeavour to validate the public bid’ah performances, the Mufti Sahib was constrained to unnecessarily establish a basis for the permissibility of loud Thikr because such Thikr constitutes an integral ingredient of the public performances. Since there is hardly any opposition to Thikr bil jahr per se, the laborious efforts of the Mufti Sahib in his booklet are really superfluous and redundant.
(3) In his bid to prepare a basis for the public performances, the Mufti Sahib lost his bearings and irrationally and emotionally struggled to prove that loud Thikr is in fact superior and better than Thikr-e-Khafi. His opinion is in conflict with all the Dalaa-il of the Shariah.
(4) The Mufti Sahib has exceeded the bounds of propriety in scholarly dissertation and presentation of rational and Shar’i argument, by ignoring the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen and the sacred Shackles of Taqleed which he purports to be donning. He has attempted to disprove the clear-cut and emphatic rulings of the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen by looking over their shoulders, digging out Ahaadith and presenting the interpretations of Ulama who appeared centuries – 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 centuries after the era of the Sahaabah and Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen. While these Ulama proffer a variety of interpretations, they generally are unanimous in the view that Thikr-e-khafi is fundamentally afdhal.
(5) The venerable Mufti Sahib has grievously erred in relying for ‘proof’ on the views of the centuries later Mufassireen and the Khaanqah practices. But none of these has any standing in the area of Shar’i Dalaail.
(6) It has been shown beyond any doubt in this treatise that the collective loud Thikr programmes conducted in the Musaajid are bid’ah, hence not permissible to participate in.
(7) The final word for the Muqallid, be he a Mufti A’zam or an Allaamatud Dahr or a Bahrul Uloom, or a Qutbuz Zamaan or a Saahib-e-Kashf wa Ilhaam, is the ruling of his Math-hab. The rulings of the Math-hab are not inferred and acquired from the practices of the Sufis in their Khaanqahs nor from the interpretations of centuries later Mufassireen, nor from the Muhadditheen such as Imaam Bukhaari, Imaam Muslim and others , all of whom have no status in relation to the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen who were the highest class of Fuqaha after the Sahaabah. They occupied the loftiest stations in the firmament of Ilm-e-Wahi (the Knowledge of Revelation). Lamentably, the venerable Mufti Sahib had not deemed it appropriate to submit to these illustrious Souls.
His attitude of elevating the Mufassireen and the Khanqah practices and fixing these as his primary basis is deplorably inconsistent with the Mantle of Ilm.
Thikr bil jahr (audible Thikr) in solitude and privacy is permissible.
Thikr bil jahr-e-mufrit (shouting and screaming) even in solitude is not permissible’
Thikr-e-Khafi (inaudible Thikr) is superior and better than audible Thikr.
Ijtimaa’i (congregational) Thikr in the Musaajid is bid’ah, hence not permissible.