Is making invocations dhikr out loud a reprehensible innovation?
Is making invocations (dhikr) out loud a reprehensible innovation?
Raising your voice to an intermediate level during glorification (tasbih) and the like is preferred (mustahab) by the majority of jurists. This is due to His saying, And be not loud-voiced in your worship nor yet silent therein, but follow a way between [17:110], which is what the Prophet used to do.
According to Abu Qutadah the Prophet went out one night only to find Abu Bakr praying in a lowered voice. Then he passed by ‘Umar who was praying in a loud voice. When the two of them were present before the Prophet he said, “I passed by you, Abu Bakr, when you were praying in a lowered voice.” Abu Bakr replied, “I made myself heard to the One upon whom I called.” He said, “Raise your voice some.” Then he addressed ‘Umar saying, “I passed by you and you were praying in a loud voice.” ‘Umar replied, “O Messenger of God, I rouse the drowsy and drive out the Devil.” He said, “Lower your voice some.”
Some of the pious ancestors were of the opinion that it is preferred to raise one’s voice when saying “Allahu Akbar” and the other invocations after the five daily prayers. They based this opinion on the hadith that was narrated according to Ibn Abbas in which he said, “It was by hearing [the invocations after the prayer] that I knew they had finished.” This also involves more actions and its benefit is more conducive to [producing] contemplation and waking the hearts of those who are not heedful.
The best thing that was said about this matter is the statement of the author of Maraqi al-Falah in which he brings together the hadiths and the opinions of the scholars who differed as to which was better, lowering one’s voice during supplication and invocation or raising it. He said, “This differs depending on the person, the state [they are in], the time, and the purpose. Whenever one fears ostentation or bringing harm to someone else [by raising one’s voice], lowering one’s voice is better, and whenever these conditions are absent, raising one’s voice is better.”
Accordingly, raising one’s voice during invocation is not a reprehensible innovation, and there is nothing wrong with it. In fact, it could be more effective in involving the heart and bringing about concentration, as long as the person is able to avoid ostentation. And God Most High knows best.