Checked & Annotated
Abu Hibban & Abu Khuzaimah Ansaari
Sūfī Style Of Ḍhikr In The Masjid
Once I attended a Sūfī Ḍhikr circle at a Masjid which was located in the area where I lived. A man who had a beautiful voice came there in order to recite some poetry and eulogies to those people who were gathered there. So among the poems which he recited, I remember him saying:
“O people who know the unseen, help us, save us from harm, help us”
And various other expressions of seeking help. He was asking for help from those who are dead and who cannot hear. Even if they could hear they canʾt reply or fulfill the individualʾs request. In fact they canʾeven benefit themselves let alone others.
(T.N. During the Pre-Islamic era it is known that there were 360 idols present at the Kaʾbah which represented pious people of the past i.e. dead Awlīyāh. So they used to be called upon in times of grief or hardship. The Prophet (Sallalāhū ʾAlayhī Wa Sallam) destroyed these idols and purified the Kaʾbah from them so that people would call upon Allah alone for help instead of these idols. Sadly in the Indo-Pak countries there are individuals who people call scholars and these so called scholars still call upon the dead and idols. How strange is this! In fact one of them was Hājī Imdādullāh Makī. Once when he was present at Makkāh he called upon these 360 idols when he had a hardship. You can hear this from his own mouth, “Once I was in a difficulty and it was not being solved so I stood in the Hatīm (which is considered being inside the Ka’bah the house of Allah) and said, ʾYou have 360 pious people present here and you cannot even alleviate a difficulty for a poor weak person, so what type of illness do you cure?ʾ After I said this I started to perform Nafil Salāh. As soon as I started it a black person came and stood next to me and also performed Salāh. My difficulty went away when he came. When I finished my Salāh he also finished his and then went away.” (Karamāt Imdādīyah pg no.57))
Allah has mentioned in the Quran about these type of people that,
“(O People) those who you invoke (for help) besides Him do not possess even the skin of a date stone.If you call upon them, they cannot hear your calls. And if they were to hear, they could not respond to you (and your duas). On the Day of Judgment they will disown your worship of them. And no one can inform you (O Prophet) like the All-Knowledgeable.”
(Sūrah al-Fātir no.35, ayah no.13,14)
After the ḍhikr assembly finished I said to the Masjid’s Imām, who also participated in the ḍhikr, This does not deserve to be called ḍhikr, because I did not hear the name Allah mentioned and there was no supplication to Allah. Rather there was only calling upon (supposed) individuals who know the unseen. Who are these type of individuals who know the unseen and have the ability to also help us? So the Imām was silent and he did not respond.
Allah has refuted these type of people in the Qur’an,
“But those (false deities) you call besides Him can neither help you nor even themselves.”
(Surah al-A’raf no.7, ayah no.197)
Another time, I went to another Masjid that had a larger number of people. In the Masjid the Imām was a Sūfī Shaīkh who had many followers. After Salāh, they stood up to do ḍhikr and during it they started jumping up and down, swaying right to left, dancing and shouting really loudly with the words
Then the person who was singing approached the Shaīkh and began to dance before him and moved his body left and right like a singer or dancer. After that he started saying some lines of poetry about the Shaīkh, while the Shaīkh looked at him with with acceptance and smiling at what he was saying.
Sometimes I used to go visit this Shaīkh with my Sūfī teacher and I was familiar of his deeds.
Once he went on Hajj and on his return we went to visit him. We started listening to his journey of Hajj and he started talking about the time he was travelling in a really big American car and this was when he travelled from Makkah to Madina. He mentioned that he was travelling in luxury which he enjoyed a lot. So I said to myself, what is the benefit of talking about these things? It would have been so much better if he mentioned the spiritual and collective benefits of Hajj. Just as Allah has mentioned,
“so they may be present to obtain the benefits for themselves (from the religion such as prayer, pilgrimage and forgiveness as well as worldly benefits such as meeting Muslims from everywhere and trading for a limited period of time)…”
(Surah al-Hajj no.22, ayah no.28)