Is repeating Allah, Allah in dhikr bid’ah?

Saying Allah (SWT) Allah (SWT) is Not a Bida’ah As Some Claim

by Ibn Anwar

 

Have you heard people badgering Muslims on saying “Allah (SWT) Allah (SWT)” in repetition with declarations of bid’ah, haram etc. ? I have had the unfortunate opportunity to meet these folk who would not think twice before declaring the action of saying Allah (SWT) Allah (SWT) as dhikr to be bid’ah and haram. Before I continue I would like to state that this is certainly a non issue among the people of Ahl Sunnah Wal Jama’ah. It is truly a sign of great ignorance for anyone to come up and declaim someone who calls upon Allah (SWT) with His proper name repetitively. For heaven’s sake, this should not be an issue among the Muslims! There are way more important things for us to be bickering about. However, I grow tired of people going around bashing ahl dhikr who say Allah (SWT) Allah (SWT) repetitively and besides, Allah (SWT) says His curse is upon those who doesn’t share knowledge. Due to this, we are obliged to speak up, not simply to defend ourselves but also to inform those who are uninformed or misinformed.

 

Qur’anic evidence:

قُلِ اللّهُ ثُمَّ ذَرْهُمْ فِي خَوْضِهِمْ يَلْعَبُونَ

“Say: Allah (SWT), then leave them to their playing”(6:91)

الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُمْ بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ

“Those who believe, and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah: Surely in the remembrance of Allah (SWT) hearts find satisfaction” (13:28)

وَلِلَّهِ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَى فَادْعُوهُ بِهَا وَذَرُوا الَّذِينَ يُلْحِدُونَ فِي أَسْمَائِهِ سَيُجْزَوْنَ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

“The beautiful names belong to Allah: so call upon Him by them; but shun such men as use profanity in His names: for what they do,they will soon be required.” (7:180)

وَاذْكُرِ اسْمَ رَبِّكَ وَتَبَتَّلْ إِلَيْهِ تَبْتِيلًا

“But keep in remembrance the name of your Lord and devote yourself to Him whole-heartedly(all the time).” (73:8)

The fourth verse is the best proof text for the issue. The name of your Lord is Allah (SWT) and He is commanding you to devote yourself to Him with the remembrance of His Name i.e. Allah (SWT) (Ism Rabbuka) 24/7 !

Sunnah evidence: 

The clearest of all the hadith which supports the idea of making dhikr Allah (SWT) Allah (SWT) in repetition is in Sahih Muslim, Book of Faith, Chapter 67, The Disappearance of Iman. Book 1, Number 0273:

It is narrated on the authority of Anas that verily the Messenger of Allah (SWT) (may peace be upon him) observed: The Hour (Resurrection) would not come so long as Allah (SWT) is supplicated in the world.

Book 1, Number 0274:

It is narrated on the authority of Anas that the Messenger of Allah (SWT) (may peace be upon him) said: The Hour (Resurrection) would not come upon anyone so long as he supplicates Allah (SWT).

http://www.iiu.edu.my/deed/hadith/muslim/001a_smt.html

(my uni’s site by the way lol)

You may now ask,”which of the two actually supports saying Allah (SWT) Allah (SWT)? “. Don’t worry… if you rely on these translations you will not be able to see how they actually support saying Allah (SWT) Allah (SWT) repetitively. This is Prof Siddiqi’s translation of Sahih Muslim which is spread all over the world. He has, either intentionally or unintentionally, changed the meaning of Yaqaala in the first hadith and yaqool in the next as supplicated and supplicates! Supplicate means asking for something e.g. “Oh Allah (SWT), give me long health”.

The meaning of “SUPPLICATE” :

“The act of asking for something with a very humble request or prayer” (Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary)

The Arabic word used in the first hadith which Siddiqi translated as supplicated is يقال (said) which is fi’l majhul for قل (say). I have no idea how supplicated enters the ma’na for يقال . The second hadith uses the word يقول which is fi’l al-Mudhari’ for قل . The word simply means saying.

What Siddiqi has written may serve as a commentary i.e. his interpretation of the hadiths BUT NOT as translation to the original text. His translation is truly irresponsible and makes the hadiths appear as if it’s suggesting people to make supplications to Allah (SWT) when it is actually advicing people to do dhikr with Allah (SWT) Allah (SWT). This certainly suits certain groups’ agenda(s). The following are the hadiths in their actual arabic wordings and accurate translations from Sahih Muslim, Kitab Al-Iman, The Disappearance of Iman in the End of Time:

‏لا تقوم الساعة حتى لا يقال في الأرض الله الله‏

“The Hour will not rise until Allah (SWT), Allah (SWT) is no longer said on earth”

‏لا تقوم الساعة على أحد يقول الله الله‏

“The Hour will not rise on anyone saying Allah (SWT) Allah (SWT)

(Translations by Sheikh Dr. GF Haddad)

Furthermore, it is mentioned in the foremost Sharh of Sahih Muslim by Imam Al-Nawawi:

      “Know that the narrations of this hadith are unanimous in the repetition of the name of Allah

(SWT)

    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)

Thus, it is quite clear that the two hadiths mentioned in Sahih Muslim INDEED SUPPORTS the repetition of Allah (SWT) Allah (SWT) in dhikr.

Further Sunnah evidence :

This is further indicated by the hadith Qudsi which runs:

      “Allah

(SWT)

    says: I am to my servant as he expects of Me, I am with him when he remembers Me. If he remembers Me in his heart, I remember him to Myself, and if he remembers me in an assembly, I mention him in an assembly better than his…” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri and Abu Huraira (Radi Allahu anhum ajma’een)reported that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said,

      “When any group of men remember Allah

(SWT)

      , angels surround them and mercy covers them, tranquility descends upon them, and Allah

(SWT)

    mentions them to those who are with Him.” (Narrated by Muslim, Al-Tirmidhi, Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and Bayhaqi)
      “No People mention Allah

(SWT)

      but the angels surround them, mercy covers them, tranquility descends on them, and Allah

(SWT)

    mentions them to those who are with him.” (Muslim, Al-Tirmidhi)

There is yet another hadith, as mentioned by Imam An-Nawawi in his Al-Adhkaar, wherein the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) instructed Asmaa’ bint ‘Umays (radhiya Allahu ‘anhaa) with the following,

‏أَلَا أُعَلِّمُكِ كَلِمَاتٍ تَقُولِينَهُنَّ عِنْدَ ‏ ‏الْكَرْبِ ‏ ‏أَوْ فِي ‏ ‏الْكَرْبِ
 ”Shall I teach you some words that you should say at the time of كرب Karb or in Karb (heartache, distress, gloom)? Say:‏أَللَّهُ ‏ ‏أَللَّهُ رَبِّي لَا أُشْرِكُ بِهِ شَيْئًا
“Allahu Allahu Rabbi Laa Ushriku Bihi Shay’a”Allah (SWT)! Allah (SWT)! , My Lord! I do not associate anything as a partner/co-equal with Him!

To read more on this narration, Abul Layth has written an article with the scanned proof: http://seekingilm.com/archives/134

Opponent critique :

Opponent : We do not say the mentioning of Allah (SWT) itself is bid’ah but rather the method in which it is practiced. That is to say sufis go to their mosques and gather in circles or halaqat and then start chanting Allah (SWT) Allah (SWT) Allah (SWT)… X100. Did the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) ever do this specifically? Clearly, the answer is no. **probably quotes all the hadiths on bid’ah**. So this is clearly nothing more than bid’ah and haram in our religion

Response:Assalamu’alaikum ya habibi. Okay, so you approve of saying Allah (SWT) Allah (SWT) but not if it is done in dhikr gatherings (or even solitarily) and the people therein start saying Allah (SWT) 100 times or 1000 times or 10000 times? My answer is simply, WHY NOT? I have clearly shown from both the Qur’an and Sunnah it is encouraged, nay a commandment from Allah (SWT) and His Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) to say and call upon Allah (SWT) as often and as many times as possible. What if the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) never actually said Allah (SWT) a 100 times? How does that negate its permissibility? The proofs for the permissibility are there. How can it be haram? Let me present an analogy so that you may better understand. Before I present the analogy let me ask a couple of questions first :

1.Would you agree that any positive action that is not in contradiction with established textual proofs in the Qur’an and Sunnah and indeed commanded by them are considered ‘ibadah provided it is lillahi Ta’ala as the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) said “even removing a branch from a road is ibadah”? The answer should be yes.

2.Would you also agree that it is commanded for us to be kind and care for our mothers? Need I produce the textual commands? The answer is definitely Yes. These things are common knowledge.

The analogy :

Your mother is sick and is lying down on the bed in her room. You’re there with her and you see her sweating. You then proceed to switch on the fan to cool her down, an act done out of sincerity and love for your mother and also lillahi Ta’ala. Is that ‘ibadah? The answer is yes. You are fulfilling your role as a responsible son, thus adhering to Allah (SWT) and the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS). My (rhetorical) question is, show me where the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) did specifically that which you did for your mother. Produce the specific hadith. Can you do that?

Of course you can’t! You see just because the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) did not do something specifically does not mean it’s haram. We invoke upon the first and most important qa’ida in fiqh :

“Everything is permissible unless stated otherwise by clear textual evidence”

As far as I can judge the textual evidence does actually support the repetition of Allah (SWT). I’m sure the others of Ahl Sunnah Wal Jama’ah would agree too. By the way, no scholar of Islam worth the name, ever condemned the practice of saying Allah (SWT) Allah (SWT) repetitively.

Conclusion :

I think it is quite clear that our position in this matter is firm and solid. Those who have doubt on this issue should do some serious muhaasabah and maybe try saying Allah (SWT) Allah (SWT) Allah (SWT) with a sincere heart so as to gain His mercy. Insha’Allah (SWT) you’ll receive the hidaayah to accept the practice of the jama’ah. And remember the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS)’s advice : “…be with the JAMA’AH”. Also read the article posted by Sidi Abul Layth on Bida’ah, so that you can understand that Bida’ah is that which CONTRADICTS the Sunnah. This act affirms and agrees with the Sunnah of our beloved (‘alayhis salam).

Wallahu’alam bisawab

May Allah (SWT) keep us steadfast on His deen and protect us from the dissidents and bless our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAWS), his family, his companions, and those that follow them in righteousness. Amin!

Wassalamu’alaikum.

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3 Responses to Is repeating Allah, Allah in dhikr bid’ah?

  1. Mansur says:

    MashAllah, very good answer to the ones that don’t believe in dikhr. It is worth to mention also that in Islam there are two kinds of Bid’ah: Bid’ah Say’iah and Bid’ah Hasana. If a new thing opposes the Qur’an and Sunnah then it is Say’iah, but if it is not against the Shari’ah then it is Hasanah. So if prophet s.a.w did NOT practice certain things such as driving a car or having a cellphone using the internet etc etc.. This is called Bid’ah Hasana.

  2. naz ali says:

    saying “Allah Allah repeatedly is not sunnat it’s biddat for Qur’an says to ask Allah through His Names & Attributes & NOT repeat them as imagine your name is Ahmed and someone keeps repeating Ahmed, Ahmed, Ahmed and when you reply “yes, I’m Ahmed what do you want?” But he continues “Ahmed, Ahmed, Ahmed then how will you feel? =ANGRY!!

    • orthodoxdefender says:

      You are comparing Allah to His creation. That is tajsim. Surah al-Shura, verse 11 clearly declares that, “there is nothing like unto Him”. In the article we have shown clear evidence from the Qur’an and the Sunnah and the ‘ulama that repeating Allah Allah is sanctioned by the Shari’ah. You have no case to contend otherwise.

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