Loud Group Zikr – Bid’ah or Not?

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[By Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai]


While this book has been written in refutation of the honourable Mufti Radhaaul Haq Sahib’s booklet, The Status of Audible Zikr, the primary benefit of our Naseehat (viz. this treatise) is offered on page 356.

From the beginning of this book until page 355 is the Refutation. Those who are not interested in the polemical aspects of the discussion, may dispense with it and turn to page 356 [or click the link here] for the brief Summary and for the Masnoon Spiritual Programme which is of vital importance for every Muslim. Minus the practical Spiritual Programme, a close and strong Nisbat (Bond) cannot be cultivated with Allah Ta’ala. A Muslim who leads a life without a valid lawful Spiritual Programme, which is a programme devoid of bid’ah, remains mired in confusion and deception. He wastes away his life and will be shocked out of his slumber of ghaflat (indifference and oblivion) by the sudden descent of Maut on him.

That ultimate Day will be a Day of supreme regret. In the words of the Qur’aan Majeed it will be a Day when the hearts and eyes of men will be upturned.


Muharram 1429 – January 2008


This treatise, THIKRULLAH IN THE MIRROR OF THE SUNNAH, is a response to a booklet, The Status of Audible and Collective Zikr in the Light of the Sharee’ah, authored by Mufti Radhaaul Haq Sahib, and published by Khanqah Musjid Sheikh Zakariyya. The booklet is a translation of its original Urdu version.

In his booklet, Mufti Radhaaul Haq Sahib proffers copious arguments and ‘proofs’ for the permissibility of audible and collective Thikr, which is in refutation of those whom the venerable Mufti Sahib believes are subscribing to an opposite view, namely, impermissibility of Thikr bil Jahr and Ijtima’i Thikr.

Mufti Radhaaul Haq Sahib has based his entire response on the misconception that those whom he is refuting believe and propagate that Thikr bil Jahr in general (alal itlaaq) is not permissible. In fact, the tenor of his refutation evinces the inference that his opponents in this sphere are denying the very validity of Thikrullaah. Hence, he devoted 13 pages of his booklet to the ‘Benefits of Zikr’, as if those whom he is refuting do not believe in Thikrullaah. Insha’Allah, this aspect will be further addressed in the ensuing pages.

While the august Mufti Sahib has prepared his refutation, he meandered off at a wide tangent from the actual contention of those who are perceived to be in total denial of Thikr Jahr (audible Thikr). The booklet of the Mufti Sahib does not in any way whatsoever answer the charge or the contention of those who claim that the customary innovated collective loud Thikr programmes conducted in the Musaajid are bid’ah, hence not permissible. The venerable Mufti Sahib has responded to an imaginary contention which is not what is being propagated by those who are targeting the new Bareilwi-cum- Deobandi bid’ah, namely the specific form (Hait-e-Kathaaiyah) of Thikr programmes which have of recent become customary in the Musaajid in some places.

Whereas Mufti Radhaaul Haq Sahib discusses and substantiates the fadheelat (significance and benefit) of mutlaq (general) Thikrullah, the other party is in condemnation of the specific forms of innovated Thikr practices which have no basis and no origin in the Sunnah. The honourable Mufti Sahib has argued like a person who presents copious proofs to substantiate the validity, permissibility and great significance of Mutlaq Salaat in refutation of one who avers that Salaat at the time of Zawwaal is not permissible, and Nafl Salaat in jamaa’t (for Hanafis) is not permissible, and Janaazah Salaat (for Hanafis) is not permissible in the Musjid, and Nafl Salaat after the Fardh of Asr is not permissible. In refutation of this contender, copious arguments proving the validity, significance and benefits of Salaat in general are presented. Everyone will understand the incongruency of the refutation and the misdirection of the arguments which do not in any way whatsoever refute the contention that Salaat at the time of Zawwaal, etc. is not permissible.

Insha’Allah, in this treatise we shall, with the taufeeq of Allah Ta’ala, elaborate on the error of the venerable Mufti Sahib, and the futility of his exercise which does not deal with the contention that the customary forms of Thikr Jahr programmes which have surfaced recently in some Musaajid in South Africa are bid’ah and not permissible. While the Mufti Sahib has adduced evidence for the imperative need, significance and benefit of Masnoon forms of Thikr and for Mutlaq Thikr, he has failed to accredit the new Thikr customs with any Shar’i substantiation. The contention of the other party thus remains unassailed, vindicated and fully condoned by the Shariah.


Bid’ah, Sunnah, and the Basis for Rulings of the Shariah

Mufti Radhaaul Haq’s Arguments

The Views of the Scholars of Islam

The Audible Thikr Practices in the Private Khanqahs

Mufti Radhaaul Haq’s Response to Objections

The Fuqaha-e-Mujtahideen and Thikr

Ahaadith Authenticated by the Fuqaha – The Principle of Talaqqi Bi Qubool

The Ahaadith on the Superiority of Silent Thikr

Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood’s (Radhiyallahu anhu) Explicit Ruling Against Loud Group Zikr

Mufti Radhaaul Haq’s Faulty Understanding of Bid’ah

The Confusion of Mufti Radhaaul Haq Saheb

Farfetched Interpretations by the Later Ulama

The Strongest Ruling and the Baatil Ruling

Summary and Conclusion on the Issue of Loud Group Zikr

Thikrullah – The Purpose of Life


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One thought on “Loud Group Zikr – Bid’ah or Not?

  1. عبد الرحيم

    Mufti Taqi ‘Uthmaani (daamat barakaatuhum) in one of his bayaan regarding Tabeer-e-Tashreeq clearly states,

    “ In fact making Thikr silently is afdhal (superior). The thikr bil Jahr (loud thikr) which Soofiyah-e-Kiraam has sometimes advised, is as a remedy (cure for spiritual illnesses) otherwise afdhal (superior) is to make Thikr silently. ”

    May ALLAAH Ta’aalaa guide us all & keep us united on Haqque in this dunyaa. And reunite us for the Vision of HAQQUE in Jannah…aameen

    in need of your sincere du’aas…
    Jazaak-ALLAAHU Khairan…!



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