Is there a Hadith saying make Dhikr like you are mad (insane)?

ⓘ Supported by Al Medina 313.



Islamic Text

The wording of the Hadith is not ‘make Dhikr like you are mad.’ Rather it states, ‘Be abundant in the Dhikr of Allah (Most High) until they say, insane.’ This Hadith is either weak or very weak, there is some difference amongst Hadith scholars.

حَدَّثَنَا حَسَنٌ، حَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ لَهِيعَةَ، حَدَّثَنَا دَرَّاجٌ، عَنْ أَبِي الْهَيْثَمِ، عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ، عَنْ رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنَّهُ قَالَ:  أَكْثِرُوا ذِكْرَ اللهِ حَتَّى يَقُولُوا: مَجْنُونٌ 

Hasan informed us saying, Ibn Lahi’ah infirmed us saying, Daraaj informed us, from Abi al-Haytham, from Abi Saeed, that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: ‘Be abundant in the Dhikr of Allah (Most High) until they say, insane.’ (Musnad Ahmad, 11674)

The Hadith above is narrated twice by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad (11653). Imam al-Bazar also narrated it (1295), as did Imam Ibn Hibban (817) and others too. All of these narrations have Daraaj Abu al-Samh from Abu Haytham in the chain. This narrator has caused weakness in the Sanad (chain) of the Hadith.

رَوَاهُ أَحْمَدُ، وَأَبُو يَعْلَى، وَفِيهِ دَرَّاجٌ، وَقَدْ ضَعَّفَهُ جَمَاعَةٌ، وَوَثَّقَهُ غَيْرُ وَاحِدٍ، وَبَقِيَّةُ رِجَالِ أَحَدِ إِسْنَادَيْ أَحْمَدَ ثِقَاتٌ. (مجمع الزوائد ومنبع الفوائد)

It was narrated by Ahmad and Abu Ya’la. In it (the chain) is Daraaj. Many (scholars) considered him weak, although more than one (scholar) considered him to be sound. The remaining narrators from one of the two chains of Ahmad are sound. (Imam Noorud-deen al-Haythami, Majma al-Zawaid).

In the Nass above Imam al-Haythami did not go further than considering Daraaj weak. However, other scholars did raise the issue of him being very weak.

قال أحمد: حديثه منكر. وقال ابن معين: ثقة. وقال أبو داود: حديثه مستقيم، إلا ما كان عن أبي الهيثم. وقال النسائي: ليس بالقوي. وقال الدارقطني: ضعيف. وقال في موضع آخر: متروك. وذكر لفضلك الرازي قول ابن معين فيه: ثقة، فقال: ما هو بثقة ولا كرامة له. (تذهيب تهذيب الكمال في أسماء الرجال)

(Imam) Ahmad said his narrations are Munkar. (Imam) Ibn Maeen said he is reliable. (Imam) Abu Dawood said his narrations are sound except for those he narrates from Abi al-Haytham. (Imam) al-Nasai said he is not strong. (Imam) al-Darqutni said he is weak. Elsewhere he said he is Matrook. The statement of (Imam) Ibn Maeen saying he is reliable was mentioned to (Imam) Fadluka al-Razi. He said, he is not reliable and he is given no regard. (Imam al-Dhahabi, Tadheeb Tadheeb al-Kamaal).

Imam al-Dhahabi has narrated that some Imams of Hadith considered Daraaj to be Matrook or Munkar. These expressions are usually used for severe weakness and not mere weakness. If a Hadith is very weak then it cannot be used (see link below for details). Therefore, it is correct to say that the Hadith narration is disputed regarding the authenticity grading attributable to it, either weak or very weak.

Another matter of concern regarding Daraaj is him being concerned sound by a minority of scholars and weak or very weak by others. A reconciliation for this issue may be found in the statement of Imam Abu Dawood. He clarified that his narrations are sound unless he narrates from Abu al-Haytham.

وثقه بن معين وقال أبو داود وغيره حديثه مستقيم إلا ما كان عن أبي الهيثم. (الكاشف)

Ibn Ma’een considered him sound. Abu Dawood said, his narrations are sound except for that which he narrates from Abi al-Haytham. (Imam al-Dhahabi, al-Kashif).

If someone were to  narrate the above Hadith they should clarify that it is of dubious authenticity. Also, it is worth noting that the wording of the Hadith is different to the wording stated in the question. Unfortunately, this is rife in our communities. People misquote Hadith. Very often this is grossly done, such that the meaning of the narration actually changes. Muslims must be more careful with the words of the Holy Prophet ﷺ.

And Allah Most High Knows Best.

-Answered by Shaykh Noorud-deen Rashid (08.03.2023)

See also:
Using Weak Hadith
Referencing Hadith Correctly

See also video: