The Ibadi School, Group Dhikr, and Praise of the Blessed Prophet.

“Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet: O ye that believe! Send ye blessings on him, and salute him with all respect.” (Qur’an 33:56)

“Certainly you have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent example for him who hopes in Allah and the latter day and remembers Allah much.” (Qur’an 33:21)

In the school of Ahl Haqq Wal Istiqamah, The People of Truth and Straightness you will find circles of learning where the righteous gather and recite poetry and other praise of the Blessed Prophet (saw) as well as doing collective dhikr (group remembrance and praise) of Allah (swt).

The difference between us and Sufi who do this are many. However, let us first start by what is common. What is common is that anyone and everyone who does so insh’Allah does so in remembrance and praise of Allah (swt) declaring his absolute majesty and declaring Him (swt) free from imperfections.

“O You who believe! Make much dhikr of Allah. And declare His innocence from imperfection
by morning and evening.” (Qur’an 33: 41)

On the authority of Abu Hurayra, the Messenger of Allah said,

“Verily Allah has supernumerary angels who rove about seeking out gatherings in which Allah’s name is being invoked: they sit with them and fold their wings round each other, filing that which is between them and between the lowest heaven. When [the people in the gathering] depart, [the angels] ascend and rise up to heaven. He (saw) said, “Then their Lord asks them [about it], even though He knows better than they do how His slaves will respond. One says: “They declare Your innocence from imperfection. They declare Your greatness. They praise You. And, they declare Your majesty.” He (Allah) says: “Have they ever seen Me?” They say: “No! By Allah! They have not seen You!” Then He says: “What if they saw Me?”
They say: “If they saw You, they would be more intense in [their] service to You, more intense in
praise of You, and more intense in glorification of You.” Then He says: “What do they ask of Me?”
One replies: “They ask of You Paradise.” He says: “And have they seen it?” One replies: “No!
By Allah, O Lord! They have not seen it!” He then says: “What if they had seen it?” They say: “If
they had seen it, they’d be more intense in eagerness for it, more intense in seeking it, and greater
in their desire for it.” He then says, “Then from what do they seek refuge?” They say: “From the
Fire.” He says: “And have they seen My fire?” They say: “No! By Allah, O Lord! They have not seen
it!” He then says: “And what if they had seen it?” They say: “If they saw it, they’d be most
intense in flight from it, and more vehement in fear of it.” Then He says: “Then I make you all witness
to that I have forgiven them.” Then an angel from the angels says: “But So-and-So is amongst
them, who is not from them. He only came for some need he had!” He (Allah) responds: “They are
those who sit, with whom the one who sits doesn’t suffer misfortune.”


If one was to ask the teachers of our ummah is it permissible to exercise the body? They would tell you that it is in fact encouraged.

If one was to ask the teachers of our ummah can we go jogging with friends? They would tell you that this is a good thing.

Seeing that ibadah (worship) is everything we do than this would become a form of collective ibadah.

However, when it comes to other collective acts of worship they suddenly frown upon it.

As regards remembering of Allah (swt) in a group this is of course done every time we do a congregational prayer and it is especially done on the Friday prayer.

As regards collective worship of Allah (swt) this has a precedent in the time of the Blessed Messenger (saw).

On the day of the Eid prayers, Muslims come together to recite the takbira. And the takbira is to say,
“Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar! La Ilaha Illa Allah! Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar! Wa lillahilHamd!”

This is one form of collective worship of Allah (swt).

During the Hajj there is the reciting the Talbiya. The talbiya, being the following: “Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk! Labbaka La Sharika laka Labbak! InnalHamda wan-Ni’mata laka wal-Mulk! La Sharika lak!”

This is said in a group and it is a form of collective worship of Allah (swt).

Also, as an urf (or custom) among the Muslims when Muslims orators or speakers try to pump up the crowd, or even when a new Muslim enters into the guidance of Islam, you will often hear someone say, “Takbir” to which a crowd responds collectively, ‘Allahu Akbar’ and this too is a form of collective praise and worship of Allah (swt). It is group dhikr.

On the authority of Abu Hurayra, the Messenger of Allah said,

 “No people gather together in one of the Houses of Allah, reciting the Book of Allah and studying it among themselves, except that sakeenah (tranquility) descends upon them, and mercy envelops them, and the angels surround them, and Allah mentions them amongst those who are with Him.”


So just as praying in the masjid has more rewards than praying in your home, so does praying in a group in your home have more rewards than praying as an individual.

Praying in a group in the masjid at the time the prayer is prescribed has more rewards. Praying in Mecca or Madinah has more spiritual weight than doing so outside.

So there is nothing wrong in our school in reciting poetry and showing abundance of love for the Blessed Prophet (saw).

We simply avoid access. Do not ascribe to the Prophet (saw) qualities which are only befitting Allah (swt). This is something that is impermissible.

Those who which to participate in group nasheed and group dhikr may do so. Where it becomes problematic is if it coupled with elements that are in clear violation of the sacred law. Where it becomes problematic is when such voluntary acts of group worship are made wajib (obligatory) upon others.

The school of Ahl Haqq Wal Istiqamah does not have formal bayah (oath of allegiance) given to Shaykhs. Your oath of allegiance as a Muslim is slavehood to Allah (swt) and loyalty to the teachings of our Blessed Prophet (saw). We do not say of our teachers and shaykhs other than they are men whom Allah (swt) blessed with knowledge and piety. None of them control the universe, or the fates of others.

The idea of guilt tripping other Muslims if they do not attend such gatherings or making them feel less in their worship is outright impermissible.

Any group of Muslim brothers, or sisters who may wish to find a quite place along the beach with the ocean waves crashing down near by, or wish to find a quite place in the forest, to do dhikr alone or collectively may do so. Provided that no one is violating the sacred shari’ah. These gatherings do not need to take place like clock work every Thursday/Tuesday at this time on this day. No. They can be spontaneous.

Allah (swt) has made wajib upon us what he has made wajib upon us.

Often there are some groups with good intentions who make such gatherings wajib upon people, at certain timings and certain days, and the guilt trip individuals who do not do so even to the point of making threats or shunning such individuals. All of that is most unfortunate. You push people away from Allah (swt) when initially you invited them to Allah (swt).

The best form of worship is that which is done in private with out a single soul knowing. The only ones aware are yourself and Allah (swt).

“Call upon your Lord in humility and privately; indeed, He does not like transgressors.” (Qur’an 7:55)

“If you disclose your charitable expenditures, they are good; but if you conceal them and give them to the poor, it is better for you, and He will remove from you some of your misdeeds [thereby]. And Allah, with what you do, is [fully] acquainted.” (Qur’an 2:271) 

Most of all let every deed, act of worship rather done in private, in a group, secretly or openly be done solely and purely for the sake of Allah (swt).

Narrated Jundub:

The Prophet (saw) said, “He who lets the people hear of his good deeds intentionally, to win their praise, Allah will let the people know his real intention (on the Day of Resurrection), and he who does good things in public to show off and win the praise of the people, Allah will disclose his real intention (and humiliate him).

Source: (

Ultimately Allah (swt) has made wajib what he has made wajib. This is what every Muslim is duty bound to follow. Other than this are voluntary acts of worship. One may prefer late night vigils of solitude and others a mellifluous gathering of voices and hearts crying out in unison for Allah (swt).

What ever the act of worship, may Allah (swt) make all of it for the sake of Allah (swt) alone, sincere, pure, blessed and a means to draw closer to Allah (swt) and forsaking the pitfalls of this world. May Allah (swt) help us to rectify ourselves and may Allah (swt) guide us to what is beloved to Allah (swt).


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