I have seen in mosque people saying "ALLAH HU" together in a loud voice. I want to ask that Is it sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to do zikr in a loud voice ?


1 Answer 1


No, it is not sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ or his companions to do dhikr in unison in a loud voice, or to repeatedly say "Allah" in such a fashion.

In the Surat Al-A'arāf, Allah commands us to do dhikr (remember our Lord) within ourselves or with a voice just below being able to decipher the speech from:

وَاذْكُر رَّبَّكَ فِي نَفْسِكَ تَضَرُّعًا وَخِيفَةً وَدُونَ الْجَهْرِ مِنَ الْقَوْلِ بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالْآصَالِ وَلَا تَكُن مِّنَ الْغَافِلِينَ

And remember your Lord within yourself in humility and in fear without being apparent in speech — in the mornings and the evenings. And do not be among the heedless.

Qur'an 7:205

Raising the voice in dhikr (but not in unison) did happen at the time of the Prophet ﷺ, and he commanded his companions to lower their voices, but not necessarily to make it completely inaudible:

حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ يُوسُفَ، حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ، عَنْ عَاصِمٍ، عَنْ أَبِي عُثْمَانَ، عَنْ أَبِي مُوسَى الأَشْعَرِيِّ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ كُنَّا مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ﷺ، فَكُنَّا إِذَا أَشْرَفْنَا عَلَى وَادٍ هَلَّلْنَا وَكَبَّرْنَا ارْتَفَعَتْ أَصْوَاتُنَا، فَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ﷺ

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ، ارْبَعُوا عَلَى أَنْفُسِكُمْ، فَإِنَّكُمْ لاَ تَدْعُونَ أَصَمَّ وَلاَ غَائِبًا ـ إِنَّهُ مَعَكُمْ ـ إِنَّهُ سَمِيعٌ قَرِيبٌ ـ تَبَارَكَ اسْمُهُ وَتَعَالَى جَدُّهُ

Narrated Abu Musa Al-Ash'ari:
We were in the company of Allah's Messenger ﷺ (during Hajj). Whenever we went up a high place we used to say: "None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and Allah is Greater," and our voices used to rise, so the Prophet ﷺ said:

O people! Be merciful to yourselves (i.e., do not raise your voice), for you are not calling a deaf or an absent one. He is with you; no doubt He is All-Hearer, ever Near (to all things).

Sahih al-Bukhari 2992

The most common way was the companions would do dhikr separately, and in a slightly raised voice just below being able to decipher the speech (Arabic: دون الجهر)

حَدَّثَنَا إِسْحَاقُ بْنُ نَصْرٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّزَّاقِ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنَا ابْنُ جُرَيْجٍ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنِي عَمْرٌو، أَنَّ أَبَا مَعْبَدٍ، مَوْلَى ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ أَخْبَرَهُ أَنَّ ابْنَ عَبَّاسٍ ـ رضى الله عنهما ـ أَخْبَرَهُ أَنَّ رَفْعَ الصَّوْتِ بِالذِّكْرِ حِينَ يَنْصَرِفُ النَّاسُ مِنَ الْمَكْتُوبَةِ كَانَ عَلَى عَهْدِ النَّبِيِّ ﷺ‏‏ وَقَالَ ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ كُنْتُ أَعْلَمُ إِذَا انْصَرَفُوا بِذَلِكَ إِذَا سَمِعْتُهُ

Narrated Abu Ma'bad (the freed slave of Ibn 'Abbās): Ibn 'Abbās told me, "In the lifetime of the Prophet ﷺ it was the custom to celebrate Allah's praises aloud after the compulsory congregational prayers." Ibn 'Abbās further said, "When I heard the dhikr, I would learn that the compulsory congregational prayer had ended."

Sahih al-Bukhari 841

Accordingly, we as Muslims should not do so. As Al-Shatibi said:

قَالَ حُذَيْفَةُ ـ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ ـ : كُلُّ عِبَادَةٍ لَمْ يَتَعَبَّدْهَا أَصْحَابُ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ﷺ فَلَا تَعَبَّدُوهَا فَإِنَّ الْأَوَّلَ لَمْ يَدَعْ لِلْآخِرِ مَقَالًا فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ يَا مَعْشَرَ الْقُرَّاءِ وَخُذُوا بِطَرِيقِ مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ

— NOTE: My own translation, so treat with care:

Abu Hudhaifa [ibn al-Yamān] said: "Any worship ritual that the companions of the Prophet ﷺ did not do, you shall not do, for the first [generation] did not leave out to the ones after any sayings [commands from the Prophet ﷺ]. Fear Allah, reciters [of the Qur'an], and take the path of those who were before you."

Al-I'tisām, pp. 8/630

To add a form of worship ritual that the Prophet ﷺ did not practice is insinuating that he did not pass the complete message of Allah to us, and that we know how to worship Allah in a manner that is better than that of the Prophet ﷺ.

  • Is it relevant to the question to add in the answer if we should do loud dhikr or not?
    – Kilise
    Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 19:51
  • @Kilise — I added it, not to due to relevance. It is meant to address the "what's the harm in doing so" follow-up questions with a "what's the harm in including this advice" as part of the answer.
    – III-AK-III
    Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 21:54
  • I see! I just thought the answer should be directed and specific to the question and then in another question like "is loud dhikr in group allowed?" one could refer back to this question and adding the quotes by shatibi and so on. But maybe this is a good discussion for meta. Anyways I liked your answer!
    – Kilise
    Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 22:01
  • 1
    @Kilise — I am open to suggestions, and will remove that part if it is perceived to be distracting from the main answer.
    – III-AK-III
    Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 0:12
  • I added this question, would you mind answer it with that (and maybe more), then you could edit this answer and remove it from here
    – Kilise
    Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 7:11

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