The Issue raising voice in dzikir after Solah

The Issue raising voice in dzikir after Solah

[I acquire this article on the issue which I would like to share with my fellow visitors; so much has been spoken about the issue but I found it rather as  a non-issue]

Ruling on raising the voice in dzikir after the Solah

Some brothers raise their voices in dzikir after the solah, especially Fajar prayer, based on the hadith of Ibn ‘Abbas and others, to such an extent that they disturb other worshipers. When they are reminded about it they say: They are following the Sunnah we would not be disturbing others. Are they correct? Should the others raise their voices when among them there are uneducated people and elderly people who cannot keep up with the group? How much the voice should be raised?

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All the praise and thanks is due to Allah, Subhanahu wata`ala. Peace and blessings be upon His Messenger and his family.

The fuqaha’ differs in opinion with regard to raising the voice in dzikir after the solah. Some were of the view that it is Sunnah and some regarded it as makruh and said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not do that all the time; he only did that in order to teach people, then he would stopped doing it.

The difference of opinion stemmed from the reports narrated from Abu Ma’bad, the freed slave of Ibn ‘Abbas, that Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) told him that people used to raise their voices in dzikir when they completed an obligatory prayer at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

Ibn ‘Abbas said: “I used to know when they had finished (the prayer) by that, when I heard it”. [Al-Bukhari (805) and Muslim (583)] According to another report from Ibn ‘Abbas who said:”We knew when the prayer of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had finished from the takbir”. [Narrated by al-Bukhari (806) and Muslim (583)]

They also differed as to whether this indicated something that was done all the time or otherwise, and whether it went against the command of Allah which says: “And remember your Lord within yourself, humbly and with fear and without loudness in words in the mornings and in the afternoons, and be not of those who are neglectful” (al-A’raf 7:205).

But among those who favoured raising the voice in dzikir after prayer were al-Tabari, Ibn Hazam, Shaikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah and others.  And among those who were of the view that it was for teaching were al-Shafi’e and the majority.

Al-Shafi’e (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

My view is that the imam and the person praying behind him should remember Allah after they finish praying, but they should recite dzikir in a low voice unless he is an imam who is to be learned from, in which case he should recite in a loud voice until he thinks that it has been learned from him, then he should recite quietly, because Allah says: “And offer your solah (prayer) neither aloud nor in a low voice” [al-Isra’ 17:110] , meaning – and Allah knows best –it is the dua’; “neither aloud” means do not raise your voice and “nor in a low voice” means, so low that you cannot hear yourself.

I think that what Ibn al-Zubayr narrated about the tahlil (reciting Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah) of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and what Ibn ‘Abbas narrated about his takbir is like what we have mentioned above. Al-Shafi’e said: I think he only raised his voice a little in order to teach the people, because most of the reports that we have quoted do not mention reciting tahlil or takbir after saying the taslim.

Some reports say that dzikir was recited after the prayer, as I have described, and some say that he did not recite any dzikir after prayer.

Umm Salamah stated that the Prophet s.a.w would stay after the prayer and she did not refer to any dzikir out loud, and I think he s.a.w only stayed to recite some dzikir that was not done out loud.

[Al-Umm (1/127)]

Ibn Hazam (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Raising the voice in takbir following every prayer is good.

[Al-Muhalla (3/180)]

Al-Bahooti said in referring to Ibn Taymiyyah view regarding reciting dzikir out loud as mustahabb:  Ibn Taymiyah said: It is mustahabb to recite tasbih, tahmid and takbir out loud following every prayer. [Kashshaf al-Qina’ (1/366]

A contemporary scholar Shaikh Muhammad ibn Salih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked about the ruling on this issue and he replied:

It is a Sunnah to recite dzikir out loud following the obligatory solat.

This is indicated by the report narrated by al-Bukhari from the hadith of ‘Abdallah ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him), that the people used to recite dzikir out loud when they finished obligatory prayers at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). He said: I used to know when they finished (the solat) by that, when I heard it.

This was also narrated by Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawud. In al-Saheehayn it is narrated that al-Mughirah ibn Shu’bah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say when he finished the prayer: “Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wahdahu laa shareeka lah… (There is no god but Allah alone, with no partner or associate…).”

And words cannot be heard unless the speaker says them out loud.

Shaikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) and a number of the earlier and later generations favoured this view, based on the hadiths of Ibn ‘Abbas and al-Mughirah (may Allah be pleased with them). Reciting out loud is general and applies to every dzikir that is prescribed after solah, whether it is tahlil (saying Laa ilaaha ill-Allah (there is no god but Allah), tasbih (saying Subhaan Allah (Glory be to Allah), takbir (saying Allahu akbar (Allah is Most Great) or tahmid (saying Al-hamdu Lillaah (praise be to Allah), because of the general meaning of the hadith of Ibn ‘Abbas. There is no report from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to suggest differentiating between tahlil and other dzikir, rather in the hadith of Ibn ‘Abbas it says that they would know that the prayer of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had ended from the takbir. Thus, the view of those who say that the voice should not be raised in tasbih, tahmid and takbir is refuted.

With regard to those who say that raising the voice in these dzikir is an innovation (bid’ah), they are wrong. How can something that was known and practiced at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) be a bid’ah?

Shaikh Sulayman ibn Sahman (may Allah have mercy on him) said: It has been proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did that and approved of it, and the Sahabah used to do that at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) after he taught it to them, and he approved of them doing it, so they acted upon the teachings of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him); they did it and he approved of that after teaching them and he did not criticize them.

As for the argument that reciting out loud is disapproved because of the verse “And remember your Lord within yourself, humbly and with fear and without loudness in words in the mornings and in the afternoons” [al-A’raf 7:205], we say: the one who was enjoined to remember his Lord within himself, humbly and with fear, was the same one who used to recite dzikir out loud following obligatory prayers. Does the one who says this know better what Allah meant than His Messenger did?  Or does he believe that the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) knew what was meant but went against it? Moreover, the verse speaks of dzikir at the beginning and end of the day (“in the mornings and in the afternoons”), not the dzikir that is prescribed following prayers.

In his Tafsir, Ibn Kathir interpreted reciting out loud as meaning too loud or extremely loud.

As for the argument that reciting out loud is disapproved because of the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): “O people, take it easy”, the one who said “O people, take it easy” is the same one who used to recite dzikir out loud following the prescribed prayers. There is a place for each situation, and truly following means following every text when appropriate.

Moreover, the context of the phrase “take it easy” indicates that they used to raise their voices in a manner that caused them hardship, hence he said “take it easy”, i.e., be kind to yourselves and do not exhaust yourselves; there should be no hardship or undue effort in reciting dzikir out loud.

As for the one who says that it disturbs others, it may be said to him: If you mean that it disturbs those who do not have the habit of doing that, once the believer understands that it is Sunnah, it will no longer disturb him. If you mean that it disturbs other worshipers, then if there is no one among the worshipers who joined the prayer late and is making up what he missed, then the raising of voices will not disturb them at all, which is what actually happens, because they are all taking part in it. But if there is someone among them who joined the prayer late and is making up what he missed, if he is so close to you that you will be disturbing him, then you should not recite so loudly as to disturb him, so that he will not become confused in his prayer, but if he is far away from you then he will not be disturbed by your reciting out loud.

It is clear that the Sunnah is to raise the voice in dzikir following the obligatory prayers, and that does not go against any sahih text or sound opinion.

When voices are mingled with one another then there will be no disturbance, as you can see on Fridays when the people all read Qur’an out loud, then someone comes and prays and he is not disturbed by that.

What matters is the correct view. It is a Sunnah to recite the dzikir following the prayers in the manner prescribed, and it is also a Sunnah to recite it out loud not in the manner it would not annoys others or that is an impropriate. During the time of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him); when the people raised their voices in dzikir when they were coming back from Khaibar, he (s.a.w) said: “O people, take it easy.” The hadith indicate that raising the voice that that does not cause hardship or annoyance.

[Majmu’ Fatawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (13/247, 261)]

It is clear that the matter is broad in scope, and that the difference of opinion is an ancient matter. The view mentioned by the Shaikh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) about raising the voice is a sound. It should be raised in a manner that does not cause annoyance to others.

We must recognize the dividing line what is the Sunnah and what is not; the Sunnah must be always upheld.

May Allah Guide us  towards the Right Path.

And Allah knows best.

[Via Islam Q&A (87768) with minor modification]

About Md Radzi Ahmad
A retired Malaysian civil servant. Served the Malaysian government for thirty-one years. Posted to London, Rangoon, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Bangkok. Born in Kampong Hutan Kandeh, Alor Star, Kedah. Educated at Sultan Abdul Hamid College, Alor Star and University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. Currently resides in Subang Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan,Malaysia.Blessed with three children, a son, two daughters, daughter in law and two grandaughters.

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