Taken from ‘Silsilah Ahadeeth As-Saheehah’ By the Muhaddith, Shaykh, Allamaa’ Muhammad Nasir uddeen al-Albaani
Translated by Abbas Abu Yahya
2005 – ‘Indeed there people who read the Qur’aan, but it does not go pass their throats, they leave Islaam just like the arrow leaves the prey.’
Collected by ad-Darmi
From ‘Amroo bin Salamah: We were sitting by the door of Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood before lunch, so that if he came out, we could walk with him to the Masjid.
Abu Moosaa al-Ash’aree came and said: Has Abu Abdur-Rahmaan come out yet?
We said: No.
So, he sat down with us, waiting for him to come out, and when he came out, we all gathered towards him, and Abu Moosaa said:
‘O Abu Abdur-Rahmaan! Previously I saw something in the Masjid which I disliked. But,Alhamdulillaah, what I saw, was nothing but good.’
He said: What was it?
Abu Moosaa said, ‘If you live, you will see it.’
Then Abu Moosaa said, ‘I saw a group of people, sitting in circles waiting for the prayer. In every circle there was a man and in their hands were small stones and he would say: ‘Say Allaahu Akbar 100 times’ and they would say ‘Allaahu Akbar’ 100 times. Then, he would say, ‘Say laa ilaha ilAllaah 100 times’ and they would say ‘laa ilaha ilAllaah’ 100 times and he would say, ‘Say SubhaanAllaah’ 100 times and they would say ‘SubhaanAllaah’ 100 times.’
Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood said, ‘So what did you say to them?’
He said: ‘I did not say anything to them, rather I waited for your opinion [or ‘I waited for your command’].’
He said: ‘Why did you not command them to count their bad deeds [i.e. seek forgiveness from your deeds] and guarantee them that their good deeds would not be lost?!’
Then he walked and we walked with him until he reached one of those circles and he stood there and said, ‘What is this that I see you doing?’
They said: ‘O Abu Abdur-Rahmaan! These are nothing but small stones with which we are counting, saying ‘Allaahu Akbar, laa ilaaha illAllaah and SubhaanAllaah.’
He said, ‘Count your sins; I guarantee that you will not lose anything of your good deeds! Beware, O Ummah of Muhammad! How quick you are to your destruction!
Here we are, the Companions of your Prophet – abundant, everywhere and here is his clothing which has not been [wasted away] and his utensils have not been broken. I swear by Him in Whose Hand is my soul, either you are an Ummah more rightly-guided than the Ummah of Muhammad or you are opening the door of misguidance.’
They said; ‘We swear by Allaah, O Abu Abdur-Rahmaan, we did not intend anything but good.’
He said: ‘How many people intend good but never achieve it. Verily the Messenger of Allaah – narrated to us, ‘Indeed there will be a people who read the Qur’aan but it does not pass beyond their throats.’ I swear by Allaah, I do not know. Perhaps most of them are from amongst you.’
Then he went away.
‘Amroo bin Salamah said, ‘We saw some of those sitting in those circles fighting on the Day of Nahrawaan, along with the Khawaarij.’
Shaykh al-Albaani mentions in the Takreej (research) of the above narration:
‘Indeed there is a lesson to be learnt from this narration, for those who follow Sufipaths and Dhikr gatherings which are against the Sunnah. When someone forbids an evil action that they perform they accuse him of forbidding Dhikr from its very foundation!
This is Kufr which no Muslim in this world should fall into; the evil action which they adhere to, from those forms of Dhikr and gatherings which, were not legislated at the time of the Prophet –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam-, otherwise why would Ibn Masood –Radi Allaahu anhu– disapprove of those who were sitting in their gatherings?
Is it not, a gathering done on a specific day, and doing an amount of Dhikr which is not indicated by the Sharia’ but is listed by the Shaykh of the gathering, and he commands them with the amount of Dhikr that they should do from himself, as if he is a legislator on behalf of Allaah Ta’ala!
<< Or do they have partners with Allaah, who have instituted for them a religion which Allaah has not allowed. >>
To add to this, the Sunnah which is established by the Messenger –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- verbally and practically is to perform the Tasbeeh (remembrance of Allaah) on your fingertips, as it is clear in ‘The refutation against al-Habshee’ and in other places.
From the benefits which can be reaped from the hadeeth and this story is; that the importance is not of performing a large amount of worship, but rather, is it according to the Sunnah and far away from Bida’.
Ibn Masood –Radi Allaahu anhu– also indicated to this point in his saying: ‘sticking to the Sunnah is better than striving in Bida’.’
And another benefit is: that a small Bida’ leads to a greater Bida’. Do you not see that those people from these gatherings afterwards became from the Khawaarij who were killed by the rightly guided Khalifah ‘Alee bin Abu Taalib? So is there anyone who will take heed?!’
[Taken from Silsilah Ahadeeth as-Saheehah by Shaykh al-Albaani (vol 5/2005)]
 Narrated by ad-Darmi in his Sunan.
 Soorah Shura :21