Group Dhikr: Answered by Al-Imaam Ibn Al-‘Uthaymeen (rahimahullaah)
Question: The questioner is a woman with the initials ‘Ain, ‘Ain, Faa, fromin a place called Abu Sulaym. She says, “It has been related from the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – may prayers of blessing and peace be upon him) that he found a circle (i.e. gathering) of knowledge and a circle of Thikr (remembrance of Allaah), so he sat in the circle of knowledge. So is this authentic, and if it is so how were these people remembering Allaah (making Thikr) in the circle of Thikr, or what were they saying. And the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – may prayers of blessing and peace be upon him) did not prevent them, but rather he preferred the circle of knowledge. And is this considered a proof that circles of group Thikr are an innovation, along with the fact that the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – may prayers of blessing and peace be upon him) in this hadeeth – if it is authentic – he did not prohibit them from doing that, and he only avoided them?”
Answer: The Shaikh:
This hadeeth, I do not know it’s authenticity, and I do not think that it is authentic from the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – may prayers of blessing and peace be upon him). However, gathering for the sake of knowledge (i.e. learning the religion) there is no doubt that it is from the best of deeds, because the knowledge (seeking it) is a type of Jihaad (struggle, effort) in the Way of Allaah. For verily the Deen (religion of Islaam) was only established by knowledge, clarifying and explaining, and fighting in regards to whoever opposed it, rebelled against it, and did not submit to its laws. In reference to Thikr, then verily gathering also for Thikr (remembering Allaah), there is no harm in that. However, it is not the gathering which is done by some of the people of Sufism, where they gather together and mention Allaah, the Most High, in one voice collectively (in unison), or things similar to that. It is only correct if the people gather together to recite the Qur’aan, or something similar to that; for example, if someone recites and the others listen silently to him, then they go around reciting (taking turns) among themselves. So this, there is no problem with it, and there is nothing wrong with it.
Answered by Ash-Shaikh Muhammad bin Saalih Al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy upon him)
Source: The broadcast program, Noorun ‘alaa ad-Darb. http://www.ibnothaimeen.com/all/noor/article_3001.shtml
Translated by Aqeel Walker
السؤال: السائلة ع. ع. ف. من السودان أبو سليم تقول ورد عن الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه وجد حلقة علم وحلقة ذكر فجلس في حلقة العلم فهل هذا صحيح وإن كان كذلك فكيف كان يذكر أولئك الذين كانوا في حلقة الذكر أو ماذا يقولون والرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم لم يمنعهم ولكنه فضل حلقة العلم وهل يعتبر هذا دليلاً على أن حلق الذكر الجماعي بدعة مع أن الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم في هذا الحديث إن كان صحيحاً لم ينههم عن ذلك وإنما اجتنبهم؟