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A Discussion on Subḥah

A debate with a proponent of innovation trying to argue in support of what is nowadays known as dhikr beads.

You ask for evidence but even when I do present evidence it seems that you reject it under the pretext that it is Salafīs presenting the evidence!

Unfortunately, personal circumstances dictate that I not have much free time anymore, as such I have not had the time to write to the msa net, and I find it sad to spend what free time I can find following up on posts concerning issues that are clear and clarified rather than translate some beneficial works….

>In answer to part two of Refi Shafi’s remarks, here’s a summary of what he

>presented against Sibha:

>1.One Ḥadīth going to a Sahabi which contains a weak link, but for

>unexplained reason’s is considered authentic by Salafīs.

The reasons were explained in my previous posting but you seem to be unable to admit them.

>2.The advice of a Tābi’ī to his daughter.

>3.Another Ḥadīth to a Sahabi whose isnad does not reach except to

>a Tābi’ī of a Tābi’ī[ a ‘munqati’ Ḥadīth=’cut off’ Ḥadīth].

>[1-3 classified as per Refi Shafi’s post]

>Here is a summary of what was presented for permissibility of Sibha:

>1.Prophetic Hadith[via Saʿd ibn Abī Waqqās] in

>Abū Dāwūd


>Ibn Majah

>Ibn Hibban=Ṣaḥiḥ


>al-Hakim=Ṣaḥiḥ according to criteria of Muslim

>Dhahabi=Ṣaḥiḥ as above


>al-Albānī=weak !

As stated previously the fact that a scholar of ḥadīth reports a ḥadīth in his work is not a statement of authenticity in this.

As for the authentication of al-Tirmidhī (in general) and the authentication of al-Ḥākim (specifically in his Mustadrak) then the researching scholars do not rely upon their verdicts alone due to their leniency in this issue. I could quote the statements of the earlier scholars on this but there is no need because this is a fact acknowledged by all, Ṣufīs, Ashʿarīs and Salafīs.

In the case of these two scholars their verdicts are normally considered when they have the verdicts of other researching scholars backing them (as occurs in this case), in the case of al-Ḥākim this normally turns out to be al-Dhahabī who did his checking on al-Mustadrak. But even then the scholars do not unrestrictedly take the authentication of al-Ḥākim joined with al-Dhahabī in the case when both have made a clear error – again reference to books of takhreej past and present will establish this.

This is the case here…for al-Ḥākim declares the ISNAAD to the ḥadīth to be ṣaḥīḥ as does al-Dhahabī (both giving no further details) but it is not possible for the isnād to be ṣaḥīḥ due to it’s having an unknown narrator as discussed in my previous posting. I will not repeat that here.

Similar is the case of ibn Hibbān, who is known to be lenient due to his declaring to be trustworthy those that are in fact unknown (majhūl) – this is the case here for ibn Hibbān is alone in declaring the unknown narrator in this chain to be trustworthy.

So what is presented here are three huffaadh who are known for their leniency in authentication, and one ḥāfiẓ who is known for his strictness, declaring this ḥadīth to be authentic, but consideration is not given to the number of scholars rather consideration is given to clear proofs and facts -in the case when a large group are shown to be mistaken it becomes necessary to follow the smaller group who is correct, this is what the Sharīʿah demands.

>2.Prophetic Hadith[via Safiyya ibnt Huyayy]






>al-Albānī=weak !

The way you are writing this dictates that you have al-Tirmidhī down at the bottom alongside al-Albanee followed by an explanation mark since he too declares this ḥadīth weak as stated in my previous posting.

In fact although al-Tirmidhī is considered lenient in his authentication, the opposite is true for his weakening, for if he is lenient in his declaring aḥādīth authentic than when he declares a ḥadīth to be ḍaʿīf (or gharīb with a no good chain as in this case) then obviously the defect is quite serious in his eyes.

Again the authentication of any scholar is not considered when he is clearly in error, and this isnād contains one who is ḍaʿīf as indicated by al-Tirmidhī in his Sunan and al-Dhahabī and declared so by ibn Hajr.

In my previous posting I stated that gharīb was a sub-category of ḍaʿīf – this is true according to the convention of some scholars, but while reading the introduction to ‘Tuhfatul Aḥwadhī bi Sharḥ Jāmiʿ al-Tirmidhī’ of al-Ḥāfiẓ Mubārakfooree it became clear to me that this is not the case with al-Tirmidhī, what he means by gharīb is that at any one stage of the isnād of the ḥadīth there is only one reporter reporting from the stage above him, in this case the one reporter turns out to be ḍaʿīf.

In my mind there is no doubt that the isnāds to these two aḥādīth are ḍaʿīf, the only question that remains in my mind is whether both these ḥadīth can be used to support each other and hence raise their level of authenticity, the only scholar I have found who addresses this point in the various takhreej’s that I have read, is Shaykh ʿAbd al Qaadir al-Arna’ut in his takhreej to ‘al-Adhkaar’ who concludes that the ḥadīth does become ḥasan due to the two routes, but it is ḥasan without the mention of stones/pebbles.

>3.Prophetic Hadith[via Ali ibn Abī Ṭālib[R]

>as reported by Shawkani from Daylami and Suyyuti

al-Albānī=fabricated !

Neither Shawkaanee or Suyutee give verdicts on the ḥadīth rather they merely quote it, the reasons for it’s being fabricated are clear from my previous postings, I will not repeat them here.

In fact al-Albānī states that the ḥadīth has been declared inauthentic by a group of scholars as mentioned in the work of al-Shaykh Muḥammad Khalīl al-Qāwajī in ‘Shawāraq al-Anwār al-Jalīla’ (q:1/113), unfortunately, he does not mention any names, and I do not have access to this work, or even know if it has been printed! (the reference above is to a manuscript).

>4.Hadith of the Sahabi[Abū Safiyya]

>Ibn Ḥajar’s Isaba with his chain

>Bukharī ‘s Tarikh

>al-Baghawi through two chains


>Refi=no comment


This ḥadīth and the other few mentioned in these postings and in fact the rest mentioned by al-Ṣuyutī in his ‘Minha’ are not being deliberately ignored by me, rather I am trying to get hold of the relevant books that contain the takhreej of these aḥādīth, I had assumed that it would be obvious to all who were following these posts that the rest of the aḥādīth mentioned had not been commented on. It is obviously not sufficient for me to state that they are all ḍaʿīf as a general statement as done by a some scholars because this would not be convincing in my eyes and yours. You will have to be patient until I get the relevant works and Allāh grants me the time to translate the relevant portions.

I will however add a brief note here of point 4 above:

Ibn Hajr says in his ‘Isaabah’ under the biography of Abū Safiyyah:

“al-Bukhārī said: he is counted amongst the Muhājirūn and he reports (in his taareekh) via the route of Mu’allā ibn ʿAbd al-Raḥmān who said I heard Yunus ibn Ubaid saying to his mother, ‘what is it that you saw Abū Safiyyah doing?’ She said, ‘I saw Abū Safiyyah, and he was one of the Muhaajoriin from the Companions of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam), performing tasbeeh with pebbles”

al-Albānī gives this biography to al-Mu’allā:

“al-Haythamī said in ‘al-Mujma’: reported by al-Bazzaar and in it is al-Mu’allā ibn ʿAbd al-Raḥmān and he has been acknowledged to be a fabricator, and ibn Adee said: I hope that there is nothing wrong with him. (3/263)

…al-Dāraqutnī said:weak, a liar

Abū Ḥātim said: abandoned in ḥadīth

ibn al-Madīnee took to the opinion that he fabricated ḥadīth

Abū Zurʿah said: rejected in ḥadīth

as occurs in ‘al-Meezaan.’ So these quotes from this excellent scholars is an evidence that ibn Adee and those that praised him (al-Mu’allā) did not know him.” (al-Ḍaʿīfah 2/124)

Ibn Hajr continues:

“and he was followed up by ʿAbd al Wāḥid ibn Zayn from Yunus ibn Ubaid from his mother who said, “I saw Abū Safiyyah, a person from the Muhājirūn, performing tasbeeh with pebbles” reported by al-Baghawī”

al-I’raaqee, the shaykh of ibn Hajr, in his ‘Mughnee an Hamal al-Asfār’ (2/1175 under no. 4262), said the following about this narrator ʿAbd al Wāḥid ibn Zayn: abandoned (matrook)

Ibn Hajr continues:

“and he reports from another perspective from Ubayy ibn Ka’b from Abū Safiyyah….”

It is not strange that these isnāds contain these serious defects, because ibn Hajr explains in his introduction that he has divided his work into 4 sections. The first section details those companions whose companionship is mentioned through a chain of narration and a report stating that such-and-such was a companion. He states that he was not concerned whether the report was ṣaḥīḥ, ḥasan, or ḍaʿīf. Abū Safiyyah is found amongst this first section. Allāh knows best.

In shāʾ Allāh a takhreej of this last narration and a more in depth takhreej of the other isnāds and aḥādīth will follow when I get hold of the relevant works dealing with ‘Sibha’.

>8. Fatwa of Imam Shawkani[R] permitting Sibha


>Refi=no comment and no scholar to back his view

>9.Fatwa of Shaykh al-Islām al-Suyyuti[R] permitting Sibha


>Refi=no comment and no scholar to back his view

I did not comment on their particular comments because I had not finished with the comments on the aḥādīth as is clear from what I just wrote, although I did comment, indirectly, on a portion of their words in a previous posting. In my previous postings I did quote scholars to back my view, please re-read them – I will not repeat myself.

>Refi Shafi presented Albani’s views on the first three Hadiths which

>did not agree with the major scholars quoted above. He gave

>reasons but did not present the reasoning of the scholars he was

>disagreeing with,

as I said they did not present the reasoning behind their authentication as far as I am aware…al-Albānī did….

>nor did he address SIX of the above points in favor of

>Sibha, and yet he wants us to follow him on blind faith for an unclear

>Hadith with a weakness because al-Albānī said it is Ṣaḥiḥ,

the ḥadīth is explicit in its meaning, it is unfortunate that you cannot see it, also you misunderstood some of my words as I shall explain later.

>Refi wrote:

>>From the narration it is clear that Abū Mūsá rejected either one of two


>>1) their sitting in a circle for dhikr

>>2) the way of their performing dhikr

>>it is clear from what has preceded that the second can only be meant.

>[Assuming the narration is correct.]

>Anything in particular about #2 that does not contraḍīct other Hadith?

>It can not be use of pebbles, as shown above.

It can and it does as will be shown further in the future by the permission of Allāh.

> It can not be 100 times

>Tasbiḥ as shown before[in Bukharī, Muslim etc.], it can not be dhikr

>in a group as shown before. Therefore this Hadith even if authentic

>needs finer interpretation than offered by Salafīs. As the ASFA post

>had said:

No it cannot be tasbeeh 100 times or dhikr while in a group, but it can be the WAY of doing dhikr in a group or individually, as I stated previously and will elaborate on later.

>but the reason for the disapproval is left unsaid, while

> Ibn Mas`ud alludes to it by blaming the people in question for their


>Refi responded:

>>Isolationist stance?! By holding a circle of dhikr in the Mosque?! I ask

>>you what sort of isolationism is this? A group of people sitting in a


>>this but the narration states that these people were awaiting the prayer!

>>What nonsense is this?

>Many Salafī/Wahhabi-minded people oppose group dhikr, so you are

>an exception.

Please re-read my postings, I chose my words carefully I said:

‘For any who read the narration with understanding will know that there is

no condemnation of performing dhikr while sitting in a gathering or circle,

rather what is condemned is the method of performing dhikr as is clear’

This does not mean I agree to doing dhikr in one voice, or with a leader telling them what to chant and them doing so collectively – this is a bidʿah. I said that the aḥādīth prove that it is permissible to perform dhikr while sitting in a gathering, not that the gathering performs dhikr all in one voice etc… This is how this narration of ibn Masʿūd is reconciled with the other aḥādīth concerning the virtues of the circle of dhikr. This is further indicated by the fact that upon considering the wording of the narration of ibn Masʿūd it becomes clear that this method of performing dhikr had been seen for the first time.

> ‘One can isolate himself’ by not asking a Sahabi to lead

>them in dhikr, or by holding a loud dhikr with arrogance in the midst

>of the Sahaba in an attempt to appear better than they are, or

>or other reasons that may or may not be discernable from this narration.

>(assuming the narration is true).

Suffice it to say that by them waiting for congregational prayer, which undoubtedly would be led by a sahaabee is proof that they had not isolated themselves from the community, and neither the Ṣaḥābahh at this point….rather their splitting off came later on when they rebelled against ʿAlī (raḍī Allāhu ʿanhū). Your other points are delving into the realm of pure conjecture far removed from the literal meaning of the narration.

To be continued….

My previous comments are preceded by >>

> A recent post by Kashif Hayat and a followup post by Refi Shafi

> presented a Hadith suggesting that making Dhikr in a group is

> a bid’a

>>For any who read the narration with understanding will know that there is

>>no condemnation of performing dhikr while sitting in a gathering or circle,

>>rather what is condemned is the method of performing dhikr as is clear

>[specifically using pebbles to count and following a leader].

>>this is what is correctly opposed

>The shameful Salafī book, “the other side of Ṣufism” which is exposed at the

the issue of how to perform dhikr in a group is explained in my other posting.

>>If you read my posting you will see that the munqati narration was not

>>quoted as a stand alone ḥadīth but rather as a support to the authentic

>>narration of ibn Masʿūd, and this type of narration can indeed be used as a

>>support, because it’s chain of narrators contains trustworthy narrators

>>right up to the taba tābiʿī.

>You have NOT shown that the narration of Ibn Masʿūd[R] is authentic,

>only that Sh. Albani said so. Salafīs have always stressed providing

>dalīl[evidence] so Please Do So. As you know, many of Sh. Albani’s

>graḍīngs of Hadith are controversial.

Controversial only to a group of Ṣufīs, and another group of filthy liars like Ḥasan Saqqaaf.

You ask for evidence but even when I do present evidence it seems that you reject it under the pretext that it is Salafīs presenting the evidence!

>Did any of the known Hadith

>masters of Ahl al-Sunna say it was authentic or is it only contemporary


This is quite astonishing, you demand to know those classical scholars who declared this narration to be authentic, yet you unashamedly do not even present a contemporary scholar who declared the narration to be ḍaʿīf!

My point here is not that there are contemporary Ṣufīs who question the authenticity of the ḥadīth, rather your inconsistency in what you ask.

>>Waiting at the door of a great teacher has been well known throughout

>>history from the time of the salaf onwards, even today this is known of the

>>great scholars of Ahlus Sunnah, as is well known of ibn Uthaymīn for

>>example. Those who claim that the salafis say that such an action is shirk

>>are either liars or blindly conveying lies, wallāhu musta’aan.

>It is good that you can admit that such respect is acceptable, but

>notice that you are refocusing my statement to suit your accusation

>before you deal with the complete meaning; you focused on waiting at

>the door while I also said standing to greet him, etc. [eg taking his words

We are now getting into some useless discussion, if I had ignored the second example you gave then you could have said that I was refocusing your statement, I did not, rather I dealt with them in the order that you mentioned

>>considered shirk. Amongst those scholars who held that standing in such a

>>manner was not allowed was Imām Bukhārī as he shows in his ‘Adab


>As you must know Imam Nawawi[R] wrote a book on the permissibility

>of standing out of respect for Muslims. As for the accusations of Salafīs

>then your ignorance of them does not mean they have not occurred. In

>my experience it is common for those with a Salafī/Wahhabi indoctrination

>to quicky accuse Ṣūfī’s of shirk due to the respect they afford to the pious


I have not read this book yet, my purpose in mentioning Imām Bukhārī was not so as to get drawn into this debate, rather it was simply because you have a habit of saying, ‘Refi said without having any scholars to back his view’ – even though the case has so far been the opposite.

>Other narrations suffice In any case one can not rely on the meanings in

>this one Hadith to prohibit the Sibha, as there is no definitive statement

>prohibiting it in this Hadith while apparently that group left the association

I am not going to repeat what I have written in my previous postings here, I have added a further comment to this narration in my other posting.

>>Even if this isnād is weak, this is not sufficient in declaring the

>>narration weak without considering it’s other routes of narration and

>>supports as the science of ḥadīth demands. This is why I prefer to relyon

>>the works of trustworthy, highly skilled scholars of ḥadīth such as

>>al-Albānī and al-Hilālee who do give the science of ḥadīth it’s due and

>>consider other routes of narration and support. This is why I do not rely

>>upon the claims of incompetent amateurs such as Kabbani and his likes.

>I will In shāʾ Allāh avoid stooping down to baseless slander and just ask you

>to provide the other routes of narration and “supports” that make this

>Hadith Ṣaḥiḥ according to your Shaykhs. Or will you choose to avoid

I do not have the relevant book on me in order to quote from it, the book is available and you are welcome to read it in order to get the relevant information. Or if I get it before you do I will post the relevant section.

>answering that as you choose to avoid discussing the actions of the

>Sahaba after the time of the Prophet ﷺ, which

>appeared to be innovations [that would undermine your whole discussion

>on bid’a because it would show that we can not judge by appearances or

>impressions but must refer to scholars, as in Mawlid]?

I do not really care what motivations you may ascribe to me in my not bothering to reply to your two examples. But if I were really trying to avoid the issue then I would not have given you references to books that explain the issues, which it would seem to date you have not looked up, rather you prefer to keep believing that the reason I did not reply was that they would ‘undermine’ my whole discussion.

My main reason, after lack of time, in not replying is that in my experience, whenever such points are raised and replied to in a way the objector cannot answer, the objector always replies by going to another example, then another, then another. This is why I said you can read all the examples you like to your hearts content in ‘al-I’tisaam’.

>>The Messenger of Allāh said, ‘from the signs of the last hour is that

>>knowledge will be sought from the small ones’ and ʿAbdullāh ibn

>>Mubārak explained that ‘the small ones’ meant the people of innovation.

>Shaykh Sayf ad-Din Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad transmitted that:

>”Hafiz Ibn Ḥajar al-Haytami (d. 974/1567; R. A.) defined the Sunni

>Muslims as follows in his book Fath al-jawad: “A Mubtadi (innovator)

>is the person who does not have the faith (Aqīdah) conveyed

Well if following the Aqueedah of Imām Abū al Ḥasan al_Ashʾarī is what determines whether one is an innovator or not, then according to this definition (which I do not agree with) many of the ‘Ashʾarīs’ of today and recent past, DO NOT follow the Aqueedah of this Imām, so what would this make them?

>AlHamduLillah these are the Imāms whose teachings of the Sunna

>Shaykh Hisham Kabbani follows, as do all the Ahl al-Sunna after their


His latest book proves without a shadow of a doubt that he is far far removed from the Aqueedah of this Imām.

>>No one from the salafis denies the legislation of the circles of dhikr,

>>what is disputed is the method in which this dhikr is done.

>Please read your own homepages [see above]. Or do you NOT consider

Please read what I write in reply

This is the last post on this issue from me, apart from a follow-up detailing the various narrations I have not yet presented a takhreej to – I was hoping to have stopped contributing to the discussion on bidʿah a while ago but got drawn back into it again. I am now just really repeating myself so I have nothing more to say….wa billāhi tawfīq.

Was salām

Abū Rumaysah

Published: June 16, 2007
Edited: March 12, 2023


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