The practise of a special type of group Dhikr known as Khatm al-Khawajkan is something that is permissible and experienced to be useful in removing difficulties and calamities, and helpful in the acceptance of supplication (dua).
It can not be deemed as impermissible or Bid’a, for it only consists of the recitation of Surah al-Inshirah (alam nashrah), the Dhikr “la hawla wa la quwwata illa billah la malja’a wa la manja’a min Allah illa ilayh” and sending blessings on the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), all of which are permitted and established recitals from the Qur’an and Sunnah.
The method or order of its recitation is undoubtedly something that is not established through the Sunnah, but it was something that many great scholars and Imams found to be beneficial through the ages and eras.
Similarly, the numeral specifications are also not proven from the Sunnah, but again, it is something that was felt very beneficial through the experiences of many great servants of Allah Almighty.
Therefore, the following should be kept in mind with regards to this Dhikr:
a) The special method of this Dhikr (Khatm al-Khawajkan) is not proven from the Sunnah, neither is this the claim of those who practise it. It is merely something that was felt to be immensely beneficial by many great scholars of Tasawwuf out of their personal experience. As such, it can not be deemed to be a Sunnah, rather only permissible or mandub.
b) The prescribing of certain numbers is also through experience, thus this also can not be deemed as an established Sunnah, rather Mandub.
c) Similarly, there is no fixed reward for its recitation, thus it is improper to fix a specific reward for it.
d) There is nothing wrong in regularly practising it or carrying this type of Dhikr at specific times, as long as it is not thought to be necessary.
e) It is improper to insist (israr) on others to take part in this type of Dhikr. If insistence takes place, or those who do not take part are considered to be blameworthy, then this will fall into the category of Bid’a.
In conclusion, the Dhikr of Khatm al-Khawajkan is permissible in itself, for it only consists of the recitation of established things, such as Surah al-Inshirah. It was prescribed by many great early scholars, especially those who were active in a technical term known as Tasawwuf. It was experienced by them to be immensely beneficial and helpful for the removing of calamities and the acceptance of Duas.
The method of this Dhikr
There is no exact method for this type of Dhikr, for (as you have seen that its method is not established through Sunnah) the experiences of different Masha’ikh differed from one another. This is the reason why one should abstain from regarding a specific method to be necessary.
Different Sufi orders (tariqas) have different ways and methods of carrying out this Dhikr. Below is one of the methods normally practiced by the Chishtiyya spiritual order:
1) Sending blessings and salutations (salat wa salam) on the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace),
2) Recitation of the Dhikr “la hawla wa la quwwata illa billah la malja’a wa la manja’a min Allah illa ilayh” 360 times,
3) Recitation of Surah al-Inshirah (alam nashrah) completely 360 times,
4) One again, recitation of “la hawla wa la quwwata illa billah la malja’a wa la manja’a min Allah illa ilayh” 360 times,
5) Sending blessings and Salutations (salat wa salam) on the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace),
Thereafter one should supplicate to Allah Almighty (dua) and ask Him for all of one’s needs and the removing of difficulties and calamities.
Note that, the number of 360 is not needed from every individual, rather when it is performed collectively, it is sufficient to reach 360 by the collective recitation.
Bismillahi Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim Allaahu ‘Akbar, Allaahu ‘Akbar, Allaahu ‘Akbar, Subhaanal-lazee sakhkhara lanaa haathaa wa maa kunnaa lahu muqrineen. Wa ‘inn...
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