We begin by praising Allah سبحانه و تعالى and sending salutations on His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم. Allah سبحانه و تعالى, the Creator of the universe, the Creator of Man and Jinn has kept the contentment of the hearts in His remembrance. He states, ‘Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.’ [Sūrat l-Raʿd – Verse 28]
Dhikr is the means by which Stations yield their fruit, until the seeker reaches the Divine Presence. On the journey to the Divine Presence the seed of remembrance is planted in the heart and nourished with the water of praise and the food of glorification, until the tree of dhikr becomes deeply rooted and bears its fruit. It is the power of all journeying and the foundation of all success. It is the reviver from the sleep of heedlessness, the bridge to the One remembered. There are many forms the seed of dhikr is planted, all containing the objective of creating nearness to the One oft-remembered. However, a question arises, what does Islamic Jurisprudence say regarding Dhikr being carried out loudly and as a group? Many of the scholars of the past have discussed this, of which the following is a summary.
In short, Shariʿa has mentioned many injunctions in which there has been a textual mention of carrying out audible dhikr, such as Adhān, Iqāmah, Tathwīb, the recital of Qur’ān, Takbirāt in Ṣalāh, Takbīrat ’l-Tashrīq, greeting another believer, responding to one who sneezes and so on as mentioned by Imām Lakhnawī in his book Sibāḥat ul-Fikr. Which stand as a proof that there is permissibility of carrying out dhikr audibly, however in a general case there are a few clauses which will be discussed later.
He also records thirty nine aḥadīth of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم that indicate the permissibility of group remembrance. He then quotes numerous Ḥanafī authorities, including al-Bazzāzī, Abd al-Haqq al-Dahlawī, Khayr al-Dīn al-Ramlī, and others, who said that group remembrance is permitted.
This is also the position adopted by al-Taḥtāwī and Ibn ʿĀbidīn. In the Shafiʿ school is no consequential disagreement about the permissibility of group; it is the recorded position of al-Nawawī, Ibn Ḥajr, al-Subki, Ibn Daqīq, Ibn ʿAbd al-Salām, al-Khalili, and their other imams.
As for the clauses for carrying out this act, one must remember that Islam is a religion free from Bidʿah (innovations). However, often this term is often applied in a general sense and therefore applied contrary to its true understanding.
With regards to the Bidʿah often labelled with the case of Dhikr bil Jahr [dhikr done audibly], it is important to note that there are certain acts of worship which the Shariah has declared to be recommended (mandūb) or highly encouraged (sunnah), but without specifying a particular procedure or method for it. Rewards have been promised for various types of worship, but the actual method of implementation has not been prescribed. This method of worship has been left to the convenience of the individual.
In such acts of worship, it is necessary to leave the general permission given by the Shariah. If a particular method is fixed and considered to be superior to other methods or one believes the method to be prescribed by Shariaʿ, then this will be impermissible and classed as Bidʿah.
And Allah knows best.