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Question was asked:

Is it permissible to make dhikr by saying the name of Allah alone i.e. saying "Allah Allah Allah" without any accompaning phrase i.e. saying "subhaanallah, alhamdulillah,allahuakbar, la ilaha illallah." Is there consensus among ulama on this issue? If not, which prominent scholars have approved/disapproved of this?

Asta`idhu billah, Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim:

{Say: ALLAH. Then leave them to their playing} (6:91).

{Surely by mentioning ALLAH hearts become peaceful} (13:28).

From Abu Sa`id al-Khudri, the Prophet ﷺ said, upon him peace:

"No people mention ALLAH but the angels surround them, mercy covers them, tranquility descends on them, and ALLAH mentions them to those who are with Him." (Muslim, at-Tirmidhi)

From Abu Hurayra, the Prophet ﷺ said that Allah Most High said:

"I am as My servant thinks of Me and I sit with him when he remembers Me. If he mentions Me in himself I mention him in Myself. If he mentions Me in a gathering I mention him in a better gathering." (Al-Bukhari, Muslim, al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, and Ahmad)

The Prophet ﷺ said, upon him blessings and peace:

"ALLAH, ALLAH! Fear Him with regard to my Companions! Do not make them targets after me! Whoever loves them loves them with his love for me; and whoever hates them hates them with his hatred for me. Whoever bears enmity for them, bears enmity for me; and whoever bears enmity for me, bears enmity for Allah. Whoever bears enmity for Allah is about to perish!"

Narrated from `Abd Allah ibn Mughaffal by al-Tirmidhi who said: gharīb (single-routed), by Ahmad with three good chains in his Musnad, al-Bukhari in his Tarikh, al-Bayhaqi in Shu`ab al-Iman, and others. Al-Suyuti declared it hasan in his Jami` al-Saghir (#1442).

Asma' bint `Umays the wife of Abu Bakr and mother of `Abd Allah ibn Ja`far ibn Abi Talib - Allah be well-pleased with all of them! - said:

"The Messenger of Allah - upon him blessings and peace - taught me words for me to say in times of duress: 'ALLAH, ALLAH is my Lord nor do I associate with him anything!'" (Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah with a good chain)

The Prophet ﷺ upon him peace - said as narrated from Anas:

"The Hour will not rise until ALLAH, ALLAH is no longer said on the earth."

Through another chain from Anas, Allah be well-pleased with him:

"The Hour will not rise on anyone saying: ALLAH, ALLAH."

Muslim narrated both in his "Sahih," Book of Iman (belief), chapter 66 titled (by al-Nawawi): "The Disappearance of Belief at the End of Times."

Imam al-Nawawi said in his commentary on this chapter:

"Know that the narrations of this hadith are unanimous in the repetition of the name of Allah the Exalted for both versions and that is the way it is found in all the authoritative books." (Sharh Sahih Muslim, Dar al-Qalam, Beirut ed. vol. 1/2 p. 537)

Additional Remarks on the two narrations of ALLAH, ALLAH

1. Note that Imam al-Nawawi placed Anas's hadith under the heading of the disappearance of belief (iman) at the end of times although there is no mention of belief in the hadith. This shows that saying "ALLAH, ALLAH" stands for belief. Those who say it have belief, while those who don't, don't. Those who fight those who say it, are actually worse than those who merely lack belief and do not say "ALLAH, ALLAH."

2. Note that al-Nawawi highlights the authenticity of the repetition of the form to establish that the words "ALLAH, ALLAH" are a Sunna ma'thura (invocation inherited from the Prophet ﷺ and the Companions) as it stands. Ibn Taymiyya's claim that the words must not be used alone but _obligatorily_ in contruct, e.g. with a vocative form ("Ya Allah") is therefore an innovation departing from the Sunna.

3. One who knows that the dhikr "ALLAH, ALLAH" has been mentioned by the Prophet ﷺ himself, is not at liberty to muse whether it was used by the Companions or not in order to establish its basis. It suffices for its basis that the Prophet ﷺ said it! Sami`na wa-Ata`na!

4. One who knows that "ALLAH, ALLAH" is a dhikr used by the Prophet, is not at liberty to object to similar forms of dhikr such as HU and HAYY and HAQQ. { "To Allah belong the most beautiful names, so call Him by them" } (7:180). Moreover, it is established that Bilal used to make the dhikr "AHAD, AHAD" while undergoing torture. As for the hadith of the ninety-nine Names, it does not limit the Names of Allah to only ninety-nine, as al-Nawawi made clear in his commentary of that hadith.

5. Note that the Siddiqi translation of Sahih Muslim, which is almost as flawed as the Khan translation of Sahih al-Bukhari, mistranslates the first as: "The Hour (Resurrection) would not come so long as Allah is supplicated in the world" and the second as "The Hour (Resurrection) would not come upon anyone so long as he supplicates Allah."

This is wrong as translation goes, although it is right as a commentary, since saying "ALLAH, ALLAH" is supplicating Him, as is all worship according to the hadith of the Prophet: "Supplication: that is what worship is." (Tirmidhi and others narrate it.) However, concerning accuracy in translation, the word form highlighted by al-Nawawi must be kept intact in any explanation of this hadith. It is not merely "supplicating Allah". It is saying: "ALLAH, ALLAH" according to the Prophet's own wording, upon him peace.

6. The fact that an alternate version exists in Musnad Ahmad with the words "LA ILAHA ILLALLAH" instead of "ALLAH, ALLAH" in no way cancels out the wording in Muslim. We do not leave a wording in Sahih Muslim for a wording in Musnad Ahmad nor do we make TA`TEEL and TA'WEEL of an established, explicit, and authentic Nass which, furthermore, confirms the letter of the Glorious Qur'an!

7. Imam al-Nawawi's daily devotion (Wird) uses the dhikr ALLAH, ALLAH!

And Allah knows best.

Shah Naqshband said: "This Path is built upon breath," meaning God-consciousness, death to the world, presence of heart, and the remembrance of ALLAH with every breath. May Allah sanctify his secret and benefit us with him.

"During the average human lifespan, a person will breathe 500 million times." Dr. Adel M.A. Abbas, _His Throne Was on Water_ (p. 81).

Sahl al-Tustari said - Allah be well-pleased with him:

"There are three types of eaters: one eats light and faith from the start of his food to the end; one eats nothing but food; and one eats garbage (sirjeen). The first one names ALLAH at the beginning, remembers Him with every bite, and thanks Him at the end; the second one names Him at the beginning and thanks Him at the end; the third one neither names Him nor thanks Him nor remembers Him."

Imam al-Ghazzali said in Ihya' `Ulum al-Din (3:19-20), Quarter on Muhlikaat, Book on Wonders of the Heart, Chapter on "The Difference between inspiration and learning," describing dhikr:

[Slightly amended from Orfan Rabbat's unpublished translation of al-Khani's al-Bahja al-Saniyya fi Aadaab al-Tariqat al-Naqshbandiyya]

"He secludes himself, doing no more than the obligatory worships (faraa'id) and their non-obligatory additions (rawaatib), does not distract his thoughts (while per- forming the following dhikr) by reciting the Qur'aan, nor by reflecting about Tafseer, books of Hadeeth or other subjects. On the contrary, he makes an effort that none but Allah Ta`aala crosses his mind.

"So after sitting in seclusion, he persists in continuously saying with the tongue "ALLAH, ALLAH" with presence of heart until he ends up in a state where he quits moving the tongue and sees as if the word is (still) running over his tongue. Then he perseveres until its traces disappear from the tongue yet he finds his heart continuing the Dhikr.

[This Dhikr of the heart is the Dhikr of the Naqshbandi Path. The explanations about dhikr that follow are identical to those of the Naqshbandi Path.]

"Then he perseveres with this (Dhikr of the heart) until are erased from the heart the image of the expression ('ALLAH'), its letters, and the form of the word, while the meaning of the word remains alone in his heart, present therein, as if established in the heart and not leaving it.

"He has the choice to reach this limit and the choice to preserve this state by repelling away waswasah (and all thoughts) but he has no choice (after that) in acquiring Allah's Mercy (which might come then): he became, as a result of what he did, exposed to the bestowing breezes of Allah's Mercy! So what remains is but to wait for what Mercy Allah may open up, as He opened it up upon the Prophets and Awliya' in this manner.

"Then, if his resolve (irada) is truthful and his determination pure, and if he perseveres well, such that his desires do not keep attracting him and his internal prattle about worldly bonds does not distract him, then the brilliances of truth will shine in his heart!

"This will initially be unstable like swift lightning. Then it will return, and may delay. If this returns, it may persist and it may also be short. And if it persists, it may be for a long while, and it may be for a short duration. Similar but different states may follow each other, or it may only be one type, and the levels therein of Allah's Awliya' (beloved ones) are countless just as their individual natures and moral features are countless.

"Thus this method goes back to - sole purification, cleansing and polishing on your part, - then followed only by readiness and waiting."

In his Hashiya, Ibn `Abidin said about group Dhikr, "Imam al-Ghazzali compared doing dhikr alone and the dhikr of a group to the adhan of someone alone and the adhan of a group. He said, 'As the voices of a group of mu'adhdhins reach farther than the voice of a single mu'adhdhin, so the dhikr of a group on one heart has more effect in lifting dense veils than the dhikr of a single person.'"

In his Hashiya, al-Tahtawi said: "Al-Sha`rawi stated that Scholars early and late agree that it is recommended to remember Allah Almighty in a group in the mosques and elsewhere without any objection unless their dhikr aloud disturbs someone sleeping, praying, or reciting the Qur'an, as is confirmed in the books of fiqh."

Yes, al-Nabulusi, al-Lacknawi, and al-Gangohi said there is disagreement in the Hanafi position over loud dhikr (al-dhikr al-jahri) in the mosque ranging from ja'iz - permissible - to makruh, to haram, and the correct position according to Imam al-Lacknawi is that it is ja'iz as stated in the Fatawa Khayriyya. This is also the position of al- Shurunbulali, Kayr al-Din al-Ramli, al-Nabulusi, Ibn `Abidin, Gangohi, and others, Allah have mercy on them.

In this respect the correct Hanafi position is in line with that of the other Three Schools wal-Hamdu lillah.

As for the mention that the Faqih and Sufi Shaykh, Sidi Ahmad al-Zarruq (d. 846) disapproved of the Hadra - the standing moving Dhikr practiced by Shadhilis - that, surely, was in his first phase, when he disapproved of many aspects of tasawwuf on the grounds of external knowledge. In his second and final phase there is no such disapproval. Ibn `Ajiba narrates from his Shuyukh's Shuyukh concerning Sidi al-Zarruq that in Tariqa he was an Imam, but not in Haqiqa and Dhawq - until very late in life: "He was not granted an opening (fat-h) until the last part of his life and almost parted with it empty- handed, hence his frequent objections to the people of Nisba and his hard stances and criticism of them" as stated in al- Talidi's al-Mutrib (p. 152) and "I heard Mawlay al-`Arabi al- Darqawi al-Hasani - radyAllahu `anh - say: Shaykh Zarruq among the people of external knowledge is something big, but among the people of internal knowledge he is something small... And among the Awliya those of the upper levels know those below them, not the reverse."

As for the mawquf report of Ibn Mas`ud that some adduce against the permissibility of collective dhikr in mosques, this report is inauthentic:

Amr ibn salmah said: We used to sit in front of Abdullah Ibn Masoud's house before the Fajr prayer, so that when he came out we would go with him to the Masjid. {one day} Abu Moosa al-Ash'aaree came and asked us: 'Did Abu Abdur Rahmaan (i.e. Ibn Masoud) leave yet? ' We answered: 'No.'

So Abu Moosa al-Ash'aaree sat with us waiting for him. When he came out, we all stood up. Abu Moosa told him: "Oh, Abu Abdur Rahmaan! I recently saw something in the Masjid which I deemed to be evil, but all praise is for Allah, I did see anything except good " Ibn Masoud then asked: "then What was it?"

Abu Moosa said: "You will see it if you stay alive. In the Masjid, I saw a group of people sitting in circles waiting for the Salāāh. Each circle is led by a person. And every person in these circles carries small stones (pebbles).

The leader of a circle would say: "Say 'Allah-u Akbar' a hundred times" so they would repeat Allah-u Akbar a hundred times; then he says "Say 'Laa ilaaha illallaah', a hundred times" so they would say Laa ilaaha illallaah a hundred times; then he would say: "Say 'Subhaanallah', a hundred times", they will say Subhana Allah a hundred times.

Then Ibn Masoud said: "What did you tell them?"

He said: 'I didn't say anything, I waited to hear your opinion."

Abdullah Ibn Masoud said: "Could you not order them to count their evil deeds, and assured them of getting their rewards."

Then Abdullah Ibn Masoud went ahead and we accompanied him. As he approached one of the circles, he said: "What is this that you are doing?"

They said: "Oh! Abu Abdur Rahmaan, these are pebbles to count the number of times we say Allah-u Akbar, La ilaaha Illallah, and Subhaanallah."

He said: "Count your evil deeds, and I assure you that you are not going to lose anything of your rewards (Hasanat). Woe unto you, people of Muhammad, how quickly you go to destruction! Those are your Prophet's companions available, these are his clothes not worn out yet, and his pots are not broken yet. I swear by Whom my soul is in His Hands that you are either following a religion that is better than the Prophet's religion or you are opening a door of misguidance." They said: "We swear by Allah Almighty, oh, Abu Abdur Rahmaan, that we had no intention other than doing good deeds." He said: "So what? How many people wanted to do good deeds but never got to do them? The Prophet of Allah ﷺ has told us about people who recited the Qur'ān with no effect on them other than the Qur'ān passing through their throats. [I.e. You are Khawarij]...

Al-Darimi in the Muqaddima of his Sunan, narrated from al-Hakam ibn al-Mubarak who narrates from `Amr ibn Salima al-Hamadani. This `Amr ibn Yahya ibn `Amr ibn Salama al- Hamadani is da`if. Ibn Ma`in saw him and said: "his narrations are worth nothing"; Ibn Kharrash: "he is not accepted; al-Dhahabi listed him among those who are weak and whose hadith is not retained in al-Du`afa' wal-Matrukin (p. 212 #3229), Mizan al-I`tidal (3:293), and al-Mughni fil-Du`afa' (2:491); and al-Haythami declared him weak (da`if) in Majma` al-Zawa'id, chapter entitled Bab al-`Ummal `ala al-Sadaqa.

Further, its authenticity was questioned by al-Suyuti in al-Hawi (2:31); al-Hifni in Fadl al-Tasbih wal-Tahlil as cited by al-Lacknawi, Sibahat al-Fikr (p. 25 and 42-43).

Further, it is belied by Imam Ahmad's narration in al-Zuhd from Abu Wa'il who said: "Those who claim that `Abd Allah [= Ibn Mas`ud] forbade dhikr [are wrong]: I never sat with him in any gathering except he made dhikr of Allah in it." Cited by al-Munawi in Fayd al-Qadir (1:457), al-Suyuti in Natijat al-Fikr fil-Jahri bil-Dhikr in al-Hawi, al-Nabulusi in Jam` al-Asrar (p. 66), al-Hifni in Fadl al-Tasbih wal- Tahlil as cited in al-Lacknawi, Sibahat al-Fikr (p. 25).

In addition, the Prophetic narrations affirming loud dhikr are sahih and innumerable, and definitely take precedence over a mawquf Companion-report even if we were hypothetically to consider it authentic.

Naysayers mention other pseudo-evidence against loud dhikr, all weak, such as the hadith "The best Dhikr is soft, and the best sustenance is what is sufficient," "One silent du`a is seventy times more superior than one loud du`a," and other da`if and maqtu` reports for which we are supposed to leave Qur'an and Sahih evidence and the understanding of the Imams!

A final note:

"It is better for one to mention Allah once, pray one prayer, or recite one Sura or the like of that with the state of the Shari`a of Muhammad SallAllahu `alayhi wa-Alihi wa-Sallam than to do it a thousand times with the blameworthy state which is intense thirst for this world and devotion to idle talk, and absorption in misguidance. Allah save us!" Shaykh `Arabi al-Darqawi.

Our Master, the light of our eyes, the treasure of this world, Mawlana al-Shaykh Nazim said in the talks titled FROM DUNYA TO MAWLA:

"First condition for protection is to believe in God, and second to continue worshipping. Run and put your prayer-carpet, pray, make Dhikr and glorify the Lord. No protection now except that. Even whole armies can't protect one single person.

"Angels glorify without tiring, and they are fed by it. The power of one angel is enough to carry away the power of whole mankind; that special power may stop everything in a moment. One spiritual person may carry away all nuclear weapons in one moment.

"We don't fear a nuclear war. It is not going to be as they like and think, because the control is in the hands of a wali. The world is under heavenly control. On every bomb there is a jinn. People think they are controlling, but they control nothing. There are the 5 Qutubs, and they control.

"Allah likes and orders to be glorified. It gives power and peace to you. Try to say more: La ilaha ill'Allah, say: ALLAH, ALLAH, make Salawat [invocations of blessings on the Prophet].

"Try to give more time of your day to reach to spiritual power. Every worshipping and Dhikr helps, giving you more love for the Lord, and real life comes through love. Saints say: people without love are like dead ones walking on earth.

"Love is life, light and our perfection. As much as your love is growing, you live more enjoyful, happy. The main purpose of tariqats is to train people to make Dhikr, so that they may take support and power from it.

"Time of Qiyama approaching now. Hundreds of signs appeared, and one of them is that people leave glorification of the Lord. And sufferings rain on them. Then they ask treatment by drugs.

"All illnesses go away by glorifying the Lord. Through your love for the Lord you will reach health, pleasure and happiness here and hereafter."


Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad

[14 May 2003]







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LuD: 2003-05-15