KHATME-İ KHAJEGAN (Islam and Sufism)

Hatma is a type of dhikr which is performed in jamaat (congregation), sitting in the shape of circle or ring. Makingdhikr in a circle has been recommended and praised in the Qu’ran and Sunnah.

HATME

The Holy Qu’ran encourages being in the company of people who perform dua’a, ibadah and dhikr morning and night:

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Restrain yourself together with those who pray to their Rabb morning and evening, seeking His rizā. Do not turn your eyes away from them, in quest of the allurements of this life, nor obey him whose heart We have made ghāfil of Our remembrance; who follows his appetite and gives a loose rein to his desires.” [al-Kahf 18:28]

When this āyat was revealed to the messenger of Allāh (SAW) he went to the mosque to investigate these people. He found a group of people who were doing zikr. The people were poor muslims wearing old clothes. When he saw them he immediately sat next to them and said;

“Make hamd to Allāh, who made in my ummat (such people) whom He ordered me to be with them.”[1]

This is a great example of modesty and adab. There is no doubt that the messenger of Allāh (SAW) was superior in every way to these people with whom he was ordered to be together. However, almighty Allāh showed with this command the virtue of this congregational zikr, and then showed us Rasūlullāh’s (SAW) great humility for us to follow the example of his behavior. In addition Allāh informed the messenger of Allāh (SAW) with this to honour them and give fayz to them.

According to this report, the messenger of Allāh (SAW) said as he approached them:

“I saw the rahmat of Allāh descend upon you, and I would love to join you.” [2] and he sat down in the circle.

Once the messenger of Allāh (SAW) said:

“When you come upon the gardens of Jannat, gain benefit from them.”

Ashāb-i kirām asked “What are the gardens of Jannat, o messenger of Allāh?” The messenger of Allāh (SAW) replied:

“The halqas (circles) of zikr.”[3]

Another time, the messenger of Allāh (SAW) approached his companions who were gathered in a circle and he asked them.

“What are you doing here?” The people in the circle replied:

“We are sitting here in order to remember Allāh and to do hamd to Him because He guided us to the path of Islām and He conferred favours upon us.” The messenger of Allāh (SAW) asked his companions,

“By Allāh, are you really sitting here for that reason?”

The companions answered: “By Allāh, we are sitting here for this purpose only..”

After that the messenger of Allāh said:

“I am not asking you to take an oath because of any misunderstanding against you, but only because Jibrīl (AS) came to me and informed me that Allāh, ‘azza wa jalla, was telling the angels that He is proud of you!” [4]

Also these good tidings are important:

“There is no group of people who, hoping to gain only the rizā of Allah, gather for the purpose of zikr of Allah and yet to whom an assigned angel from the skies doesn’t announce: Rise forgiven, your bad deeds have been changed into good deeds!” [5]

Also performed in a circle, hatm-i hājagān is a kind of zikr praised in this way. As we can see, congregational zikr performed in a circle has been praised, but there is no information regarding what should be recited in this circle. Therefore, no matter what is recited from among what is counted as zikr, these good news will have been earned. Various duaā and zikr recited in hatma have been compiled from Sunnat-i saniyya.

It was Abdulhāliq Ghujdawānī who compiled the hatma into its present form. It is also known as hatm-i hājagān. hājagān means exalted people, masters, great teachers. hatm-i hājagān means the hatm (or khatm, to read the whole of Qur’ān once) compiled, instructed and practiced by great walīs.
One reason for calling it as hatm is this: when the masters of this path came together and made a congregation with their murīds they would end the meeting with this zikr. This zikr wwas called hatm-i hājagān as a practice exclusive to them.

Another reason is that the recitation of sūrahs Fātiha and Ihlās during the zikr is each equal to a sawāb of hatm. This is because the messenger of Allāh (SAW) gave the good news that whoever recites the sūrah Ihlās three times, earns a sawāb equal to that of reading the entire Qur’ān.[6] In total, the sūrah Ikhlas is recited one thousand times in long hatma and this is equal to the merits earned by reading Qur’ān three hundred and thirty-three (333) times. This is why the masters valued this zikr so highly. They would never miss performing this zikr throughout their lifetimes except in the event of illness or difficult travelling conditions.

Hatma is performed according to the same methods as those preferred and practiced by the masters of Naqshibandī. There are two different types of hatma, long hatma and short hatma.

 


[1] Tabarî, J â m i u ’ l – B a y â n, commentary on relevant ayat; Ibn Kasîr, Tefsîrü’l-Kur’âni’l-Azîm, 5/153; Süyûtî, ad-Dürrü’l-Mensûr, 5/381; Abû Nuaym, Marifetü’s-Sahâbe, nr. 4634.

[2] Süyûtî, ad-Dürrü’l-Mensûr, 5/382.

[3] Tirmidhî, Daawât, 82; Ahmad, Müsned, 3/150.

[4] Müslim, Dhikr, 40; Tirmidhî, Daawât, 6; Nesâî, Âdâbü’l-Kudât, 36.

[5] Ahmed, Müsned, 3/142; Abû Ya‘lâ, Müsned, 7/167; Taberânî, al-Awsat, 1/85.

[6] Müslim, Salâtü’l-Müsâfirîn, 261; Tirmidhî, Fezâilü’l-Qur’ân, 11.

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