As zikr, or anything else?
I understand saying "Astagh firullah" or "Subhan Allah" or "Alhamdo Lillah" are ok...
Praise be to Allaah.
There is no doubt that it is bid’ah to
mention the name of Allaah on its own or –even worse – to repeat the
pronoun “Huwa” (“He”). Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah
have mercy on him) said:
The Name of Allaah on its own, either as a
noun (“Allaah”) or a pronoun (“Huwa”) is not a complete phrase or
meaningful sentence. It has no implications to do with eemaan (faith) or
kufr (disbelief), commands or prohibitions. This was not mentioned by
anyone from the Salaf (early generations) of this ummah, and it was not
prescribed by the Messenger of Allaah
(peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him). It does not bring any knowledge to the heart or bestow any
kind of benefit upon it. All it does is give an unclear idea which is not
defined by any negation or affirmation. Unless there is previous knowledge
in a person's mind or he is in a state of mind where he could benefit from
this, he gains no benefit at all. Islam prescribes adhkaar which in and of
themselves bring benefit to the heart, without any such need for anything
Some of those who persisted in this kind of
“dhikr” ended up in various kinds of heresies and ideas of “wahdat
al-wujood” (unity of all that exists, pantheism), as has been
explained in detail elsewhere.
It was mentioned that one of the shaykhs said:
“I am afraid of dying between negation and affirmation”, but this is
not an example to be followed, because it is obviously erroneous. If a
person were to die in this state, he would die according to his intention,
because actions are judged by intention. It was reported that the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded us to tell the
dying person to say Laa ilaaha
he said, “Anyone whose last words are Laa
ilaaha ill-Allaah will enter Paradise.” If this word (Laa
ilaaha ill-Allaah) was something which required caution, why
should we tell the dying person to say something which, if he dies in the
middle of saying it, will lead to an improper death? Rather, if this were
the case, he would be told to say “Allaah, Allaah” or
Mentioning the pronoun on its own is further
removed from the Sunnah and is a worse kind of bid’ah, which is closer
to the misguidance of the Shaytaan. If a person says “Yaa Huwa, yaa
Huwaa (O He, O He)” or “Huwa, Huwa (He, He)” and so on, the pronoun
does not refer to anything except whatever his heart imagines, and hearts
may be guided or misguided.
Some shaykhs use as evidence to support saying
“Allaah” (the name on its own) the aayah (interpretation of the
‘Allaah.’ Then leave them…” [al-An’aam 6:91].
They think that Allaah commanded His Prophet to say His Name on its own,
but this is a mistake according to the consensus of the scholars, because
the meaning of the phrase “Say ‘Allaah’” is that it is Allaah Who
sent down the Book which was brought by Moosa. This is in response to the
(O Muhammad): ‘Who then sent down the Book which Moosa (Moses) brought,
a light and a guidance to mankind which you (the Jews) have made into
(separate) paper sheets, disclosing (some of it) and concealing (much).
And you (believers in Allaah and His Messenger Muhammad) were taught
(through the Qur’aan) that which neither you nor your fathers knew.’
Say: ‘Allaah (sent it down).’” [al-An’aam 6:91 – interpretation
of the meaning],
i.e., Allaah is the One Who revealed the Book which was brought by Moosa.
This is a refutation of the view of those
who said, “Nothing did Allaah
send down to any human being (by Revelation)” [al-An’aam
6:91 – interpretation of the meaning].
Allaah says: Who then sent down the Book which Moosa brought? Then He
says: Say Allaah sent it down, then leave these liars to play in their
What we have said above is further explained by
the comments of Seebawayh and other grammarians, who noted that when the
Arabs say “Qaala” (or
other forms of the verb meaning “to say”), they do not quote verbatim,
rather they state what was said, giving a complete meaning. So what
follows is a sentence with a complete meaning, or a nominal sentence or a
verbal sentence. Hence after saying “qaala”
they give a kasrah to the
particle “anna” (making
it “inna”); “qaala”
cannot be followed by a noun standing alone. Allaah did not command anyone
to mention His Name on its own, and it is not prescribed for the Muslims
to say His Name on its own. Saying His Name on its own does not enhance
faith or explain anything about the religion, according to the consensus
of the scholars of Islam; it is not enjoined in any act of worship or in
any case where Allaah addresses them.
And he (may Allaah have mercy on him)
Repeating the Name of Allaah on its own,
such as saying “Allaah, Allaah,” or the pronoun, such as “Huwa,
Huwa” is not prescribed in either the Qur’aan or the Sunnah. It is not
reported that any of the salaf of this ummah or any of the righteous
scholars who are taken as examples did this. It is only spoken by
misguided people of the later generations.
Perhaps they are following a shaykh who
had no control over himself in this regard, such as al-Shubli who, it was
narrated, used to say ‘Allaah, Allaah.’ It was said to him, ‘Why do
you not say Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah?’
He said, “I am afraid of dying between the negation [saying La
ilaaha (there is no god)] and the affirmation [ill-Allaah
This is one of the mistakes made by al-Shubli,
who may be forgiven for it because of the sincerity of his faith and the
strength of his emotions which overwhelmed him. Sometimes he would go
crazy and would be taken to the asylum, and he would shave off his beard.
There are other instances of this type in his case, which are not to be
taken as examples, even if he may be excused or rewarded for them. If a
person intends to say Laa ilaaha
ill-Allaah, and he dies before completing it, that will not
harm him at all, because actions are judged by intentions, and what he
intended to do is what will be written down for him.
It is narrated that the Prophet
blessings of Allaah be upon him) taught people various adhkaar to say, and
the best of dhikr is Laa ilaaha
ill-Allaah. This is what he urged his paternal uncle Abu Taalib
to say when he was dying. He said, “O uncle, say Laa
ilaaha ill-Allaah and I will defend you thereby before
Allaah.” And he said: “I know of a word which no one says when he is
dying but his soul finds rest in it.” And he said, “Anyone whose last
words are Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah
will enter Paradise.” And he said, “Whoever dies knowing that there is
no god except Allaah will enter Paradise.” And he said: “I have been
commanded to fight people until they bear witness that there is no god
except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah. If they do
that, their blood and wealth will be safe from me, except for what is due
from them [e.g., zakaah etc.], and their reckoning is with Allaah.” And
there are many similar ahaadeeth.
Whoever makes the Qur’aan and Sunnah his points of reference concerning his worship will not fail to distinguish right from wrong. We ask Allaah to bring us back to His religion in a gentle manner. And Allaah knows best.