Hadra

The Ḥadra

Ḥadra means the heart being present with Allah. This is a pillar in the Path of the Sufis.

It means to gather for remembrance of Allah – great and majestic is He – under the leadership of Sheikh or his deputy, called the Muqaddam. It begins with recital of the Noble Quran, then poetry and sayings of the Knowers of Allah, taken from the Quran and the Sunnah according to the understanding of Scholars such as Sheikh ‘Abd al-Ghanī al-Nāblūsī and Ibn al-Fāriḍ. Thereupon the congregation stands up for dhikr, and remain in a state of dhikr until the Sheikh or his Muqaddam signals its closure. Finally one of the brothers will recite some Ayat from the Noble Quran, and the Sheikh or his deputy will follow up by explaining them.

English

The Ḥadra is a tradition conveyed and inherited from the greatest Sheikhs and Gnostics, mentioned repeatedly in their books, and it is one of the expressions of Taṣawwuf and the Path towards Allah. Hadra is mentioned by Sayyidi Sheikh Ahmad al-Rifãʿi in Al-Burhān al-Muʾayyid (The Aiding Proof), and by Imam al-Junayd, al-Jilānī, al-Shādhilī, al-Shaʿrānī, al-Ḥātimī, al-Qushayrī and many others – may Allah be pleased with all of them.

It is based on the Ayah:

﴿ الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّـهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَـٰذَا بَاطِلًا سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ ﴾

﴾ Those who mention Allah standing and sitting and lying on their sides ﴿
Al-Qurʾãn Sūra Āl ʿImrãn 3:191

Applying it in this way may be taken as a good innovation.

In the book “Al-Nusratu al-Nabawiyya li Ahl al-Tariqati al-Shadhiliyya” (The Prophetic Aid for People of the Shadhili Tariqa) by Sheikh Mustafa Habash al-Madani, we find (rendered here in abbreviated form):

«Since the greatest goal of the Sufis is remembering and mentioning Allah at all times, which implies busying themselves with His lights inwardly as well as with their bodies, they made the dhikr circles and the loud (pronounciation of the dhikr) a remedy for their state, and a means of energizing and seeking spiritual uplifting for their hearts, a means to their travel towards their goal and to increase the flow of madad (spiritual resources) amongst themselves, to focus the himma (energy and aspiration) towards the Beloved, driving away the harm of laziness, listnessness and sleep, and blocking the door to heedlessness that leads to sin. So they devised rules, conditions and adaab for the manner in which to perform loud dhikr circles.»

All this is well known to anyone who travels along the Sufi Path.

The Shari’i permissibility of conducting dhikr circles in congregation, with loud dhikr, and standing is derived from the speech of Allah Most High:

﴿ الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّـهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِهِمْ ﴾

(* Those who mention Allah standing and sitting and lying on their sides *)
Sura Al ‘Imran 3:191

The word “those” indicates a group of people, i.e. a congregation, and “standing” indicates that it is permitted to dhikr standing.

Allah the Most High also says concerning dhikr in congregation:

﴿ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اذْكُرُوا اللَّـهَ ذِكْرًا كَثِيرًا ۝ وَسَبِّحُوهُ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلًا ﴾

(* Oh you who believe, mention Allah abundantly, and praise Him morning and afternoon *)
Sura Al-Ahzab 33:41-42

As for Hadith mentioned about the virtues of dhikr, there are many, some of which follow here:
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah send blessings and peace upon him) said:
« On the Day of Rising, Allah will indeed resurrect groups of people with light on their faces, on balconies [adorned with] pearls. People will [look up to and] envy, [though] they are neither Prophets, nor martyrs. » A desert Arab kneeled down and said “Oh Messenger of Allah, disclose more to us so that we may know them!” He (may Allah send blessings and peace upon him) replied: « They are people who love each other for the sake of Allah. They are from diverse tribes, from diverse lands, and they gather in remembrance and mentioning (dhikr) of Allah. »
(Al-Tabarani mentioned this hadith with a hasan chain in Al-Targhib wal-Tarhib)

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah send blessings and peace upon him) also said:
« When you pass by the Meadows of Paradise, then halt and let your cattle graze. » [The companions] asked: “What are the Meadows of Paradise?” He (may Allah send blessings and peace upon him) replied: « The circles of dhikr. »
(This hadith is mentioned by Imam Ahmad and al-Tabarani, who said it is hasan gharib, and it was mentioned by al-Mundhiri in Al-Targhib wal-Tarhib)

And it is mentioned in the two Sahih-collections [of al-Bukhari and Muslim] that the Prophet (may Allah send blessings and peace upon him) said:
« Indeed, Allah has Angels who travel around seeking circles of dhikr. When they come across them, they surround them, and Allah says to them: Cover them with My Mercy, because these are companions, whoever sits with them will not end up miserably [in the after-life].»

And in according to a more lengthy narration:
« Certainly, Allah – Great and Majestic is He – has distinguished Angels who travel around seeking out the dhikr gatherings. When the find a gathering where [people] do dhikr, they will sit with them, and they will surround each other with their wings until they fill [the space] between [the dhikr circle] and the lowest heaven. Then when the [people] disperse, they rise and ascend to heaven. » He (may Allah send blessings and peace upon him) continued saying: « Then Allah – Great and Majestic is He will ask them – although He knows all about them: Where do you come from? They will say: We come from some servants of Yours on earth who are elevating you with Tasbih (saying Subhana Allah), and testifying Your Unity with Tahlil (saying La ilaha illa Allah), and praising You with Tahmid (saying Al-hamdu li Allah) »

– and according to the narration of al-Bukhari: « … and glorifying You and praying to You with Tamjid…. »

From this hadith may also extract that the meaning of “Dhikr” is what the Angels specified: namely Tasbih, Tahlil and Tahmid – not seeking knowledge, as some Muslims have construed.

On the authority of Sayyiduna Mu’awiya, may Allah be pleased with him, the Messenger of Allah (may Allah send blessings and peace upon him) came out to a circle of his Companions, who were sitting in a circle, and said: « What made you sit? » The replied: “We sat to remember and mention Allah and praise Him for guiding us to Islam, and thereby giving us (so many) bounties.” He (may Allah send blessings and peace upon him) asked: « Swear by Allah that this is the sole (reason) that made you sit? » They said: “By Allah, this is the sole (reason) that made you sit.” He (may Allah send blessings and peace upon him) then said:
« Rest assured that I did not ask you to swear out of suspicion towards you, but because Jibril came to me and disclosed to me that Allah – High and Majestic is He – is boasting about you to His Angels. » (reported by Muslim, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nasa’i and Ahmad)

Thabit al-Banani said: “Indeed, the people of remembrance of Allah sit to remember and mention Allah, and certainly they are burdened with a mighty variety of sins, and indeed, when they get up, there is nothing (weighing) upon them.” [The Prophet (may Allah send blessings and peace upon him) ] said:
« Whenever people sit and mention and remember Allah, the Angels surround them … » (Muslim, al-Tirmidhi, Ahmad, Abu Ya’la and ‘Abd al-Razzaq)

When Imam al-Suyuti was asked about the gatherings of dhikr and doing it aloud in the mosques, he said: “There is no dislike in this. It was deemed permissible by ‘Izz ibn ‘Abd al-Salam, al-Balqi and many others.” [See “The Realities of SufIsm”]

Hadra is a technical term used by the people of Tasawwuf which means presence of the heart with Allah Most High. As we have seen, the Messenger of Allah (may Allah send blessings and peace upon him) called it “dhikr circles” or “dhikr gatherings”, and others have used other names. The important thing here is not the variance of names, but the essence, which is a dhikr circle or gathering or a Hadra, free from any element that would go against the Shari’a. Our Lord said:

﴿ اذْكُرُوا اللَّـهَ ذِكْرًا كَثِيرًا ﴾

(* Mention Allah doing dhikr abundantly *)

and He did not restrict it to a specific form – rather He said:

﴿ الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّـهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِهِمْ ﴾

(* Those who remember and mention Allah standing and sitting and (lying down) on their sides… *)

This Ayah gives those who do dhikr full freedom, not restricting them to any specific posture, while mentioning them in the plural form. So it is possible for a group to do dhikr standing, sitting or even lying down, according the form that is most suitable for them. He did not restrict them to any specific form, or to any specific day or time. So if our Lord open the door to dhikr in all its forms, why would someone limit dhikr to some specific form?
Allah Alone is the All-Knowing, the All-Compassionate!

Sheikh Muhammad Ramadan al-Bouti – may Allah have mercy on him said (in his book “Al-Salafiyya”):
“Those who call to such gatherings and attend them have taking the general meaning implied by the Word of Allah (* Those who remember Allah standing and sitting and (lying down) on their sides *) When an Ayah, like this one, has a clear general meaning, nothing limits its scope except if there is another text that limits it by exceptions of specification. And there is no text defining a specific form or time for dhikr, nor is there no text commanding to avoid any specific form or time for it.”

(It is stated in the book “Al-Ibriz”:)
“Most of the methods of tarbiyya (training) and guidance include the hadra as one of their items, and this is because of the benefit derived from it, by the mentioning of Allah – great and majestic is He -, awareness of His presence (muraqaba), and mercy sent down when righteous people are mentioned; and also because of the guidance given by listening to the recital, and the blessings contained in the movement. This is part of the Sunnah of the Masters of gnosis, and there is no proof to criticize it, since the default is that things are permitted, as long as they do not go against any principle. Rather, (hadra) is the form of movement of the heart, and its turning toward its Lord – praised be He.”

عربي

الحضرة

* الحضرة: هي حضور القلب مع الله .
* وهي الركن الهام في طريق القوم.
وهذا الركن هو الاجتماع على ذكر الله عز وجل تحت إمارة الشيخ أو وكيله المسمى بالمقدم يبدأ بتلاوة القرآن الحكيم ، ثم تنشد أناشيد من أقوال العارفين بالله المأخوذة بما فيها من القرآن والسنة وأفهام العلماء بالله مثل الشيخ عبدالغني النابلسي وابن الفارض ثم تقوم الجماعة للذكر ويبقون على حالة الذكر حتى يأذن الشيخ أو المقدم بختامها وبعد ذلك يقرأ أحد الإخوة بعض الآيات من القرآن الحكيم ويتم تفسيرها من قبل الشيخ أو وكيله.
وإن الحضرة منقولة ومتوارثة عن كبار الأشياخ العاملين فهي مقررة في كتبهم ومظهر من مظاهر التصوف في سلوك طريقهم عند سيدي أحمد الرفاعي (انظر البرهان المؤيد) والجنيد والجيلاني والشاذلي والشعراني والحاتمي والقشيري وغيرهم رضي الله عنهم.
الأصل فيها ﴿الذين يذكرون الله قياما وقعودا وعلى جنوبهم﴾( [1]).
والاصطلاح على كيفيتها هو من باب البدعة الحسنة.
• وفي كتاب (النصرة النبوية لأهل الطريقة الشاذلية للشيخ مصطفى حبش المدني)( [2]):
إن القوم لما كان جل قصدهم ذكر الله في سائر أوقاتهم أوجب لهم اشتغال أنواره في بواطنهم وأجسادهم فجعلوا حلقة الذكر والجهر به دواء لحالهم وسببا لنشاطهم واسرتواحا لقلوبهم وزيادة على السير إلى مقصودهم ولسريان المدد بينهم وجمع الهمة على محبوبهم وردا لداء الكسل والفتور والنوم وسدا لباب الغفلة الموجب للمعاصي وجعلوا لحلقة الذكر الجهري كيفية وشروطا وآدبا.. أهـ باختصار.
• وكل ذلك معروف عند من سلك طريق القوم.
وجواز حلق الذكر شرعا بشكل جماعي جهرا وقياما مأخوذ من قوله تعالى ﴿الذين يذكرون الله قياما وقعودا وعلى جنوبهم﴾( [3]) فالذين تدل على الجماعة وقياما تدل على جواز الذكر واقفا.
وقال تعالى في الذكر الجماعي ﴿يا أيها الذين آمنوا اذكروا الله ذكرا كثيرا وسبحوه بكرة وأصيلا﴾( [4]) .
• وأما الأحاديث التي وردت في فضيلة الذكر فكثيرة منها ما يلي:
قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم : «ليبعثن الله أقواما يوم القيامة في وجوههم النور على منابر اللؤلؤ يغبطهم الناس ليسوا بأنبياء ولا شهداء فجثا أعرابي على ركبتيه وقال: يا رسول الله حلهم لنا نعرفهم فقال عليه الصلاة والسلام هم المتحابون في الله من قبائل شتى ومن بلاد شتى يجتمعون على ذكر الله»( [5]).
وقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم «إذا مررتم برياض الجنة فارتعوا فقالوا : يا رسول الله وما رياض الجنة؟ قال: حلق الذكر»( [6]).
وورد في الصحيحين أن النبي صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم يقول«إن لله ملائكة سيارين يتطلبون حلق الذكر فإذا أتوا عليها حفوا بها فيقول الله: غشوهم برحمتي فهم الجلساء لا يشقى بهم جليسهم».
• وفي الرواية المطولة: «إن لله تبارك وتعالى ملائكة سيارة فُضْلاً يتبعون مجالس الذكر، فإن وجدوا مجلسا فيه ذكر قعدوا معهم وحف بعضهم بعضا بأجنحتهم حتى يملؤوا ما بينهم وبين سماء الدنيا فإذا تفرقوا عرجوا وصعدوا إلى السماء قال فيسألهم الله عز وجل وهو أعلم بهم: من أين جئتم؟ فيقولون: جئنا من عند عباد لك في الأرض يسبحونك ويهللونك ويحمدونك وفي رواية البخاري ويمجدونك ويسألونك…»( [7]) .
• ويستفاد من هذا الحديث أيضا: أن المقصود من الذكر هو ما فسرته الملائكة من التسبيح والتهليل والتحميد وليس المراد العلم كما يظنه بعض المسلمين.
وعن سيدنا معاوية رضي الله عنه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم خرج على حلقة من أصحابه فقال ما أجلسكم؟ قالوا: جلسنا نذكر الله ونحمده على ما هدانا للإسلام ومن به علينا قال: آ لله ما أجلسكم إلا ذاك، قالوا: والله ما أجلسنا إلا ذاك قال: أما إني لم أستحلفكم تهمة لكم ولكنه أتاني جبريل فأخبرني أن الله عز وجل يباهي بكم الملائكة( [8]).
وعن ثابت البناني قال: إن أهل ذكر الله ليجلسون إلى ذكر الله وإن عليهم الآثام أمثال الجبال وإنهم ليقومون من ذكر الله تعالى ما عليهم من شيء.
صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم : «ما جلس قوم يذكرون الله إلا حفتهم الملائكة …»( [9]).
وسئل الإمام السيوطي عن حلق الذكر والجهر في المساجد فقال : لا كراهة فيه وجوز ذلك العز بن عبدالسلام والبلقيني وغيرهم كثير( [10]) .
والحضرة: لفظ اصطلح عليه أهل التصوف ومعنى الحضرة: حضور القلب مع الله تعالى وقد سماها رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم (حلق الذكر) وسماها أيضا (مجالس الذكر) كما مر معنا ويأتي أناس يسمونها كذا وكذا وهذا لا يهم فلا مشاححة في المصطلحات المهم أن يكون مجلس الذكر أو حلقة الذكر أو الحضرة خالية من المخالفات الشرعية وربنا سبحانه وتعالى قال ﴿اذكروا الله ذكرا كثيرا﴾ فلم يقيد أحدا بحالة معينة وقال أيضا ﴿الذين يذكرون الله قياما وقعودا وعلى جنوبهم﴾ وبهذه الآية: جعل الذاكرين في راحة كاملة لم يقيدهم بحالة واحدة وتكلم بلسان الجمع فيمكن أن يذكروا الله جماعة قياما وقعودا وعلى جنوبهم على حسب الهيئة التي تناسب الذاكرين ولم يقيدهم بحالة مخصوصة وبيوم مخصوص وبساعة مخصوصة فإذا فتح ربنا باب الذكر على مصراعيه فلماذا يأتي أحدهم ويقيد باب الذكر بحالة مخصوصة…؟.
فالله وحده أعلم وأرحم( [11]).
ويقول الدكتور محمد سعيد رمضان البوطي حفظه الله تعالى : والذين يتداعون إلى هذه الحلقات ويحضرونها يحتجون بالعموم الذي يدل عليه قول الله عز وجل: ﴿الذين يذكرون الله قياما وقعودا وعلى جنوبهم﴾( [12]).
وهو عموم بين لا يخرج عن نطاقه إلا إذا أخرجه نص آخر من طريق الاستثناء والتخصيص.
وكما أنه لم يرد نص بتحديد حالة أو وقت معين له كذلك لم يرد نص يأمر بتجنب حالة مخصوصة أو وقت محدود له( [13]).
• والخلاصة:
أن غالب طرق التربية والإرشاد لا تخلو من الحضرة كمظهر من مظاهرها وذلك للنفع الحاصل فيها من ذكر الله عز وجل ومراقبته ونزول الرحمات بذكر الصالحين فيها والإرشاد الحاصل بالسماع والإنشاد والبركة الحاصلة بالحركة فهي مما سنه السادات العارفون ولا دليل لمنكرها لأن الأصل في الأشياء الإباحة حيث لا تعارض أصلا بل هي سبيل لتحريك القلب والتوجه به نحو ربه سبحانه( [14]).

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