Salam. I have a question about zikr. Why do some people think it is wrong to do zikr in groups?
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful.
Zikr has many benefits in this life as well in the Hereafter. Allah states in the Quran: “Remember Allah abundantly, in order that you become successful” (Surah 8: Verse 45). A person can find internal and external peace through zikr. “Only in the remembrance of Allah will your heart find peace.” (Surah 13: Verse 28)
There are many forms of zikr a person can engage in. Many methods have been tried and tested by pious predecessors, which have proved to be beneficial. These include individual as well as collective (group) zikr.
Abu Saeed Khudri (radi allahu anhu) relates that the Prophet (sallal lahu alayhi wa sallam) stated: “People do not gather for the remembrance of Allah but its members are surrounded by angels, and are covered by Allah’s mercy, and the mental and spiritual peace descends upon them and Allah speaks of them high to those around Him.” (Muslim)
Some people regard group zikr as wrong as they consider this as an innovation (biddah) However the above Hadith and similar Ahadiths indicate the permissibility of collective zikr. Although group zikr may be permissible it should be remembered that “many permitted acts and practices become disliked (makruh) due to regarding them necessary similar to other necessary actions” ( Durrul Mukhtar)
In conclusion, group zikr is permissible, however it is inappropriate to insist on others to practice or take part in this act. If insistence takes place or those who do not take part are considered sinful and in the wrong, then this insistence will fall into the category of innovation.
Only Allah knows best.
Darul Ifta, Birmingham