Is it permitted to gather for Dhikr (Majlis Dhikr)?

Quran

Hadith

Islamic Text

Yes, it is encouraged to gather for Dhikr (Majlis Dhikr), as it has been explicitly mentioned in a number of Hadith.

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: ” إِنَّ لِلَّهِ مَلاَئِكَةً يَطُوفُونَ فِي الطُّرُقِ يَلْتَمِسُونَ أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ، فَإِذَا وَجَدُوا قَوْمًا يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ تَنَادَوْا: هَلُمُّوا إِلَى حَاجَتِكُمْ ” قَالَ: «فَيَحُفُّونَهُمْ بِأَجْنِحَتِهِمْ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا» قَالَ: ” فَيَسْأَلُهُمْ رَبُّهُمْ، وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ مِنْهُمْ، مَا يَقُولُ عِبَادِي؟ قَالُوا: يَقُولُونَ: يُسَبِّحُونَكَ وَيُكَبِّرُونَكَ وَيَحْمَدُونَكَ وَيُمَجِّدُونَكَ ” قَالَ: ” فَيَقُولُ: هَلْ رَأَوْنِي؟ ” قَالَ: ” فَيَقُولُونَ: لاَ وَاللَّهِ مَا رَأَوْكَ؟ ” قَالَ: ” فَيَقُولُ: وَكَيْفَ لَوْ رَأَوْنِي؟ ” قَالَ: ” يَقُولُونَ: لَوْ رَأَوْكَ كَانُوا أَشَدَّ لَكَ عِبَادَةً، وَأَشَدَّ لَكَ تَمْجِيدًا وَتَحْمِيدًا، وَأَكْثَرَ لَكَ تَسْبِيحًا ” قَالَ: ” يَقُولُ: فَمَا يَسْأَلُونِي؟ ” قَالَ: «يَسْأَلُونَكَ الجَنَّةَ» قَالَ: ” يَقُولُ: وَهَلْ رَأَوْهَا؟ ” قَالَ: ” يَقُولُونَ: لاَ وَاللَّهِ يَا رَبِّ مَا رَأَوْهَا ” قَالَ: ” يَقُولُ: فَكَيْفَ لَوْ أَنَّهُمْ رَأَوْهَا؟ ” قَالَ: ” يَقُولُونَ: لَوْ أَنَّهُمْ رَأَوْهَا كَانُوا أَشَدَّ عَلَيْهَا حِرْصًا، وَأَشَدَّ لَهَا طَلَبًا، وَأَعْظَمَ فِيهَا رَغْبَةً، قَالَ: فَمِمَّ يَتَعَوَّذُونَ؟ ” قَالَ: ” يَقُولُونَ: مِنَ النَّارِ ” قَالَ: ” يَقُولُ: وَهَلْ رَأَوْهَا؟ ” قَالَ: ” يَقُولُونَ: لاَ وَاللَّهِ يَا رَبِّ مَا رَأَوْهَا ” قَالَ: ” يَقُولُ: فَكَيْفَ لَوْ رَأَوْهَا؟ ” قَالَ: ” يَقُولُونَ: لَوْ رَأَوْهَا كَانُوا أَشَدَّ مِنْهَا فِرَارًا، وَأَشَدَّ لَهَا مَخَافَةً ” قَالَ: ” فَيَقُولُ: فَأُشْهِدُكُمْ أَنِّي قَدْ غَفَرْتُ لَهُمْ ” قَالَ: ” يَقُولُ مَلَكٌ مِنَ المَلاَئِكَةِ: فِيهِمْ فُلاَنٌ لَيْسَ مِنْهُمْ، إِنَّمَا جَاءَ لِحَاجَةٍ. قَالَ: هُمُ الجُلَسَاءُ لاَ يَشْقَى بِهِمْ جَلِيسُهُمْ ”

Abu Hurairah  narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, ‘Indeed Allah (Most High) has angels that traverse the pathways seeking  the people of Dhikr. And when they find people remembering Allah (Most High), they call each other, saying, come to the object of your pursuit. He ﷺ added, then the angels encircle them with their wings up to the nearest Heaven.

He ﷺ said, so their Lord (Most High) asks them, although He (Most High) knows better than them, what are My slaves saying?’ They (the angels) reply, they are glorifying you, magnifying you, praising you and extolling you. He (Allah Most High) says, have they seen Me? The angels reply, No By Allah, they have not seen You. He (Allah Most High) says, how would it  have been if they had seen Me? They (the angels) reply, if they had seen You, they would have been more intense in worshiping You, extolling You, praising You, and exalting You.

He (Allah Most High) says (to the angels), what do they ask Me for? They (the angels) reply, they ask You for Paradise. He (Allah Most High) says, have they seen it? They (the angels) say, no By Allah, O Lord they have not seen it. He (Allah Most High) says, how would it have been if they had seen in? They (the angels) say, if they had seen it, then they would have greater covetousness for it, would seek it with greater zeal and would have greater desire for it. He (Allah Most High) says, from what do they seek refuge? They (the angels) reply, from the Fire. He (Allah Most High) says, have they seen it? They (the angels) say, no By Allah, O Lord they have not seen it. He (Allah Most High) says, how would it have been if they had seen it? They (the angels) say, if they had seen it they would flee from it more intensely and would fear it even more.

Then He (Allah Most High) says, I make you witnesses that I have forgiven them. One of the angels says, there is a person amongst them, he is not of them, but he came for a need. He (Allah Most High) says, they are such people that even those sitting with them will not be deprived.’ (Sahih al-Bukhari, 6408).

The Hadith above is one example of the Prophet ﷺ encouraging people to gather for Dhikr (Dhikr Majlis). There is, in fact, considerable evidence to support the concept of gathering for Dhikr. Imam Ali al-Qari commented on this Hadith in his Sharh of Mishkaat and clarified that there is a benefit to gathering for Dhikr.

وَفِيهِ دَلَالَةٌ عَلَى أَنَّ لِلِاجْتِمَاعِ عَلَى الذِّكْرِ مَزِيَّةً وَمَرْتَبَةً. (مرقاة المفاتيح)

And in it (the Hadith) is evidence that gathering for Dhikr has a rank, and uniqueness to it. (Imam Ali al-Qari, Mirqaat al-Mafateeh).

And Allah (Most High) Knows Best.

– Answered by Shaykh Noorud-deen Rashid (06.09.2021)

See also:

Is the Hadith of Dhikr gatherings Sahih?

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