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Zikr in Masjid

To Recite Loud Zikr in the Masjid and Elsewhere

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 quotation 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”. The recitation of the loud Zikr 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)

Commentators of the Holy Quran say that in the era of ignorance, it was the practice of the Kuffar, 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 Dehalwi (radi Allahu anhu) says: “Un-doubtedly, 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)

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) Hazrath 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 the dry, when traveling and when at home, in poverty and in prosperity, in sickness and in health, with softness and with loudness”. (Tafseeraat-e-Ahmedia; Ihya ul Uloom).

Allah Ta’ala says in the Holy Quran: “Remember Me, I shall remember you”. (Surah al-aqarah: 152) In this Ayah, Allah Ta’ala has commanded the performance of Zikr. Allah Ta’ala did not mention any condition s with regard to the loudness or softness in recitation of Zikr. According to the principles of Fiqh Hanafi, un conditional statements should be left as general statements and should not be made conditional.

Therefore, scholars like Imam Jalaluddin 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 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.

In a Hadith, it is said: “Abdullah Ibn Abbas (radi Allahu anhu) said he used to know that the beloved Rasool (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has completed his Salaah when he heard the Takbeer”. (Mishkaat) Explaining the Hadith Shareef, Shaikh Abdul Haq Muhaddith Dehalwi (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 Buqari and Muslim reported by Ibn-e-Abbas that loud Zikr in the time of beloved Rasool (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) was well-known. Ibn-e-Abbas (radi Allahu anhu) said that ‘I use to know that Salaah was completed when I use to hear the Zikr being recited aloud’. (Ash’atul Lam’aat)

In Sahih Muslim, it is reported from Abdullah Ibn-e-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) commenting on this Hadith Shareef, Sheiqh Abdul Haq Muhaddith Dehlawi (radi Allahu anhu) says: “This Hadith is categorical proof that Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) used to perform loud Zikr”. (Ash’atul Lam’at).

Hazrath Abu Hurairah (radi Allahu anhu) reports Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said that Allah Ta’ala says: “I am close thoughts of My servant. When he remembers Me I am with him. When he remembers Me in his heart, I remember him personally, when he remembers me in assembly, I remember him in an assembly better than his”. (Bukhari; Muslim; Mishkaat) Sheikh Abdul Haq Muhaddith Dehalwi (radi Allahu anhu) writes in the commentary of this Hadith: “There is proof in this Hadith for loud Zikr”. (Ash’atul Lam’at).

Allama Khairuddin Ramli (radi Allahu anhu) writes: “Zikr, which is performed in an assembly, has to be loud Zikr”. (Fatawa Khairia)

Hazrath Abu Qatadah (radi Allahu anhu) reports that on one evening beloved Rasool (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) went out. He passed by Hazrath Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) and found him reciting the Holy Quran in a very low tone and found Hazrath Umar’s (radi Allahu anhu) recital to be loud. The next morning, as they gathered in the company of Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) questioned their practice. Hazrath Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) replied: “Ya RasoolAllah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), I have attained my satisfaction. Whom I desired should hear my recitation, has heard me”. Hazrath Umar (radi Allahu anhu) said, “I was awakening those who were asleep and I was causing Shaytaan to flee”. The beloved Rasool (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) told Hzrath Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) to recite louder and told Hazrath Umar (radi Allahu anhu) that he should lower his tone to some extent. (Mishkaat)

It is inherent from this Hadith that Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) guided Hazrath Umar (radi Allahu anhu) from excessive loudness to medium loudness and he guided Hazrath Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) from softness to loudness.

Those who object to loud Zikr say that: “It is recorded in Fataawa Qaadhi Khaan that to recite Zikr is HARAAM, because Hazrath Ibn-Mas’ood (radi Allahu anhu) rejected a group of people from the Masjid as they were reciting La Ilaha Illallahu and Durood aloud to stop and he (Ibn-e-Mas’ood) remarked: I conclude that you are only BID’ATEES”.

It is proven from a correct narration that Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) told those Sahabah (radi Allahu anhum) who were making loud Zikr, “Have mercy upon yourselves: you are not calling upon that being who is Who is deaf or absent. You are calling upon that Being Who All-Hearing and close by, and He is with you”. There is a possibility in this Hadith that may be Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) stopped them in such a time when there was no Maslihat (expedience) in loudness, because it is proven that this was said at the occasion of war. May be loudness of the voice could have caused harm, and war is deception. For this reason it is stopped to ring the bell during war. To make loud Zikr is permissible in any case, as it happens in Azaan, Juma Khutbah and Haj. (Bazazia)

Allama Khairuddin Ramli has discussed this issue in “Fatawa Khairia” and has said: “Whatever is mentioned in Fatawa Qazi Khan, implies harmful loudness”. And he (Allama Ramli) said: “There are several Ahadith which demand loudness, and there are several other Ahadith which demand softness, and the Tatbeeq (likening) in these Ahadith will be in this way, that the loudness and softness changes according to the state of the people and the time. When there is fear of showing off and fear of interference in someone’s Salaah or sleep, then softness is preferable, because listeners benefit from it, it awakens the heart of the Zaakir (one who makes Zikr), it directs his brain toward thinking, it directs his listening towards Zikr, and it takes the sleep away and increases his pleasure”. (Fatawa Shaami)

Those who object to loud Zikr should give the Fatwa of Bid’ah and Haraam on loud recitation of the Holy Quran. Stop the assemblies of Wa’iz because those gatherings are not empty of Zikrullah. Stop the Jahri (with loudness) Salaah as well.

Imam Abu Hanifah (radi Allahu anhu) believes in the permissibility of loud Zikr generally. The maximum that can be said here is that where loudness is not proven from Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) Imam Abu Hanifah (radi Allahu anhu) does not regard the loudness as Sunnah on that occasion. This is indeed correct, but something that is not being Sunnah does not necessarily mean that it is nor permissible. Imam Abu Hanifah regards loud Zikr as being permissible “Alal Omoom” (generally), otherwise he should have not given permission unconditionally.

We do agree that the voice should not be raised in the Masjid other than for the Zikr of Allah Ta’ala. “No voice should be raised in the Masjid besides the Zikr of Allah Ta’ala.” (Fatawa Alamgiri) There are no indications of the loud Zikr being Haraam in the Masjid. The raising of the voice does not necessarily means it is the Zikr of Allah that is being conducted with a loud voice. It could mean the raising of the voice for anything other than the Zikr.

Allama Shaami (radi Allahu anhu) writes: “The past and present Ulama reached a consensus that it is Mustahab (desirable) to make loud Zikr with congregation in the Masjid or elsewhere”. (Fatawa Raddul Mukhtaar; Shaami)

Imam Qazi Khan said about loud Zikr: “(There is) nothing wrong in reciting Tasbeeh and Kalimah with the loud voice”. (Fatawa Qazi Khan) This quotation of Imam Qazi Khan shows that he is not against loud Zikr unconditionally. The prohibition from loud Zikr is attributed to excessive loudness.


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