Among the strongest dalaa-il (proofs and arguments) in refutation of bid’ah acts such as collective Thikr performances in the Musaajid which appear in the form of ibaadat, is the expulsion of a halqah zikr group from the Musjid by the illustrious Sahaabi, Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu).

A group of people engaging in halqah Thikr were reciting Lailaha illallaah, Subhaanallah, Alhamdulillaah and Allahu Akbar in chorus. They all recited the Thikr loudly and congregationally. Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu), the eminent Sahaabi of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), branded the group as Mubtadieen (bid’atis) and ordered their expulsion from the Musjid.

The action of Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) is the strongest and most direct rejection of any superficial act presented in the form of ibaadat. Any act which was not ibaadat to the Salf-e-Saaliheen but presented as ibaadat is bid’ah in the light of the Qur’aan, Sunnah and practice of the Salf-e-Saaliheen.

The type of loud collective Thikr (Ijtimaa’ jahri Thikr) programmes which have of recent developed in the Musaajid under the aegis of those who are associated with the Deoband School and the Chishti Silsilah, come conspicuously within the scope of Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood’s condemnation.

The venerable Mufti Sahib has laboured in vain to dismiss the Hadith and action of Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Mas’ood in the attempt to justify the loud collective Thikr performances in the Musaajid. Once Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) was informed of a group of people engaging in a perculiar form of Thikr. The leader of the group instructed his companions to recite Laa-ilaha illaallaahu 100 times. Then in chorus the group recited. Then he instructed them to recite Subhaanallaah, then Allaahu Akbar, each 100 times. This they did in unison. Meanwhile they were counting the number with pebbles. Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu), addressing them said:

“Use the pebbles to count your sins. I guarantee that none of your virtuous deeds will be destroyed (by counting your sins). Alas! O Ummah of Muhammad! (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). How swiftly have you fallen in ruin! The Sahaabah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) are still numerous in your presence. The garments of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) have not become old and his unbroken utensils are still present. But you have opened the door of deviation.” (Musnad-e-Daarmi)

Allaamah Qaadhi Ibraahim narrates as follows:

“I am Abdullah Bin Mas’ood. I take oath by Him (Allah) besides whom there is no deity. Verily, you have produced a dark bid’ah or you have surpassed the Ashaab of Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).”, i.e. in knowledge and practice” (Majaalisul Abraar)

Shaikhul Islam Ibn Daqeeq presents the riwaayat as follows: “I am Ibn Mas’ood. So, whoever knows me, knows who I am. Whoever does not know me, then know that I am Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood. Do you think that you are more guided than Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and his Ashaab? Verily, you have innovated a dark bid’ah, or you have acquired greater status in knowledge than the Ashaab of Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).” Ibn Mas’ood has refuted this act notwithstanding the probability of it coming within the scope of Thikr in general.” (Ahkaamul Ahkaam)