Shaykh al-Islām Ibn Taymiyyah on gatherings of dhikr, and other practices associated with Sufism

By Shaykh Abu Humayd
Edited by ‘Abd Allah al-Afriqi

Editor’s note: We have posted in the past regarding the views of Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (Allah have mercy on him) (تقي الدين أبو العباس أحمد بن عبد الحليم بن عبد السلام بن عبد الله ابن تيمية الحراني‎) from his works which clearly and unequivocally prove beyond doubt that he was from amongst the grand scholars of the Ahl ‘l-Sunnah and that which his followers claim of him is often untrue and exaggarated. In this work, the noble brother has compiled from Shaykh al-Islam’s Majmu’ ‘l-Fatawa his various views and stance on various practices which today are solely associated with Sufism and the people of Tasawwuf. We hope that this compilation clears all wrong notions and understanding and is a means in bridging the gaping holes amongst the Ummah. Insha’ Allah.

Ibn Taymiyyah and Ijtima’i Gathering etc.

مجموع فتاوى ابن تيمية » الفقه » الصلاة » باب الذكر بعد الصلاة » مسألة الاجتماع على القراءة والذكر والدعاء

Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah was asked:

وسئل عن رجل ينكر على أهل الذكر يقول لهم : هذا الذكر بدعة وجهركم في الذكر بدعة وهم يفتتحون بالقرآن ويختتمون ثم يدعون للمسلمين الأحياء والأموات ويجمعون التسبيح والتحميد والتهليل والتكبير والحوقلة ويصلون على النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم والمنكر يعمل السماع مرات بالتصفيق ويبطل الذكر في وقت عمل السماع “

“He was asked regarding a man that rejects the people of Dhikr, who says: This Dhikr is Bid’ah, and raising your voice is Bid’ah, and their starting reciting of the Qur’an and finishing thereafter making Du’a for the Muslim for the living and the dead, and would collectively recite the Tasbeeh, Tahmeed, Tahleel, Takbeer and Hawqalah, and then sending blessing upon Nabi (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi WaSallam) – the person who rejects he would listen, they would slap their back wrist repeatedly to disturb them.”

The Shaykh replied:

الاجتماع لذكر الله واستماع كتابه والدعاء عمل صالح وهو من أفضل القربات والعبادات في الأوقات ففي الصحيح عن [ ص: 521 ] النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه قال : { إن لله ملائكة سياحين في الأرض فإذا مروا بقوم يذكرون الله تنادوا هلموا إلى حاجتكم } وذكر الحديث وفيه { وجدناهم يسبحونك ويحمدونك }

“The IJTIMAA’ (gathering) for the Dhikr of Allah, and ISTIMAA’ (listening) to His Kitaab and Du’aa is a GOOD PRACTICE. And it is AMONGST THE BEST FORMS OF WORSHIP in the Times. And in the Saheeh from Nabi (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi WaSallam). Said: (Quoting the hadith where the Mala’ikah look over Earth for People praising Allah) and the hadith goes on to mention in it: (Mala’ikah saying: we found them Glorfying Thee, and praising Thee)”….

Now isn’t Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah (Rahimahullah) allowing what Sufis are known to do?

First he praises Sufis here:

مجموع فتاوى ابن تيمية

تقي الدين ابن تيمية

أي الصوفي ـ في الحقيقة نوع من الصديقين فهو الصديق الذي اختص بالزهد والعبادة

Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah says:

“And the Sufi is in reality a kind of Siddiq (Truthful One), that Siddiq who specialized in zuhd and worship.”


Then he gives out large amount of Dhikr counts to his devotees (70,000 Tahleels), here:

مجموع فتاوى ابن تيمية

تقي الدين ابن تيمية


عمن هلل سبعين ألف مرة وأهداه للميت يكون براءة للميت من النار حديث صحيح أم لا وإذا هلل الإنسان وأهداه إلى الميت يصل إليه ثوابه أم لا


إذا هلل الإنسان هكذا سبعون ألفا أو أقل أو أكثر وأهديت إليه نفعه الله بذلك وليس هذا حديثا صحيحا ولا ضعيفا والله أعلم

He was asked:

About uttering Tahleel 70,000 times then gifted its reward it to the deceased will result with that the deceased never enter hell-fire, is this a sahih hadeeth or not? also, if one utters tahleel then gifted it to the deceased would that reward reach the deceased or not?

He answered:

It is not a Sahih or even weak hadeeth. However, if one utters Tahleel then gift its reward to the deceased then that benefit the deceased. wallahu A’lam

Then he says there is nothing wrong in giving Ta’weedhs and other forms of Ruqiyah, here:

مجموع فتاوى ابن تيمية

تقي الدين ابن تيمية

ص: 64 ] فصل ويجوز أن يكتب للمصاب وغيره من المرضى شيئا من كتاب الله وذكره بالمداد المباح ويغسل ويسقى كما نص على ذلك أحمد وغيره

He says “It is permissible for an ill or a sick person, that certain verses from the Qur’an are written with pure ink, then it is washed and given to the ill to drink -it is also reports from Ahmad and others than him.

عن ابن عباس قال : إذا عسر على المرأة ولادتها فليكتب : بسم الله لا إله إلا الله الحليم الكريم سبحان الله رب العرش العظيم الحمد لله رب العالمين { كأنهم يوم يرونها لم يلبثوا إلا عشية أو ضحاها } { كأنهم يوم يرون ما يوعدون لم يلبثوا إلا ساعة من نهار بلاغ فهل يهلك إلا القوم الفاسقون } .

Ibn Taymiyyah then quoted Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) to have mentioned a certain Dua that should be written and placed close to the woman who is experiencing hard labour at the time of giving birth.

And he also mentions:

قال علي : يكتب في كاغدة فيعلق على عضد المرأة قال علي : وقد جربناه فلم نر شيئا أعجب منه

he quotes ‘Ali (allah be pleased with him) saying this Dua should be written and tied to the arm of the woman. and that they have experienced that there is nothing more better than this.

And here:

مجموع فتاوى ابن تيمية

تقي الدين ابن تيمية

In another place of his fatawa he was asked:

 [ ص: 599 ] وسئل رحمه الله عن المصحف العتيق إذا تمزق ما يصنع به ؟ ومن كتب شيئا من القرآن ثم محاه بماء أو حرقه فهل له حرمة أم لا ؟

Shaykh answers:

وإذا كتب شيء من القرآن أو الذكر في إناء أو لوح ومحي بالماء وغيره وشرب ذلك فلا بأس به نص عليه أحمد وغيره

The Shaykh answers again similar to the first one that it is okay to write the Qur’an or any Dhikr on a plate or pot and then erase it with water (or any other than water – like Saffron mixed water) for the Mareedh to drink, and that there is nothing wrong with it. Again he mention that it is also from Imam Ahmad and others than him.

And now, Subhan-Allah, he affirms the group gathering (Ijtima’) and the doing of various acts like; Group Dhikr, reciting Qur’an and listening and making Du’a etc.


Wa ‘Alaykum al-Salaam

See more:

Kashf and Ilham of Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah

The Karamat and Awrad of Sh. al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah

Shah Wali Allah al-Dihlawi on Sh. Ibn Taymiyyah

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